OddsMachine

OddsMachine is an advanced probability calculator for the popular miniatures wargame Warmachine & Hordes. It is developed as a mobile app with the intent to help players design more efficient army lists as well as help them make critical decisions while playing.

Warmachine is a tactical skirmish game played with two armies of roughly 30-50 miniature models. Players will try to eliminate their opponent’s models through fighting actions, spells and other abilities the success of which is determined by rolling a number of dice. The game is well known for its clear ruleset and the annual release of an official tournament rulepack that has led to the development of a large competitive scene. Though the game is simple in its basic rules, there exist many individual model special rules that create a vast amount of interactions. Therefore, players are always theorizing various combinations of models and their power which is usually expressed in the ability to “kill” specific targets in the game.

Our application caters to this need by providing an easy way to setup scenarios of different models attacking a single defender and calculating a precise “kill percentage”. Players are provided with an interface to setup the target’s game stats and to define any number of attacks against it. As attacks can be coming from different sources, they are edited individually while also allowing special effects such as re-rolls or other game-specific abilities. Throughout this process, the application will calculate and show a precise success probability. Given the multitude of options, it was important to organize and present things in a way that would be easy to understand and quick to go through so as not to discourage players from using it. The user interface has been specifically designed to serve this purpose while also carrying all the features and aesthetics that people have come to expect from modern mobile applications.

In order to perform its calculations, the application models a large number of game specific effects and their interactions, a task that would be practically impossible to do by hand. In fact, the mathematical model of this problem is what in computational complexity theory is known as NP-complete. This means that the time required to calculate the probabilities increases very quickly as the scenario gets bigger making it impossible even for the latest computers to provide quick results in all situations. We therefore had to carefully analyze the problem and go through extensive optimization in order to allow players to calculate meaningful scenarios within a reasonable time.

OddsMachine has been developed as an Android app for smartphones and tablets with an iOS port pending. Since its release in September 2016, it has been very successful with over 1300 unique users and a 5-star rating in Google Play. It has been a sponsor during one of the largest Warmachine tournaments, the 2016 “World Team Championship” and has been featured in game related podcasts.

This project demonstrates our team’s ability to design and develop specialized tools targeting a product’s playerbase. It shows our keen understanding of players’ requirements and modern UX design which is reflected in the application’s efficient and easy to learn interface. More importantly, it proves our competence in going beyond simple tasks, analyzing complex problems tied to a game’s design and delivering accurate and practical solutions.

For more information, please visit the app’s website:

www.oddsmachine.net