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Disc - Winter-Wind Studios

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rkalajian
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Joined: 12/31/1969

Hey, just found this site today and I love it!

Me and a few friends started up Winter-Wind Studios to design games in multple formats.

Our first game, Disc, was just released for free download yesterday. A very quick and easy game, but quite fun. I'm looking for people to play and give feedback.

We'll have more games to test soon, and I'm sure this site will come in mighty handy!

You can get the game at www.winter-wind.com under the projects / Disc section.

Thanks!

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
Disc - Winter-Wind Studios

Welcome to the board, and congrats on your new consortium. I hope you have a lot of fun and success designing games.

I downloaded the rules to "Disc", and it's always a good thing when the rules fit on a single page. But...I don't know if "Disc" can properly be called a "game". Or maybe that's a bit too snobby; my point is, I guess, that I don't see a single decision point for the players in the game. The game is completely out of your hands: roll the die, move all the ladders, then move your piece. And the "advanced rules" only make things worse -- you get points for the spaces you land on, but it's completely out of your control which ring you'll be on anyway! Am I missing something?

The good news is that I think your structure has the potential to move in a more interesting direction, by just adding a couple of decision points. For example, how about "you can move one ladder, of your choosing?" or "you can move your piece and the ladders the *total* of the amount showing on the die, but you decide what combination to do that in", or "roll two dice, one represents the ladder movement, one represents your piece's movement, you decide which is which?"

For me, to be fun, a game must present me with some decisions to make. The more interesting those decisions, the more I'm likely to enjoy the game. But a game with none whatsoever doesn't really interest me at all. It sounds like you have played the game before, as you've referred to it as "quite fun". What do you find enjoyable about the experience of playing the game? (I'm not trying to be a jerk, I'm legitimately curious; it could be that I'm approaching the game from the wrong mind-set).

At any rate, best of luck with this and all of your games.

-Jeff

rkalajian
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Disc - Winter-Wind Studios

First off, let me just say thanks for the input, and I agree with what you're saying.

I've played the game a few times, and when I think back on it, had more fun with the people I was playing with, more than fun with the game itself.

I love the idea of rolling two dice and either splitting the number among the tokens or moving your piece with 1 die and the ladders with another. I've actually added in both methods as choices for the players each turn.

More interaction will also come from new boards i've been working on. All are similar in design except for the size, and certain sectors on the disc have special directions "Ex: You may move to the next ring if you are willing to sacrifice your next turn"

I've gotten rid of the "Advanced Rules" and added a section for "Advanced Boards" which stated that new boards are being created with specific rule sets for each board. The rule sets for the new boards overrule the base rules if they conflict.

Thanks again for the feedback. I hope to make this a better game as time goes on.

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
Disc - Winter-Wind Studios

rkalajian wrote:
First off, let me just say thanks for the input, and I agree with what you're saying.

I've played the game a few times, and when I think back on it, had more fun with the people I was playing with, more than fun with the game itself.

That's not at all a bad thing -- the fun in games, for me, is equal parts the game itself and the social interaction. But one does have to take a critical eye and ask "is this game holding up its end of the bargain, or could we have as much fun interacting while playing another game?" If people enjoyed playing the game, then that's a useful data point.

Quote:

I love the idea of rolling two dice and either splitting the number among the tokens or moving your piece with 1 die and the ladders with another. I've actually added in both methods as choices for the players each turn.

Wow, that was fast! Keep in mind that these were just ideas off the top of my head. I would encourage you to playtest the game with one or both, or other simple changes that you come up with. Your game is quick and simple enough that it shouldn't be hard to playtest a few iterations in an hour. In fact, a process that others here have turned me on to is the idea of "solo playtesting", where you play all of the players in the game, at each turn trying to make the "best" move for each player. This would be very easy to do with your game and would allow you to decide which combo of rules gives you the right balance between skill and luck that you're looking for.

And here's another crazy idea, though it ups the componentry a bit -- how about instead of rolling two dice, use dominoes to effect movement; players choose which side of the domino will correspond to the ladder movement, and which side will correspond to their piece movement? See, there's almost no limit to the things you could try, and just adding some simple decision points will make the game much more satisfying...

Quote:

More interaction will also come from new boards i've been working on. All are similar in design except for the size, and certain sectors on the disc have special directions "Ex: You may move to the next ring if you are willing to sacrifice your next turn"

I've gotten rid of the "Advanced Rules" and added a section for "Advanced Boards" which stated that new boards are being created with specific rule sets for each board. The rule sets for the new boards overrule the base rules if they conflict.

This is certainly a fine idea, but I'd resist the urge to do this just yet. Your board is very simple and clean right now, and I think you have the chance to make a very nice and (I think) original abstract game. The idea of needing to position the ladders to be able to move up (and to prevent others from doing so) could lead to a really nice tactical game, and I would wait to add special rules exceptions and special spaces just yet; you may not need them! Go for the simplest set of rules with the fewest exceptions that you can, as a start...

Quote:

Thanks again for the feedback. I hope to make this a better game as time goes on.

My pleasure, and I have no doubt you'll have a very nice game as you continue to playtest and develop it some more. Best of luck!

-Jeff

OldScratch
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Disc - Winter-Wind Studios

In the defense of mindless board games, I once created a game (took me a day) that was simply a "move around the board" type of game. It was bloody and violent and had a lot of humor in it, and my friends loved playing it. The highlight of the game was really waiting to see who gets the "The statue of liberty falls on you." card. However, there was one choice in the game, which was when you pass someone, you have the choice of either shooting them or mugging them.

