Action in an action movie moves fast. Games have always tried to emulate such action by moving just as fast while demanding that the player learn to keep up. Fighting games, like Mortal Kombat X or Street Fighter V, demand that players learn an intricate series of button combinations and also be dexterous enough to input them on a moment’s notice. A character-action game like God of War or Devil May Cry demand of us the exact same thing, but against AI opponents instead of other players. Action demands speed, usually.
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Recently, another chapter of man vs. machine played out. Google’s Deep Mind project team tried out their state of the art algorithm on the game of Go. The Korean pro, Lee Sedol, a world champion several times over and arguably the best player of the game right now, was its opponent. To put it simply, this was the equivalent of Deep Blue v. Gary Kasparov, and as with the IBM Chess playing machine before it, AlphaGo took home the prize, four wins to one loss.
Go has been thought to be the one game that computers could not beat a human at because a computer could not brute force the move trees. Chess may have an astronomically large set of possible moves, but it is nothing compared to Go. Chess has 12 options for the first move, while Go has 361. However, the feat accomplished by AlphaGo and the Deep Mind team is even more amazing than these raw numbers would suggest.
Given the fast approach of April 1st, I decided that this week I would play the Fool.
We don’t often celebrate the Fool, as indeed he is usually the butt of our jokes or he makes us the butt of his own clowning. However, Cliff Johnson’s 1987 classic, The Fool’s Errand, is certainly an example of an homage to the tradition of the Fool in literature, folklore, and culture generally.
No new episode this week, I’m afraid. Due to a very bad WiFi connection and an inability to upload the latest episode, we are once again returning to our archives to bring you a classic episode of the podcast. We should have a new episode for you next week, though.
In the meantime, this is an episode in which we considered the sorts of characters that we find ourselves having a tough time getting into the role of in video games. Gaming offers players the chance to play heroes of all stripes, exciting men and women whose heroic fantasies allow us to save the ones we love, save the human race, save the world, and save the galaxy.
You Must Build a Boat is a mobile game that crosses an endless runner with a match-three game. You command a ship captain who automatically runs through a dungeon, encountering treasure and monsters and traps along the way. On the game board, you must move tiles around a grid to match three symbols in a row in order for him to interact with those treasures and monsters and traps. Treasure can’t be taken unless three keys are matched, monsters can’t be slain unless three swords are matched, and so on. Throughout all this matching, the screen is constantly scrolling, so the longer that you take to make the matches, the closer the captain gets to the edge of the screen. If he gets pushed off, then your run through the dungeon is over.
// Moving Pixels
"This week we consider the beautiful world that Campo Santo has built for us to explore and the way that the game explores human relationships through its protagonist's own explorations within that world.READ the article