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[GDS] JUNE 2015 "The enemy of my enemy is also my enemy" Comments and Questions

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richdurham
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Use this thread for questions you might have regarding the June 2015 GDS. Also a good place to post any reference material you find.

anonymousmagic
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In the spirit of this

In the spirit of this challenge, is it allowed to have a potential outcome where ALL players lose to spur them on to cooperate to avoid that particular situation?

Soulfinger
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I want to make sure I

I want to make sure I understand the theme correctly. Can I do a game, "Pop, Lock, and Boogaloo," about multiple breakdance crews cooperating to save the local community center, but only one of them can win the final dance off and the affection of the nerdy girl who turns out to be quite attractive once she removes her glasses?

richdurham
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yes and yes

To both your questions.

Collective "everybody loses if..." prevention is well within the bounds of the restriction.
And Soulfinger, if you're making that game I want a part of it. ;)

Soulfinger
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Oh, it's totally

Oh, it's totally happening:

http://www.bgdf.com/node/16322

ruy343
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So, it's like CO2?

The rules sound a lot like the game CO2, where players must push their country's economy ever higher, but the players must collaborate in not pushing the pollution levels too high. The winner is the one with the most domestic growth, but all players lose if the CO2 limit is reached.

Is that the kind of game that you're looking for?

MarkJindra
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Tough one to theme :p

I have some ideas for game mechanics but I am just having a tough time on theme for this one.

It sounds like limited cooperation like Prisoners Dilemma or the Betrayer's Banquet are not quite what you are looking for. Am I right?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoner%27s_dilemma

http://www.betrayersbanquet.com/

I am very much looking forward to seeing what people come up with for this one.

richdurham
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More like CO2, less like Betrayer's Banquet

With elements of Prisoner's dilemma, sure, if you want to see it that way. The CO2 example is a very good one. The major difference might be that there is more than once scale - one for CO2, and one for Money. In a classic Prisoner's dilemma, the only scale is how much time is served behind bars.

That, and Betrayer's Banquet, seem more like the Diplomacy example, where you form temporary and convenient alliances that will break when convenient.

The challenge is to have a unifying cooperative mechanic that is forcing competing players together. Again, CO2 is a good example, but I'm hoping everyone doens't just copy that!

Interested to see what people come up with!

MarkJindra
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CO2

I also hope we don't just see copies of CO2.

I think I get it now.

ElKobold
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Any chance one could go past

Any chance one could go past 500 words?

I'd have to cut out the flavor text to fit it in, otherwise :(

ruy343
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Sorry, but if you were to get

Sorry, but if you were to get an exception, everyone would get an exception, and then it would become way, way too long.

As it stands, when everyone has their concepts laid out, they can be too long. Try not to worry so much about how every piece works, and give the pitch in a way that makes the game sound fun. That's the most important part when presenting to a publisher too.

ElKobold
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ruy343 wrote:Sorry, but if

ruy343 wrote:
Sorry, but if you were to get an exception, everyone would get an exception, and then it would become way, way too long.

As it stands, when everyone has their concepts laid out, they can be too long. Try not to worry so much about how every piece works, and give the pitch in a way that makes the game sound fun. That's the most important part when presenting to a publisher too.

I simply find it counter-productive to have to remove the stuff which will help readers to understand the concept just to fit in the 500 words limit.

I don't want an exception, I wonder if it makes sense to up the limit for everyone.

If one would post a 1000 word wall of text it will give no advantage and be unreadable anyway.

Icynova
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I have to chime in and agree.

I have to chime in and agree. I have spoken with dozens of editors and agents--and attended many workshops--about pitching creative ideas. I believe the concept translates from publishing a book to publishing a game. You have to be able to pitch your concept quickly, because your whole goal is to get them to ask for more. 500 words is much longer than you usually get to pitch a novel, or if you do, the editor is only going to read the first couple of paragraphs, anyway.

Here are some suggestions: Take a detailed mechanic and distill it down to its concept.

You could write:

"Draw three cards, discard one, play the second one immediately, and take the third card into your hand. Discard down to the hand limit of 3. The played card must be reconciled immediately, prior to moving to the next step of the player's turn. If the card grants a bonus action, set it aside for use during your next turn."

Instead, try distilling things down to their essence, like:

"Available actions come from the Action Deck. Bonus actions are displayed face-up until the following turn."

That gives you extra room, which could be used for some flavor text, like:

"This increases the level of strategy and planning during the market phase, but beware, other players can see your bonus action and may decide to thwart your move in the next round."

I could be wrong, since I haven't done one of these before, but I don't think you have to provide enough detail to actually play the game. The important things are concept, theme, mechanics, a general sense of what a turn looks like, and a feel for the level of strategy vs. randomness, etc.

Maybe someone else can chime in. I could use some advice as well, since I’m thinking about entering, too.

richdurham
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yep, what Icynova said.

