Old, but not dead

Wow, it’s been far too long since I’ve posted something here.

Old Lady, my fledgling open-source bridge game, has finally been seeing some updates lately. The main blocker had been me hitting the limits of my knowledge of bridge strategy augmented with the information readily available on the Internet. While Old Lady follows the rules of bridge just fine, it’s absolutely horrid at playing well. And since the computer plays not only your opponents but also your partner, this isn’t as nice as a novice might think.

Anyway, during a recent trip to the library I found an introductory bridge book that does a pretty good job explaining basic bidding and play, along with the rationale behind it. I started implementing its guidance in Old Lady’s Prolog code, but didn’t get very far into it before having to return the book. And since the copy I bought off of Amazon hasn’t arrived yet, things are once again on hold. Briefly, this time.

Old Lady is still pretty much unplayable, but if you’re really curious you can grab the latest code out of its bzr repository at http://www.kuliniewicz.org/oldlady/bzr/oldlady/. At least now the configure script actually checks to make sure you have SWI-Prolog installed, though it still pretty much assumes you have all the modules (both Prolog and Python) installed. That’ll be fixed eventually.

I tentatively plan the next tarball release for when enough of the bidding system is implemented to make at least that phase of the game playable.

2 Responses

  1. Paul K. bringing the game of Bridge back into the 21st century! It’s what all* the genius programmers are playing these days.

    And as a PS, Old Lady doesn’t *have* to play well. Most people can’t play Bridge at all. Myself being among those people. Tried it once on my old computer. Failed miserably. Went back to Freecell. I don’t suck at Freecell.

    *For given values of “all”.

  2. Of course, when your partner is also the same nearly braindead AI, it’s hardly helping you out. Especially if it ends up being declarer, and you sit out the rest of the hand watching the computer play your hand. But given how little of the bidding is implemented at the moment, it’s not very likely your partner will wind up as declarer, but still.

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