Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Fox in the Forest analysis based on 903 AI plays

Last night I simulated 903 games of Fox in the Forest using the Wolf in the Woods Monte Carlo Tree Search AI playing against itself. This website and Wolf in the Woods are in no way endorsed by or affiliated with Fox in the Forest. As I've said before this AI is very basic but it is quite competent given that it has a perfect memory and simulates 100 possible plays each time it determines which card it should play.

In Fox in the Forest there are 3 suits which each contain cards valued 1-11. Each hand consists of 13 tricks. If you take 7-9 tricks you are "victorious" and earn 6 points but if you take 10 or more you are "greedy" and receive no points. If you take 0-3 tricks you are "humble" and get 6 points.

Out of the simulated games the AI only achieved humble wins 30% of the time and victorious wins 70% of the time. There is much less margin for error in a humble victory so this makes sense. Below is a graph of the total value of all of the cards added up matched to the number of times that total happened and what type of win that total value was associated with. The lowest total recorded for a victorious win was 60 and the highest was 102 even though possible hand values range up to 121 but the more powerful the hand the easier it is to be greedy. Humble win total hand values ranged from 52 to 89. One thing that is really interesting is how much overlap there is. I think that's part of what makes Fox in the Forest so much fun. Using special abilities you can make a bad hand better and find ways to trap your opponent and pull off a win even if you don't have what initially looks like a good hand.

The next graph shows, on average, how many of a given card value were present in a hand that was played to either a humble win or a victorious win. Nines are treated as trump so it makes sense that hands that went on to a victorious win had 1.4 nines on average and this is a very dangerous card for a humble win so, more often than not, humble hands did not have any nines.
See if you can either humbly or victoriously defeat the AI by heading to wolfinthewoods.playagame.app and clicking on the Play the bot button.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Wolf in the Woods AI player now available

We are pleased to announce that Wolf in the Woods can now be played against an AI opponent. Give it a try by visiting wolfinthewoods.playagame.app and click the "Play the Bot" button.

The bot uses a very simple Information Set Monte Carlo Search algorithm to determine which move it should play. During each simulation it considers that its opponent has a different possible hand and uses the MCTS algorithm to balance exploring new moves over exploiting moves that have performed well in previous simulations. Once the simulations are done it selects the move that was simulated the most.

The current first-pass implementation is rather simplistic in that it only considers "winning" the states where it earns 6 points and the opponent earns fewer than 6 points. It doesn't take into account earning points from sevens or the opponent's score currently but we are considering improving this in the future. It's still a very decent player nonetheless since it has a perfect memory and lots of computational power so we are considering adding a beginner and intermediate bot level so the game is more accessible to those who are not as familiar with the game

Please let us know if you have any comments or suggestions and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Wolf in the Woods

Wolf in the Woods is the first game to go live here at playagame.app. We implemented this game over the weekend of April 11, 2020 because we've been stuck at home and, given the circumstances, we thought other people might enjoy being able to play a game like this online. Pop open a video chat with your friend and play a game!

Wolf in the Woods is a trick taking card game for two players.
  1. The objective of Wolf in the Woods is to get to 21 points first.
  2. There are 33 cards in the game valued 1-11 across 3 different suits. Each player is dealt 13 cards. One card is flipped face up and becomes the trump card. The remaining 6 cards make up the kitty.
  3. There are two ways to earn points in Wolf in the Woods. Each 7 captured in a trick is worth a point to the player that captured the trick. You also score points based on how many tricks you took at the end of a hand.

  4. When it is your turn to play, the cards that you can play will turn green. You must follow suit. Whoever plays the highest trump card wins the trick. If no one plays trump then whoever plays the highest card of the lead suit wins the trick (with exceptions noted below).
  5. Odd-numbered cards have special abilities:
    Card value Ability/Side-effect
    1 When you play this card and lose, you have to lead the next trick
    3 When you play this card, you can optionally swap a card from your hand with the trump card
    5 When you play this card you draw a card from the kitty and then discard a card from your hand
    7 Each seven won in a trick is worth one point
    9 In a trick that has just one 9 it is treated as if its suit were the trump suit
    11 When an 11 is lead your opponent must play either their highest card of the suit of the 11 or a 1 of that suit

If you are interested in giving it a try head to https://wolfinthewoods.playagame.app and then copy the link on the page and share it with a friend and you can start playing right away for free with no account.