Marc Lanctot on Sat, 24 Jul 2010 09:38:37 -0700 (MST)

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Re: [game-lang] a survey of previous work

On 07/24/2010 06:07 AM, Simon McGregor wrote:

I'd like to suggest that we adopt different terms for (at least) two
meanings of "game":
1) the abstract structure of the game as it would be defined in
mathematical game theory
2) the overall structure of the game as it presents itself
experientially, including its component organisation and appearance

I suppose it boils down to what we want the language to represent. We
can represent the rules in a purely formal way, and separate that
more-or-less completely from the GUI. My preference would be for a
language which includes both the rules (in a "gameplay description
language"?) and the elements relevant to the GUI and appearance (in a
"game presentation description language"?).
The reason I put question marks over the separation is that (board)
games are usually made from standard components (e.g. cards, spaces,
dice, counters) which affect both the cognitive ergonomics (including
appearance) of the game and the logical relations which the components
can have to one another.

It would seem a bit perverse to me to have a language which spells out
that the game logic involves a randomly permutable list of (hidden
side, public side) pairs, and independently specifies how this list in
the GUI can be represented by a deck of cards.

Does that make sense?

I think so. If you're saying that you want the language to include some high-level notions that are standard in gaming (a hand of cards, a board, what it means to be adjacent on that board, what a "suit" is, what a "color" is, etc.) then I agree 100% -- that's exactly what GDL is missing.. and they're opposed to adding these because they want the general game programs to figure this out from their low-level descriptions.

What I prefer to keep separate from the language are specifications for how these GUI elements are presented to the user. IMHO, anybody implementing a program to interpret the game rules should have complete freedom over how they graphically represent the game.

I think we do want to define "game" closer to the 1) from above.. at least that's the impression I got. Except we want succinct and expressive representation.


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