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About.com 2005 game design competition theme: Deduction

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Invisible_Jon
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(Note to admins: If this is already under discussion elsewhere, please delete this post. I've scanned over the other forums, but failed to find this under discussion yet.)

The About.com 2005 Game Design Competition theme is, "deduction." From the site:

"Games must include a deduction element. Examples of games with a deduction element include Clue, Coda, Black Vienna, Sleuth, Zendo, Werewolf, Scotland Yard and Top Secret Spies. About.com Board/Card Games reserves the right to disqualify games which fail to follow the spirit of the theme."

This is an interesting theme, especially when considering that you have to restrict yourself to, "an easy-to-replicate game board, using checkers, Go stones, Chess pieces, Poker chips, dice, a standard deck of cards, or other items likely to be found in the average gamer's collection." I have a few games I've already made that I might spruce up and submit, but I'm also considering new possibilities. How about y'all? What do you think of the theme? Do you intend to compete?

My existing possible entries are already online, so their mechanics and play style aren't a secret. I'd understand if you don't want to discuss your potential entries, of course. Even so, I figured that y'all'd want to know about the contest, if you didn't already.

I'm tempted to enter my game Pitter Pattern, but I'm not sure that it has enough of a deduction element to it. If any of you would be so kind as to give it a once-over and tell me if you think it's deductive enough, I'd appreciate it.

Good luck, all!

Hamumu
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About.com 2005 game design competition theme: Deduction

Hmm... a deduction game for 2 players! I suppose "guess who's holding the ace" is out, then. I'm gonna ponder this one and see if I can come up with anything!

doho123
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About.com 2005 game design competition theme: Deduction

I would argue that your game wouldn't fall under the "deduction" category. To me, deduction would indicate some goal condition that you are trying to weed out from many goals, picking up information along the way. And there would be strong announcement component to it; when a player has decided that they have figured out the goal condition.

Aguably, almost any game has some amount of deduction in it if it has some element of strategy, since you are trying to deduce your opponents intentions based on the current information presented. "

zaiga
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About.com 2005 game design competition theme: Deduction

What does "an easy-to-replicate game board" mean? Can you print a "board" in the rules? Or should I ask this question to the about.com people?

- René Wiersma

jwarrend
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About.com 2005 game design competition theme: Deduction

You should ask them for a definitive answer, but I'm pretty sure what they mean is a geometric tiling of squares, hexes, or triangles. Unless I'm mistaken, these contests usually seem to lean toward abstract games, so think of the kinds of boards you see in typical abstracts. I suspect a non-standard board could be ok, but you'd have to check with the judges to be sure, and you'd probably want to do that sooner rather than later.

It sounds like "Chicago" is a decent fit for the contest; are you thinking about entering it?

-Jeff

zaiga
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About.com 2005 game design competition theme: Deduction

jwarrend wrote:
You should ask them for a definitive answer, but I'm pretty sure what they mean is a geometric tiling of squares, hexes, or triangles. Unless I'm mistaken, these contests usually seem to lean toward abstract games, so think of the kinds of boards you see in typical abstracts. I suspect a non-standard board could be ok, but you'd have to check with the judges to be sure, and you'd probably want to do that sooner rather than later.

That's what I thought. It makes sense.

Quote:
It sounds like "Chicago" is a decent fit for the contest; are you thinking about entering it?

No, because "Chicago" is for 3 or 4 players, has a special board and customized cards. However, I think I can take some of the mechanics of "Chicago" in use it in another design. I already came up with something...

- René Wiersma

CDRodeffer
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Re: About.com 2005 game design competition theme: Deduction

Invisible_Jon wrote:
How about y'all? What do you think of the theme? Do you intend to compete?

I would like to enter, and I have an early draft of a potential entry ready. If anyone cares to look at it, shoot me an e-mail and I'll send it along. I welcome any feedback.

