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Math Real Time Strategy (Games) Entertainment Games

Interview With Alan Feng of Starcraft College Class Fame 46

Posted by Soulskill
from the good-and-true-uses-for-math dept.
An anonymous reader writes "GosuGamers has posted a very interesting interview with Alan Feng, talking about the course he is teaching on game theory when applied to Starcraft at the University of California at Berkeley. We discussed early news of the class back in January. 'I studied what I knew: history and mathematics. With my fairly good mathematics background, I came up with all sorts of equations, tables and charts to give me the best result in every case. For instance, I once worked out using the binomial theorem that it is slightly more beneficial to send new workers to the *edge* of a mining line rather than the center. Over the course of maybe 3 minutes, this kind of movement will let you mine about 300-500 more minerals than you normally would. Ultimately, I failed at my pro-gaming bid, but, my year of study of StarCraft gave me something that I think no other SC player can offer the academic world: rigorous proof and analysis. And because of my calculations, my proofs, and most importantly, the way I can connect these calculations to real-life examples I was able to present it in a way that Haas Business School would accept as a topic for teaching.'"
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Interview With Alan Feng of Starcraft College Class Fame

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  • Interesting Stuff (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sparton (1358159) on Monday March 02, 2009 @11:24PM (#27047905)

    I actually saw some of this a few days ago on David Sirin's Blog [], and found it quite interesting. There's a fair bit of looking into the design of the game, in addition to the micromanaging for more competitive players. A worthy read for a system designer.

  • I 3 Starcraft (Score:2, Interesting)

    by CrazyJim1 (809850) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @12:12AM (#27048125) Journal
    Starcraft is probably the best video game ever made when the ladder worked, hackers were not around, and win traders did not exist. In the $25,000 Blizzard world champion ships, I finished in the semi finals. :( I was world class level. I plan on bringing it with Starcraft 2. I have 3 teammates who are all world class level. When you're top notch, you sometimes run across people who are doing amazing things against you that don't fit into what everyone does. I've been fortunate to have some of them as friends. In Warcraft3, I was also extremely good as I got #1 1v1,2v2 and 3v3 in ladder at one point and first to 1500 wins. My 3v3 friends also shared the same status as having #1 in all three too at one point. The nice thing is that in 1v1, you may be a 80% player and beat the top ladder players 80% of the time. If you have 4 players in a team that are all 80%, they help each others odds even more. Like in my 3v3 team, we went 200-1-0, and the loss was due to them being bored with winning so much. I really hope Starcraft 2 is a good team game. In Starcraft 1, 2v2 or higher involves everyone 5 pooling and double teaming someone. If Starcraft 2 has something like town portal or everyone starting near each other, it could help it be a team game.

    Starcraft 2 beta is just around the corner, and everyone who's done indepth analysis or gamed at a top level should be there helping them to make sure SC2 is as good as the first. I've been paying close attention to it, and I can't wait for beta. I just want to get famous in Starcraft 2 and I hope there is an emerging US pro scene so I don't have to move to South Korea. I don't mind learning a new programming language, but a real language is tough for me.
  • Re:Life - what life? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by flyingsquid (813711) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @02:42AM (#27048651)
    Portal. Endlessly jumping through hoops and they keep raising them higher and higher. You're promised it will all be worth it if you can navigate through this fiendish maze... but after a while, you start to wonder, what's the purpose of it all? Is your promised reward just a lie?

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