Tuesday, August 24, 2010

MtG AI: The Opening

In the previous post, we saw that for an AI program the major difficulties in Magic can be broken down into two areas, generating legal moves, and scoring the game state. The score might be simplified for now as life points plus mana or something, but the major difficulty remains of generating legal moves.

Ever turn, there's the chance of a player playing any one of hundreds of cards that are legal to play at that point.

To do a good job of looking ahead, we need to prune down the number of possible moves as much as possible.

The beginning of the game has a maximum of possibilities and a minimum of information.

AI programs for games such as chess deal with this problem in the same way as human players. They make several moves out of a "book" of already worked out opening moves.

Personally, I doubt the relevance of this strategy to Magic. If the AI "knew" that a deck was designed for a particular playing style, such as aggressive, control, or combo, there might be some standard opening plays. But at least in the initial stages, the decks constructed by the deckbuilding algorithm are not going to fall into clear categories.

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