A Recreational Application of GUIKit
The programming paradigms available in Mathematica together with the level of generality that can be obtained through its symbolic capabilities can be applied to a wide range of programming situations, particularly the rapid prototyping of applications. This article shows our use of this outstanding computational environment to develop playable prototypes of board games and explore game strategies. Mathematica features allow some general ad hoc design patterns for such games to be expressed, applied, and further refined. We show the benefits of such an approach--lots of code reuse, clearer design and programming, and ease of experimentation--by exhibiting our work on three different board games. We further show how the statistical and mathematical techniques available with Mathematica can be used to generate reports on the playability of a particular game as well as to develop winning strategies. We also show how J/Link and GUIKit can help refine and improve the interface of a game.
A Design Pattern for Board Games
The HMaki Example
Mancala: A Two-Player Game
Interface with GUIKit
Analysis and Strategies
About the Author
Yves Papegay has been a computer science researcher at INRIA Sophia Antipolis in southern France since 1994. One of his major research interests is symbolic computation methods, tools, and applications to modeling and simulation processes.
Papegay joined the French team of the Wolfram Education Group in its early weeks. He is a daily user of Mathematica and has developed several application packages for industrial purposes.
INRIA Sophia Antipolis
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F-06902 Sophia Antipolis