# [GDS] AUGUST 2014 "immortal in Time" Comments and Questions

21 replies [Last post]
richdurham
Offline
Joined: 12/26/2009

Use this thread for any questions on the August 2014 contest. Also, if you have any debate over the use of numbers in games and ideas on how it can or can't be done, or shouldn't be done because it doesn't matter, put it in this thread.

Enjoy the contest!

EthosGames
Offline
Joined: 05/05/2014
question on scoring

Can a winning condition be whoever accomplishes the most of X wins? For example in marbles the goal is to knock marbles out of the center of a ring. The player who knocks the most out wins. Would this system of scoring be allowed in the Immortal in Time contest considering it requires a numerical comparison?

Another similar winning condition I am curious about would be to say the first player to complete a task Y number of times wins. This would be similar to a race with players competing to complete Y number of laps.

andymorris
Offline
Joined: 03/05/2014
Gameplay limits

I hope the answer is yes, but can we assign numerical limits to player choices? For example, in Tsuro you place 1 tile per turn. That's a number. Other examples could be place x number of pieces, move a piece x number of spaces, or take x number of actions. Without using numbers in that way it would be very challenging to define a game structure.

DifferentName
Offline
Joined: 09/08/2013
No Numbers?!

No Numbers?! This one will definitely be a challenge. I'm guessing the answer to both of the questions above is No, because those are all numbers. But I imagine you could "Place a tile" instead of "place 1 tile". No reason to make that a number.

Well, part of the fun of this is getting us to think in new ways. A game without numbers would definitely be new to me.

richdurham
Offline
Joined: 12/26/2009

EthosGames wrote:
Can a winning condition be whoever accomplishes the most of X wins? For example in marbles the goal is to knock marbles out of the center of a ring. The player who knocks the most out wins. Would this system of scoring be allowed in the Immortal in Time contest considering it requires a numerical comparison?

The way you've worded it here is a numerical score, which is frowned upon in this particular challenge. Remember, in the end it's the voters that determine how well you worked within the restriction, so weight those words accordingly.

EthosGames wrote:
Another similar winning condition I am curious about would be to say the first player to complete a task Y number of times wins. This would be similar to a race with players competing to complete Y number of laps.

As I see it, completing a single task before other players is just fine. However, if you're counting a number of laps and first one to 10 wins, for instance, then you're hedging in on "score" territory. Be wary with this, as the voters may be vicious!

richdurham
Offline
Joined: 12/26/2009

andymorris wrote:
I hope the answer is yes, but can we assign numerical limits to player choices? For example, in Tsuro you place 1 tile per turn. That's a number. Other examples could be place x number of pieces, move a piece x number of spaces, or take x number of actions. Without using numbers in that way it would be very challenging to define a game structure.

Yes, you can place limits on player choices. Good question. The essence is to remove numerical comparisons of value between game-bits and "scoring" with numbers.

This changes traditional "area control" games. Those are commonly "I have 4 dudes, you have 3 dudes, the area is mine" That doesn't mean you can't rethink how area control is done, for instance.

If you have a hand of cards (for argument's sake, make them the four primal elements of fire, wind, water, earth) to control a territory you play a set that matches the elements listed on the territory (like a territory is Fire, Earth, Air - you need to match that).

Later a player adjacent to your territory plays the same matching set. Now the territory is his! No numbers involved, no comparisons of value between the elemental suits on "which one is better.' But it does you matching and spatial relations to dictate available actions. If your board is set up asymmetrically (eg. Regions that lean towards fire, others that lean towards water) players will start to prioritise which cards they play at which times based on what they think the other players have in their hands.

jamespotter
Offline
Joined: 07/15/2013
Setup numbers?

I believe the answer to this is yes, but are numbers permitted in the setup instructions? For example, "Deal cards into a 5 by 5 square formation," or "Deal each player 7 cards." If I understand the purpose of the limitations, the goal of this contest is to avoid quantification of game aspects, and the setup would not be part of this.

DifferentName
Offline
Joined: 09/08/2013
Similar question

I had a similar question in mind: Are numbers in the rules that aren't part of the gameplay (like the number of components) ok? Of course, it's also one of those things where it comes down to what the voters think. Seems like a lot of the voting comes down to how people interpreted the spirit of the rules.

richdurham
Offline
Joined: 12/26/2009
Yes number or materials in setup are okay

All of that's fine because they don't have anything to do with gameplay.

davidwpa
Offline
Joined: 12/05/2008
With regard to sets

So my understanding of this then is to eliminate numerical comparisons as a way of gaining advantage, scoring which quantifies one player over another and that comparative use of numbers or symbols.

So it is legal though to work with sets that contain X numbers of cards and to require Y number of cards to be played, say, to achieve a task as part of a game, but it would violate the rules with this example:

A rule that says if player A plays Y cards and player B plays Z cards that Y and Z is compared for some numerical quality or symbolic quantity that emphasizes one over the other?

If Y cards and Z cards though provide the same reward and are accumulated for the sake of completing a set, then that is okay provided they do not provide an advantage in their resulting reward one over the other that can be compared quantitatively.

IS that an accurate understanding of the QandA I'm reading here?

Thanks, because if that is so, then I think I finally have something...lol

Peace,

David

richdurham
Offline
Joined: 12/26/2009
Sets and such

If I'm understanding your descriptions, then yes you are accurate.

Let me illustrate with an example for clarity.

It is fine for the game to require Steve to play 3 matching cards to achieve an action. However, it would be really iffy if 3 gives an action, 4 gives a similar but slightly better action, 5 an even better version of the action, and so on.

It is not fine for the game to allow Steve to "beat" Tim because Steve plays play 3 matching cards while Tim plays only 2 matching cards.

davidwpa
Offline
Joined: 12/05/2008
That was the answer...

That was the answer that confirmed what I was looking for. I'm good...thanks, Rich

ruy343
Offline
Joined: 07/03/2013
One final question

So, a 7 Wonders would be completely legal, except for the victory points thing, right?

richdurham
Offline
Joined: 12/26/2009
That's kind of funny

Since enumeration leads to economic sims and all that standard game theory stuff, the challenge avoids it this month. And yet, here we are, still looking at economic-engine games as examples. Seems even numberless games can't escape them.

nazcagames
Offline
Joined: 04/01/2014
Good luck to all

This month's contest has some really creative restrictions. Kudos Rich! Good luck to everyone on this contest! I will not be able to participate this month (with Gen Con around the corner) but looking forward to seeing what creative ideas everyone comes up with later this month!

BubbleChucks
Offline
Joined: 06/07/2012
Just back from holiday, I

Just back from holiday, I popped in expecting a quick and simple "design to order" challenge. Only to find something as a bamboozingly difficult as this fiendish horror.

Good luck to everyone who steps up to the challenge and has a go at entering.

... walks off scratching his head

Zag24
Offline
Joined: 03/02/2014
Dry all week

Well, I've been thinking about this one all week, and been dry until just now, at the deadline. I've squeaked my entry in. I'm still not sure it qualifies with your draconian restrictions :-) but at least I've got something in there.

As always, thanks so much for running this contest every month. It helps to keep the creative juices flowing!

richdurham
Offline
Joined: 12/26/2009
tough one!

This has been a VERY tough one for designers; I suspect it's because we're so used to thinking in numerical terms when it comes to any game that's not a "social" game.

Low number of submissions this month - me thinks September will be a simple challenge :)

James Allen
Offline
Joined: 08/07/2014
Word Count

I just noticed that previous submissions are a lot longer than 500 words. Have I misunderstood something?

richdurham
Offline
Joined: 12/26/2009
Free to vote

In the past, voters have used that as a reason to not vote for an entry. It's helpful to cite that in the critiques!

Mr.S
Offline
Joined: 01/05/2014
challenges

richdurham wrote:
This has been a VERY tough one for designers; I suspect it's because we're so used to thinking in numerical terms when it comes to any game that's not a "social" game.

Low number of submissions this month - me thinks September will be a simple challenge :)

Well, dont make it too easy. These GDS are great for challenging us to design better games by thinking about game differently. I think that a lot of people are caught up with summer fun and didnt have enough time to put into the GDS this month.

richdurham
Offline
Joined: 12/26/2009
Turns out there were more entries

Sudden influx of entries towards the deadline. Should have seen that coming!

Next month's challenge may be straight-forward, but it certainly will be interesting!

forum | by Dr. Radut