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Semi-regular pentagons

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mwhelehan
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For some reason I've had a game idea that would use semi-regular pentagons instead of the ubiquitous hex's. If you're familiar with the Cairo tile pattern that's what I've been thinking about. But I'm wondering if it would be too much of a hassel to get the tiles to fit properly.

Does anyone know of other games that utilize semi-regular polygons in a similar fashion or should I scrap the idea and move to hex's?

Dralius
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To Hex or Not to Hex?

I was unable to find any information on the “Cairo tile pattern” that would shed light on the nature of these irregular pentagons.

I guess the big question is not what they are but what they provide for your game that hexagons don’t.

mwhelehan
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Cairo tiles

Dralius, hope this helps:

Try this webpage: http://mathworld.wolfram.com/CairoTessellation.html

Two reasons I like these over hexes:
-it would be unique
-it supposedly is a tile pattern found in the Middle East (hence the name "Cairo") and the game I have in mind would be set in the Middle East

Dralius
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Yes i have seen it

It has been used in at least one abstract game. Nothing to worry about. It's so obscure i can't remember it.

I was wondering more about how does the pattern aid game play or work better then plain hexes. If one is the same as the other when it comes to play then the more aesthetic should be used.

mwhelehan
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aesthetic vs. mechanic

That's what I was figuring.

Right now my concern is that if I'm going to prototype/playtest, should I go through the trouble of fabricating (cutting) my own pentagons or just use some hexes from a different game?

I'm leaning towards making my own tiles for right now. I'm trying to visualize if it would be too difficult to have the players try to match the tiles up with the short side or use regular hexes, where the sides will match up no matter what. But I'll never know unless I try.

schmanthony
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It's a neat pattern, but I

It's a neat pattern, but I have doubts that it would "sell" your game to anyone on the basis of its uniqueness. The cultural significance, too, would probably be lost on most players.

I feel that the strongest justification for using it would be that - for whatever reason - exactly five directional choices are desired from each space. Or, in light of the shape being irregular, a special significance is attributed to certain facings.

Taavet
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Differences

If there is movement from one tile to another there are obvious differences. 5 available moves to 6 available moves.

Same with scoring of adjacent tiles or area of influence from one tile to the next.

Also a game like Carcassonne where tile placement next to another tile connects roads/villages ect would be greatly effected by the pentagons over hexes as it would limit the ways a pentagon could be placed.

However, if the game functions just as well with either, as stated, then go with the one that looks better or would be easier to play with.

I had a similar issue with squares and hexes and decided to go with squares. The squares are offset like a brick pattern and so act exactly like hexes but I found square tiles better suited for my particular game.

InvisibleJon
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A useful reminder...

Taavet wrote:
I had a similar issue with squares and hexes and decided to go with squares. The squares are offset like a brick pattern and so act exactly like hexes but I found square tiles better suited for my particular game.
If more people (designers) would remember this, I strongly suspect there'd be a lot more games with squares instead of hexes. This is one of my favorite "design tricks". Even if you don't use it in your final game, it's a life-saver when you're prototyping.

Willi B
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Different is good.

And I completely disagree that it won't add novelty value to the average Eurogamer (if that is the intended audience). As long as there is no difference in usage, do something different. Look at Tobago and Notre Dame - it helps to have something different to look at.

Specifically, though, I would try to have the pattern replicated in some way on the box cover art to help people with the cultural reference.

schmanthony
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Tile Placement?

It didn't occur to me until someone else mentioned it that you might be considering this pattern for tile placement. If you are, then I think a board with outlined spaces where the tiles would be placed would be absolutely necessary to eliminate the problems people would have with orienting the tiles.

I didn't mean to imply that the pattern would not add novelty, indeed I believe it would. However, I don't feel that the interest generated by this novelty alone would be a significant factor in very many individuals' desire to own/play the game. In other words, if you're worried about your design being looked at as "just another one of those hex tile placement or hex-and-counter games," the use of your Cairo pattern will not be enough to counter that reaction. Worse, without proper justification, I would fear that savvy gamers would view it with distaste as kind of a needless gimmick.

hoywolf
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Theme

I feel it comes down to your theme and concept, what advantage does your game obtain from using this pattern? Hex and Square based games use the symmetry of the shapes to attach to each other in any orientation.

