## One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

A forum for good logic/math puzzles.

Moderators: jestingrabbit, Moderators General, Prelates

scikidus
Posts: 792
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:34 pm UTC
Location: New York, NY
Contact:

### One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

Basically: is it possible to play a game by oneself which requires no outside props? In other words, if one has some time to kill, is there a game one can play which doesn't require another player or an external object (as in, no Solitaire, because that requires a deck of cards)?

We can immediately rule out the concept of two-player strategy games (such as this game) with one player playing both sides, because both players, being the same person, can see inside each other's heads, ruining the game.

The only system of a game I can see which would work would be a game based in our ignorance or a process we cannot do well, such as factoring composite numbers or finding the next value in a sequence.

A more relaxed version of this puzzle allows for the use of pencil and paper, but for recording purposes only. (Art doesn't count: we're looking for a strategy game.)
Happy hollandaise!

"The universe is a figment of its own imagination" -Douglas Adams

Cosmologicon
Posts: 1806
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2006 9:47 am UTC
Location: Cambridge MA USA
Contact:

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

I think you can simulate props in your head well enough, although I can see why you wouldn't trust yourself to randomize things like shuffling a deck of cards. What about those peg board jumping solitaire games? The kind they make out of golf tees at Cracker Barrel, and they insult you if you still have five pegs left.

scikidus
Posts: 792
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:34 pm UTC
Location: New York, NY
Contact:

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

Cosmologicon wrote:I think you can simulate props in your head well enough, although I can see why you wouldn't trust yourself to randomize things like shuffling a deck of cards. What about those peg board jumping solitaire games? The kind they make out of golf tees at Cracker Barrel, and they insult you if you still have five pegs left.

The problem is that while those games are challenging, once you figure it you're only playing one version of the game. If we look at Solitaire, on the other hand, every game is different, so even if you figure out how to play, you still get variation game-to-game.
Happy hollandaise!

"The universe is a figment of its own imagination" -Douglas Adams

Entropy
Posts: 233
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 9:40 pm UTC

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

When I have nothing in front of me and am just killing time, I tend to reanalyze code that I wrote recently for potential bugs. This occasionally has the awkward side effect that I spontaneously jolt up and yell 'Oh shit! It could be null!' before running off in search of paper and a pen.

Not sure it counts as a game, but it's different every time...

Kingreaper
Posts: 170
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 4:23 pm UTC

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

scikidus wrote:The problem is that while those games are challenging, once you figure it you're only playing one version of the game. If we look at Solitaire, on the other hand, every game is different, so even if you figure out how to play, you still get variation game-to-game.

There is no one single-person strategy game that can occupy you infinitely.
Even ones with randomisation. For example, solitaire has randomisation, but you COULD work out the optimal strategy for every single situation in solitaire, given infinite time and memory. If you don't have infinite memory, just pick a small set of games, and work through them repeatedly, while continuously forgetting some of the moves of ones you've already done.

afarnen
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 12:12 pm UTC

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

I can see why you wouldn't trust yourself to randomize things like shuffling a deck of cards

Well, if you can calculate a simple, nonpredictable pseudo-random number generator in your head (e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle-square_method), given an arbitrarily decided seed, you can come up with the random numbers (in a sense) before playing the game, just by choosing a seed you haven't played with yet before starting. And when you would normally choose a random number during the game, is when you use the algorithm to calculate the next predetermined pseudo-random number.

This could open the door toward implementing an AI of some sort.

scikidus
Posts: 792
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:34 pm UTC
Location: New York, NY
Contact:

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

Entropy wrote:When I have nothing in front of me and am just killing time, I tend to reanalyze code that I wrote recently for potential bugs. This occasionally has the awkward side effect that I spontaneously jolt up and yell 'Oh shit! It could be null!' before running off in search of paper and a pen.

Not sure it counts as a game, but it's different every time...

