AI-based playtesting of contemporary board games

Fernando De Mesentier Silva, Scott Lee, Julian Togelius, Andy Nealen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    Ticket to Ride is a popular contemporary board game for two to four players, featuring a number of expansions with additional maps and tweaks to the core game mechanics. In this paper, four different game-playing agents that embody different playing styles are defined and used to analyze Ticket to Ride. Different playing styles are shown to be effective depending on the map and rule variation, and also depending on how many players play the game. The performance profiles of the different agents can be used to characterize maps and identify the most similar maps in the space of playstyles. Further analysis of the automatically played games reveal which cities on the map are most desirable, and that the relative attractiveness of cities is remarkably consistent across numbers of players. Finally, the automated analysis also reveals two classes of failures states, where the agents find states which are not covered by the game rules; this is akin to finding bugs in the rules. We see the analysis performed here as a possible template for AI-based playtesting of contemporary board games.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 12th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, FDG 2017
    EditorsAlessandro Canossa, Miguel Sicart, Casper Harteveld, Jichen Zhu, Sebastian Deterding
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
    ISBN (Electronic)9781450353199
    StatePublished - Aug 14 2017
    Event12th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, FDG 2017 - Cape Cod, United States
    Duration: Aug 14 2017Aug 17 2017

    Publication series

    NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series
    VolumePart F130151


    Other12th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, FDG 2017
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CityCape Cod


    • Artificial Intelligence
    • Board Games
    • Contemporary Board Games
    • Playtesting
    • Ticket to Ride

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Software
    • Human-Computer Interaction
    • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
    • Computer Networks and Communications


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