From what I have seen with the link, you have larger shape comprised of 4 pieces that end up making a "larger hex" (6 sides), can you can use this i guess to form special zones or something.

Willi B
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Handout over board...

I would give players handouts instead of using a board. Tiles would move on a board.

As far as Cairo vs. hex or square goes - as long as the Cairo can do the same job use it. If it interferes in the play more than a fraction than it is just a gimmick. Incorporate it nicely and you'll have a winner.

Pastor_Mora
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They look amazing

That pattern was really inspiring. I did saw it before but I never saw it as a game board pattern. It dazzled me for a while in front of the screen. (All right, I AM a little bit crazy, I know).

If you are really devoted to your game, I think matching the mechanics to that layout would be quite a challenge. On the other hand, and as stated before, it is hard for me to picture an hex mechanics working on a pentagon board and vice-versa (well, actually I don't know any pentagon mechanics!).

I think the board intricate pattern could be used in top-view maze games to create the desired "lost" impression in the players. Distances are harder to calculate at first sight. I also imagine dungeon type in 2D boards (much like Dungeon Lords board background).

As for game design, I scrap something if it is too much trouble for players, not too much trouble for me (designer). This is a very valuable resource if you can use it right.

Thanks for the idea. Keep thinking!

mwhelehan
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Board? No thanks.

I agree that if I give clear directions with a visual (in a handout) it should be easy enough to get the tiles started. I also thought about having a "starter tile" that was four of them already joined, where the players than build off the starter tile.

A board could work, but since I like the morphic nature of random tile placement/switching I don't want a statc board. Also, I agree with Willi that tiles ON a board would most likely slip and slide.

hoywolf
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Picture

You can just have a picture of the pattern in your rulebook, that should be enough to let them know how to assemble it.

schmanthony
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hoywolf wrote:You can just

hoywolf wrote:
You can just have a picture of the pattern in your rulebook, that should be enough to let them know how to assemble it.

I just can't agree that it will be enough. To illustrate with a simple example, given 2 pieces from this pattern, a user could easily put 2 faces together the "right way" or the "wrong way..." and each would look equally right without consulting the pattern in the rulebook - and rather carefully at that. It will be frustrating to a lot of players. You'll need something more than a picture in the rule book to make legal placements more intuitive.

But no matter what you will be adding difficulty to the simple task of placing a tile that simply does not exist for square, triangle or hex patterns. Adding any difficulty at all without some justification beyond novelty should be avoided IMHO.

I just want to clarify that I'm not knocking the idea of this pattern at all - even if it is the inspiration behind your game. But if you're going to use it I think the game needs to tie into it in deeper ways than those given so far in this thread. If you'd care to share a little more about how your game works and what it's about I'm sure folks would come with several ways to do this.

metzgerism
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Cairo info

I've spent some time working on Cairo tile and Cairo intersection tessellation, and have also worked on "squaring" Cairo pentagons for tile placement purposes (spoiler alert: it works!).

Here are some notes:

- I visualize Cairos as houses. There is a floor (the smallest side), a left and right wall, and a left and right roof.

- If Cairo tiles were arrows (see the point at the top of the roof?), they only go up, down, left, and right (or north, south, east, and west, if you'd prefer).

- Left walls ONLY connect to Left roofs, and vice versa.
- Right walls ONLY connect to Right roofs, and vice versa.
- Floors ONLY connect to floors, and vice versa.

- Cairos work best with a floor of length x, and the walls and roofs of length x[1+sqrt3]/2. The cheater's way to do this is an 8:11 ratio, or a 30:41 ratio.

- The above side length provide 60 and 90 degree angles for all edges, as well as standardize the distances between the center of the tile.

- Each cairo tile has five (5) adjacent connections and two (2) diagonal connections.

- If you make lines between all the diagonal (four corners) intersections, you have a square grid!

hoywolf
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Reply

@schmanthony

I feel your correct, an illustrating might not be enough if the system works like Carcassonne placing the tiles down at a time, if it where like Settles of Catan where you build it all up at the start, then it would have been fine.

Maybe having a game board that holds the pattern will work, the way some puzzle games have a frame and a back board to have the pieces placed into it, it will be the reference you need to and you will know immediately if it is right or wrong. Its just that there is a hassle of the size of the game and utilizing that board for more than just a play mat.

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