I'll admit that I've done this as well. However, as you state, it's not really a game, per se.
Kingreaper wrote:There is no one single-person strategy game that can occupy you infinitely.
Even ones with randomisation. For example, solitaire has randomisation, but you COULD work out the optimal strategy for every single situation in solitaire, given infinite time and memory. If you don't have infinite memory, just pick a small set of games, and work through them repeatedly, while continuously forgetting some of the moves of ones you've already done.

OK, then let me alter the rules a little bit: the game must have enough variants to keep one person (whose head operates at normal speeds) with enough variations of the game to keep them occupied and not repeating a game for far longer than they'd ever be alive.

You want a benchmark? Let's make it 1000 years. Therefore, if the resulting game takes on average 2 hours to complete, there should be at least 4382906 permutations of the game.
afarnen wrote:
I can see why you wouldn't trust yourself to randomize things like shuffling a deck of cards

Well, if you can calculate a simple, nonpredictable pseudo-random number generator in your head (e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle-square_method), given an arbitrarily decided seed, you can come up with the random numbers (in a sense) before playing the game, just by choosing a seed you haven't played with yet before starting. And when you would normally choose a random number during the game, is when you use the algorithm to calculate the next predetermined pseudo-random number.

This could open the door toward implementing an AI of some sort.

Interesting. This may work, if you can build a game around it.
Happy hollandaise!

"The universe is a figment of its own imagination" -Douglas Adams

Kingreaper
Posts: 170
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 4:23 pm UTC

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

scikidus wrote:
Kingreaper wrote:There is no one single-person strategy game that can occupy you infinitely.
Even ones with randomisation. For example, solitaire has randomisation, but you COULD work out the optimal strategy for every single situation in solitaire, given infinite time and memory. If you don't have infinite memory, just pick a small set of games, and work through them repeatedly, while continuously forgetting some of the moves of ones you've already done.

OK, then let me alter the rules a little bit: the game must have enough variants to keep one person (whose head operates at normal speeds) with enough variations of the game to keep them occupied and not repeating a game for far longer than they'd ever be alive.

You want a benchmark? Let's make it 1000 years. Therefore, if the resulting game takes on average 2 hours to complete, there should be at least 4382906 permutations of the game.

Well, a simple possibility, requiring no randomisation, is to play all the possible games of a generalised form of Free Cell (ie. n-suit, x-cards-per-suit, y starting columns, games) until you've either solved them or found them insoluble. Then go onto the next one.

actually, wait, this completely contradicts my earlier statement about infinite playing being impossible. Oh well, I can't remember how I was justifying that statement anyway.

Cosmologicon
Posts: 1806
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2006 9:47 am UTC
Location: Cambridge MA USA
Contact:

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

If all you want is something to occupy your time, you could start at 2 and find the prime factorization of every number for 1000 years. It's not what I would normally call a game, but it's probably funner than playing Freecell in your head, and a heck of a lot more practical. You probably won't even make it to a billion in that much time.

Tass
Posts: 1909
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:21 pm UTC
Location: Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen.

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

Cosmologicon wrote:If all you want is something to occupy your time, you could start at 2 and find the prime factorization of every number for 1000 years. It's not what I would normally call a game, but it's probably funner than playing Freecell in your head, and a heck of a lot more practical. You probably won't even make it to a billion in that much time.

I've actually done this on a bus ride.
Spoiler:
17:34 is 2*3*17*17

Buttons
Posts: 858
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 3:27 pm UTC
Location: Somerville

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

When I'm on the subway, I try to make as many true equations as I can using the digits for the car number in order. I start out trying to do it only using basic operations like + - * / ^ ., then do more ridiculous ones like binomial coefficients or gcds if that doesn't work. When I get bored of that, I throw in the car letter at the end of the string (usually A or B if I'm on the green line) and try to do the same in hexadecimal. In general, just making up variants of 24 using whatever numbers are around you is a good way to keep yourself busy.

TauCeti
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:16 pm UTC

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

So, solitaire games (not the eponymous card game; the class of single-player board games) are tricky to design well. Most well-designed solitaire games include some random element to act as an opponent (something to win or lose to). The game of Solitaire has a randomized deck. The solitaire mode in the expansion for Race for the Galaxy has a programmed “robot” player who acts randomly (occasionally intentionally reacting to your moves).

