New Colabs: Proximity Game, Uno and Chess

Simon has been working on a hole load of projects together with his friend Abhay. Many remain unfinished as they both enjoy tinkering with the algorithms more than giving that final touch/ debugging. Or as they say, “finishing is the boring part” 🦾

One of the projects that did get finished is this simple but fun arithmetic game called Proximity. It’s a two player game where the goal is to get a larger sum of numbers by the end. A player can take over the opponent’s pieces by placing pieces with larger numbers adjacent to lower numbers. Simon used to make paper versions of the game before but it was pretty tedious to cut out all the hexagonal tiles. Below is a video of us playing and explaining the game, but you can also play it yourself at


Guess what? The usually dreaded CSS proved an unexpected source of fun as Simon and Abhay discovered CSS battles! Those are challenges involving cloning drawings with smallest possible code. Check out one example, in which they cloned challenge #78, a ukulele image:


Abhay has also taught Simon an ancient mancala game and they tried recreating it with code. let me sound smart while i’m actually quoting Wikipedia. Mancala is basically a generic name for any two-player turn-based board game played with small stones, beans, or seeds and rows of holes or pits in the earth or other playing surface. Such games date as far back as Ancient Egypt. The objective is usually to capture all or some set of the opponent’s pieces. The version Abhay shared is called Ali Guli Mane (in Abhay’s native Kannada: ಅಳಿ ಗುಳಿ ಮಣೆ ), an abstract strategy board game from South India (the name means a “wooden block with holes”). There are two rows of 7 holes each. Each player gets the row of holes closest to them. The game starts with 70 pieces (originally seeds or small shells were used), with 5, 7 or 12 in each hole. In each turn, the player removes all seeds from a hole and distributes them clockwise or anti-clockwise, at his or her own choice. Once the last of the seeds is placed, the player takes all the seeds in the next hole and continues placing them in this way. The impression below is of an unfinished game, but you can see how the seeds are redistributed automatically once a player picks a hole:

Debugging-in-progress version:

In May, the duo also tried approaching Uno and went as far as implementing the basic rules, which means you can play it here (it’s you against AI) until you reach an impasse and have to draw cards (drawing cards isn’t implemented yet):


And yet another project Simon and Abhay were busy with for days on end was a new version of chess. Simon had already built a chess AI using Minimax when he was 10, but he isn’t happy about how it turned out. Besides, he says he previously used a built-in framework, which is very different from what he and Abhay did now as they implemented all the figure moves themselves. They spent two whole days working on the en passant move. They eventually more or less completed the game but haven’t implemented the AI yet.

Their debugging-in-progress version is available at

Simon and Abhay have also made a two-player checkers game (not AI) but the kings don’t work yet:


This is just the gist of what they’ve been up to lately. More exciting projects are on the way!

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