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

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kungfugeek
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Elegance

topdeck wrote:
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 think that's the meat of this particular challenge: strip away anything that isn't absolutely necessary. Sometimes, what separates a great design from a good design is knowing what to cut out.

That's the part I'm struggling with the most, too. How simple is too simple? I come up with lots of ideas to add game-design bullet points (player interaction, bluffing, negotiation) and then end up cutting them right out because they're adding too much complexity.

Elegance is so elusive....

GitfaceryGames
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Elegance

I find this a tad odd, because human interaction in the forms of bluffing and diplomacy is something that requires nearly no rules to put into a game and, as one of the basic things humanity does, it's rather elegant-by-design in and of itself. I can see that you've made a little core and are considering branching out to add one of the elements to it, but find the game grows too large for your taste. Here's a totally different suggestion: take a facet of human interaction and build the game around that. Beginning with evolution-distilled elegance tends to make elegance.

kungfugeek
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Elegance

Well, bluffing requires hidden information (a little tricky in dice-based games, especially with these component restrictions), and diplomacy requires some way for the players to interact in-game, and rules governing those interactions.

But you're completely right in that I have a little core and am trying to branch out, and the whole game could include those things more elegantly if I'd started from a different direction.

Maybe I used bad examples when I mentioned things that would make my game "better" in a bullet-pointed sense, but aren't being included for the sake of simplicity.

Zomulgustar
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I, for one, don't have any

I, for one, don't have any intention of using anywhere near 120, topdeck, but mainly wanted to point out a simple way to exceed 32 and check its viability. 16 vs 12 mm might not seem like a huge ratio, but when you cube it it can make a serious difference. ^_^ Without giving too much away, there are many ways in which additional components can serve the goal of lightening and speeding gameplay, for instance reducing the amount of information players need to memorize or simultaneously track. On the subject of quick, light dice games...consider 'Can't Stop'. It could theoretically be played with just 4 dice, pencil and paper. Wouldn't want to, though.

All straw men aside...I agree that we shouldn't be pushing the limits of the format purely for its own sake. It's just that we each have our own ideas of how to pack the best game we possibly can into that little box...and I suspect that speculation about boundary cases and the consequences of tweaking rules is a pretty deeply ingrained habit for many of us. ^_^

ilta
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120 dice? I just want 40, like the GDS says.

Indeed, Zom.

I intend to conform to the dictates of the challenge. It said 40 dice and I won't exceed that in my design. It also listed a number of acceptable additional components, from which we could pick one. However, the subsequent posts in this thread revealed that, as envisioned by the publisher, the box could hold EITHER 40 dice only (and barely, at that), or fewer dice and some number of those components. That's a critical difference, and it's what made the dice size question such a big issue.

Without the clarification issued above, I might have said my game needed "40 dice and a bunch of markers" and been within the design specs. Let's further speculate that I then win the user vote, based on this design.

In such a case, I'd be winning the battle and losing the war, because Michael would say "well, it's great game and the BGDFers like it, but I can't publish it because it won't fit in the box I want to use." By clarifying that smaller dice could be acceptable (ie he has a source for 12mm dice), I can keep the integrity of my original design, without running afoul of the publisher's additional requirements described in this thread (ie "fit it in the box of X size").

If my game is great, and it would work better with 45 dice, or 50, or 80, I hope Michael would consider that change when thinking about publishing it; indeed, I would hope that he would REQUIRE it. In the mean time knowing that I could fit 120 12mm dice in the box means that I feel I have a good sense of how much space I have for 40 dice (namely, a third of the box), and how much is left for the markers (a lot!).

rcjames14
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Packaging Requirements

For the next GDS, I recommend that there be a packaging restriction category in the rules in addition to the theme and mechanics because apparently that's what seems to be important these days.

I have even come up with some suggestions for possible packaging restrictions:

Zip lock baggy (sandwich size, not quart size)
Old film canister (by fuji, not kodak)
Picture frame (any size, must be flat)
Poker chip carrying case (metal, not plastic)
Sleeping bag (single or double acceptable)
Global Express Guaranteed Overnight Box (with postage paid)
Wine bottle (components must be liquid)
Hat Box (your choice)
UHaul van (game must be playable in one day)
Head of a Pin (with or without angels)

Dralius
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rcjames14 wrote:Old film

rcjames14 wrote:
Old film canister (by fuji, not kodak)

Ok i'll bite. Why not Kodak?

rcjames14
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Harder to Find

Dralius wrote:
rcjames14 wrote:
Old film canister (by fuji, not kodak)

Ok i'll bite. Why not Kodak?

The very last kodachrome processor turned off its machines last month.

ilta
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Now now, RC, there's no need

Now now, RC, there's no need to get snippy. Obviously this is an unusual GDS because there is an actual publisher interested in reviewing the submissions. With that real-world interest, there will naturally follow some real-world considerations that aren't usually part of the GDS. I'm grateful that Michael and Seth have been so candid about their goals and thoughts for this contest, and I look forward to seeing what everyone brings to the table.

