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Video: How NetEase applied reinforcement learning to build game AI

In this GDC 2020 virtual talk NetEase’s Renjie Li discusses the application of reinforcement learning in NetEase games, revealing how applying these machine learning techniques improved the game development process. It was an intriguing presentation that offered practical insight into problems Netease has encountered during development, what solutions were tried, and what impact they had on the final […]

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Pay-To-Flay: Examining microtransactions in Mortal Kombat X

In the summer of ‘95 I blew more money and time than I’d care to admit trying to unlock the “secret ninja” that friends said lurked within the aging Mortal Kombat arcade cabinet at our local bowling alley. 20 years and a slew of sequels later, the latest Mortal Kombat game seems refreshingly upfront about the […]

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Novels About Playing Cards: The Solitaire Mystery

The Solitaire Mystery by Jostein Gaarder Playing cards have occupied an important role in our culture for hundreds of years. Their significance is in the first place connected to their primary use as as tool for playing card games, which is the primary factor that popularized them rapidly and led to their spread throughout Europe in […]

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Playing Cards About Novels

Many new collectors of playing cards ask: Where should I start? Old-timers will often give advice along these lines: “Don’t just buy every deck you can. Think carefully about what you like. Consider collecting decks that have a common theme or focus.” That’s good advice! With literally thousands of different decks on the market, and […]

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7 More Top Marked Decks

Coded System Marked Decks Marked decks are a very special tool, because they contain a variety of secrets that helps magicians perform amazing tricks that would never otherwise be possible. You do not need to learn any complex moves that take a long time to master, because you can use the markings on the card […]

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The Legend of the Dead Man’s Hand

Playing cards have been part of our culture for hundreds of years, so we can expect some great stories surrounding them. One of the most famous stories of all is the legendary tale of the Dead Man’s Hand. Gamblers are a rather superstitious lot, and we’ve all heard people talk about lucky dice and lucky […]

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The Famous J.G. Cotta Transformation Decks

Historical Importance There’s an incredible variety of custom playing cards in today’s market. But of all the playing cards that I’ve seen over the years, there is one type of deck that remains a personal favourite: the transformation deck. The concept of these playing cards is simple to understand: the pips on the cards are cleverly […]

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7 Top Marked Decks

Marked Deck Basics What is a marked deck? Shh, don’t tell anybody. But it’s true that magicians and mentalists sometimes use marked decks. A marked deck is a deck with secret marks on the back of the card, that allow you to identify the value and suit on the opposite side, just by looking at the […]

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10 More of the Best Self-Working Card Tricks in the World

Self-working card magic is often unfairly denigrated or overlooked. But it’s not fair to dismiss the entire genre by generalizing from the mathematical atrocity we may have learned from our grandfather, or from the many painful self-working card tricks some of us have been brutalized with in our childhood. The truth is that self-working card […]

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Interview with Collector, Consultant, and Card Gaffer Don Boyer (The Deck Tailor)

Who is Don Boyer? I first came across Don Boyer a few years ago. It was in the early stages of my own hobby in collecting playing cards. I’d found a number of playing card communities and forums online, one of which was PlayingCardForum.com. When I asked what made this forum unique from others, I was told […]

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