Game-in-a-post: Rolling Market

Here it is! Game-in-a-post of ‘Rolling Market’, which I’m still pretty happy with, truth be told. Rules are here. This JS implementation has one bug I’m still aware of which lets you cheat during the endgame, so just… don’t do that until I fix it.

A few additional tips/thoughts on the game:

• \$60 final score is pretty much the bare minimum. That’s like a game where I thought I was doing terribly the whole time, like I might end up with twenty bucks or something. Breaking triple digits is a success in my mind.
• Being mindful of volatility is crucial. If volatility is low, maybe you should influence something down by selling it to put it where you want it next turn. Likewise, you may have to sacrifice some buys, or perhaps you buy up to 4 hoping for a split. Use these shifts to your advantage – buy 1s until they turn to 2; chances are it’ll jump to 4 next turn and you’ve quadrupled your bucks.
• Along that vein, splits are a Good Thing. They can cost you, but it’s fairly minimal. Buying at 3, pushing up to 4, splitting, and then seeing a bunch of split shares jump back up to 4 is just… that’s how the big bucks are made. Mind your 4s, 2s, 1s.

Game-in-a-post: Sid Sackson's Solitaire dice

Sid Sackson, in his book A Gamut of Games1, describes a solitaire dice game that I have grown very fond of. Fond enough that I decided to whip up a little js version of it, found below. I won’t go into the rules here, others have done that well enough. I will just put a couple of thoughts out there on why I find the game so compelling. Dice are obviously the epitome of randomness; roll-and-move mechanics are universally bemoaned for this. Games that try not to be awful while still using dice generally do so with some sort of randomness mitigation technique. Yahtzee is an easy example – a player gets three rolls to a turn to mitigate luck. Sackson’s Solitaire Dice does not offer any mitigation, and in fact it can be brutal. You could theoretically lose 400 points on your last turn. And while this sounds objectively terrible, it really isn’t. Occasionally you will have a game where the dice just torture you, but for the most part the game forces you to think about probabilities, and attempt to control pacing. If the game is going really well, you may want to try to blow one of your scratch piles up toward the game-ending 8 marks. Similarly, if things aren’t going great, it would probably be in your best interest to take poorly-scoring pairs in order to scratch dice evenly. In my plays thus far, I’d say that a meh game is in the -100-100 point range, a successful game being 350+.

Game-in-a-post: Dim Corridor

I’ve been playing with some ideas lately for positionally-based toggle puzzles, similar in concept to the classic ‘Lights Out’ game, though I’ve primarily been thinking about one-dimensional puzzles. My first attempt was far too simplistic and easily beaten, though I have carried some of the ideas along into this little puzzler, which I call the ‘Dim Corridor’. This is a work in progress, but as of this version, the rules are as follows:

• Spaces have three states: lit (), dim (), and unlit ().
• Your goal is to make every space unlit.
• Clicking a space affects both it and its two nearest neighbors: ordinarily this means one space to the left and the right, but either edge affects two spaces toward the inside instead.
• If the clicked space is lit or unlit, it simply toggles to the other
• If the clicked space is dim, it takes on the state of lit or unlit only if exactly one of those two states is represented by the two neighbors. Two dims or one lit and one unlit will keep the clicked space dim.
• If a neighbor space is lit or unlit, it becomes dim.
• If a neighbor space is dim, it becomes whatever the clicked space is. Note that the clicked space is decided first – if it changes, the new state is what the neighbor becomes.