Thanks to a "the use of new strategies discovered by a brute-forcing bot," this computerized speedrun of Arkanoid (on the NES) comes in at 11 minutes and change. To be absolutely clear: this isn't a computer program playing the game; it's the hard-coded result of a computer program spending a year of CPU time brute-forcing every possible input to see which ones clear the game fastest.
Stefan Roger writes:
I've always been intrigued by brute forcing as an optimization strategy and tried to find a game where it might be possible without spending multiple lifetimes finishing it. After some research, I decided that NES Arkanoid was a good candidate.
At first glance, brute-forcing an 11-minute TAS might seem to be completely impossible, having 2^8^(60 * 60 * 11) possibilities to evaluate. But that assumes we actually want to try every combination of inputs; if we encode the rules of the game into the bot and don't bother looking for things like glitches or ACE exploits, we can actually get this into the realm of possibility. The input surface of the game is actually quite small: you only have to press left, right, and A, and never any of those at the same time. There also aren't all that many ways to bounce the ball around.
Quintin Smith explores Entropia Universe, the world's only cash-based MMO, still entertaining tens of thousands of players 17 years after its launch. No online game has bigger whales—players genuinely invested in playing the game in the hope of getting rich—even as you can play it for free by collecting in-game poop: "We set out to […]
渋谷でゲームあるある再現してみた pic.twitter.com/dk5KH6kUgM — がんそ【駒沢アイソレーション】 (@KaoruGans0) August 5, 2020 In this video, @KaoruGans0 walks around Shibuya like a character from a video game: stilted and repetetive pacing; sliding oddly along walls; and interacting robotically with landmarks, conspiciously obvious items and other people.
One million Americans use American Sign Language as their primary means of communication. But as you'd expect, even though ASL is the sixth-most used language in the US, it isn't just any old language like English or Spanish or French. According to Communication Service for the Deaf, 98 percent of Deaf people don't receive education […]
After a successful round of funding on Kickstarter, Fluster: The Social Card Game is now ready to help turn a party or game night into the engaging, surprising, and enlightening social affair you always hoped it would be. A deck of 100 cards, Fluster is chock full of unusual, funny, and thought-provoking questions inspired to […]
Physics may have been that class you sleepwalked your way through in high school. But while it might have just slipped under your radar throughout your academic career, you probably shouldn't have given it such shallow attention. Sure, we could focus on the immediate pluses of a career as a physicist, like the more than […]