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There was a similar question a few months back; you may find the answers there helpful.

Nope. (Though since both that game and this one are weird administration-centric takes on Harry-Potter-style magical schools, I imagine there may have been some convergent evolution.)

It was, though fortunately that was just the random Houses they would have been Allocated to, and as such provides no meaningful information. Still, I've updated the file to not have that column; thank you.

Buy battery packs for charging phones so you can stay connected during a local blackout.

Wait. As . . . a software developer? Not as a Data Scientist, even though you have experience with ML?

At least as far as I know, Data work is better paid, uses more LessWrong-ish skills, and (crucially) is more of a frontier situation: Software ate the world a while ago, but Data is still chewing, so there's been much less time for credentialism to seep in.

(I'm from the UK, and it's been a few years since I did a 'normal' jobhunt, so I could be wrong about this as it applies today and on your side of the Atlantic. But even taking that into account, I notice I'm still surprised.)

I'm curious as to what exactly you found there.

Briefly: I told my learner "assume there are two sources of income for Light Forest forts; assume they are log-linked functions of the data provided with no interactions between features; characterize these income sources."

The output graphs, properly interpreted, said back:

  • The larger source of income benefits greatly from Miners, benefits from the presence of every ore (especially Haematite), likes coal, and benefits from having one Smith.
  • The smaller source of income benefits from Woodcutters, benefits from having two (but not more) Warriors, hard-requires at least one Woodcutter and Warrior in order to be viable, actively dislikes Coal, doesn't care about ores (except Copper for some reason), and strongly benefits from Crafters.

(In reviewing my graphs in retrospect I also see a small bump in performance for both sources associated with having exactly one Brewer; I missed that the first time because it looked like noise and I'd assumed Brewers only mattered to the survival half of the challenge.)

This wasn't 100% right, and missed some important detail, but given the bad assumptions I built it on - an additive model with a lot of interactions sprinkled on top would have been a better match - I'm pleasantly surprised by how closely it matches (a valid interpretation of) ground truth.

Reflections on my attempt:

It looks like I was basically right. I could have done slightly better by looking more closely at interactions between features, ore types especially; still, I (comfortably) survived and (barely) proved my point to the King, so I'm happy with the outcome I got.

(I'm also very pleased by the fact that I picked up on the ore-based-vs-wood-based distinction; or, rather, that the ML library I've been building automatically picked up on it. Looks like my homebaked interpretability tools work outside their usual contexts!)

Reflections on the challenge:

Another excellent entry, and a hard act to follow. The jokes landed, the premise was fun but coherent, and the scenario was challenging yet tractable.

Having multiple quantitative success metrics was a fascinating choice. To be honest, I think there was some missed potential here; if the best strategy wasn't simultaneously survival-optimal and money-optimal, there could have been some interesting tension from players deciding their blood-to-treasure exchange rates. I'll have to try and work something like that into a future game.

My allocations:

4x Miner, 2x Woodcutter, 2x Warrior, 2x Crafter, 1x Brewer, 1x Farmer, 1x Smith

The handful of (dubious) insights that no-one seems to have had yet, which motivate the (slight) differences between this setup and everyone else's:

  • We have enough data that it makes sense to filter out everything that isn't Light Forest Biome before doing any analysis.
  • There seems (?) to be a threeway synergy between Warriors, Woodcutters and Crafters in this biome. (Ad hoc explanation: Woodcutters cut down trees, Crafters make things from the wood, Warriors stop the Elves from retaliating).
  • More specifically, it seems like the two sources of income are wood-based goods (per the point above) and ore-based goods (Miners / Smiths / maybe Crafters here too). This is important because ore-based goods need Miners, and we can't have >4 Miners without exposing ourselves to more danger than I'm comfortable with. 
  • Therefore, my strategy is to get as much as possible from ore-based goods (which seem more profitable in general, and don't suffer from diminishing returns w.r.t mandwarfpower), but fill in the gaps with wood-based goods.

The most important detail:

I have decided to call my fort Treeslaughtered.

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