I'm sorry it apparently offends you so that we're talking about anything except pure game mechanics in a GDS. Personally I'm grateful to have a publisher take the time to solicit game ideas, possibly critique them from a real-world point of view, and possibly even pick them up. But if you don't want to submit a design because it either won't fit in the box they've described, or the whole idea of thinking about the box size is anathema to you, feel free to keep your great dice game to yourself.

And I think a game that fits in a picture frame, or incorporates a flat-rate mailing container, might not be a bad idea for a future GDS.

drktron
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The GDS has already used a

The GDS has already used a 35mm film canister as a component restriction in the past. Matt Worden has stated that it was used in the original iteration of his game Jump Gate. So I guess strange component restrictions can be quite beneficial.

rcjames14
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Snip Snip ;)

ilta wrote:
And I think a game that fits in a picture frame, or incorporates a flat-rate mailing container, might not be a bad idea for a future GDS.

Yeah... I started writing my reply as a satire. But towards the end, I was like... this might actually be fun. I liked the UHaul one personally... the angels can have their pin head all to themselves.

mdkiehl
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Maybe next time...

Maybe next time you
could write your reply as a
poem or hycoo?

I like this idea of employing literary genre in form posts. Anyone up for responding to this one as a mystery or epic adventure?

Regards,
-Matthew Kiehl

http://mdkiehl.wordpress.com

Zomulgustar
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Five seven and five haiku

Five seven and five
haiku don't always make sense
refrigerator

Traz
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Where to submit?

OK, Michael, I think I have what you're looking for [at least it 'coulda been a CONTENDAH!'], but not sure where to send my submission. I've posted my prototype pieces in the PROTOTYPE section [just to mess with everybody by being OVER obvious!]. I chose the 8 TILES option.

This was actually a vey fun exercise. I don't know why I don't check these more often. The last one that caught my attention was Blue Panther's contest last year and that resulted in my hottest new seller ART DECO [sold 8 copies to one person @ $40/pop - woohoo!]. Steve chose another game, but it worked out great for me in the long run.

Coming up with this little game was a hoot! Had a few glitches with the victory conditions, but got that nailed down now and can't wait to see where this all goes. Is the name of this game absolutely THE DICE GODS MUST BE CRAZY? I'm thinking a different name might work better, but then I'm a lousy marketer....

Anyway - where can I send my stuff? Comments on the art welcome!

rcjames14
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Directions for Submission

Traz wrote:

Anyway - where can I send my stuff? Comments on the art welcome!

You can summit it by personal message to Sedjtroll. Seth asks that you pre-format your section headings, italics, bullet points, etc... with the markdown language syntax so he can just cut and paste. Here's a link to the guide on the syntax:
http://www.bgdf.com/sites/default/files/BGDF_GDS_Template.txt

Looks like a short fun game already. I look forward to reading it. Hopefully in the meantime, I'll remember to forget that I saw your components beforehand. Seth posts the entries anonymously to not bias voting. ;)

But since michaels vote is the one that counts this time, it probably won't be an issue.

sedjtroll
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rcjames14 wrote:Traz

rcjames14 wrote:
Traz wrote:

Anyway - where can I send my stuff? Comments on the art welcome!

You can summit it by personal message to Sedjtroll. Seth asks that you pre-format your section headings, italics, bullet points, etc... with the markdown language syntax so he can just cut and paste. Here's a link to the guide on the syntax:
http://www.bgdf.com/sites/default/files/BGDF_GDS_Template.txt

Looks like a short fun game already. I look forward to reading it. Hopefully in the meantime, I'll remember to forget that I saw your components beforehand. Seth posts the entries anonymously to not bias voting. ;)

But since michaels vote is the one that counts this time, it probably won't be an issue.


To be clear, this is a Game Design Showdown, like we do every month. The only difference is that the topic is inspired by something a publisher has said he's interested in, and as a result, that publisher might be looking at the entries to this contest with an eye to picking one of them up.

- Seth

sedjtroll
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Traz wrote:Is the name of

Traz wrote:
Is the name of this game absolutely THE DICE GODS MUST BE CRAZY? I'm thinking a different name might work better, but then I'm a lousy marketer....

Anyway - where can I send my stuff? Comments on the art welcome!


"The dice gods must be crazy" is ABSOLUTELY NOT the name of any game! It's the name of this months Showdown.

You can PM me your GDS entry, properly formatted, and I'll post it anonymously for the contest.

If you do not want to deal with the showdown, you can simply post your game in the forums - but please wait until the showdown is over to do so in that case so as not to interfere, overshadow, or compete with it.

Thanks,
Seth

Traz
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my bad....

Sorry about that - didn't mean to throw a wrench in the works. Deleted the prototype images I tossed up - hope that helps. Will be more discreet in the future.

Sedge - am working on my submission.

Yamahako
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I submitted my game idea -

I submitted my game idea - but the 800 words was actually more restrictive than the game requirements! Hopefully I'll be able to get my revisions done in time to include all the info :-)

This was a super-fun exercise and actually gave me the last hit of inspiration I needed to finish up a game I've been thinking about in brief spurts for the last year.

Traz
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me too, me too!