Prop-less games are even harder to design well. They usually are some form of word game, usually of the form of one player creating a puzzle for one or more other players (within strong constraints as to the nature of the puzzle). A lot of the games in Forum Games could be adapted to this trivially.

The problem with a solitaire game with no physical elements is that (1) there's no way to generate randomness without /some/ external system (making a classic solitaire opponent impossible), and (2) there's no way to have another player create a challenge (puzzle) for you.

The easiest solution to this is to create an arbitrary puzzle-system with /many/ solutions. The reason for many solutions is to maximize replayability (a weak point in this style of game). (Conventional puzzles like those on this forum would, if looked at as games, have a replay value of 0 (technically very near 0, since there's the possibility of forgetting the answer to one)).

An example puzzle would be to start with, say “aardvark”, and then go on to name animals that start with the last letter of the previous word, without repeating. You win if you can name some number of animals in a row like this.

Another example, moving towards more conceptual games as opposed to word games, is the following:
Start with “chocolate”. Now, you've probably played games like “name related things” like “brown”, “candy”, “yummy”, etc. This is the Unrelated Game. Name something that has /nothing/ to do with chocolate (like, say, “aardvark”). Then name something that has /nothing/ to do with the first two words (maybe “rocket ship”). Repeat until you have, say, twelve entirely unrelated words. Then you win. Good luck.

That said, we sort of /do/ have props. Namely, most humans have two legs, two arms, and ten fingers. For strategy games of any sort (“strategy” in the broadest sense), we can use these as information storage (similar to piece location on a board). Alternatively, we can come up with 1 player sports (a subset of games, albeit perhaps not what you were looking for).

EnderSword
Posts: 1060
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:11 pm UTC

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

You can do mental simulations of a strategy game that doesn't require the props.

You don't actually need a Chess board and pieces to think of a game of Chess and remember the moves and positions.

And if you don't like the idea of a 2-player game with youp laying both sides, you can still imagine various Chess puzzles that don't actually require an opponent to actually play 'Checkmate in 1' or 'Forced Mate in 2' type situations, where your 'opponent' makes no decisions.
Can also just think of a variety of similar things and games 'How do I place 8 Queens on the board with none being able to capture the other?' or 'What's the minimum moves required to make a Knight touch each square?' etc?
WWSD?*
*what would Sheldon do?

scikidus
Posts: 792
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:34 pm UTC
Location: New York, NY
Contact:

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

Kingreaper wrote:Well, a simple possibility, requiring no randomisation, is to play all the possible games of a generalised form of Free Cell (ie. n-suit, x-cards-per-suit, y starting columns, games) until you've either solved them or found them insoluble. Then go onto the next one.

actually, wait, this completely contradicts my earlier statement about infinite playing being impossible. Oh well, I can't remember how I was justifying that statement anyway.

OK, I'm willing to classify solving all forms of solving a one-person strategy game as a type of one-player zero-prop strategy game.
Cosmologicon wrote:If all you want is something to occupy your time, you could start at 2 and find the prime factorization of every number for 1000 years. It's not what I would normally call a game, but it's probably funner than playing Freecell in your head, and a heck of a lot more practical. You probably won't even make it to a billion in that much time.
Buttons wrote:When I'm on the subway, I try to make as many true equations as I can using the digits for the car number in order. I start out trying to do it only using basic operations like + - * / ^ ., then do more ridiculous ones like binomial coefficients or gcds if that doesn't work. When I get bored of that, I throw in the car letter at the end of the string (usually A or B if I'm on the green line) and try to do the same in hexadecimal. In general, just making up variants of 24 using whatever numbers are around you is a good way to keep yourself busy.

I'm also willing to classify time-consuming mathematical problems as a category of OPZP game. (Acronym officially coined.)
TauCeti wrote:The easiest solution to this is to create an arbitrary puzzle-system with /many/ solutions. The reason for many solutions is to maximize replayability (a weak point in this style of game). (Conventional puzzles like those on this forum would, if looked at as games, have a replay value of 0 (technically very near 0, since there's the possibility of forgetting the answer to one)).

