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CGD1 Brainstorm: Spiel des Jahres

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FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969

Now that some core ideas are out, let's spend some time discussing them and pseudo-brainstorming about them.

It would be great if you'd take a moment to at least:

  • Mention something you like about the idea,
  • Mention something that you don't care for or are concerned about regarding the idea, and
  • Put out anything else about the idea you'd like, including any basic implementation ideas.
Please don't go into great detail about how you think such a game would work, trying to refine a bunch of mechanics or anything. Rather please keep it pretty basic. Once we pick one to move forward on then more details would make sense. Note, too, that whatever we go with we can still work on some of the other ideas later, of course.

Here's one of Sedjtroll's thoughts:

Quote:
Spiel des Jahres, the game of competetive game design.

Players go through the game gathering "Mechanics" and "Themes" and various other pieces of games, trying to assemble the game they think will win the Spiel des Jahres. Players assemble the pieces which somehow combine and interact with some random or pre-determined set of criteria which represents the judges, and at the end of the game the player whose assembled the best game wins!

I had just thought of this off the top of my head, so I have no further fleshed out ideas. As for hpox' idea of having the game we're making (in the game) be the game we end up playing... I don't know about that. It's certainly not what I had in mind, however it might be rather cool. I don't really know if it's workable though.

As for the mechanics, I don't know how people would go about "installing" their favorite mechanic, or scoring system, or victory condition, or etc. Perhaps the resource in the game would be something like Brainstorm Points. Players would receive some BPs as income somehow, and could maybe spend time getting more... then they spend the BPs on 'playing' a mechanic (like playing a card in Magic: pay resource, play card). Then to replace that card it would cost extra BPs ("Hey! I thought of an EVEN BETTER idea!")

Also, there could be some kind of track or board representing the progress of the game, and certain mechanics can only be played when a player's at a certain point on the track or something.

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FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969
CGD1 Brainstorm: Spiel des Jahres

As an aspiring designer obviously this has a lot of appeal, and sounds like a hoot.

I'm not sure how much it would appeal outside of our little industry, but it would probably appeal to most "gamers".

One possibility would be to have each person working on their own game, with other players having the ability to "mess" with your game, either directly (by adding/adjusting themes/mechanics) or indirectly (by, say, changing what players/buyers/judges want this year).

Anonymous
CGD1 Brainstorm: Spiel des Jahres

The concept for this game is definately unique. However I'm not sure I can fully wrap my head around it and see any sort of legitemacy to it. That is to say, I'm now sure how a game like this would play out at all.

It'd be fun to explain to a marketing person about this game too :P

It's a game... about designing games! *their heads explode*

phpbbadmin
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Joined: 04/23/2013
My thoughts

Positive:
Very original
We can definitely relate

Negative:
Too complex for the current project.
Other people might not be able to relate and find it boring.

sedjtroll
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CGD1 Brainstorm: Spiel des Jahres

FastLearner wrote:
I'm not sure how much it would appeal outside of our little industry, but it would probably appeal to most "gamers".

I saw this project as more of a way to amuse ourselves and see if we can come up with a good product (read: fun game), not an avenue to publish the next Monopoly.

FastLearner wrote:
One possibility would be to have each person working on their own game, with other players having the ability to "mess" with your game, either directly (by adding/adjusting themes/mechanics) or indirectly (by, say, changing what players/buyers/judges want this year).

This is what my original vision was. People try to assemble a game- maybe there's a 'hidden agenda' thing going on so people don't know exactly what you're trying to put together. Then players try and influence the judges, playing cards that say things like

"Out of Style: Tile Laying. Due to the success of Rio Grande's Carcassone, 7 similar games have all just hit the market. Tile Laying is now old news. Games with Tile Laying as a Central Mechanic are at -10 to Judge's Preference. Games with Tile Laying as a sub-mechanic are at -5."

hpox' idea is amusing, but I agree that this first time out should be something simplistic. In fact, perhaps I'd vote for waiting on the SdJ idea until a betetr game coud be made out of it! :)

Finally- one more suggestion. We could do this by committee. Once we determine a Cenrtal Mechanic, we could sort of assign parts of the game to volunteers (or each of us who wants to can present an idea)...

For example, we decide we want to make Settlers of Catan, a game in which players trade resources to get the ones they need to advance their goal. One committee comes up with a scoring mechanism- Victory points for Settlements and advancing them to Cities. Another comes up with a mechanism for getting the resources needed (Probabalistic 2d6 distribution for production)... etc.

Just a thought- really just amounts to organisation.

- Seth

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
CGD1 Brainstorm: Spiel des Jahres

It's a cute idea, but I have to agree with Bandecko, I just don't see how this game would work in practice.

What I'm envisioning is a bunch of cards where each card is some component of the game; maybe a "theme" or a "mechanic" or something, and you're trying to control which cards end up in the final design, or are trying to get the cards you want for your design. But why are you doing that? And what significance do the cards play other than window dressing?

I think that to make a game fun, there must be some marriage between the theme and the mechanics/elements. Take 8/7c, for example. Sure, the "shows" are just text on cards. But the difference there is that the mechanics cause you to manipulate those cards in a way that intuitively is the same as actual shows. For example, you put them in a "schedule"; you can place "advertisements" on them. So there, the mechanics and the theme are interwoven in such a way that the theme is an organic and essential part of the mechanics.

