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Critique the April 2006 GDS Challenge Entries

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seo
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Critique the April 2006 GDS Challenge Entries

Brykovian wrote:
I won't be able to tally the vote until later this afternoon, or possibly even this evening. I'll allow votes to be submitted right up until I calc and post the results.

Sorry for the delay.

-Matt
Then I probably won't be able to congratulate Josh for beating me, or David for finally getting a deserved victory, or Doho for being more successful as a contestant than as organizer, or boast about yet another win, or whatever. I'm going on a vacation trip to Buzios, Brazil this early morning, and I don't know if I'll be able to check the results until I come back on may 7.

It's been fun coming up with a game idea, and really hard deciding how to vote. A few games I liked a lot, but failed to comply with some of the requirements in an elegant and significant (game-wise) way.

Seo

seo
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Critique the April 2006 GDS Challenge Entries

OutsideLime wrote:

~Josh
If I weren't ROFTLMPO, I would have to say that this is insulting! ;-D

Seo

Yogurt
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Critique the April 2006 GDS Challenge Entries

Jpwoo wrote:
It seems strange to me that the people who made games wouldn't even take the time to vote....

There may be even more procrastinators than it appears. I voted, but I didn't submit a game. So that's five entrants who hadn't voted by the type Bryk posted!

Yogurt

Jpwoo
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Critique the April 2006 GDS Challenge Entries

Is it possible to Edit the front page posts? Then it would be possible to update what stage the competition is in without spamming the other news off the fold.

seo
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Critique the April 2006 GDS Challenge Entries

Congratulations, Josh! You really deserved to win! I might not be a winner this time, but at least the winner was my personal favourite.

I'll post more detailed comments once I'm back, on may 7.

Seo

Brykovian
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Critique the April 2006 GDS Challenge Entries

Hmmmm ... It seems that the PM system dropped at least 1 vote before it got to my InBox ... OutsideLime, himself, had to point out that he sent me his votes a couple days ago in response to a chiding PM I had sent him for not voting. *blush*

I've added his votes in now, and updated the results accordingly. While it didn't affect the winner at all, it did push seo into a solo 2nd place finish, by a hair's width, and some of the vote totals for the other entrants changed a bit.

I won't be accepting any more after-the-fact votes, but if you did vote and are curious about whether I received your message, please send me another PM and I'll let you know (counting OL's vote, I had 7 total -- 6 were from entrants).

-Bryk

Scurra
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Critique the April 2006 GDS Challenge Entries

I have to confess that I wasn't surprised that I didn't do particularly well, since - as I noted - three-and-a-half of us entered essentially the same game, and mine was clearly the least-best of them - it was certainly the least thought out (as usual) :-)

However, I also wasn't surprised by the winner. I had a problem with it, in that I didn't think it really complied with the negotiation requrement (mind you, we all had trouble with that), but it was clearly the most innovative of the entries.

Congrats to everyone again for a fine bunch of entries and to Josh for winning.

OutsideLime
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Critique the April 2006 GDS Challenge Entries

Woo Hoo!

Quote:
However, I also wasn't surprised by the winner. I had a problem with it, in that I didn't think it really complied with the negotiation requrement (mind you, we all had trouble with that), but it was clearly the most innovative of the entries.

Thanks! I admit that the "negotiation" element in my game was tacked on in a hurry, but as I mentioned in another thread, I have developed Rattlesnake Rally well beyond its submission iteration, and that aspect has been fleshed out much more satisfyingly. A few other twists and rules have been added as well, and I think it'll turn out to be a very fun little game.... I have put together most of a playable prototype for it and will begin playtesting soon...

Thanks to everyone who voted for me, some of the other games had a lot of great ideas.. (Rubber stamps? c'mon, that's SO COOL. Taking cars to your opponents' garages that are deliberately too messed up to repair? Dastardly!) I'm looking forward to the vicious clash of next month!

~Josh

PS - Bryk, I heard a rumour that there was going to be an engraved platinum trophy fed-exed to me... is this true, or will it arrive by regular mail?

Brykovian
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Critique the April 2006 GDS Challenge Entries

OutsideLime wrote:
PS - Bryk, I heard a rumour that there was going to be an engraved platinum trophy fed-exed to me... is this true, or will it arrive by regular mail?

Yeah ... I believe that "it's in the mail" is the appropriate response. ;-)

-Bryk

Xaqery
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Critique the April 2006 GDS Challenge Entries

Congrats to Josh and all the winners! Well Done.

I voted for 8, 5, 4, and 3. It was really hard to vote this month because the design parameters were very narrow. But Josh made an entry that stood out a bit. It made it easier on us voters. It was very thoughtful of Josh, Thanks.

- Dwight

Yogurt
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Critique the April 2006 GDS Challenge Entries

Congratulations Josh!

I was the one non-entrant who voted, it seems, and I was rooting for Rattlesnake Rally all the way. You really found a new angle on a fairly narrow topic. Using car parts as the cost of a route was clever, and forcing players to choose between speed and flags made easy to imagine the tough choices a player would face.

I have no interest in cars, but I'd play this game in a snap.

Yogurt

Jpwoo
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Critique the April 2006 GDS Challenge Entries

It was brought up in next months critque thread that people don't post real critiques of the game designs much. So I am going to back and doing this one. A month late and a dollar short.

As usual offering creative critisism, not being mean spirited. And I'm critting off the nameless list, so I don't know whose game is whose.

Top Gear:

As far as theme this one hits the generic theme problem of the challenge pretty directly.

The negotiation round has some strange things in it it. All players put up three cards to trade, and offers must be made on all the cards. However when you trade for parts you keep the cards you traded face up in front of you, adding them to your 'must trade for all' pile. Which means that if you just got something you wanted, you are going to turn down any future offer from another player.