An example puzzle would be to start with, say “aardvark”, and then go on to name animals that start with the last letter of the previous word, without repeating. You win if you can name some number of animals in a row like this.

Another example, moving towards more conceptual games as opposed to word games, is the following:
Start with “chocolate”. Now, you've probably played games like “name related things” like “brown”, “candy”, “yummy”, etc. This is the Unrelated Game. Name something that has /nothing/ to do with chocolate (like, say, “aardvark”). Then name something that has /nothing/ to do with the first two words (maybe “rocket ship”). Repeat until you have, say, twelve entirely unrelated words. Then you win. Good luck.

I find this idea rather intriguing. I'd add it as a third type of OPZP.
TauCeti wrote:That said, we sort of /do/ have props. Namely, most humans have two legs, two arms, and ten fingers. For strategy games of any sort (“strategy” in the broadest sense), we can use these as information storage (similar to piece location on a board). Alternatively, we can come up with 1 player sports (a subset of games, albeit perhaps not what you were looking for).

Hence why I said no external props, and why I used Chopsticks as an example of a strategy game that won't work as an OPZP. Sports are an interesting idea, except I can't think of any sports which don't require an external opponent or an external prop (football, hackey sack).

----------

So far I see three types of OPZP:
1. Universal solution of non-OPZP strategy games
2. Computation of time-consuming math problems
3. Ambiguous solution word puzzles

Can anyone think of any other types of OPZPs? And if not, can anyone think of methods to artificially create an independent opponent? For instance, someone above suggested a psuedorandom number generator. Could that be used to develop a form of game opponent?
Happy hollandaise!

"The universe is a figment of its own imagination" -Douglas Adams

TauCeti
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:16 pm UTC

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

So, I was sitting around by myself, trying to come up with alternative OPZPs, experimenting with various tricks with my fingers and the like for storing game data. And then I realized that I had tripped over another type of OPZP, one that favors creativity:

Design your own OPZP. By definition, this task (game) doesn't require props and needs no one else to help. It also has a clearly defined victory condition (design a new OPZP), and a feeling of accomplishment for achieving it (since you end up with an OPZP you can play later). It is non-trivial, and has many, many possible solutions (giving it a ludicrously high replay value).

Oh, a random number generator that I came up with while tripping over the above: Engage in some complex finger movements (thumb to pinky, ring, middle, and index fingers, with whatever pattern desired) on both hands, preferably out-of-synch with each other. Continue until you make a mistake, then stop. Finger positions give you a pair of numbers from 1-4 (left and right hands) which are decently random... or at least not intentional on your part.

EnderSword
Posts: 1060
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:11 pm UTC

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

Hence why I said no external props, and why I used Chopsticks as an example of a strategy game that won't work as an OPZP. Sports are an interesting idea, except I can't think of any sports which don't require an external opponent or an external prop (football, hackey sack).

Sprinting, High Jump, Distance Jumping, Gymnastics etc... depends on your definition of game, but if finding prime numbers in your head is a game, then seeing how far you can jump or how fast you can run is probably a game too. They're sports certainly, but if its a game is debateable.

There's certainly a lot of mental activities you can do, just depends what you consider a game there too. You could think about Nuclear War game theory, Try a memory game like see how many people you can remember by name from your entire life or something I would say that that would qualify as a game.
WWSD?*
*what would Sheldon do?

Khaba
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2007 12:10 am UTC

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

This thread lead me to this game which I think qualifies as a OPZP game.

scikidus
Posts: 792
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:34 pm UTC
Location: New York, NY
Contact:

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

Funny side point: yesterday I was on a 6-hour flight that was delayed for two hours on the ground. Many composite numbers were factored, I assure you.
TauCeti wrote:So, I was sitting around by myself, trying to come up with alternative OPZPs, experimenting with various tricks with my fingers and the like for storing game data. And then I realized that I had tripped over another type of OPZP, one that favors creativity:

Design your own OPZP. By definition, this task (game) doesn't require props and needs no one else to help. It also has a clearly defined victory condition (design a new OPZP), and a feeling of accomplishment for achieving it (since you end up with an OPZP you can play later). It is non-trivial, and has many, many possible solutions (giving it a ludicrously high replay value).