It was a really fun time waster game, and everyone got into it because players' turns were really fast... you just roll and move and not much more. For this reason and a few others, my players wanted to play the game over and over again.

While jwarrend does have very good points about the game, and would probably find my game completely horrendous (:)), I wouldn't change anything just yet. The simpler the game, the quicker it can be taught (like under a minute), and the less you have to think, which some people do like. I have trouble teaching more complex games to people cause they lose interest. If you play with non-gamers, this could be a good game for them.

nosissies
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Joined: 07/26/2008
Disc - Winter-Wind Studios

Jeff, you're on a roll today! I'm really impressed with the Dominoes suggestion. I was just stunned by the elegance of that one. I assume the players would then have a "hand" of dominoes which they would play from and draw back up at the end of their turn.

rkalajian, you've got a great start here. I love the simplicity of the basic mechanism. I'm just as much a proponent of keeping the game simple and consistent (few rules with even fewer exceptions) at the same time, when presented with a nice mechanism like this, it is hard to resist the temptation to add more twists and turns to it. So, here are a couple more thoughts ...

Can I affect the motion of my opponents? or am I only allowed to move my pawn? You could say that whenever a gate is moved any nearby pawns have to take the appropriate action. This could create such decisions as "do I move this ring 4 spaces to drag my buddy away from the center, or do I move this other ring 1 space to move myself in? etc etc"

I'll also emphasize the playtesting, this twist I've suggested is likely to degrade to a "kill-the-leader" type of situation, where any time one player gets close to winning the other players immediatly drag them away from the goal.

You could mitigate this by making the player sacrifice something, for instance, if you cause someone else to move, you lose your next turn. Note that this is one of those exceptions which Jeff urged against.

Another way to affect an opponent would be to assign an action for when you land on another player. Say, if you land on another player, you are allowed another roll(or domino) which you could apply to the opponent.

Just a couple of thoughts. Welcome to the forum and good luck.

hmm... I appear to have translated your ladders to gates... I guess I was sort of imagining a labyrith with gates mystically moving around in the shrubberies.

peace,
Tom

Anonymous
Disc - Winter-Wind Studios

Thank you again, all, for your feedback.

I did add the dice rule in pretty fast, I will be playtesting the idea tonight. As for the advanced boards, you're right. I shouldn't be thinking that far ahead :)

As for manipulating other players, i'll try some stuff out. It's a great idea, and can add an extra sense of strategy to the game.

rkalajian
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Disc - Winter-Wind Studios

Whoops, wasn't logged in there :)

Anyway, i've posted some updated rules again, and changed the status of Disc to playtesting phase. You've given me some really great feedback, stuff that I hadn't even thought of.

Disc came from a 10 minute writing burst during a block I had with a much larger game i'm working on. I never thought I'd get caught up in working on it so much :) I'm very glad it's turning out to be a larger project

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
Disc - Winter-Wind Studios

OldScratch wrote:

While jwarrend does have very good points about the game, and would probably find my game completely horrendous (:)), I wouldn't change anything just yet. The simpler the game, the quicker it can be taught (like under a minute), and the less you have to think, which some people do like. I have trouble teaching more complex games to people cause they lose interest. If you play with non-gamers, this could be a good game for them.

Don't misunderstand; I'm not saying the game needs to be complex; I'm saying it needs to have decisions. As it stands now, I wouldn't consider "Disc" to be a game, but rather, an activity. I think it has the potential, with a few tweaks, to be a very, very good game. But I don't think those changes should make the game more complex; they should simply give players something to decide. Simplicity and strategic depth are by no means mutually exclusive.

I agree that non-gamers probably prefer simplicity, but I'd like to think they still want a game to engage them intellectually at some level. A game in which you have absolutely no control whatsoever is going to get old fast, even if you want "mindless fun". Even drinking games present you with decisions, however simplistic those may be...

Anyway, I do look forward to hearing more about Disc. I think Tom's suggestion about a hedge maze with magically shifting gates is the perfect theme for the game. You don't want to "force" a theme on this one, and that feels to me like just the right balance between theme and abstraction...

-Jeff

rkalajian
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Disc - Winter-Wind Studios

I've actually thought about a theme over the weekend, though I don't want to push it too far.

I'm thinking of changing the name to gatekeeper. The idea is that an ancient village has some sort of secret locked away in a labrinth. Every 100 years a few are gifted with the power to control the gates of this maze. Only one of them can be granted the title of "gatekeeper" and protect the labrinth.

Bascially, the one who shows most control over the gates and reaches the center first wins.

Too much?

nosissies
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Joined: 07/26/2008
Disc - Winter-Wind Studios

Hmm... well, I can't say I don't like the theme, given that it is loosely based on my suggestion... and I can't say that I don't like the name either since I have a game by the same name. I'm currently working towards self-production. I guess this shows what's on my mind lately... gates. :-)

And yes I have applied for the trademark, just waiting for it to make it through the hoops.

peace,
Tom

nosissies
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Joined: 07/26/2008
Disc - Winter-Wind Studios

just a quick followup brainstorm ... how about "inner sanctum," thus naming the game by its goal, that being the place where everyone is trying to get to? Just a thought, feel free to toss it aside.

peace,
Tom

rkalajian
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Disc - Winter-Wind Studios

Well then...seems gatekeeper is out of the question :)

Inner Sanctum sounds good, I'll keep it in mind.

Other than that, i've been playtesting with the new rules, and they've added a much needed area of strategy to the game. I'm very pleased with how this game is shaping up.

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