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[GDS] OCTOBER 2015 "A game for everyone" comments and questions

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richdurham
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For comments and questions on the October GDS.

markgrafn
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Awesome!

I'm a huge fan of playing and designing simple games! In fact Smoking Aces could easily fit this category.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pawnjokergames/smoking-aces-hybrid-...

However as it is on Kickstarter currently I should devote myself to the invention of another simple game.

andymakespasta
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Great idea for a

Great idea for a contest.

Clarification:

What about games with no theme at all, like connect four or checkers?

Is the goal to have an approachable theme, or do we just have to avoid the forbidden list, and design a game around some uncommon subject that does not scream of cliche nerdom?

Hook
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Great theme

I like the new 500 words rule change. Thats a challenge for sure.

Zag24
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One picture?

The 500 words is a challenge if we can't use pictures. That is, some things might be pretty clear when you're looking at the board or card and would only need 10 words to describe what it means in actual game instructions, but might take 100 words to describe the picture. (Or 1000, if the popular epigram is accurate.)

So can we include pictures? Perhaps just one picture of the board? (With an understanding that artistic talent or lack thereof should not count against someone as long as it gets the point across)

Also, your list of prohibited subjects didn't include zombies. They're pretty mainstream now, right? :-)

richdurham
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Questions answered

Hi all, here's some answers to the current set of questions:

@Mark - yes you should totally make a new game for the design challenge. That's kind of the whole point: to practice skills!

@Andy - yes, an abstract game is just fine. The goal is an approachable theme, hence this month's change to include the the entire rules in the 500 words. Approachability!

@Hook - Yeah, it'll be a challenge alright! And it's a very real-life one.

@Zag24 - No images. We've been there, done that. We think we can act like adults about it and "not judge that way" or not skirt other rules about adding text on images, but plenty of past behaviour says otherwise. The point of the challenge is a writing one anyway. My advice would be to design a game that doesn't require a long explanation of the pieces. Entries are still not required to explain all the cards or spaces on the board (would qualify as "external text")

And no zombies. They clearly fall under the sci-fi/fantasy elements grouped with the stated werewolves and vampires. In the end the voters will decide how well you stuck with the requirements.

Zag24
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Ok. Sounds good. And I WAS

Ok. Sounds good.

And I WAS kidding about the zombies. :-)

richdurham
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gotta be sure!

Who knows what someone might have thought! "Well, as long as they aren't dragon zombies in space, i guess they're okay!"

shamiq
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Just to verify, the design

Just to verify, the design challenge ends on Oct 8?

Thanks!

Hook
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woho

Got that great feeling about my entry - where I feel it should be polished and made ready for print. I am possibly having an illusion. Looking forward to see the other entries. :)

richdurham
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Friday the 2nd through Friday the 9th

@Shamiq - the entry deadline in the description is "Friday the 2nd through Friday the 9th," so you've got a few days still. Of course that depends on your time zone, so go by your local time. This is for fun (and glory) after all.

richdurham
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A bit of spit and polish

Isn't that a great feeling?

Even if it doesn't do well, know that there have been a number of games from the GDS that have gone on to revision and eventual publication.

andymakespasta
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It's already really difficult

It's already really difficult to describe the layout with clarity without using diagrams, and we have to do it in 500 words? This is just cruel, forcing us to cut out details and clarifications.
I had to cheat a little bit by omitting some spaces and using shorter sentences, but just barely managed to squeeze under the 500 word rule, and submitted. Don't hate the player, hate the game.

richdurham
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Cruel, and purposeful

Absolutely right on all of that, it's pretty cruel. Which is exactly why it is integral to this month's challenge.

You say forcing you to cut out details and clarifications - and I say, the theme to this month's GDS centres around simplicity. If the game you've designed requires details and clarifications, or a layout that isn't intuitive, then maybe you should design a different game for the entry.

IOW, It's not to trim a more complicated game, it's to make it so easy to start with.

I'm hoping this challenge makes designers feel uncomfortable, and even forces them to think about games a bit differently.

richdurham
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Example: Blink official manual

Popular speed game Blink/Speed rules from the manual (modified the what's in the box section to note a distribution, which I don't know for Blink) clocks in at 423 words.

What's in the Box?

  • 60 Unique Symbol Cards (unevenly distributed)
    • 5 symbol types
    • 1-5 of the symbol on a card
    • 1 of 6 colours

Rules Sheet

The Object

Be the first player to successfully play all their cards.

Setting Up

  1. The dealer shuffles the cards and deals them face down to form two equal draw piles.
  2. Place a draw pile in front of each player.
  3. Take the top card from each draw pile and place it face down between the players. These cards should be placed so they are accessible to both players.
  4. Players take the top three cards from their draw pile and form a hand. Players may look at the cards in their hand.

Playing the Game

  1. Simultaneously players turn over the card that they placed in the center of the table signaling the beginning of the game.
  2. Players race to play cards from their hand on either of the piles. In order for a card to be played it must match at least one of the characteristics, color, shape, or count, of the card on which it is being played. For instance a card with four brown stars could be played on any card with brown (color), or on a card with stars (shape), or on a card with four symbols (count).
  3. Players may have up to three cards in their hand at a time and refill their hand by drawing from their draw pile.
  4. Play continues until one player is completely out of cards from their hand and draw pile.

Winning the Game

The first player that successfully plays all their cards wins BLINK.

BLINK Notes:

  1. Players may not play more than one card at a time.
  2. On occasion when neither player can match the top cards on either of the piles, play is paused and —

    • if players have cards left in their draw piles they each take the top card from their pile and places it on their center pile.
    • if one or both players has already used their entire draw pile, each player picks one card from their hand and they simultaneously place them face up on their center pile. Play resumes based on the new cards on top.
    • if all players are down to a single card left in their hand and no draw piles, the game ends as a tie.
  3. Because BLINK is the world’s fastest game, many players prefer to play a best-of-three, or best-of-five, match to determine the winner.

gilamonster
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yes you should totally make a

yes you should totally make a new game for the design challenge

Oops! Mine is an old idea (although one which has never been published or playtested) - I did have to rewrite the rules somewhat to fit into 500 words though. Did I cheat? I haven't participated in one of these before.

richdurham
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ne'er before seen

It may not be within the spirit, but as it's never seen the light of day before I don't think the voters will hold it against you.

The point of the contest isn't to win, necessarily, as that's complete fiat by the voters. It's to hone your pitch and writing skills, and generating new ideas on restrictions. In that sense, you've robbed yourself of the "new idea" bit, but are still engaging in the other two.

gilamonster
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Thanks! I'm actually more

Thanks! I'm actually more interested in the critique of my concept than winning. I think my idea is unusual and I'd like to see what people think (good or bad). Next challenge I'll be good and do something completely original though!

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