I'm adding "meta-OPZP" to the list. That is rather cool.
TauCeti wrote:Oh, a random number generator that I came up with while tripping over the above: Engage in some complex finger movements (thumb to pinky, ring, middle, and index fingers, with whatever pattern desired) on both hands, preferably out-of-synch with each other. Continue until you make a mistake, then stop. Finger positions give you a pair of numbers from 1-4 (left and right hands) which are decently random... or at least not intentional on your part.

Can you clarify this a little bit? What constitutes a "mistake"?
EnderSword wrote:Sprinting, High Jump, Distance Jumping, Gymnastics etc... depends on your definition of game, but if finding prime numbers in your head is a game, then seeing how far you can jump or how fast you can run is probably a game too. They're sports certainly, but if its a game is debateable.

There's certainly a lot of mental activities you can do, just depends what you consider a game there too. You could think about Nuclear War game theory, Try a memory game like see how many people you can remember by name from your entire life or something I would say that that would qualify as a game.

I stand corrected. Still, I wasn't thinking really along the lines of one-man sports, but more strategy games.

Imagine you must be able to play this game while you're on a plane.
Happy hollandaise!

"The universe is a figment of its own imagination" -Douglas Adams

TauCeti
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:16 pm UTC

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

scikidus wrote:
TauCeti wrote:Oh, a random number generator that I came up with while tripping over the above: Engage in some complex finger movements (thumb to pinky, ring, middle, and index fingers, with whatever pattern desired) on both hands, preferably out-of-synch with each other. Continue until you make a mistake, then stop. Finger positions give you a pair of numbers from 1-4 (left and right hands) which are decently random... or at least not intentional on your part.

Can you clarify this a little bit? What constitutes a "mistake"?

Sure. A “mistake” is any time the player touches the wrong finger, or gets something out of order. If the finger-counting pattern is complex enough, it'll happen sooner or later.

An example:
Rules:
Start the right thumb on the pinky and the left thumb on the index finger. Each move consists of the following:
1 – count “up” on the right thumb two fingers (so, starting at the pinky, tap the ring, then the middle finger; hold on the middle finger).
2 – count “down” on the left hand one finger (so, starting at the index, tap and hold the middle finger)
Repeat those steps until a mistake occurs. If you reach the last finger on a hand, continue from the other side of that hand (basically, modulo counting). Play as fast as possible (to maximize the likelihood of a mistake).

When I played, I managed two full cycles before my thumb on my left hand slipped up and hit the pinky instead of the ring finger. Then I stopped.

t0rajir0u
Posts: 1178
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:52 am UTC
Location: Cambridge, MA
Contact:

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

scikidus wrote:Imagine you must be able to play this game while you're on a plane.

Specifics! Specifics are great. Okay, how about this: carry on as long an internal dialogue as you can:

- in iambic pentameter, or
- without using any words with the letter e in them.

itaibn
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 7:06 pm UTC

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

Under the category of sloving time-consuming mathematical problem, I sometimes try verifying the Collatz conjecture. I am yet to finish 27.
I NEVER use all-caps.

scikidus
Posts: 792
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:34 pm UTC
Location: New York, NY
Contact:

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

TauCeti wrote:Sure. A “mistake” is any time the player touches the wrong finger, or gets something out of order. If the finger-counting pattern is complex enough, it'll happen sooner or later.

An example:
Rules:
Start the right thumb on the pinky and the left thumb on the index finger. Each move consists of the following:
1 – count “up” on the right thumb two fingers (so, starting at the pinky, tap the ring, then the middle finger; hold on the middle finger).
2 – count “down” on the left hand one finger (so, starting at the index, tap and hold the middle finger)
Repeat those steps until a mistake occurs. If you reach the last finger on a hand, continue from the other side of that hand (basically, modulo counting). Play as fast as possible (to maximize the likelihood of a mistake).

