# What is a good way to keep a game from going forever?

6 replies [Last post]
Pt314
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969

I have been working on an abstract statagy game lately (along with several other games too), for the shared peices contest, but I have a problem. How do you keep a game from lasting forever? In Go theres a rule saying you cannot make the board end up in the same state as earlier, but in more complicated games how do you keep track?

The game I am working on has 4 different colored pieces, and one black, and one white piece. Since all the pieces are availible to both sides this problem of infinite loops pops up much more then usual in other games I have designed.

sedjtroll
Offline
Joined: 07/21/2008
Re: What is a good way to keep a game from going forever?

Pt314 wrote:
I have been working on an abstract statagy game lately (along with several other games too), for the shared peices contest, but I have a problem. How do you keep a game from lasting forever? In Go theres a rule saying you cannot make the board end up in the same state as earlier, but in more complicated games how do you keep track?

The game I am working on has 4 different colored pieces, and one black, and one white piece. Since all the pieces are availible to both sides this problem of infinite loops pops up much more then usual in other games I have designed.

My latest idea regarding the Shared Pieces contest is as follows:
Observation:
If both players actually move the same piece, then trying to get that piece to one spot while an opponent tries to get it to another will likely end up in a lot of back and forth- not getting anywhere. Similarly, if there are multiple pieces then each player might simply move one of them continually, which is just as bad.

Solution:
Have the "pieces" that players want to move around NOT be controlled by EITHER player- rather by a strict set of rules. Have the pieces that are actually moved by players be boundary conditions... for example:

The board is a maze with an exit in the center. Each player's objective is to get a specific piece to the exit first. To do so on your turn you move a wall (or walls) of the maze, then resolve the pieces' movement rules.

With the pieces moving "of their own accord", it would be nearly impossible to "undo" a players action- eliminating the back-and-forth problem (as well as the infinite loop problem?) I believe this is within the rules, since the pieces that are moving to the exit- though associated with one player- are not owned by or controlled by that player.

... thoughts?

- Seth

Pt314
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
What is a good way to keep a game from going forever?

Hmm, I don't want to change too much about my game. A major part of it has to do with conservation of pieces, until more are added.

Pt314
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
What is a good way to keep a game from going forever?

I see what you are saying. I could put in a couple more rules on the way you move pieces and try to make in more non-reversible, without breaking the spirit of my game.

Just wondering, in the contest are you allowed to have pieces associated with a player even though both players can move it?

Offline
Joined: 04/23/2013
Great idea

A possible movement scenario might be rotate right (or left, doesn't matter as long as it's consistent) 90 degrees until there is a free space, afterwords move as far as possible in that direction.

So it would be:

-Move maze piece(s)
-activate movement based upon set rules (like the above example)

Seth, sounds cool, kind of like robo rally lite. You could have several squares on the board (color coded to match players) that would score points every time one of the pieces passed through the square. Also you could get a higher score if the piece actually stopped on one of your scoring squares.

Go for it! Sounds fun.

-Darke

FastLearner
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
What is a good way to keep a game from going forever?

Pt314 wrote:
Just wondering, in the contest are you allowed to have pieces associated with a player even though both players can move it?

It wouldn't hurt to ask Erik, but it seems like the phrase in the rules "no player will have pieces that are his exclusive right to move" indicates that as long as no player has the exclusive right to move them then it's possible that some pieces might be "owned" by a player. But I don't know for sure.

Anonymous
What is a good way to keep a game from going forever?

You could have each player's movement rules be different from each other. That would make it impossible for them to reverse a previous move.

You could introduce irreversible consequences to each move.

You could apply some kind of penalty if they "butcher back" and reverse the same move.

You could have conditions to what moves are allowed that change every turn... i.e. cards that are flipped over from a deck, that say Turn, Advance, Retreat, Your Choice, etc... or Red, Blue, etc, governing which pieces may be moved on your turn...