AI Game Design: The Shibumi Challenge
The overall aim is to compare the dynamics of evolutionary versus Monte Carlo search methods for game design, and to gauge the usefulness of the computer as a creative collaborator in the game design process.
The ideal game system to test these ideas would be:
- Tightly constrained and with a small, clearly defined rule set.
- Simple enough that most of the rule combination space could be searched.
- Complex enough to provide a range of interesting games.
- Small enough that its board state would fit into a single integer (for efficient implementation).
- Novel enough that its search space was largely unexplored.
While I was looking for such a system, abstract gamer Tom Gilchrist mentioned a concept from Japanese aesthetics called shibui. Shibui objects balance simplicity with complexity; they may initially seem deceptively plain, but will reveal hidden depths and become more interesting the more time is spent with them.
– Cameron Browne @ BoardGameGeek
See also Shibui @ Wikipedia.
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