When I played, I managed two full cycles before my thumb on my left hand slipped up and hit the pinky instead of the ring finger. Then I stopped.

OK, I see. I lke your use of humans' impefect fine motor skills as a psuedorandom number generator.
t0rajir0u wrote:Specifics! Specifics are great. Okay, how about this: carry on as long an internal dialogue as you can:

- in iambic pentameter, or
- without using any words with the letter e in them.

With your first option I would fall ill fast.
So I would not try it during my flight.

Seriously though, that's a good idea, and it falls under ambiguous solution word puzzles.
itaibn wrote:Under the category of sloving time-consuming mathematical problem, I sometimes try verifying the Collatz conjecture. I am yet to finish 27.

I've been known to build pyramids of reiterated absolute values on secutive primes (Gilbreath's Conjecture).
Happy hollandaise!

"The universe is a figment of its own imagination" -Douglas Adams

quintopia
Posts: 2906
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 2:53 am UTC
Location: atlanta, ga

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

Word Chain with varying rulesets, always striving for the shortest solution.

ReverendRyan
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 12:33 am UTC

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

There's a variation of the Kevin Bacon Game that I often play with 2 players but works with one.

Pick a movie,
Name a actor in that movie,
Name another movie that actor is in
Name another actor from that movie
Name another movie with that actor
and so on.

And of course you can't use any actor or movie more than once.

darkspork
Posts: 532
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:43 am UTC
Location: Land of Trains and Suburbs

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

I play this game in notebooks all the time. You don't necessarily need paper for it until you get moronically good upon finding the "magic word"
Shameless Website Promotion: Gamma Energy
My new esoteric programming language: GLOBOL
An experiment to mess with Google Search results: HARDCORE PORNOGRAPHY HARDCORE PORNOGRAPHY

eaglef2
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:52 am UTC
Location: I am over there

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

You could play this game, http://xkcd.com/247/, using random numbers
"I am a four hundred-foot tall purple Platypus Bear with pink horns and silver wings."
-Azula, Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Foolish Mortal
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:25 pm UTC

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

Try and swallow your own tongue.

I guess that's not technically a strategy game.

darkspork
Posts: 532
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:43 am UTC
Location: Land of Trains and Suburbs

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

Hmmm... I just realized that my link leads to the modified version of the game I made for multiple players. Here's the original version of the game I created while bored in Chemistry.

Start with a one letter word (A or I) and do one of the following:
1) Insert a letter at the beginning, middle or end to make a new word
2) Insert one or more spaces to break up the word into multiple words
Acronyms, abbreviations, and foreign words are fine if you say they are. Try not to repeat words. This kept me occupied for months on a small scale until I discovered the "magic word" that easily spawns hundreds of other words, and I occasionally pick it up again when I get bored.
Shameless Website Promotion: Gamma Energy
My new esoteric programming language: GLOBOL
An experiment to mess with Google Search results: HARDCORE PORNOGRAPHY HARDCORE PORNOGRAPHY

squishycube
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 8:14 pm UTC
Location: Amsterdam
Contact:

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

I think memory games haven't been mentioned yet.
For example: Try and recall as much detail about an event as you can and verify it later. You could try to go through a party you have been to: what time did you arrive, how did you get there, who was there when you did get there, did you bring anything, what were you wearing, what was everyone else wearing. This list is almost endless.
If you like this game to be a little more serious or useful, don't use personal events, but historical events. An example of play using the Cuban Missile Crisis (I read the wiki article a month ago I think, this will probably be embarrassing...):
The Cuban missile crisis was an event in the 70s were the Soviet Union placed nuclear warheads on Cuba which very very nearly lead to nuclear world war and this crisis was the only time the US was publicly at DEFCON 2. The Soviet prime minister was called.... can't remember. Kennedy was president of the US. Hmm, I think he was president earlier, let's say 60s. The crisis took a couple of months and included the shooting of a US spy aircraft over Cuba, which Kennedy decided to treat as a mistake, because he did not believe the Soviets wanted all out war. (It turned out it was a mistake.) The crisis ended when the Soviet Union agreed to remove the missiles from Cuba, even though the US refused to remove theirs from Turkey, which the Soviets had said was a deal breaker.

