Long-haired programmer; loves cats and dogs but doesn't have any.
Lonely wargamers have made up solo variants of their games. The simplest possible solo variant is self-play. You play as yourself, and also play the opponent as best you can. That is, you “put on the hat” of the opponent, and make their plays for them.
More complex solo rules give guidance as to how to play as the opponent. For example, David Weiss’s guidance for play of the opponent in the game 7 Wonders (during the first Era), goes something like this (I may have gotten it wrong):
It is not entirely obvious from this description, but there are still choices remaining to the human even with these mechanical rules. For example, the human chooses which card to discard at the last, lowest-priority rule. The human still occasionally needs to “put on the hat” of the opponent, just as in self-play, but they have much more guidance.
De Bono’s thinking hats are descriptions of mindsets. For example, wearing the yellow hat means deliberately being optimistic and looking on the bright side of things, while wearing the black hat is something like playing Devil’s Advocate.
So possibly a paper-and-pencil collaborator could be a prioritized list of rules, each having a condition and an action per usual, where the action is allowed to delegate back to the human player, via a description of a “hat” that the player is expected to “put on”. For example:
I am not entirely certain, but I think the gamemaster’s “move list” in D. Vincent Baker’s Apocalypse World could be shoehorned into this framework as well.
Combining J. B. Rainsberger’s model for improving names with his Simple Design Dynamo might be shoehorned into this structure as well.
I am not sure about the order of these, and it’s entirely possible that some non-prioritized system, such as “roll a die, follow the rule indicated if possible, repeat” would be just as good.
A crude problem-solving collaborator inspired by Knuth-Bendix completion might look something like this:
A variant: Instead of building the initial todo pile by crossing out datums from the problem statement, start with one index card actually containing the problem statement, and five index cards containing each of the Five Thinking Tools from SIT face down in the done pile.
What would a collaborator inspired by breadth-first search look like? What about depth-first search? Conflict-driven clause learning?
This is one way of expressing Jackson Structured Programming:
In practice, of course essentially every step can, and does, jump backward to any previous step.
Is there a way to express JSP as a reactive paper-and-pencil collaborator? Is there a way to express all JSP-like processes (meaning, proceeding from step to step, with backwards jumps to any previous step) as a single set of rules, differing only by different initial “decks”?
Consider David R. MacIver’s “How To Make Good Things” in this context.
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