Blog posts tagged "foo"

Perfect Villager Play, and Werewolf Variants

July 20th, 2008

It was about a year ago I sat down and did the math and figured out that Werewolf is essentially a solved problem. It made me sad. Jane has a long great blog post up on the same topic. Which for some reason doesn’t make her as sad.

Interestingly enough their experiment this year with their zero werewolves variant was run as con game. I’ve seen (and/or heard) about this run differently.

Shuffled role decks is one way, nobody knows who is in play, but everybody knows no one knows. (this rather nicely scotches Optimal Villager Strategy)

Another variant that evolved in the rapidly mutating (under pressure presumably) game that my brother plays every Friday is werewolves choosing targets in turn, and the villager only dies if a majority of remaining werewolves managed to pick the same target. (“Werewolf 1 wake up”, “Werewolf 1 go back to sleep”, “Rover wake up”, etc) This makes for several meta games, where werewolves are under pressure to share information, villagers are confused, and there are valid strategic reasons for killing off your fellow wolves. (they were too hard to communicate with) No seer needed.

FOO: Crowdvine, iCalico, Pathable, a Study in Collusion

July 11th, 2007

I didn’t make it to FOO this year, but I did send software in my stead, and its nice to hear that folks liked it.

We slaved iCalico to Crowdvine to add a social networking layer, a network that was walked, mapped, and color coded by the Pathable folks.

Tony has a nice report back on it, as does Shelly from Pathable (6 weeks aka a couple of late nights). And Scott Berkun (who owes me a copy of “Art of Project Management”!) said super nice things.

Collusion Patterns

So how do you do that — stitch together 3 different sites to provide a unified experience? Visions of APIs, Internet scale SSO, and messaging layers spring to mind. Or more likely hash and slash patches, jury rigged shunts, juggled install directories.

We did the dumb easy thing, and I’m surprised more people don’t do it.

  1. sets a cookie collusion. This cookie contains the data we needed to display the logged in view of iCalico. (you’re nickname and optional your URL). In addition it contained a md5 hash of the concatted data, plus sekret known only to Tony and myself.

  2. If we find the cookie collusion, we load the described user from the database, or create it on the fly behind the scenes.

  3. There is no step 3.

Amazingly useful, trivially simple, ultimately flexible. Niche sites are great, but you need techniques for stitching them together before they can realize their potential as pieces of an ecosystem. I don’t necessarily expect to see this kind of integration become more common, but I think it would be great if it did. (and in the name of transparency disposable apps are huge enablers, disposable sites/apps is another pattern I’m puzzled we don’t see more of — its as if we more inclined to converse bits then landfill)

update: Whoops, it was pointed out there was a step 3, or rather a step 1.5: use CNAMEs to point to individual components on sub-domains.