Yama-

Got mine off last night, too - but couldn't figure out where/how to send the image? After putting it up here [where I wasn't supposed to], and deleting it - now I can't figure out how to pass it along! Arrggghhhhh!

Yamahako
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If I'm not mistaken you can

If I'm not mistaken you can e-mail them to Seth or put them up on a cloud photo-hosting site.

Quote:
Submit your entry via private message or e-mail as the Challenge Administrator will indicate in the posted Challenge. If using private message, save any graphical image files to a website (other than the BGDF website) and provide web links to the images in your entry. If using e-mail, attach your text file and any graphical image files to that e-mail.

Quote:
(I do ask that you keep your graphics to a reasonable number and size -- no more than 3 images, no larger than 400 wide x 600 tall -- and to use a web-friendly format -- such as jpg, gif, or png -- instead of bmp

Traz
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more hmmmm....

Found TMG website and there was an email link for Seth, so I tried that - was able to send the game/image via standard email. Guess I'll find out tonite when I get home if that worked.

I don't have a separate website where I can just drop images. Some of us are internet / computer challenged. I tried to dump it into my personal galery on BGG, but they've changed the upload thingie and I have no idea if it worked - just when I think I have something figured out, somebody changes stuff on me! For example - just finished redoing all the artwork for my GODS ALONG THE NILE on PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS... freakin' took me two months of spare time! Like - I know what a jpeg and gif are, just learned what a png is [more or less] but have no idea what a bmp is so at least I can't mess up and send one of those.....

jwarrend
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Additional component option

Can I request the addition of a "2nd component option" of a small pad of paper and a golf pencil? A score pad is not an uncommon component in dice games, can be as small as needed to fit in the box, and is much easier to use for score tracking than, say, a bunch of additional dice!

ilta
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I'll let Seth make the call

I'll let Seth make the call but it seems unfair to me to change the rules at this point. If I could use a second component I would have designed a different, more complex game.

I recommend using the "additional component" (markers, tiles, etc) to keep track of score. Or colored many-faced dice.

jwarrend
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The score pad would be the

The score pad would be the "2nd component" where the dice are the 1st component. Picture a game like Yahtzee, for example.

Traz
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me too.....

I had the same problem. How to keep score? I started out with pencil and paper, but decided that made too much extra work in what I perceive to be as simple a game as possible [read: minimum components]. Fooling around a bit solved the problem [for scoring] but threatened to add extra components. Hoping I didn't disqualify myself, I inserted a line in the rules to solve the problem that basically says - 'get 'em yerself'.

I think my final line was more fun and artsy, and will share as soon as it is safe to do so [already got in trouble once on this - gotta be careful]....

sedjtroll
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jwarrend wrote:Can I request

jwarrend wrote:
Can I request the addition of a "2nd component option" of a small pad of paper and a golf pencil? A score pad is not an uncommon component in dice games, can be as small as needed to fit in the box, and is much easier to use for score tracking than, say, a bunch of additional dice!

I agree with Ilta that changing the restrictions at this point seems unfair. However, I see where you're coming from with regard to a score sheet.

If I were in your shoes and needed paper and pencil to keep track of score, I might just tell people to keep score any way they want, and see what voters say about that.

With regard to publishing, I'll note that GDS restrictions are not identical to physical publishing restrictions. therefore if a game would be totally publishable with the addition of a score pad, it's not like a publisher would say "sorry, there wasn't a score pad in the GDS entry!"

- Seth

MichaelM
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sedjtroll wrote:jwarrend

sedjtroll wrote:
jwarrend wrote:
Can I request the addition of a "2nd component option" of a small pad of paper and a golf pencil? A score pad is not an uncommon component in dice games, can be as small as needed to fit in the box, and is much easier to use for score tracking than, say, a bunch of additional dice!

I agree with Ilta that changing the restrictions at this point seems unfair. However, I see where you're coming from with regard to a score sheet.

If I were in your shoes and needed paper and pencil to keep track of score, I might just tell people to keep score any way they want, and see what voters say about that.

With regard to publishing, I'll note that GDS restrictions are not identical to physical publishing restrictions. therefore if a game would be totally publishable with the addition of a score pad, it's not like a publisher would say "sorry, there wasn't a score pad in the GDS entry!"

- Seth

Well, maybe for a brief chuckle...

ilta
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JW, Ah, I thought you needed

JW,

Ah, I thought you needed a second ADDED component, so the game would be dice + score pad + one of the markers/tokens/figurines/tiles/cards/etc.

I still think Seth made the right call, but it's not even the bad news for you as I thought it would be. That is, if it's just Yatzee you're thinking of (dice plus score-pad), you have half a dozen different ways to keep score instead, using the components provided. Part of the hair-pulling madness fun of the GDS is figuring out how to make a cool design, stay inside the rules, and do it all in 800 words or less.

As for Michael, he is obviously a big meanie, to joke around with poor designers like that. Just for a chuckle indeed, sir! Harumph!

joni
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WOW - hard competition

37 entries he said! The Board Game Dice Designers Forum gone crazy... Is that a new record?
Nothing helps a designing spirit more than a hope to get published! Or am I wrong?

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