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This is Knot Competitive

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Dargon74
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Joined: 09/09/2012
Example Knot

I am introducing one of my older game designs into this forum.

The game is "Knot Competitive" and it a tile placement game for 2 to 8 players where players try to form highly knotted, closed loops from tiles in their hand in order to score the most points by having the most crossings. Each play builds off tiles already placed on the board, so the knots tend to get more complex and valuable as play progresses.

Components:
The game uses a set of tiles, typically 25mm square, upon which one to four paths are drawn from edge to edge. Each end of a path connects to one of eight spots spaced equidistant around the perimeter of the tile. Paths do not share end points. This design often requires these paths to cross each other, and where they do they are drawn to follow a strict over-under pattern. Tiles are color coded by the number of crossings available on the tile. The set consists of every possible combination of path connections, which is fairly large. To reduce set size but keep all that complexity, tiles are double sided with the back being the mirror image of the front. This makes for 144 tiles with 0 to 8 crossings on them. We increased the set with 6 duplicated to facilitate some forms of play, so there are 150 tiles in all. I've included some pictures for clarity.

Object of the Game:
Players win the game by having the highest score when the last tile is drawn.

How to Play:
1. (setup) Each player draws twelve tiles randomly from the box and begins trying to form the paths into a closed loop using as many of their tiles as possible. The first player who finishes first goes first and play proceeds to the left.
2. (scoring) Players score 1 point for every time their closed loop crosses itself or another strand, and they are allowed to play off tiles already placed on the table by previous plays.
3. (winning) The player with the highest score when the last knot is played is the winner.

The Rules of Play:
1. Tiles must be placed edge to edge and corner to corner, and paths on touching tiles must line up.
2. If you cannot build a closed loop then you must forfeit your turn, but may also discard and redraw any number of tiles from your hand.
3. Bonus points can be earned by forming a ring of tiles around a central, empty space. You earn one point per path entering the empty space, but only if it is even.
4. Before you play your knot, you may replace any tile on the board with one from your hand as long as the swap does not break any closed loop or path.

I have posted a youtube video of the gameplay here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1tpA3P67Vs
And that's it! It's actually quite addictive and fun, if you like abstract games.

Design notes:
* It is similar in appearance to a game called Knots published back in the early 90's, though object of that game was to trace a path across the game board while one other player did the same in the cross-ways direction. That game used 40 tiles that always had 4 strands, and strands were allowed to merge or split on some tiles, effectively allowing paths to share endpoints.
* It has a similar mechanic to Tantrix (late 80's) or an earlier, similar game called Psyche-Paths (late 60's), but those games use a very different tile set with colored strands you have to match up and a very tiny tile set. These games score points by the length of the path, with bonuses if the form closed loops, etc.
* In terms of actual play, this game is most like ... scrabble. You arrange tiles to form higher scoring combinations while watching to see if you can use already placed tiles on the board to boost that score. Instead of forming words, though, your are drawing symbols, and the game has a serious puzzle-like feel where you are constantly filling in negative spaces an edge-matching mechanic.
* We also use a super set with a more stringent placement restriction: Each tile has a complement with the opposite over-under pattern, and we require that all knots formed during play must follow a strict over-under sequence when tracing the path in order to score. That double-sided tile set uses about 250 tiles.

In the interest of full disclosure I will point out that this has already been launched on Kickstarter. If you think it is cool then look it up at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dorkus/building-the-ultimate-knot and maybe (hopefully) even pledge some support.
I've already been told this won't be profitable by a game agent -- but I would like to able to print out copies for everyone who wants one without smashing my little piggy bank. On the other other hand, if you just want to give me constructive critique, then I am more than willing to listen -- please do it, and maybe the game will evolve into a better form in the future.

Kickstarter is an interesting medium and I am new to it. I jumped in (with both feet) at the behest of friends, and in retrospect, probably did not do enough pre-work before launch. That's okay. You can't learn to hit a ball without swinging at it first; maybe after a few tries I can learn to make a hit.

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
Copy or stolen concept

Dargon74 wrote:
The game is "Knot Competitive" and it a tile placement game for 2 to 8 players where players try to form highly knotted, closed loops from tiles in their hand in order to score the most points by having the most crossings. Each play builds off tiles already placed on the board, so the knots tend to get more complex and valuable as play progresses.

I don't know how long you have had this game concept, however I saddly need to say that there is a game that already exists. It is not exact but it uses knots in the game. I played the game on a hobby night for board gamers.

I don't remember the title of the game (damn it) but I can provide details about the game. Basically there are a bunch of TRAIN STATIONS on different streets in Paris. They go around the board like monopoly. You don't move a token, instead you place tiles of train tracks (like in your game) and the goal is to CONNECT two train stations.

Placing of tiles is done in the middle of the monopoly-like board. When you connect two stations you count how many tiles it uses to get from start to destination. Then you move your meeple the number of positions to keep score (around the board). In the middle of the board there are other train stations, if you connect with one of those I believe you earn a bonus...

Dargon74
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Joined: 09/09/2012
You're talking about Metro

The game you are talking about is Metro circa '97. It's a tile laying game that depicts the construction of the french subway system. All tiles have 4 tracks on them, creating a tile set that is very similar to another game I mentioned in my post (knots circa '91). You score points by connecting stations and creating long tracks. It actually has very different rules of play and uses a small subset of tiles. But thank you for the warning!
--Patrick

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