Blindfold Games: Why they seem so real

One of the challenges of building a game that you play against a computer opponent is to make it feel like you are playing against real people. I’ve talked about this in prior blogs, and Blindfold Pool, Blindfold Bowling and Blindfold Spin and Solve accomplish this by varying the skill of your computer opponent.

man speaking into iPhone

Another method is to give the appearance that the opponent is thinking about his move, and sometimes talk about his move. For example, in pool, after you take your shot and it becomes the computer’s turn, your opponent pauses he thinks about his move. Sometimes you hear him chalking his pool cue, or walk around the table to consider different shots, or make comments to himself, such as “Hmm, that looks like a good shot” or “I think I can do it”.

To avoid repeating the same phrases over and over again, we build a set of sentence fragments that can be mixed together to produce a unique sentence.   Consider, the sentence “That looks like a good shot” might be broken into 3 fragments: “that” and “looks like” and “a good shot”. Then we come up with five or six similar phrases to each fragment. For example, you could substitute the phrase “a safe shot” or “do-able” or “an easy shot” or “not so hard” or “a winner” for “a good shot”. So if there are 5 alternatives for each of the 3 fragments, that results in 5 times 5 times 5 combinations or a total of 125 possible sentences. Most games have at least 1000 combinations to keep the opponent sounding unique.

A second method is to make the competitor’s voice sound different. In Bingo, the best part of the game is when you make a bingo, and you can yell out BINGO. Blindfold Bingo lets you record yourself yelling BINGO, and then share that with everyone else.

When you play Bingo, and your opponent wins, she announces her BINGO in someone’s voice. The game does this by randomly selecting one of hundreds of BINGO recordings that other people shared.

As the Blindfold Games community grows, we’ll be adding more and more features to the games so people can share their voice recordings to make everyone’s game experience even more realistic.

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