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Wyps - a word game based on Y

Posted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:19 pm
by ddyer
refer to https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/43096/wyps

Its a word game, whose winning conditions are like the Game of Y - that is, connecting
three sides of a triangular board. The interesting thing about this is that the winning
condition has basically no relationship to the tactical game play, which requires forming
words.

Human players seem to concentrate on the word play aspect; it's relatively easy to make
threats to win by playing long words, but It seems likely to me that more attention to
the "Y" strategy is appropriate. I'm just beginning to work on an AI to play, so we'll see.

Re: Wyps - a word game based on Y

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:25 pm
by ddyer
I've completed a fairly successful computer player, and will sketch the algorithm here.

The overall algorithm is a simple static evaluation maximizer, without search. The evaluation
has only a few components: the number of edges currently contacted (0-3) and the number
of own-color tiles currently on the board. The algorithm spends all its time looking for the
best scoring word to put on the board.

The word search algorithm starts with a "template" which is a set of cells from the board
that could be used to form a word, some of the cells might be already occupied. The dictionary
is searched for words that are compatible with the template.

The key, unusual choice is that the templates are grown randomly, starting with a random
empty cell, grown up to a suitable random size. As constructed above, the evaluation
is only dependent on the template, not on the word that might be found to fill it.

This could obviously be extended to try to build better (than random) templates, or to find better
(than anything that works) words to fill the templates, or to consider the opposition responses,
but it proved not to be necessary to get a credible player.