Clark

Invisible_Jon
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About.com 2005 game design competition theme: Deduction

doho123 wrote:
I would argue that your game wouldn't fall under the "deduction" category. To me, deduction would indicate some goal condition that you are trying to weed out from many goals, picking up information along the way. And there would be strong announcement component to it; when a player has decided that they have figured out the goal condition.

Thanks for taking the time to look over the game. I agree that Pitter Pattern doesn't quite make it as a deduction game. Pitter Pattern does have a goal condition that you're picking out from several other goals (I may need to make it more valuable to do so), but it lacks that, "strong announcement component," that you mentioned. That's what makes me think that it doesn't count as a deduction game.

That's the fun part of deduction games, isn't it? That joy of discovery, sometimes mingled with uncertainty (if you're guessing early in an attempt to beat the other players to the win).

Hedge-o-Matic
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About.com 2005 game design competition theme: Deduction

Hey, great! But I Agree, the theme of deduction is challening in a boardgame witout special components. I shall begin pondering immediately...

tjgames
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About.com 2005 game design competition theme: Deduction

Quote:
You should ask them for a definitive answer, but I'm pretty sure what they mean is a geometric tiling of squares, hexes, or triangles. Unless I'm mistaken, these contests usually seem to lean toward abstract games, so think of the kinds of boards you see in typical abstracts.

This is pretty much what they meant.

I have entered a game every year so far...the first year I got a sort of honorable mention (they posted the rules to the about.com website) for my game "Generatorb" and last year my game "Wizard's Garden" was a runner up. I've been working on my entry for this year and I've been able to playtest it a few times and so far so good.

Last year some of us posted our entries after we submitted our games. I would love to do that again this year if anyone is interested.

Tim Schutz
PS Good Luck to everyone that enters.

nosissies
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About.com 2005 game design competition theme: Deduction

Are you pondering what I'm pondering?

We'll I've been working on a game for the contest, playtesting has been a little frustrating, my father-in-law and my wife keep beating me at it ... I haven't won once.

Anyhow, I have a general question for the crowd.

In my game it is possible(perhaps even likely) that at the end it may come down to a guess (1 out of two possibilities)... is that a problem? By the time you get to that point you have already reduced the possibilities from 16 down to 2. Do I need to add some mechanics to reveal more information? Should I be ok with this if it is a relatively quick game wich you can play several times in a sitting?

Best of luck to all who are entering.

peace,
Tom

IngredientX
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About.com 2005 game design competition theme: Deduction

I've been chewing on a design that uses elements of my game "Wag the Wolf" (which will be at the next BGDF Albany get-together... and yes, it's still my extremely... er, fashionably late entry to the Doomed Civ contest [and I still hate deadlines]).

Anyway, I adapted many elements of WtW to a deck of cards and tried it with my wife. "Boring," she says. "Not fun." So I'd better keep digging... :)

jwarrend
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About.com 2005 game design competition theme: Deduction

Tom,

You should check out "Mystery of the Abbey" for a "deduction" game that has a healthy amount of guesswork. In that game, there are several levels of guesses which pay out VPs, so you can try for an accusation and get big points, or just declare one attribute of the culprit for a small payout. It's hard to get perfect info because there's a lot of chaos in the game. But, it's fun to play, even with the guesswork. So, from a player's standpoint, a game that came down to a guess might be ok.

However. The About.com contests tend to favor, I believe, abstract games, so these are "pure" gamers who are judging these. If you have a game that doesn't allow you to perfectly resolve the correct solution, that may count against you in the contest. Of course, if the game is a blast to play, it may not matter.

It's hard to say whether you should change anything without having seen the game, but those are just my thoughts...

Good luck!

-Jeff

nosissies
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About.com 2005 game design competition theme: Deduction

jwarrend wrote:

It's hard to say whether you should change anything without having seen the game

I think we might be able to arrange this.

Thanks for the thoughts.

peace,
Tom

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