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Comment: Re:Pac-Man is too hard (Score 1) 113

by opus (#36429852) Attached to: AI Takes On Pac-Man

I thought this too. I supposed that each ghost must be limited to line-of-sight information, and perhaps knowledge of the maze as well. However, I see no such restrictions:

Ghost-Team-Specific Rules

There are no restrictions regarding the actions of Ms Pac-Man: movement in any direction not blocked by a wall is allowed at all times. For the ghost team, on the other hand, three restrictions apply:

The first follows from the original game specifications and prevents a ghost from turning back on itself. In other words, a ghost may only choose its direction at a junction, choosing any of the paths available except the one the ghost used to approach the junction.

The second restriction is adapted from the original game: occasionally there is a global reversal event when all the ghosts suddenly change direction. In the original game this happens when particular conditions are met (such as a specific number of pills having been consumed). In our implementation a global reversal event can happen on any game tick with a small probability. This adds an element of randomness to each game. We believe the first two restrictions are essential to allow for complex game play to emerge.

Finally, the third restriction is competition-specific: in order to prevent the ghosts from spoiling the game by constantly blocking the power pills (in which case the game would result in a stalemate), each level finishes after 3000 time steps; all remaining pills are awarded to Ms Pac-Man. It is thus in the interest of the ghosts to catch Ms Pac-Man as quickly as possible. For testing, it may be useful to eliminate the time limit. In order to do so, just set the value for limit in Constants to a very high value.

It still seems like four ghosts would be enough to trap a Ms Pac-Man whose location is known at all times.

Comment: Re:Pac-Man is too hard (Score 1) 113

by opus (#36429622) Attached to: AI Takes On Pac-Man

It is my understanding the current world record holder did NOT memorize map patterns and timing, but by learning the AI behavior and manipulating the ghosts. This was successful because people who memorize the routes are screwed if they mess up timing on a turn or something, but this technique lets you have a fighting chance to recover.

You are mistaken, because first, there is a maximum score and the first person to reach it used patterns. Secondly, those who have the perfect score can go those hours without blinking after many tries. It's hard, but if you can do it, then it's not a weakness to the method. Finally, although anyone who's played it that long can recover from a broken pattern, you can't just freestyle, because the maximum score requires you to get every prize that appears, without fail. The length of the feat requires that any serious contender use patterns.

I'm not planning investing months in getting a perfect Pac-Man score, but I have respect for those that can do it.

Comment: Re:What next? I'll tell you what's next... (Score 1) 911

by opus (#26967733) Attached to: EU Says MS Must Offer Other Browsers; Now What?

"MS Word was leaps ahead of WordStar and WordPerfect, and Excel was leaps ahead..."

What alternate universe did you grow up in? Word Perfect and Lotus 123 were the ones leaps ahead, and MS took years to achieve near parity - I'd say clippy + Visual Basic macros are examples of how MS fumbled, but they didn't have to get it right. A functional knock off is all they needed. They bundled office with Windows and prevented OEMs from allowing competitors to do the same.

It would be great for MS to remove non-OS applications from Windows, like IE and media player. Then OEMs would be free add the ones they want, or MS could pay OEMs for the privilege, the same rules that apply to their competitors. No blackmail allowed. No OS dependencies, like Windows Update, to require IE to function correctly. Maybe then we might see what 80% of users decide to use.

Yes this is all 15 years too late, but better late than never.

Moneyliness is next to Godliness. -- Andries van Dam

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