It's important to note that the word limit frustrations are not new, but they usually come from people new to the GDS. The GDS is, as Icynova said, a conceptual overview and not a playable rules document (or anywhere close).

Think of it as pitching your game on a short walk with a publisher. You've got 2, maybe 3 minutes. Average english speakers use about 130 words per minute. The GDS approximates that time, without the restriction of spoken english sentence-structure (use bullet lists!).

With the number of contests out there focusing on producing full games, or longer pitches, I understand the desire to write more. The 500 rule is because the purpose of this contest - besides a cool game pitch - is to hone writing skills. Again as Icynova said, rethink the way passages are explained/written. Often that's more useful than chopping out bits here and there to force the proverbial foot into the glass slipper. I myself used to do it that way before seeing that I was missing an opportunity to write better

My advice would be to only write about the the mechanics to show what's cool about it or for people to get the idea of where interesting choices will be made. Focus on the flow of the game. It may also help to look at past entries from months and years gone by. See which ones are able to explain well in 500 words (often the few top voted entries each month) and start by emulating their style.

Good luck on your entry!

Soulfinger
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I certainly agree about

I certainly agree about limits honing writing skills. One of the top exercises that I use for helping new writers is to tell them to rewrite their story, but make it half as long. Most 2k word stories can easily be boiled down to 500 words. With a competition like this, it seems like, if you can't explain the game play in 500 words then maybe the mechanics are too busy. This really is a great challenge, and I wish time permitted me to participate more often.

Icynova
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elevator pitch board game

Get on your favorite search engine and search on "elevator pitch board game." You will probably be surprised at all the discussion of this aspect of the industry.

To be a successful board game designer, you need to develop this skill. That's probably the most important aspect of the GDS.

Icynova
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NooB Questions

1) The announce says 1 week. Does that mean the deadline is on the 7'th day of each month? i.e., posting on the 8'th doesn't count?

2) Looking around, I see a thread announcing the topic (locked), and a thread for discussing the announcement (this one), but where do you actually post your entry?

MarkJindra
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Icynova wrote:1) The announce

Icynova wrote:
1) The announce says 1 week. Does that mean the deadline is on the 7'th day of each month? i.e., posting on the 8'th doesn't count?

2) Looking around, I see a thread announcing the topic (locked), and a thread for discussing the announcement (this one), but where do you actually post your entry?

The post says through the 9th so that means till end of day on the 9th. and there is a link to submit there.

http://www.bgdf.com/forum/game-design/game-design-showdown/gds-june-2015...

=M=

MarkJindra
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An Idea!

Well I finally put something together for this one. The hard part this time around wasn't so much a basic idea but trying to work that idea into the rules of this challenge. I am, really looking forward to seeing this month's entries.

=M=

Soulfinger
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Well, crap. With the kids

Well, crap. With the kids home from school, apparently even 500 words worth of extra writing was too much. Now nobody can stop the evil developer from closing down the community center.

wombat929
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One more day!

Soulfinger wrote:
Well, crap. With the kids home from school, apparently even 500 words worth of extra writing was too much. Now nobody can stop the evil developer from closing down the community center.

You have one more day, Soulfinger! Don't give up.

Those dancing kids didn't.

Rob Huber
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oops, see below.

...

Rob Huber
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I say...

wombat929 wrote:
Soulfinger wrote:
Well, crap. With the kids home from school, apparently even 500 words worth of extra writing was too much. Now nobody can stop the evil developer from closing down the community center.

You have one more day, Soulfinger! Don't give up.

Those dancing kids didn't.

Hear! Hear!

richdurham
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Hours to go

Rememember you've got until the END of Tuesday the 9th. I'm in a time warp since I reach the 10th before all of you, so I don't close entries until the end of the 9th everywhere (such as those just East of me enough to be in the 'Western hemisphere').

Mostly that's because it's easier for me to post the entries after i wake up.

Hook
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my own enemy

I decided not to enter this month - then i got a winner idea for this challenge and I couldn't resist to enter. So watch out fellow contestants :=O

debiant
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My goal for this one is to

My goal for this one is to get at least one vote. If I do that I will have done better than my last entry. Improvement, even by small increments, is important to me. I think I have a pretty strong entry for this one.

thoughtfulmonkey
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I always forget about the

I always forget about the showdown until either just before or after the deadline. You'd think that running it at the same time every month would be easy to remember.

This time I spent the whole duration of a shower thinking up an entry, so I'm optimistic it will do well.

MarkJindra
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Google Calendar

I added it to my "Games Games Games" Google calendar. Along with anything I need to do for game design or production.

=M=

diluce
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First Entry

My first time entering! I'm excited to see the other ideas everyone came up with.

ruy343
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It's been a while

I've been away from the community for a while (I've been DMing for some friends, which has taken all of my creative energy for last few months), but I'm back in business baby! Looking forward to seeing your entry, Diluce!

Hook
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Seem like there are good things ahead

I look forward to see all the entries.

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