About the Robots
Select the robot to play by clicking on select robot next to the start button.
For multiplayer games, if there are enough human players in the
room, you can also select No
Robot to start a game with only human players.
The robots are currently known as Weakbot,Dumbot Smartbot and BestBot. Each game
has its own family of robots, and some are better players than
others, but generally Dumbot plays
well enough to win against beginners, Smartbot in intended to play well enough to
challenge intermediate skilll players, and Bestbot is the best available, challenging even
for advanced players. Some games may not have any robot,
or may not have all three. Weakbot is a special
low-end robot, designed to be used on slow CPUs, particularly
mobiles. As it's name implies, faster generally means weaker,
but in most cases it's still an acceptable opponent for beginners.
The robots are written in Java, and run on your machine rather than
on the server. Consequently, if the robot seems too slow, my
first suggestion is to buy a faster machine. I calibrate the
robots' speed and playing ability so they will respond at least as
fast as a typical human player.
Robot games are scored just like regular games, and each robot has a
ranking for each game. In ranked robot games the player
to move first is random, and the games are remembered if you quit
them. Consequenly you can always quit to join a human player,
and come back to your robot game later, and also you can't get out
of eventually finishing a robot game you are losing. The
robots are happy to play unranked
and let you choose who will move first.
If your opponent quits a game before it is over, you can let the
robot finish the game by clicking on the "actions" menu in the game
room. In these games, the robot's win or loss is credited to
the player who quit.
What is the Robot's Objective?
The robots' goal is to entertain and train the human players, not to
be the best possible opponent. I'm generally only interested
in improving robots that are too dumb to be interesting to
play. In a few cases, I've deliberately made the robots play
worse than they could. That's about all there is to say about
2-player perfect information games. For games with more than
two players, or with hidden information, or with an element of
chance, exactly what the robots are allowed to know, and what should
be trying to do, is not so obvious. The first rule is, the robot plays to win, but if it isn't winning, or
can't win, it plays to lose by the smallest margin. This may
have the effect of dragging down the leader, or it may not.
The robot definitely doesn't try to play for second.
What are the Robot's Extra Abilities?
The robots are allowed to be superhumanly good at
remembering things. In games like Container, where the cash
total is hidden, the robot is allowed to remember all your
transactions and therefore how much cash you have. In
games like Medina where
the buildings you have available would be humanly impossible to
remember, it remembers. The
robot is definitely NOT allowed to know what the next roll of
the dice, or the top card in the deck is. But it is
allowed to be superhumanly good at remembering what cards are
left in the deck, or what tiles are left in the bag.