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About Illykai

  • Rank
  • Birthday 01/12/1981

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  • Biography
    MIT Grad Student @ CSAIL / GAMBIT
  • Location
  • Interests
    Video Games, Board Games, Juggling, Piano, Reading, Etc
  • Occupation
    Grad Student
  • Favorite Games
    SC2, Torment, Doom 2, M:TG
  1. Fresh Indie Game Compendium Extraordinaire

    Captain Bubblenaut By: Dean Tate (Art), Owen Macindoe (Code - Me!), Chris Remo (Music), Danny Baranowsky (SFX) Available: iOS App Store. Synopsis:You are CAPTAIN BUBBLENAUT! Your mission: to earn the love and respect of your father, the warmongering ADMIRAL POP. Invade the square-shaped abomination known as PLANET ERF, obliterate every ERFLING in sight, and make your father PROUD! Gameplay combines elements of Tiny Wings and Bumpy Road. Ridiculously catchy soundtrack by Chris Remo! More info here.
  2. Episode 180: Thinking Machines

    As Flynn says, Monte Carlo methods, in particular Upper Confidence bounds for Trees search (UCT), are the state of the art in academic game playing AI at the moment. Every year the Association for the Advancement of AI (AAAI) runs the General Game Playing (GGP - so many acronyms!) competition at its main conference. In the GGP, programs are given descriptions of game rules in a machine readable language and then compete to play the games as well as possible. The idea is that, unlike with Chess or Go playing programs, the programs have to take a general enough approach that they can compete well with any possible rule set. CADIAPlayer is the current champion and three time winner. You can check out AAAI GGP competition details here and CADIAPlayer, including its source code, here. It turns out this is a bit of a coup, because as far as I know GGP was originally set up as a reaction to results in Chess and Checkers, where the world class programs use approaches that are highly optimized for those specific games. The idea with GGP was meant to be that researchers would have to think harder about how to get computers to understand the structure of a rule set in order to perform well. The fact that randomized search does amazingly well, without really having to consider rule structure at all, is both surprising and a bit annoying. Monte Carlo methods are doing ridiculously well in several other domains too. In probabilistic planning some of the best planners are based on UCT, such as this one, and in robotics one of the most successful motion planning approaches uses RRTs, another Monte Carlo approach.
  3. Episode 173: Going Pro

    Flynn nailed it. After those guys Apollo is pretty good too, likewise Mr Bitter. The biggest name in League of Legends casting is Phreak, who is a Riot employee. I don't have the same problem that other people have mentioned with Incontrol. He generally knows what he's talking about, but definitely goes out of his way to try to make games sound closer than they are, even when one player is way ahead. This is a general trend in SC2 casting though, and not unique to him. SC2 games will frequently be decided in the early to mid game by economic damage or an army being crushed out of position, but the actual final killing blow can take a while to come. Good players generally exploit early advantages by increasing their economic lead rather than going immediately for the kill, leaving commentators to say "how do you think the other player could come back from this?" for several minutes.
  4. Diablo III

    Rodi: I had issues installing the game from digital download too and they might be related. For me it looked like the downloader had stalled out at 100% so I closed it. What I didn't realize is that it was in the middle of stitching together the downloaded files from their little torrent chunks into the final installation files. If you have some large tome.mpq.part files sitting around, then fire up the downloader again and just let it run to completion. It'll sit at 100% for a while, but if you look in explorer you should be able to see it constructing the final files - you'll notice some tome.mpq files continuously growing in size. Once it's done it will automatically launcher the installer shell. A confusing thing for me is that it was possible to launch the installer manually, even if the downloader wasn't actually finished, which led to confusing errors about invalid files. Hope that's helpful.
  5. I bought both Unity of Command and Wargame: European Escalation on the strength of their 3MA recommendations. Both games delivered!
  6. Starcraft II

    I'm performing thread necromancy because I'm always on the lookout for people to jump into some team games with. I'm a Platinum level Zerg player and am always happy to give pointers to new players or help people test builds as a practice partner. Feel free to friend me on Illykai #120 on NA.
  7. Board Game Daydreams

    I've had a similar experience with my gaming group. I also recommend using the simulated early turns rules from the Shattered Empire expansion, which cuts out about half an hour worth of largely uninteresting actions. The strategy cards from that expansion are also much better to play with, in particular the Imperial Strategy card. You can download the rulebook from FFG's website if you're interested in checking these things out.
  8. Of the Yucata games I strongly recommend Hey That's My Fish (seriously) and Saint Peterburg as pretty solid 2 player games. Balloon Cup and Thunderstone are also reasonably good, plus Dominion on BSW as you mentioned.
  9. I'm super excited about M:TG for the iPad, but I strongly doubt we'll see a draft mode. It'll most likely stick close to the feature set of Duels of the Planeswalkers.
  10. I played a beta version of the Fealty app at an indie developer night in Boston and it was pretty slick. Fealty is the kind of game that an iOS translation really improves. I particular I liked the fact that you could preview the effects of a move by shuffling around your virtual pieces. In the non-digital game it takes a lot of mental arithmetic to work out what the potential effects of each possible move could be, which leads to a lot of AP. That move previewing feature alone is enough to make me prefer the iOS version to the physical one.
  11. What would Molydeux

    Oh man that is amazing!
  12. What would Molydeux

    Yep. Unfortunately we only discovered that the keyboard handling for the game engine that we were using was US keyboard specific after the jam was over. If I were doing it again I'd try to make it more international keyboard friendly.
  13. I would totally buy a 3MA shirt. Those guys need merch! I'm glad that 3MA is partnering with IT. I hope it can help Rob and Troy get the exposure that 3MA deserves. Also, I really want a 3MA episode on SC2 now that the pro scene is well developed and the game is better understood. I'd love to see Chris and Rob tackling it.
  14. I'm super excited about IT teaming up with 3MA. It should be a great team and will help 3MA get the exposure that it deserves.
  15. Here's my ID: