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Abstract boardgame : " Matchinco"

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ichbin
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Joined: 09/21/2010

Game : Matchinco

Presentation

Matchinco is an abstract game very easy to play but very hard to master.
Here I presented the basic version where the pattern is quite simple.
The scoring system is basic too.
The game is designed to be played as computer-game because the scoring point take time.

Category : Abstract strategy
Age : 8 and up
Playing time : 20 minutes
Number of players : 2
Mechanic : Tile placement, pattern building, secret objective

Components and rules : see the attachments
http://www.bgdf.com/sites/default/files/matchinco.JPG

Scoring
http://www.bgdf.com/sites/default/files/scorematchinco.JPG

Edit by seo: moved thread to New game ideas forum, since Mechanics is intended for specific mechanics discussion

ichbin
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Joined: 09/21/2010
Unclear?

It there something unclear about the rules?

innuendo
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Joined: 05/25/2010
Since you pick your pattern

Since you pick your pattern last, any good players will always end in a tie since while placing the playing board I can remember which pattern is most common.

Basically you made a super complex version of memory.

ichbin
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Joined: 09/21/2010
Thank you for your comment

innuendo wrote:
Since you pick your pattern last, any good players will always end in a tie since while placing the playing board I can remember which pattern is most common.

Basically you made a super complex version of memory.

Even if you know which pattern will have the best points keep in mind that you need to possees the 3 pawns to build your pattern.
Above I gave the basic one but imagine that players can build their pattern using 6 squares combined as they wish.
I was expecting such comment.

rcjames14
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Joined: 09/17/2010
Mastermind

This game kind of reminds me of the game Mastermind. However, backwards. Rather than start off with a hidden pattern you hope to discover through logic, you build your pattern afterwards. This will create, as innuendo has mentioned, a last player advantage. It will also create a memory style game which is not particularly fun. Mastermind is about deduction. This game will be about memory and most people have difficulty remembering 7 numbers... let alone the spacial configuration of 36 objects.

What if, instead, you started with 'your' pattern? So, like mastermind, you build a sequence of 4 colors (this could be a 2x2, a 1x4 or an S shape) at the beginning of the game out of two of the seven 1x2 tiles in your hand. Then, during the game you take turns placing pieces on the board trying to create your sequence as many places as you can. When you play a tile to the board, you draw another until the board is full of tiles. If there are five different colors to choose from, then you would have 15 different combinations of 1x2 tiles in the game. Let's say you duplicate each combination 4 times for a total of 60 tiles and you play with a board that is 10 x 10 with an underlying set of colors so that any 'trapped' spaces would adopt the color of the space on the board. It would take no more than 50 turns to fill up the space, or 25 each, with the possibility of ending it much sooner if there are 'trapped' spaces. The game would end when no one can place another tile and you would then reveal your 4 tile design and whoever has more copies of it on the board wins. This game could handle anywhere between 1 and 4 players.

ichbin
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Joined: 09/21/2010
You did not got the core of the game :(

I gave you the basic version of the game with 2 colors, a board 6x6 mixed with 2 boards 1x3.
What is really the core of the game is that the player :
- need to have some pattern on his mind before placing the pawns
- need to have all the pawns needed AT THE END OF THE GAME to build his pattern. If your opponent guess what you have in mind then he will try to break your pattern.
With 1x3 the core of the game did not appear.
But with 3 colors, a board 9x9, 2 boards (with 6 squares built in any form any HEXOMINO) imagine the game! What memory then?

Ps : I'm really sad because no one got it

ichbin
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Joined: 09/21/2010
To have an idea...

To have an idea about the game for experts here is a picture :
http://www.bgdf.com/sites/default/files/images/matchinco2.preview.JPG
Each player can build his pattern as hexomino and choose how to place the colors.
Keep in mind that is it not easy to possess the pawns needed to build your pattern if your opponent guess how you are placing the pawns.

What is interesting in the game is that you can "exploit" the game of your opponent in the course of the game.
The scoring system must be adjusted after playtesting.

TrekNoid
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Joined: 10/02/2009
Just a thought...

ichbin wrote:
Ps : I'm really sad because no one got it

I'm just gonna offer an opinion here, ichbin...

If 'no one' is 'getting it', then that's pretty valid feedback on your game's design as well.

Part of being a successful game designer is the ability to communicate your game's design effectively, and if you're having trouble getting *this* crowd to 'get you', then imagine the general public...

I think folks understood the original game design as you presented it. You're follow-up design was significantly different from your initial presentation, and while it changes the complexity, I'm not sure it really helps.

I think the original design, with two colors, is a better design myself, because it's simple enough that I *can* recognize when my opponent is trying to stack a pattern and do something about it. By making the board larger, and increasing the colors, you make it so complex that:

1.) It will take longer to set the board up
2.) Scoring will get harder (and longer)
3.) Defensive play is almost impossible

At most, I would go for three colors, and keep it on something 8x8 or less to playtest it (since chess boards are easy to come across). Once you figure out how it's going to be scored, you can play with the sizes/colors.

ichbin
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Joined: 09/21/2010
Clarifications

TrekNoid wrote:
ichbin wrote:
Ps : I'm really sad because no one got it

I'm just gonna offer an opinion here, ichbin...

If 'no one' is 'getting it', then that's pretty valid feedback on your game's design as well.

Part of being a successful game designer is the ability to communicate your game's design effectively, and if you're having trouble getting *this* crowd to 'get you', then imagine the general public...

I think folks understood the original game design as you presented it. You're follow-up design was significantly different from your initial presentation, and while it changes the complexity, I'm not sure it really helps.

I think the original design, with two colors, is a better design myself, because it's simple enough that I *can* recognize when my opponent is trying to stack a pattern and do something about it. By making the board larger, and increasing the colors, you make it so complex that:

1.) It will take longer to set the board up
2.) Scoring will get harder (and longer)
3.) Defensive play is almost impossible

At most, I would go for three colors, and keep it on something 8x8 or less to playtest it (since chess boards are easy to come across). Once you figure out how it's going to be scored, you can play with the sizes/colors.

Thank you for your comments.
But I have to say something very important.
First : I do not design games to sell them nor to publish them. I'm not running for money.
Second : To anyone of you who can exploit the game, who can improve it and present it to publishers I tell him : feel free to do it. I will not (I WILL NOT) sue him for plagiarism or copyright. My first goal is that new games emerge. I"m fed up with the clonisization!!!
Third : About the game itself I'm not presenting it to the public. I'm here to have the feedback of game designers. If I wanted to sell my game I will take all my time to write carefully the rules to draw all the diagrams needed to consult a lawyer and so on.

So good luck to all.

TrekNoid
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Joined: 10/02/2009
ichbin wrote:About the game

ichbin wrote:
About the game itself I'm not presenting it to the public. I'm here to have the feedback of game designers. If I wanted to sell my game I will take all my time to write carefully the rules to draw all the diagrams needed to consult a lawyer and so on.

So good luck to all.

Fair enough :) Now we know :)

ichbin
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Joined: 09/21/2010
Solutions

Here are some solutions to fix your concerns :

- to accelerate the placement step : each player in can place 4 pawns under the conditions that no pawn have common side with the other. But when the board is filled then we apply the rule one pawn at time alternatively....
- to make the pattern more easy : replace the hexominoes by 2 independent triminoes.
- to make all the game adapted to any level create set of rules for each level...

And so on.
The more important for me is to preserve the core of the mechanic which is to build the pattern afterwards.
I will use the same mechanic to present a new wordgame "Moreless".
If used as program on computer the wordgame "Moreless" will be fascinating because it will introduce a progressive scoring point. So it will create big tension on the game. Players can reverse the trend of the game.

rcjames14
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Joined: 09/17/2010
Got It

ichbin wrote:
Ps : I'm really sad because no one got it

I now see what the game does. And, I was wrong about the memory aspect of the game. It really doesn't matter whether you can see the board or not when you compose your pattern, because you are building the patterns on the board as you go with the anticipation of what you will have remaining in your hand.

However, I am concerned that it all comes down to what you have in your hand in the end. With only two colors to choose from, then it seems like it would be fairly easy to keep your options open until the very last play. And, since both players can do this, I foresee a tie emerging most of the time. On the 6th to last round (where you have 3 red and 3 white left), you will say to yourself, well... should I play red or white and your opponent will say the same thing on his turn. Since both of you get points from the same board, you will choose the exact same pattern and it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Hexinomo will avoid doing the same thing because your range of options will close much more quickly. You will not be able to keep everything until the last 6 rounds with 3 colors and 6 tiles to make. But, the equation will be the same for both players because neither one has to commit to a particular design until he sees how the board is developing. And, it is likely they will both commit to the same design.

ichbin
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Joined: 09/21/2010
Why?

Why are you assuming that "where you have 3 red and 3 white left" (I quote you)?
Players could place on the board more red than blue or the inverse.
Maybe the last 6 will be only red or only blue.
The game is more complex that it appears.
Players could choose any pawn (red or blue) and place it anywhere on the board. That is why players have to establish not only a placement strategy but a way to build their pattern. Depending on how the game evolves the players have to adapt and re-adapt their game. It is almost like a go. Nothing is certain until the game ends.
Maybe by ruling 3 triminoes by player and 3 colors it will boost the game. But the game have to be played on computer because the scoring counting will be not fun.

Ps : I do not know why I love this game.

TrekNoid
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Joined: 10/02/2009
I think it's sufficiently complex :)

ichbin wrote:
The game is more complex that it appears. Players could choose any pawn (red or blue) and place it anywhere on the board. That is why players have to establish not only a placement strategy but a way to build their pattern. Depending on how the game evolves the players have to adapt and re-adapt their game. It is almost like a go. Nothing is certain until the game ends.

Long post alert! :)

Okay, so I gave this some thought... and I'm not sure you're going to need to do anything more than two colors and a 6x6 board to begin with.

Here's why...

There's 21 Red and 21 White pegs (I tend to say pegs instead of pawns, because I mentally see a wooden board with holes to hold them in place), which is 42 pegs total.

The first 36 drawn go onto the board, which leaves 6 for the players to work with.

Since all the pegs are drawn from a common pool, and not replaced, this is essentially a permutation exercise of 21 red pegs and 21 white pegs.

Before I give 'the big math', I'll calculate the permutations for smaller sets to show how this works.

Assuming you had only 1 red and 1 white peg, then the total number of permutations is 2:
RW
WR

If it's 2 red and 2 white, then it goes to 6:
RRWW
RWRW
RWWR
WWRR
WRWR
WRRW

at 3 red and 3 white, it goes to 20... (I did it by hand to be sure... not gonna repost it here... You're free to check it) :)

As it turns out, there's a generalized equation you can use for this... its n!/(r!*w!), where n = total number of pegs, r = total number of red pegs and w = total number of white pegs.

Again, proving this:

1 red, 1 white = 2!/(1!*1!) = 2/(1*1) = 2/1 = 2
2 red, 2 white = 4!(2!*2!) = 24/(2*2) = 24/4 = 6
3 red, 3 white = 6!(3!*3!) = 720/(6*6) = 720/36 = 20

So, using this equation, the draw order of 42 pegs from a series of 21 red and 21 white = 42!/(21!*21!)

I'm nowhere near a serious calculator, so I'm forced into Scientific notation for this by my ancient computer:

42! = 1.40500611775288E51
21! = 5.10909421717094E19

So, 42!/(21!*21!) = 538257874440.002 (the decimal is a byproduct of using Scientific notation on my puny computer :)

So, the total number of ways that your 42 pegs can be drawn/played is over half a trillion ways... 538,257,874,440 ways, actually... unless I've miscalculated somewhere... That's always possible.

And, yeah... I understand that people can play them anywhere on the board, but since you end up with all 42 pegs played (either on the board or in player's triomino), than you can look at the end-product as though it were done sequentially.

That's pretty complex, to be honest... I can't calculate your 'expert' version, because the number of squares/colors/hexominos doesn't work out evenly. a 9x9 board is 81 squares... then 12 more for the players' hands... that's 93 tiles... You have 4 colors, which doesn't work out nicely... That's 12 of each color, plus one extra. 3 colors works better, because that gives you 31 of each, with no extras.

I'd offer that the next size up might be a 7x7 board, a quadomino, and three colors... That 49 board spaces, 8 in the players hands, which is 57 total... 19 each of your three colors.

At 538 Trillion+ endgames though, you might be good enough...

The more I look at this game, the more interesting it appears... At least, as a meta-game :)

ichbin
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Joined: 09/21/2010
I said in the beginning...

I said in the beginning that the game is easy to play but hard to master.
Easy to play : player have only one rule placing pawns
Hard to master : even the computer could not handle the explosive tree of possibilities. But players have lot to discover about their multiple strategies. If you as player assume that at the end of the game you could have 2 reds and 1 blue then you have only three possibilities to arrange the three : BRR, RBR, RRB. What is the dominant pattern of the three? 2 consecutive R is the pattern to realize during the game. If you try during the game to place each time 2 R linked by their sides you have big hope to win if you succeed. Here is just one example on how to build your strategy.
There are other strategies depending on what your opponent have in mind.

ichbin
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Joined: 09/21/2010
I forgot to add ....

I forgot to add that the basic version is good example for training.
Once you know how to play the basic version then you could afford 3 colors, 2 or 3 triminoes or 1 hexomino, bigger board 9x9 and so on.
It is obvious that the scoring system will be different and have to be adapted to the game new parameters.
It is absurd to score points when only 2 matches in the basic case of one trimino. It make sense when you rule in the case of an hexomino to give points even when all the pattern-pawns do not match. How to build the score system is another challenge. Only playtesting could give you the right answer.
The game seems complex but it is humanly manageable.
We have to not forget that the human being is able to solve problem that a computer could not. The inverse is true too.
Anyway the game deserve some thinking.

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