Skip to Content

Comments and Questions on the June 2006 Challenge

121 replies [Last post]
Jpwoo
Jpwoo's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/26/2009
Comments and Questions on the June 2006 Challenge

Wow... I need more votes!

At first glance it seems like a strong crop of games.

OutsideLime
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Comments and Questions on the June 2006 Challenge

Y'know, fifteen entries doesn't sound like a lot until you actually scroll through them. I'm going to need to harvest some crops of my own if I want to be able to relax and read through all of these.

I like to read them through carefully... after the first two or three I find my eyes glazing a bit and I start scrolling impatiently. It's best to just take 'em a few at a time and really get the feel for them.

Entries are looking good, my friends.

~JOsh

Brykovian
Brykovian's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/21/2008
Comments and Questions on the June 2006 Challenge

I've just updated entry #10 to correct for a mistake in referencing the images ... they are now fixed.

-Bryk

Jpwoo
Jpwoo's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/26/2009
Comments and Questions on the June 2006 Challenge

Quote:
I like to read them through carefully... after the first two or three I find my eyes glazing a bit and I start scrolling impatiently. It's best to just take 'em a few at a time and really get the feel for them

I think I'm just going to write my critiques before voting this time, so I can keep all this fertilizer straight in my head. Then just post critiques after the results are in.

seo
seo's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/21/2008
Comments and Questions on the June 2006 Challenge

doho123 wrote:
Yes, it's the phantom. I got it from this website:
http://www.joshreads.com/

Hey! Look at the comic below the Phantom one! Does the author of Crankshaft lurk the GDS challenges to find inspiration? ;-)

Seo

Jpwoo
Jpwoo's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/26/2009
Comments and Questions on the June 2006 Challenge

While watching the US tie Italy today I worked on my critiques, in an hour and a half of soccer I got halfway through the pile of games.

I have to say that I am impressed by the variety of styles of games presented this time, from war games to abstracts to german.

Jpwoo
Jpwoo's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/26/2009
Comments and Questions on the June 2006 Challenge

My votes are in! Good luck everyone!

DanogNellows
Offline
Joined: 08/02/2008
Comments and Questions on the June 2006 Challenge

Ok my votes are in,
Here are some observations that did not
influence my voting.

Funniest Name : Migrant Green Giant
Funniest Theme: Hick O Nomics (messin' cards=great)
Cool (Potential) Bits: Tie (Hick'o'Nomics for the jugs, and Kaiso for the Sushi dice)

And I'd like to be in the sales pitch meeting for Manure!

DN

DarkDream
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Interesting Games

I concur that it is a little difficult at times at looking at 15 games. I had to do 2 or 3 sessions, to get a good feel for the games. I noticed after 2-3 games, my brain started to swirl.

In my opinion, some of the games did not really address the crop rotation part of the challenge adequately enough. Those that I thought did not, I essentially disqualified.

In my mind, it really only left about 6-7 entries I considered valid.

Another thing I noticed, is that I ranked those games less that I felt I could not really understand the rules or get a clear picture of the game.

What did you guys think about the crop rotation part? Do you think all of them addressed it satisfactorily?

--DarkDream

Nando
Offline
Joined: 07/22/2008
Re: Interesting Games

DarkDream wrote:
What did you guys think about the crop rotation part? Do you think all of them addressed it satisfactorily?
I want to say that I thought only 1 or 2 seemed to miss this. Especially considering the definition given:
June GDS wrote:
"crop rotation" (the periodic changing of what a specific piece of land is being used for).
...which is pretty flexible in my opinion.

DavemanUK
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
rules vs laws

My votes are also in.

Regarding the crop rotation aspect and a recent thread here, I appreciated those designs that conveyed a 'law' that rotating crops is beneficial rather than just applying a 'rule' that players must obey :)

Dave.
(having said that, my entry used rules ;)

OutsideLime
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Comments and Questions on the June 2006 Challenge

Generally I think the crop-rotation element was handled well. Personally I'm a much bigger fan of instances where laws create the necessity to do so rather than rules. Quite a few entrants developed systems wherein crop rotation presented itself organically as a necessary development rather than as a prescribed commandment. I like that muuucchhh better.

~Josh

Nestalawe
Nestalawe's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/07/2008
Comments and Questions on the June 2006 Challenge

How do you guys percieve the differences between Laws and Rules?

OutsideLime
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Comments and Questions on the June 2006 Challenge

A rule would say: "You can't plant the same crop in two consecutive turns.", and then count on the player(s) to make sure that the rule is followed.

