Simon McGregor on Mon, 26 Jul 2010 10:11:41 -0700 (MST)

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

I'd like to make another proposal.

Let's see if we can all agree that our language ought to have access
(either as primitives or more likely as a standard library) to
game-level concepts like board spaces, movable pieces, decks of cards,
and so on. If so, we probably want slightly abstracted versions of
these with an inheritance hierarchy (e.g. a deck of cards is a
specific example of a randomly permutable list: one in which the items
have two sides and various other properties), but these aren't crucial

These concepts simultaneously do three things:
1) they decompose the state-structure of the game into the states of
separate components
2) they abstract common types of state change (e.g. dealing a card on
a place, moving a piece from one space to another)
3) they provide sufficient information for a game interface to be constructed

[ N.B. I am not requesting 3); I am asserting that it is a logical
consequence of these game-level concepts. You can ignore 3) if you
don't agree with it :-) ]

If we agree that we want these concepts, we can move on to discussing
which ones we'll need and how they will work in the language.

My preference would be to have a game component description which is
conceptually distinct from both the rules and the presentation
(because it is a common factor to both). Other things being equal, I'd
also prefer to use the same language syntax for all three.

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