END EXAMPLE

So, now I am done, I would check what I had right and wrong, I could score myself for level of detail and mistakes.

And, once you are done with the entire history of the world and this game becomes boring, you can try and simplify the events into the shortest descriptions you can without losing the essence of the event. This is obviously debatable, but since you are playing by yourself, this isn't so much of a problem.
My usual approach is useless here

Poohblah
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:54 am UTC

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

Easy - analyze blindfold chess games. Fun for some of us. Well, the some of us that are Bobby Fischer.

AvalonXQ
Posts: 747
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2008 5:45 pm UTC

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

The memory games idea is a good one. I've been working on memorizing the Bill of Rights, myself.

squishycube
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 8:14 pm UTC
Location: Amsterdam
Contact:

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

I'm having a go at remembering the states of the USA, I never had to learn them in school (not being American). When I finally remember them all consistently, I'm going to add the capitals too .
My usual approach is useless here

t0rajir0u
Posts: 1178
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:52 am UTC
Location: Cambridge, MA
Contact:

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

If you're mathematically inclined, you could try going through the construction of the real numbers from the ZFC axioms. Actually, if you're mathematically inclined then you should always have an interesting puzzle at hand to think about anyway.

Posts: 2755
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:35 pm UTC
Location: 한국 창원

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

squishycube wrote:I'm having a go at remembering the states of the USA, I never had to learn them in school (not being American). When I finally remember them all consistently, I'm going to add the capitals too .

I do that too. Countries and capitals is a slightly more obvious variant, and it's easier to get started on if you're not American (and probably harder to do if you are American). Of course it's not exactly a strategy game. Another memory thing I do is history-related: convert the time into a year and trying to think of something that happened in that year. Obviously doesn't work very well after 8pm, though.

3rdmandown
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:56 am UTC

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

Although it's not [i]really[i] a game, a word game would be to try to make up puns: Solving would be entertaining, strategies would develop, and although there aren't infinitely many different puns, you wouldn't know how many "solutions" there until you cease to exist.

MSTK
Posts: 123
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 5:43 am UTC

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

It never, ever gets old to name the original 151 pokemon.

And now I will begin playing that word game for the sole intent of discovering that "magic word".

darkspork
Posts: 532
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:43 am UTC
Location: Land of Trains and Suburbs

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

MSTK wrote:It never, ever gets old to name the original 151 pokemon.

And now I will begin playing that word game for the sole intent of discovering that "magic word".

You mean the ONLY 151 pokemon.
Shameless Website Promotion: Gamma Energy
My new esoteric programming language: GLOBOL
An experiment to mess with Google Search results: HARDCORE PORNOGRAPHY HARDCORE PORNOGRAPHY

endercoaster
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:59 pm UTC

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

Come up with all solved nxn sudokus. For each, find all minimum sets of squares that are unique to that solution.

atombaum88
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 5:50 pm UTC

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

Okay, I realize this game isn't really repeatable, but it's kept me occupied on many many boring occasions.
Solve the puzzle Sprouts by hand for every possible permutation of the game, then eliminate doppelgangers.
(assume two starting dots)

Actually to be repeatable, solve for the game with more dots than two, progressively.
(I know, I know, the game is beatable...but it's so easy to waste time with)

quintopia
Posts: 2906
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 2:53 am UTC
Location: atlanta, ga

### Re: One-player, zero-prop strategy game?

endercoaster wrote:Come up with all solved nxn sudokus. For each, find all minimum sets of squares that are unique to that solution.

It seems like there would be equivalence classes of size n! for the latter problem. How many equivalence classes are there?