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November 2nd, 2017, 08:36 AM   #1
Joined: Aug 2016
From: Pennsylvania, USA

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Question about Game Theory Mathematics

Hi everyone, I wasn't sure where to post this so I'll ask for guidance here.

I'm looking to design a fairly simple board game. Although I suppose it's not really all that simple. It's a cooperation game where all the players work cooperatively to beat the game's evil forces.

The game I will be designing will be a lot like this board game in terms of how it will work mathematically:

Darkest Night

So my question is to ask how I can go about learning the mathematical structure of this specific game. If I can understand the mathematical model of this game, I could then adapt it to my game. My game will be considerably different, but if I had this mathematical model to work from as a basis that would make things a lot easier.

I realize I could just take some courses or read books on game theory in general, but that looks like that could become extremely involved and would require learning a lot of superfluous game theories I wouldn't need for this one project.

So my question is how can I find a mathematical model for a cooperative board game similar to Darkest Night.

If I could just get a model along those lines, I could then adapt that model to my new game idea.

So I don't want to spend the rest of my life learning "game theory" in general. I just need this one type of game model. It doesn't need to be "Darkest Night". It could be any board game that has similar components and strategies.

What I need is a well-explained mathematics model along these lines. I wouldn't mind reading a book as long as it's focused on just this one type of game model. In fact, if such a book exists, that would do the trick!

Sweet Dreamer is offline  
November 2nd, 2017, 08:51 AM   #2
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i'm not quite sure what you're asking as there doesn't seem to be much math behind the game.
you weigh the options of removing a negative versus taking a positive effect, and act accordingly.
its not much more complicated than that.
phillip1882 is offline  
November 2nd, 2017, 10:33 AM   #3
Joined: Aug 2016
From: Pennsylvania, USA

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Originally Posted by phillip1882 View Post
i'm not quite sure what you're asking as there doesn't seem to be much math behind the game.
you weigh the options of removing a negative versus taking a positive effect, and act accordingly.
its not much more complicated than that.
Hi Phillip,

I confess to not knowing what I need myself.

I just watched a few videos on game theory. Game theory seems to be all about how to make choices when playing a game. That's actually not what I need.

What I need is a structural model upon which to base the game. And I'm not sure how to go about setting this up.

The game I have in mind is actually quite a bit different from Darkest Night, but it's also similar in many ways.

I'll try to explain (but this could get complicated)

On my board game I have a world that has various different villages. Each of these villages represents a different aspect of humanity (or real world problems). The players draw cards that give them options to chose from on what actions to take to address specific problems.

Along the bottom of the playing board are 6 categories of attributes of the "World society". Examples are like "Education", "Ecology", "Technology" etc.

Each one of these categories has a scale from -10 to +10. When the game starts they are all set to zero.

The idea is to have problems occur on the board along with solutions the players can choose from. Depending on how they chose to solve a problem, along with possibly a roll of the dice, they will either add or subtract a value from one or more of the 6 categories at the bottom of the board.

The idea is to get all categories to a +10. If all categories fall to -10 the players lose.


So what I need to do is construct a model that correlates these "Problems, Solutions, and World Characteristics in such a way that the game makes sense.

Of course, it won't be all done with mathematics. Much of it will require good old common sense on my part to decide how to weigh various chosen solutions, etc.

However, in order to do this I need to construct at least some sort of correspondence model between the "Problems: that will appear in the game, and the "Solutions" the players might choose, with the World Characteristic at the bottom of the board.

I guess the first thing I should do is set up some type of block diagram to visually represent these three major components. And then try to work out some way to "balance" things out so that the game makes sense.

I mean, I already have the idea of what the game should be. But now I need to implement it in such a way that it actually works out.

Obviously (or maybe not so obviously) I will need to design problems and solutions in such a way that good solutions end up creating +++ positive effects and bad solutions end up creating --- negative effects.

A lot of that is going to be my own choices of what I feel our good solutions versus bad solutions. None the less, it will still be of great help to me if I can see a mathematical relationship between the problems, solutions, and world characteristics.

I don't know how they did this for Darkest Night. Was it a mathematical model or just trial and error, or pure dumb luck? Some people who have played the game have said that it is pure dumb luck and that no amount of strategy can help. Other's claim that if you play the game wisely you can force a win (provided you don't get too many unluckily rolls of the dice).

I'm not sure how these games are designed. But I would like there to be some strategy involved so it's not just willy-nilly random.

Clearly the place to start will be to set up some block diagrams.

Three blocks are an obvious start. But then this will quickly become 6 sets of three blocks since there will be 6 world characteristics to keep track of.

That's clearly the first place to start.

See. I'm making progress already. At least now I have an idea of how to set up a crude block diagram for the game strategy. Six sets of three blocks.

There's actually more to it than just this, but this is a start to be sure.

Thanks for letting me think out loud. This helps.
Sweet Dreamer is offline  

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