Here, I just don't see that happening. I think you'll end up with a dry and dull set collection game where you don't really feel like you're "designing a game", but rather, are trying to get cards of the same color or something. Because designing a game is such a weird process, and I don't think a game can actually simulate that. It doesn't work by way of "I'll vote for my favorite mechanic" or "I think it should have this theme"; you just pick the mechanics and themes that you like! The only thing I could see that could make the idea salvageable is if you could somehow have the jury play a factor in the game, ie, "I know that member A of the jury prefers bidding games, but member B likes themes about space, so I have to tailor my game to what the jury likes". But even so, I'm not sure.

Hey, anything's worth a try, but I think there may be ideas that would require less mind-wrangling as to how to come up with an actual game here. I would think that sedjtroll could fiddle with this one on his own and come up with something good, or perhaps something more fleshed out that could become the "next" CGD project...

Just my thoughts...

-Jeff

Scurra
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CGD1 Brainstorm: Spiel des Jahres

I think I might have to agree - this is potentially a fantastic idea, but probably a little too complex to be the first attempt at a committee-game.

(I can certainly "see" how the game might work, but actually turning that into comprehensible suggestions is going to be tough. Jeff, I think you are underestimating how it might work - I love the idea of a game in which, say, an auction mechanic is decided upon - perhaps by an auction! - but then that chosen auction mechanic is used for the rest of the game whenever an auction is required. Sort of like a playable version of Nomic really.)

jwarrend
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CGD1 Brainstorm: Spiel des Jahres

Scurra,

I agree that the idea where you build the game as you play could be cool, however, it didn't sound like that was what Seth had in mind. And if it was, I think that would be way too difficult to actually design, at least as a first try...

Anonymous
CGD1 Brainstorm: Spiel des Jahres

I can kind of see this game if the players werent' designing games, but publishing houses.

They have designers working for them, and whatnot, and they only get a little say in the games.

However, in order to make the game work effectively, I'm thinking that it needs a lot of abstractness.

For instance. A game is represented by a cirlce split into four parts.

Now... there is a pool of tiles (or cards) that each have a fourth of a cirlce on them (A curve).

These represents the different portions of a game. The cards are placed in front of the players to represent their progress... the other side of the tile has a specific gameplay mechanics that are split into 4 categories.

Setup
beginning
Middle
End

Each category has different ratings on them and descriptions. Such as an End tile could be "victory points condition" which could be rated as 2 or 3 or something. Middle could be "auction mechanics" rated at 2 or 3 or 4 or whatever.

Now... each curve has a different color. red, green, blue, and yellow.

Each player ideally wants to put together a game that is a full circle of one color consisting of a strong tile from each category.

At the end of the game the tiles or "game" is flipped over, and the games are tallied on their stregnths.

Bonus points recieved for:

A game consisting of all 4 elements

tiles of the same color placed next to each other get x2 the points (FOR each tile placed next to it of the same color, for a possible of x2 or x4).

All four tiles being the same color receives and additional bonus.

Perhaps the "perfect circle" game is the most simple. Perhaps player can try for an oval shaped game by addign straight line tiles, or even clover shaped games, or whatever, however if they don't finish the game by the deadline (the deadline to the contest) then they don't get to enter and automatically lose.

Players can choose to trade tiles with each other based solely on the color and curve of the tile (i.e. the actual contents of the tile are hidden like a poker hand), and or players can spend some sort of resource in develping another idea or concept by drawing from the pile of tiles.

Now, I know I'm saying tiles, but I really envision a square card... so you could see what the next card is going to be (a blue straight, or a green curve) but you really don't know if its the right mechanic you need... however if it's rated high enough that might balance it out anyway, so you could still try to draw from it... or try to fenagle with the other players and get what you want. Kind of representing developers getting together to chat.

With this in mind, the game seems pretty simple, while still following within the theme.

I might have to clarify this as I'm not sure I explained it as clearly as I'd hoped.

sedjtroll
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Good ideas Bandecko!

This is more like what I originally had in mind. I hadn't really thought about HOW exactly the scoring would work, but I rather like Bandecko's example. I was thinking more along the lines of there being Judges, who's opinions at the end of the game are what matter, and how each player's game compares to those opinions determines who scores/wins.

Then the game play would concentrate on two things- piecing together a game that the judges will "like" (perhaps in a way like Bandecko described), and trying to influence the judges through events such as the example card I proposed earlier in this thread- that was a card which made Tile Laying worse as a mechanic (made the judges like it less), and therefore people with Tile Laying as their central Mechanic wouldn't do as well as people without that mechanic. This to me sounds a little simplistic, but that really depends on a lot of stuff that hasn't been determined yet.

When Jeff mentioned 8/7 Central in one of his posts on this subject, it got me thinking. The games that get pieced togetehr could 'compete' in different categories in a similar way that Programs compete in 8/7c. The categories being Theme, Central Mechanic, Fun Fator, and Victory Condition or something.

To tell you the thruth, I'm not as excited about this as I was initially. I still think it's a great idea for a theme, but I think I agree with the people who say that a good treatment of this theme is outside the scope of this project.

- Seth

Anonymous
CGD1 Brainstorm: Spiel des Jahres

I think it's still solid for a game proposal. Especially now that I sat down and actually thought about the details of implementing it.

I say that if it doesn't get picked for this project it still deserves a looking into.

Having the judges opinions influence the outcome should definately be involved somehow.

Anonymous
CGD1 Brainstorm: Spiel des Jahres

Disclaimer: I've had a game-designing-game on the back burner for years now. Nothing about judges though.

I agree this may to be tricky as a first project (in part from my own experience...) but here is an idea for whenever it ends up getting made: Have the players chooseing the judges in parallel with designing their games., Say, each judge has one favored trait and one hated trait. One way to build tension would be to elect judges one-by-one, so players get a slowly improving picture of the final favored elements, but the election of the last judge also ends the game, so some people may be caught with the wrong elements.

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