In this study we are interested in assessing how people explore an environment called a “gridworld”. A gridworld is a grid that contains obstacles, targets, or nothing in each cell. Each target has a different value ranging from 0 to 100 and is represented in different colors. Various obstacles are represented in black. Walking into an obstacle makes you lose -5 points. Each step to an empty cell will cost you -1 points.
Your goal in this game is to find the highest value target while avoiding obstacles.
The difficulty is that at each step you are only informed of your current position, the number of steps you have taken, and the cost or benefit of the step taken. You will receive 40 opportunities (episodes) to explore the gridworld. In each episode you have a limited number of steps to find a target. An episode ends either when you reach one of the targets or when you reach the step limit.
You make decisions by moving your arrow keys to go up, down, left or right. The figures below show examples of several steps in the game:
1) Beginning of the game:
2) Losing points:
3) The Episode ends because you ran out of steps (and not found a target):
4) The Episode ends because you found one of the targets:
Click the NEXT button to start the game.