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[GDS] February 2011 Game Design Showdown - "The Dice Gods Must Be Crazy" - Comments and Questions

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sedjtroll
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Use this thread for any comments, questions, requests for clarity, etc., regarding the February 2011 Challenge in the Game Design Showdown, entitled "The Dice Gods Must Be Crazy".

Please ask your specific questions here, and Michael should be able to chime in to answer with a better idea of what he's looking for.

Dralius
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first question

sedjtroll wrote:
In addition to the dice, you may use ONE of the following components: - up to 8 tiles - a handful of wooden bits (standard eurogame cubes, discs, or 'roads') - up to 5 sculpted minis. - up to 18 half-sized cards

What's a half-sized card?

MichaelM
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Dice info

Regarding the dice component limit here is some additional commentary:

#1) The dice may be anything flavour of standard polyhedral used for dice, 4/6/8/10/12/20 sided.
#2) The dice may have custom faces
#3) The number of dice is not really restricted at all. But the main issue is that a maximum of 40 standard 16mm D6-dice will fit tightly inside the target box size for the filler game line that is being explored.
#4) Speaking to that restriction of 40, if the game requires 100+ dice, then it would be for a different type of market and should not be a filler type of game.

I had been exploring this format for a published game for awhile and tried to design some games with much failure. The good news for you is that I am actively looking to add a game like this to the Tasty Minstrel product line, and if I find one that I like enough...

Anyways, I think that might be all of the additional information you need from me.

Thanks,

Michael

drktron
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A few questions on components

How large can the tiles be to still be acceptable?
Can you use 9 regular sized cards instead of 18 half-sized cards or will that not fit into the packaging your trying to use?

If not I can work around it :)

Sir William
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Any preference for numbers of

Any preference for numbers of players? (2 player vs. multiple players)

le_renard
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Cards again...

Can we use both sides of the cards or only 1 side ?

GitfaceryGames
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I think you guys are

I think you guys are overthinking it. Just use what they've given you in the most creative way possible and have fun with it. 18 half-cards with 36 content-filled sides are still 18 cards. Just remember it needs to be rules light and you'll have a product of which you can be very proud. :)

le_renard
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I see what you mean, but it

I see what you mean, but it really depends on how you plan to use these cards... 36 content-filled sides would expand the possibility of what I have in mind without making the rules more complex...

topdeck
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For Reference

When you say light filler dice game, the first thing that comes to my mind is Zombie Dice. I love how awesomely simple that game is, how much fun it is to play and I hate that I didn't come up with it myself.

I feel it's something that is easily over-looked in the BGDF and BGG world where simple = bad and you need to have complex and strategical decisions at every turn to be a "good game".

kungfugeek
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Simple = Bad

topdeck wrote:
I feel it's something that is easily over-looked in the BGDF and BGG world where simple = bad and you need to have complex and strategical decisions at every turn to be a "good game".

That's something in the back of my mind, as well. It's not a big concern, but I'm wondering if the people here will prefer more complex games when they do their voting, even though this contest is more about simplicity.

Either way, it's not a big deal. I'm having fun working on my entry (my first in a long while) and I'm excited to see what other people come up with. I'm usually really humbled by the creativity and genius of other bgdf members.

GitfaceryGames
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Elegance in design

I absolutely adore elegant rulesets. They are based upon a framework of individually-simple rules and their pieces or the implications of the simple rules when they interact add complexity. It's a huge issue to get people to memorize a huge number of rules and I've never enjoyed it, nor have many of the players I've seen. Warhammer is a big example of that. One must be a rules lawyer to know what's going on.

Compared to elegance, there is nothing better. Look at Kill Dr. Lucky, for example. The turn order rule, such a simple thing, brings about strategies to "Ride the Lucky train" that mushroom out of control in complexity. But, all the while, all that complexity is based on something simple and easy, so everyone gets it. Magic: The Gathering is another reasonably good example. Though pieces of clunk are in the system, it gets a little closer to elegant every few years. The key to Magic is that the game itself is rather simple. It's the extra stuff printed on the cards that adds complexity. Thousands of pieces exist, but only the thirty or so on the table, whose rules are right there to see and not something that must be committed to memory, matter.

Even with a very small subset of pieces, you can have an example of the above elegance in a filler game and still have it be rules light. All you are looking for is that one light bulb to go off and bring a strategic element to a mainly-random game. My target audience is my parents, my father's best friend, and that man's wife. When drunk. Too many rules and strategic elements and your game isn't light, nor is it filler any longer. And that's when the drunkards give up on your game and move to Farkle.

rcjames14
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The Hive Mind

kungfugeek][quote=topdeck wrote:
It's not a big concern, but I'm wondering if the people here will prefer more complex games when they do their voting, even though this contest is more about simplicity.

Speaking for myself, I vote on the designs regardless of whether I contribute one myself. Here's usually how I judge things:

1. Presentation - How clear is it to read and pretty to look at? (Simple in theory, hard in practice)
2. Intrigue - How humorous is the intro and interesting is the theme? (Obscure and serious themes kill games)
3. Ingenuity - How original is the design and elegant are the mechanics? (Surprise me)
4. Responsiveness - How well does it fulfill the design requirements? (Rules... go figure!!!)

Although I do not formally rate the designs according to these criteria, my impressions of each game are probably highly influenced by them... equally in all four aspects.

Louard
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Wasn't going to participate

I've been really busy and neglecting Non-Stop Safari so wasn't going to participate despite this month's requirements being right up my interest alley, but then something happened...

Well, the same thing as usual happened... I gave it some thought while shovelling my driveway and walking to the grocery store (day off for Family Day)... Most of you will probably find the theme kind of lame (WWII) but things just started blossoming and I think I'm on to something! So, unless things really get crazy with work and stuff in the next couple weeks I should be submitting an entry!

PS: The restrictions actually helped me allot with coming up with rules and components. Really digging the practicality of the restrictions!

le_renard
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A rather simple idea, just for the fun of it...

I'm quite modest about my game designing skills since I'm a real "noob" in this field, and I sincerely think my submission for this month' showdown will not reach the "standard" or the expectations of this exciting challenge... but, well, I'm currently working on my own little game...
( and that is giving me a break from my main project : Insania Lupina )

mdkiehl
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Components

(Dralius) Half-size cards are like regular playing cards but, cut in half. They where used in some versions of Ticket to ride. They are just small playing cards.

(My Question) I was also wondering about components and wondered if it would be possible to include a small playing board. If this isn't possible I'll make my board out of Tiles... How big can I make the "tiles"? is 4x4 inches too big? Or do they need to all fit into a standard size like 8.5x11, 11x14, or 11x17?

Currently my submission will need 24 dice and a small playing area (board or tiles: 11x14 would be nice but I might be able to make it smaller)

Regards,
-Matthew Kiehl

http://mdkiehl.wordpress.com

sedjtroll
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mdkiehl wrote:(Dralius)

mdkiehl wrote:
(Dralius) Half-size cards are like regular playing cards but, cut in half. They where used in some versions of Ticket to ride. They are just small playing cards.

Indeed, I was referring to 1/2 poker sized cards, so 1.75"x2.5"

Quote:
(My Question) I was also wondering about components and wondered if it would be possible to include a small playing board. If this isn't possible I'll make my board out of Tiles... How big can I make the "tiles"? is 4x4 inches too big? Or do they need to all fit into a standard size like 8.5x11, 11x14, or 11x17?

I was hoping Micheal would chime in with the dimensions of the box he'd like to put the game in, so that people could determine what would fit in it.

sedjtroll
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Images to accompany entries

Don't forget! If you want a picture in your entry, you can email it to me, sedjtroll@yahoo, and I'll upload it to BGDF anonymously so we don't know who's entry is whose.

- Seth

sedjtroll
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MichaelM wrote: #3) The

MichaelM wrote:

#3) The number of dice is not really restricted at all. But the main issue is that a maximum of 40 standard 16mm D6-dice will fit tightly inside the target box size for the filler game line that is being explored.

So, the limit is 40 dice.

sedjtroll
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Sir William wrote:Any

Sir William wrote:
Any preference for numbers of players? (2 player vs. multiple players)

No restriction for the contest, but in general, the more player counts supported, the better!

sedjtroll
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le_renard wrote:Can we use

le_renard wrote:
Can we use both sides of the cards or only 1 side ?

You can use both sides of the cards and tiles.

InvisibleJon
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What about chips/pogs?

MichaelM wrote:
#1) The dice may be anything flavour of standard polyhedral used for dice, 4/6/8/10/12/20 sided.
...so I'm going to assume that two-sided dice are prohibited, right?

sedjtroll
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InvisibleJon wrote:MichaelM

InvisibleJon wrote:
MichaelM wrote:
#1) The dice may be anything flavour of standard polyhedral used for dice, 4/6/8/10/12/20 sided.
...so I'm going to assume that two-sided dice are prohibited, right?

I would call a 2-sided die a 'coin'. For the purposes of this contest let's say that you MAY use 1 coin (as in, you can have a coin flip to resolve something) in addition to any other materials.

Note also that a coin (or 2-sided die) can be represented by any die (odds/evens for example).

MichaelM
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mdkiehl wrote:(Dralius)

mdkiehl wrote:
(Dralius) Half-size cards are like regular playing cards but, cut in half. They where used in some versions of Ticket to ride. They are just small playing cards.

(My Question) I was also wondering about components and wondered if it would be possible to include a small playing board. If this isn't possible I'll make my board out of Tiles... How big can I make the "tiles"? is 4x4 inches too big? Or do they need to all fit into a standard size like 8.5x11, 11x14, or 11x17?

Currently my submission will need 24 dice and a small playing area (board or tiles: 11x14 would be nice but I might be able to make it smaller)

Regards,
-Matthew Kiehl

http://mdkiehl.wordpress.com

The target box size is 3"x5"x1"... So you could use something like 4 - 3"x5" reversible tiles

MichaelM
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sedjtroll wrote:Sir William

sedjtroll wrote:
Sir William wrote:
Any preference for numbers of players? (2 player vs. multiple players)

No restriction for the contest, but in general, the more player counts supported, the better!

Agreed. Optimally it will work with 2 players, and up to 6+ or 7 or more.

mdkiehl
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3x5x1

Thanks for the details! However, in order to get 64 standard dice to fit into this box you will need to make it at least 1.25in tall. A standard die is about 5/8ths of an inch tall (correct?). 32 dice will fit into these dimensions with a little wiggle-room, 40 if you cram it a little or if the box doesn't close completely. The height of two die stacked is 1.25in.

So 3"x5"x1.25" might work better.

when printing a box cover... for this size box You might have trouble fitting the top and bottom into one 8.5x11 sheet. The box graphics for a 3"x5"x1" will work better on an 8.5x11 print but you won't have as much room for dice. Production cost will be very low if you can get the graphics to print on an 8.5x11 sheet.

The game I'm working on will fit fine into a 3x5x1... just thought I should voice a little concern for anyone working over 32 dice.

Regards,
Matthew Kiehl

http://mdkiehl.wordpress.com

Zomulgustar
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Alternatively, if using 12mm

Alternatively, if using 12mm dice is allowed, 120 fit comfortably in the box, with room to spare for cards and rulebook.

ilta
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Yes, can we clarify if 12mm

Yes, can we clarify if 12mm dice are ok? That would be helpful for my game in a number of ways, as I'd like more room for markers and because sometimes you'll be rolling a whole bunch of dice at once so in fact 12mm will be easier.

sedjtroll
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ilta wrote:Yes, can we

ilta wrote:
Yes, can we clarify if 12mm dice are ok? That would be helpful for my game in a number of ways, as I'd like more room for markers and because sometimes you'll be rolling a whole bunch of dice at once so in fact 12mm will be easier.

Yes, 12mm dice are acceptable.

ilta
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Awesome. Thanks for the quick

Awesome. Thanks for the quick reply!

topdeck
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Not to be negative

I don't really understand why we're trying to cram smaller dice and more pieces into the proposed box size. The contest was derived from "... an interest in a quick playing, light game made primarily of dice."

Reading through the contest rules, I can see that there aren't any time restrictions, there are a few minor component restrictions, and a reminder about realistic publishing limits. Maybe I'm reading into this wrong, but the phrase "quick playing, light game" and "120 12mm dice" don't seem to go hand in hand.

It seems like people come up with an idea that they want to run with, and continue to add complexities to the game that require more and more components with complete disregard to the original intent. I'm seeing the same thing in the Feb BGG contest as well that I thought was going to be designing card games with 54 cards. Instead the first thing most people did was to figure out what a "card" consisted of to find out how small they were allowed to make them to see how they could get 120+ "cards" onto the limit of 6 sheets.

I understand the desire not to limit creativity and therefore allow boundries to be stretched, but if the intent of the contest was to create quick-playing, dice games, shouldn't the number of dice and additional components be kept to an absolute minimum? If someone is inspired to make a game that goes beyond these restrictions in the process, then that's great. However, you shouldn't pitch a game to a publisher that doesn't publish that style of game, and I don't think we should be warping design restrictions to shoe-horn a game into a contest either.

This has probably come of more negative than I intended, but I'd really like to see some creative dice games with minimal components, not figuring out a way to make Settlers of Catan fit into a 3 x 5 x 1 box.

kungfugeek
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Settlers in a box...

topdeck wrote:
I'd really like to see some creative dice games with minimal components, not figuring out a way to make Settlers of Catan fit into a 3 x 5 x 1 box.

That gives me an idea.... :)

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