Global Diplomacy is a game of world domination played by n players on a World Map consisting of continent segments (broken into land territories), and ocean segments (broken into water territories). Some land territories provide supply; these allow their owners to create simple land and naval units to wrest control of neutral and enemy territories from their neighbours. Moves are issued simultaneously.
In the classic game, there is a starting setup on the Earth map where all players are NOT created equal. The winner is the first player to reach a certain percentage of growth (say, 300-500%). In a variant, the map is created randomly, the players are all equal strength, and the players do not have full vision of the world; they must first explore -- this seems more appropriate for this contest.
Rules: http://members.shaw.ca/emg.pbm/gd/gd-rules.htm#APC -- can be modified for this contest, of course
Easy: The game is dirt-simple. Each turn, issue build/disband orders (with excess/deficit of supply), issue diplomacy commands, issue move/attack orders. The starting bot could issue DA (declare ally) to every neighbour he meets, and move randomly.
Familiar: Everyone has played Risk or some variant in their lives. While the exact mechanics of this game will differ (for one, each territory may have no more than one unit in it: this means that spatial coordination is necessary for victory), the ideas of alliances/enemies in war simulations is familiar to all.
Interesting: next section
Technically feasible: The algorithm for resolving battles is laid out in the rules. There are no physics simulations to play out, nor complex analysis. No floating-point rounding errors.
Non-trivial: I don't think any world domination game that involves co-operation with and backstabbing of neighbours can be considered trivial by any definition.
Fun to watch: A colour-coded map and battles with supporting units.
Inter-player communication: To get ahead, players will need to co-operate with their allies. This is a feature that has not been explored in past contests, and I think this could be verrry interesting. In meat-space, people use email to achieve this between turns (which usually last a week when playing by email). In this contest, a period of message-sending could occur between players between turns -- which could lead to the emergence of some very interesting messaging protocols! There are second-order considerations to .. consider .. as well, such as lying.
Simultaneous moves: Just like Ants, players may use some searching/game-theory techniques to make the best moves.
Game setup: The game can be played by any number of players, on randomly generated maps. I would suggest that the maps need not even be symmetrical for the game to be interesting.
Partial information: Only owned territories and their direct borders are visible to players. Just like Ants, the players need not be told how many players are in the game, nor how big the world map is. Perhaps information about formally declared alliances/wars can be shared with other players as well.
Statistics: Posted by coachbudka — Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:36 pm