A law that accomplishes the same thing might result from a system like:

Each player has 4 tokens that each represent different crops. On your turn you must:
1. Flip any face-down tokens in your fields face-up.
2. Place (plant) a face-down token in one of your fields.
3. Harvest all face-up tokens.

Since you only have one token of each crop, you can logically never plant the same crop in two consecutive turns.

Thus, the rule "You can't plant the same crop in two consecutive turns" is a rule that the game system creates without directly stating it to the player. The game system, if properly followed, governs the rule. This is a "law".

Not the most thrilling example in the world, I know, but I hope it communicates the concept. The rules vs. laws discussion can be found here.

~Josh

zaiga
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Comments and Questions on the June 2006 Challenge

Don't mean to hijack this thread, but...

Better yet would be a game system that rewards planting different crops every year, but at the same time makes it difficult to do so.

For example, in the first year a crop in a certain field yields 7 VP, the next year the same crop in the same field yields 5 VP, and in the third year 3 VP, and in the fourth year only 1 VP.

Then again, assigning the same type of crop to a field could be cheaper: you pay $3 whenever assigning a crop to a field (startup cost) + $1 for each year you want that field to grow that crop (assuming you have to plan 4 years ahead).

So, then planting the same type of crop in a field for four consecutive years costs you 3+1+1+1+1 = $7, and yields 7+5+3+1=16 VP. That's 2.29 VP/$ .

Planting a different crop for each year costs: (3+1)*4=$16, and yields 7+7+7+7=28 VP. That's 1.75 VP/$. It's more VP in absolute terms, but less efficient in relative terms.

Using a type of crop for two years, and then using another type of crop for the next two years costs: 3+1+1+3+1+1 = $10, and yields 7+5+7+5=24 VP. That's 2.4 VP/$, more efficient than both of the above methods.

So there isn't some kind of rule that says you have to change crops after two years, nor a mechanic that makes sure you do. Rather it's simply good play to do so. Then again, there's might be instances where you might want to deviate from the one-crop-per-two-years law, and you'd still have that option. For example, if you made a lot of money during the game you might be able to afford the less efficient method of planting, the one that rewards more VP in absolute terms.

Nestalawe
Nestalawe's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/07/2008
Comments and Questions on the June 2006 Challenge

zaiga wrote:

For example, in the first year a crop in a certain field yields 7 VP, the next year the same crop in the same field yields 5 VP, and in the third year 3 VP, and in the fourth year only 1 VP.

etc...

Nice one Zaiga. This type of thing is evident in games such as Puerto Rico, where there is no Rule 'You should take xxx role after someone takes xxx role' rather, there is just a 'You must take one of the available roles' Rule.

The main thing with these approaches is that players need to be able to grasp the game system to really realise their best course of action.

More and more I have been thinking that a really useful part of a ruleset should be an Overview or Strategy Guide. Done well, you could lose a lot of Rules, at the same time as giving new players a better understanding of the game so that they can jump right in and prove competitive.

Whenever I am explaining a new game to players, I begin with the victory conditions and a brief overview of what they are trying to achieve and how, then get into more details about the actual Rules. The Rules themselves should be the last things explained.

Jpwoo
Jpwoo's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/26/2009
Comments and Questions on the June 2006 Challenge

I was pretty leinent about the crop rotation requirement, so long as the game allowed a field to have differing things planted on it it was ok.

The area control requirement was another aspect that we had a few iffy entrants on.

I found when I was putting in my votes I was voting for the games that I found most playable and interesting, rather than the games that best satisfied the requirements.

At the end of my critique for each game I go over how well I think each game satisfied the requirements of the challenge and most of the games did pretty well (if you use Bryk's rather wide definitions of crop rotation and area control, which I did!)

As to the laws Vs rules for crop rotation I think that we had a good mix of both here, and both have their places.

OutsideLime
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Comments and Questions on the June 2006 Challenge

J to the P to the Woo wrote:
I found when I was putting in my votes I was voting for the games that I found most playable and interesting, rather than the games that best satisfied the requirements.

The first thing I do is ascribe points to the games I find most playable and interesting. After I've worked THAT out, then I start shuffling points around based on Showdown requirements. After all, we're not voting on mere "best game". We're voting on "best game that satisfies the monthly requirements". Sidestepping an area-control element (for example) doesn't automatically expel a game from my rankings, but I will dock it a point or two.

