Connect Four Thesis

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Games are as old as civilization itself, and some people think they have huge social value regardless of whether you win or lose. That’s why he consulted an army of preposterously overqualified experts to find the secret to winning any game. And I raised over $100,000 on Kickstarter for The Networks. And Hova is not the only game designer crowd-funding his work.

Below is a transcript of the episode, modified for your reading pleasure. Kickstarter has an entire division dedicated to games.

Board games become part of a lifestyle that previous generations wouldn’t have even conceived of.

Just across the board, you have a rise in leisure time.

It'll make it slow down, but it'll get exponentially more difficult. A lot of the boards that you encounter when going down the tree are duplicates (there is more than one way to get to a state).

To avoid recomputing the desirability of these boards, we store them in a hash table.

These techniques might not create the best Connect Four AI possible (in fact, Victor Allis' thesis shows how to create a provably-unbeatable AI), but it can still do pretty well!

The code (in C, Python, and Java Script) is available on Git Hub. Think of all the possible games of Connect Four represented as a tree. The second tier of the tree represents all the possible moves that can be made by the first player.

PILON: We start seeing laws that allow for children to go to school.

And before you get too excited about some board-game renaissance, consider the sales numbers on board games versus video games. Whatever the case, the instinct to play some kind of game, with some kind of opponent, is extraordinarily common, and long-lived.


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