Monthly Archives: August 2006

Jam #2 With Junck

I went down to jam with Junck again. We mostly worked on their songs, getting me accustomed to their weird use of meter. Not very much of the jam was recorded, which is unfortunate because there was some pretty good stuff in there. Anyway, here are the recordings:

#1 was improv and also good. #2 was the jam template that I’ve been working on, and was overall pretty sloppy. I was snubbed by the guitarrist when I suggested that we go into a 12-bar (read: 8-bar) blues section in the middle. Well, I did a great solo in that section, so I showed him! :-) #3 is one of their songs “intertwine”, and went pretty well short of my struggling to keep up in certain spots.

Cakewalkified

I recently upgraded my audio interface to an EMU 1616 (excellent piece of hardware) from an M-Audio Firewire 410 (excellent piece of crap), and I can now record six tracks at once! So, in order to become accustomed to software capable of doing that, I decided to record my improvs in Cakewalk Sonar (even though they are only one track). However, I recorded two improvs and then changed some audio settings, upon which Cakewalk crashed. So I recorded another. And then I figured out how to recover my work in Cakewalk. So, after all that pointless rambling that nobody cares about, here are three improvs: no. 1, no. 2, no. 3.

Lenga Development

Namaste, Jude and I played a game of Lenga last night, which was an interesting experience, especially considering that Jude was not familiar with the notation of formal logic (he is more familiar now — and I hadn’t intended to make an educational game :-). Degeneracy (the “dicks” rule) is not an issue: there was no lack of interesting statements.

One of the biggest problems was that Namaste and Jude had trouble coming up with interesting ways to twist the game. I think this is more about people learning how to play the game than a flaw in the game. Namaste took 5 minutes on his turn when the only thing on the board was “There exists an object called 0″. What needs to be understood is that the game will not start twisting until we have some significant assumptions, so it’s better to just start writing some stuff down than to come up with something clever for the second move of the game. It’s kind of like playing pente: you can’t come up with a clever move for the second or third move of the game, because there are not enough pieces on the board yet.

Aside Jude’s frustration at the notation, the game was decently fun. It got fun when we got to something like 20 axioms, and the properties and operations started to become concrete. There was a problem with the competitive portion of the game, however, since if you were in a tough spot, you could just make a new definition. We tried to solve this by only allowing each player to introduce three new symbols throughout the game (if you said “∃x blue(x)” and blue hadn’t been mentioned before, you have introduced a symbol). We never finished that game because of dry-erase marker delerium.

Anyway, the biggest problem was the tyrrany of choice. At any stage in the game, there were far too many statements you could make. Namaste was thinking of making it a card-based game, and I tend to agree. More instructional cards than entire statements that you would play. Here are some examples of cards:

  • ∃x blue(x) — write this statement when this card is played.
  • ∀∃ — you may write a statement of logic with exactly these two quantifiers in this order.
  • commutative — state that a binary function already defined is commutative. If no such function exists, introduce one.

On every turn you have to play something (and probably draw something). This means that you may just get screwed if, for example, there is only one function defined and the axioms already contradict it’s being commutative.

I’m going to make some cards now, so maybe we can play this game during GameDev.

Logic Jenga

I’ve always wanted to make a game where the rules are dynamic in a way, but better than that stupid game Flux. I’ve decided that the game would have to somehow rely on formal logic. Well, that lead me to an idea for a game whose rules are constant, but also based on formal logic. I call it Lenga (for Logic Jenga (I considered Longa, but that makes the game sound long, and nobody likes long games)). It is not a computer game (yet, mwahahaha!).

Each round starts with an empty paper. On each player’s turn, he can do zero or more derivations, followed by writing down a new axiom. A derivation can be:

  • Show that another player’s axiom is in fact a theorem of the axioms written before it. At this point, the player who showed this gains a point, and the player who wrote that axiom is eliminated from the round.
  • Derive a contradiction from the stated axioms. At this point, the round is over, and the player who derived this gains two points.

Play to ten or something. The game is over and everybody loses infinitely many points if people are being dicks and not writing anything interesting (for example, “an object X exists”, “an object Y exists”, …).

Note, by mentioning objects such as “sets” and “numbers”, you are importing that subfield of mathematics into your axiomatic system. At the very start of the round, anything goes, but if you say “a set X exists”, you are now working in ZF.