~Josh

Jpwoo
Jpwoo's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/26/2009
Comments and Questions on the June 2006 Challenge

I also put some votes down on games that had some issues. Many of the games that have some problems mechanically were good games and got my vote as well. I suppose that I put some votes in for the potential that the game represents.

doho123
doho123's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/21/2008
Comments and Questions on the June 2006 Challenge

In game #6 (I think), the summary reads...

Quote:
Loosely based on Iceland’s farmers, who have survived for a thousand years, this game is about planning, negotiation, gambling and defection.

...but I keep reading it as

Quote:
this game is about planning, negotiation, gambling and defecation.

Anybody else have this problem? Or is it just me?

Nestalawe
Nestalawe's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/07/2008
Comments and Questions on the June 2006 Challenge

doho123 wrote:
In game #6 (I think), the summary reads...

Quote:
Loosely based on Iceland’s farmers, who have survived for a thousand years, this game is about planning, negotiation, gambling and defection.

...but I keep reading it as

Quote:
this game is about planning, negotiation, gambling and defecation.

Anybody else have this problem? Or is it just me?

Hmm...

seo
seo's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/21/2008
Comments and Questions on the June 2006 Challenge

doho123 wrote:
...but I keep reading it as

Quote:
this game is about planning, negotiation, gambling and defecation.

Anybody else have this problem? Or is it just me?
You're probably obsessed with game #4 ;-P

Actually, here in Uruguay, if you form an alliance with other player, and then he defects and betrays you, it would be quite likely that your reaction would be to say "¡Cómo me cagaste!" which, literally, means "How you defecated on me!"

Seo

Yogurt
Yogurt's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/09/2009
Comments and Questions on the June 2006 Challenge

Jpwoo wrote:
The area control requirement was another aspect that we had a few iffy entrants on.

I was still at sea about this requirement, really. Area Control, like El Grande or Struggle of Empires, is a much more specific and recognizable creature to me than Territory Control, under which Risk or even Settlers seems to fall.

I'm usually quite severe on entries that don't meet the challenge requirements, but I admit I barely paid attention to this one when reviewing.

I didn't disqualify anyone for crop rotation either, but some games won votes from me simply for the beauty of their crop rotation mechanic. There were some very clever entries here.

This is the first time that I've awarded votes to 5 different games. An excellent challenge this month!

Yogurt

Nestalawe
Nestalawe's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/07/2008
Comments and Questions on the June 2006 Challenge

yogurt wrote:

I was still at sea about this requirement, really. Area Control, like El Grande or Struggle of Empires, is a much more specific and recognizable creature to me than Territory Control, under which Risk or even Settlers seems to fall.

Yeah I agree. I usually sway from competition guidelines a bit, because the main interest for me in entering is the impetus it gives me for creating something (be it a game, film or story), rather than actually winning. But when I read into it and realised the requirement was actually quite broad, I felt that it would be fairly hard to try and make something for this entry that didn't have Territory Control.

If the outline was more specific however, I think we all would have had very different games to those entered, but the games would have had more similarities... Not sure what is better really - enjoying a wide range of games, or seeing how people approach much tighter restrictions...

Yogurt
Yogurt's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/09/2009
Comments and Questions on the June 2006 Challenge

I suppose what the Territory Control requirement did was prevent a Princes of Florence-like game where each player has his or her own player mat.

I believe all these games had a shared board where there was competition for space, which did help shape the types of game we saw.

Brykovian
Brykovian's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/21/2008
Comments and Questions on the June 2006 Challenge

It was also intended to shy away from straight-up business-style sims where you grow stuff, sell it, and hope to make more money than everyone else.

I wanted to see how people might make the single-player land-use aspect evolve into a multi-player land-control type thing. But I didn't want to railroad folks down that line.

I'm quite impressed with the variety and quality of the entries this time around.

-Bryk

DanogNellows
Offline
Joined: 08/02/2008
Comments and Questions on the June 2006 Challenge

How long does voting last this time?

Brykovian
Brykovian's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/21/2008
Comments and Questions on the June 2006 Challenge

DanogNellows wrote:
How long does voting last this time?

Normal time -- tomorrow, Noon EST. Even though I took an extra day to get the things posted, I do not plan on extending the voting period. 6 days to read and vote should still be ample, imo.

-Bryk

Gogolski
Gogolski's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
Comments and Questions on the June 2006 Challenge

Votes are in. (Haven't completely written all comments though...)

Luck & Cheese!

OutsideLime
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Comments and Questions on the June 2006 Challenge

Done my comments, trying to dstribute points... gah! With so many entries it's hard to split up the points... I want to give at least 1 point to a few more entries than are allowed!

~Josh

edit: OK, my votes are in! Good luck, gents!

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut