I wanted to point out a specific tic-tac-toe game today, for reasons which will be clear in a moment. This is from the author of sumeria, and is another program technically reaching its 40th birthday: ox3d.
I mention it mostly because I find it to be very tough. I am not the best at three-dimensional tic-tac-toe, and I think I’d do better to suffer through my meager chess skills than pursue a living as a professional 3D tic-tac-toe player. I wouldn’t starve as quickly with chess. 🙄
What you see in the image is a four-tier, four-by-four game board. Moves are declared by numbering the board from left to right as 1 through 4, then by the Y position on that board, and finally the X position. So 141, as shown, is board 1, far right column, first row.
Connect four in a line through any of the three dimensions represented there, and you’ve won. And if that happens, tell me what it feels like.
Because after a half-dozen games, I have a grand total record of zero wins and six losses. And given that the author describes it as an “aggressive” naughts-and-crosses game, I expected little else. 😉
As a note, I didn’t count my best result — a draw — because I took too many suggestions (press the “s” key at your turn) and don’t really count it as a game in my record. ox3d was really just playing against ox3d.
Which are both features of the program, by the way: Offering suggestions and playing against itself, a la WarGames. You can also surrender your side to the computer, and allow an erstwhile two-party game to run itself out with the computer playing both teams.
Games between the computer and itself seem particularly interesting, partly because the program apparently has enough foresight to recognize a forced win, and will declare a “check” game — sort of like chess. Perhaps I shouldn’t be impressed by that, but I am.
ox3d manages to bundle all this brainery into a meager 35Kb gzipped file, and the resulting executable on my system was only 27Kb. Perhaps I shouldn’t be impressed by that either, but I am.
And so, a tip of my hat to a bloodthirsty three-dimensional tic-tac-toe game that is quite formidable despite being nearly 40 years old. Perhaps I shouldn’t be impressed by that, but I am. 😉