I think the must trade for all mechanic is interesting and could work in another circumstance, but in this case it seems to work against interaction.

The repair round has you bidding aorund the table to fix cars with the parts you just bought. The only cars you have seen are the ones in your hand so you probably traded for parts to fix your car. If you you win your own bid you pay the bank rather than another player. So there is no reason not to bid 0 or 1, pay the bank to fix your own car and take the VP unless you don't have the parts cards. Unless more than one person has the parts this isn't a very exciting auction.

All in all this game seems a little dry.

Massacar

This was my game. And I got no votes so I will offer a defense I suppose :) I was too wordy about describing the mechanics.

I tried to distill the two requirements negotiation and bidding down as much as I could. With negotiation being open, majority must agree on division of cards with a deadlock going to the person who is loosing, sort of a built in catchup mechanism.

I liked the idea of bidding VP's. Leaving a car in the shop without it getting fixed slows you down, but you have to spend vp's to get it out of the shop quickly, which slows you down too. I could foresee an issue where you got stuck in the shop forever. this would be bad.

Tune It up

The theme of this game is a slight twist on the fixing cars theme, but tricking out cars isn't something especially interesting to me.

This game had some neat ideas in it, but reading the description made it sound dry. The different ways to earn points are interesting as is the fact that double one kind of VP at the end, this would probably lead to unbalanced approaches which is interesting in a world of balance approach wins.

I think if fails to met the criteria in that the negotiation and bidding are the same mechanism.

Lemon Lots

I'm pretty sure that this game got my second place voting. It has the unique Stamps as tools mechanic which I thought was very clever. As far as theme it falls right in with the pack.

The bidding is clear and it is obvious to all players the vaule of the thing being bid on, which is good. I could see people getting nasty in the negotiation phase if they had a monopoly on a stamp. So I would think that a rule prohibiting that would be important. Looking back on it this game looks like it would play pretty straight forward despite all the Customers wallet, and bid sheets that make it seem more complicated at first glance.

This could definately be developed into a playable game.

Car Shop War

This game had some neat ideas. The parts cards taking double duty as both the parts that you need to fix and the parts to fix them is very clever, it avoids the broken car card with needed part card paradigm of many of the other games. As far as theme goes, mechanics trying to bankrupt one another is pretty good, but ultimately it feels the same as most of the others.

The bidding aspect, i'm ho hum on. It doesn't seem to fit into the rest of the game as a whole. There are moments when the garage pays the customer which seems counter intuitive. The three teirs of victory, with t he good fix, quick fix, and fail to fix could probably be boiled down to Fix and fail to fix, just to carve a layer of complexity out of the game. The negotiation aspect is tied much more nicely into the game though.

This game uses something that I don't like and a few of the games used it, so I'm not just picking out Part Wars. It uses money ranging from the 7 dollar to 1000 dollar range. I hate makeing change in monopoly, I don't like it in most games. I just in general like to keep the number ranges in the 1-10 range. (I also hate pinball machines where the minimum scoring option is 100k)

Lemon Aid

This game is one of the better organized entries. I like the theme of buddies propping the junkers along. The bidding section of the game seems pretty tight, and I like that the bidding tokens double as victory tokens. The negotiation phase seems like it would be pretty straight forward. With the value of the repair being pretty well known. 1-2 vps. The car tokens seem a bit extrainious unless there is something that I'm missing. Looking back on this, I think this game looks very playable and fun as well.

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

The theme of this game could be very cool, smash up derby! It has a serious lack of smashing though which was disapointing.

There are some good core bits in this game but it seems like it coudl be shaved down considerably. For example moving the week marker, pain in the butt added in, when a regular turn sequence would do. I do really like the Shop mechanism, with the differing shops of ability, this adds a slighlty more random addition to the game to keep it from being too plain. I'm not sold on the fixed values of the cars. This seems to be a bidding game, I didn't see any negotiation in it.

RATTLESNAKE RALLY!

Everyone favorite, and the only case where I remember who actually designed the game. Congrats Josh!

This game stood out in theme certainly, focusing more on something fun like a race rather than the activities of a mechanics shop. Again this is a well written and organized entry.

He tied the bidding to something unrelated to fixing the cars, in this case advancing in the race and collecting flags. With three choices it feels a bit more like rock paper scissors than bidding, but you get the option to bid more or 'push your buggy' which is a nice tying of mechanic to theme.

The negotiation phase could go wrong,with the mechanic driving hard bargains and hoarding cards. And with the only cash inflow into the game being the 5 dollar bonus for winning might be low. but all that can be balanced.

So there you go! My brief critiques of game outlines. i actually found it very helpful, and If my votes weren't already in I would do it for this months as a tool to see which games seem interesting.

seo
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Critique the April 2006 GDS Challenge Entries

I'll comment on MassaCar first, and will post comments on the rest if I found the time. But given that Jpwoo spent some precious time to crit the entries, I feel the least he deserves is retirbution.

I found the game interesting and original; I liked the idea of trying to "loose" in order to win the game.
The major drawback I see is that while there is interaction, it has little influence on the rivals game, which limits the posibility to have a real strategy.
I found the idea of letting the player with the least VP decide who gets which card potentially interesting, but I fear it might become frustrating to the other players, and turn the game into something too random.
Generally I rated this game quite high, in the same level than the two Lemon games, which I gave 1 point each. I only didn't vote this one because I felt the "Garage Owner" role wasn't really included. You bid to get your car repaired, but noone actually does the job.
But I liked the game and the whole theme was great, a real plus.

Seo

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