r.g.a Stacking Contest

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Daniel S.

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Dec 21, 2010, 12:02:25 PM12/21/10
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Hey All!

Rule:
1. Stacking as part of the mechanism

Winner:
...gets a full honest review of their game by the individual
participants on their game's BGG entry.

We can figure out voting, deadline and whatever else I'm forgetting
later. I gotta run. I just wanted to put it out there.
[inspired of course by Nick's contest. Thanks Nick!]

This could be really cool. Any thoughts?

Daniel

ps. Stop being dickheads. There are only so many abstract
enthusiasts in the world and even less places where they congregate.
Plus I don't want to have to dive into an 80 reply thread to find
stuff which relates to the original topic. It's annoying. If you're
gonna rant (like I currently am) at least add something in your post
which adds something to the topic. I'm not a moderator, babysitter,
fight resolver, etc... On the other hand, I love that this forum is
not moderated! Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing. Look at
wikileaks :). Anyhow... I gotta run... shit. :D

[might regret the ps, but pfff...]

Daniel

christian

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Dec 21, 2010, 12:36:03 PM12/21/10
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I'm in :)

christian

marks...@gmail.com

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Dec 21, 2010, 1:29:46 PM12/21/10
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On 21-Dec-2010, "Daniel S." <anti...@me.com> wrote:

> Rule:
> 1. Stacking as part of the mechanism

Sounds good. Can't guarantee I'll come up with anything, but...

marks...@gmail.com

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Dec 21, 2010, 1:33:58 PM12/21/10
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I will not enter a vote for my own game, so let's get that settled up front.

christian

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Dec 21, 2010, 2:11:22 PM12/21/10
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On Dec 21, 7:33 pm, markste...@gmail.com wrote:
> I will not enter a vote for my own game, so let's get that settled up front.

Ok, you will not vote for your own game, that's settled ;-)

marks...@gmail.com

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Dec 21, 2010, 3:28:11 PM12/21/10
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That was easy :) Now if I can only get the other contestants not to vote
for their own games, we'll have a legitimate contest.

nate

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Dec 21, 2010, 4:44:34 PM12/21/10
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On Dec 21, 3:28 pm, markste...@gmail.com wrote:


How do we eliminate ties? This seems a drawish game.


- nate

nate

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Dec 21, 2010, 4:50:02 PM12/21/10
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>
> How do we eliminate ties?


I suggest we split our 1.000000000 vote up along the real number
line. However there must be a singular maximum awarded to 1
contestant or your ballot becomes a duplicate of the "previous"
voter's ballot, what that may be. You wont know who the "previous"
voter is, until all the posts around your time of post have arrived in
this group.


- nate

Daniel S.

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Dec 22, 2010, 12:36:07 PM12/22/10
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Rules and Conditions

Game Restrictions:
1. Stacking as part of the mechanism.
2. 2 players
3. Must be an Abstract aka no luck, hidden info, dexterity element
etc…
4. Must be a game not finished/released yet.
5. One entry per person

Allowances:
1. Concerning topology. Since we're not worried about an
implementation prize I say we crack this wide open. If it can't be
played in the iggc sandbox we can play it in google docs (or
somewhere else if someone has any suggestions) during the playing and
deciding phase.

Deadline:
Because of the holidays and because one is a date of significance to
me I'd like to make the deadline for the entry Feb 9th and the
deadline for the decision Feb 23rd. 3pm Berlin time for both dates.
All entrants into the contest are more than highly encouraged to vote.

Choosing a winner:
You can't vote for your own game. Ties will be resolved by voting
again between people tied for 1st. If there are still ties then… we
can fight about which game is better here (really this isn't my
expertise so I'm open to suggestions although I rather like this one
^_^ )

Prize:
Honest BGG full review of the winning game from each of the
participants.

marks...@gmail.com

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Dec 22, 2010, 2:16:52 PM12/22/10
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On 22-Dec-2010, "Daniel S." <anti...@me.com> wrote:

> Rules and Conditions
>
> Game Restrictions:
> 1. Stacking as part of the mechanism.
> 2. 2 players
> 3. Must be an Abstract aka no luck, hidden info, dexterity element
> etc…

No sand timers. No donkey tails.

> 4. Must be a game not finished/released yet.
> 5. One entry per person

Hmmm. Sometimes you go to invent one game and you end up inventing two. If
they aren't minor variants of each other, and the inventor can't objectively
decide which is "better", I don't see the harm in entering them both.

> Allowances:
> 1. Concerning topology. Since we're not worried about an
> implementation prize I say we crack this wide open. If it can't be
> played in the iggc sandbox we can play it in google docs (or
> somewhere else if someone has any suggestions) during the playing and
> deciding phase.

Yes, if you can set up a generic stacking game. This might be a tough phase
if it's either hard to create the document or manipulate it. I'm thinking
of possibly using a hex board. The only limit on how wide to crack it open
is that it should be playable in real life.

> Deadline:
> Because of the holidays and because one is a date of significance to
> me I'd like to make the deadline for the entry Feb 9th and the
> deadline for the decision Feb 23rd. 3pm Berlin time for both dates.

Everything in abstract games happens on a geological time scale so I don't
see any point in rushing the contest. For a me a month of design effort can
easily slip by with nothing to show for it. I think we'll have more games
and better games if we make it three months. Winter just started, so we
could make it first day of Spring. Plus I haven't even really started yet.
I have to reach over and replace my Hexboard Havannah board with a Toys R Us
checkerboard, and I'm not quite ready to do that yet. By the way,
Christian, you have some nice boards on your website. I think I'll order
some at some point.

> Prize:
> Honest BGG full review of the winning game from each of the
> participants.

Well, I never go on bgg, but the contest seems like an interesting diversion
since I'm developing a renewed interest in stacking games anyway. They're
hard to represent on a computer screen though, unfortunately.

-Mark

Mark Steere Games
http://www.marksteeregames.com

spielstein

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Dec 22, 2010, 3:38:25 PM12/22/10
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On 21 Dez., 18:02, "Daniel S." <antiw...@me.com> wrote:
> Hey All!
>
> Rule:
> 1.   Stacking as part of the mechanism

I think that means that the order of stacked pieces is relevant?

Anyway, I thought about a fourth stacking game for my "A"-trilogy for
some time now. I ended up with some half-finished designs ... I'll try
to dig them out now.

Dieter

christian

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Dec 22, 2010, 5:39:36 PM12/22/10
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On Dec 22, 9:38 pm, spielstein <spielst...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 21 Dez., 18:02, "Daniel S." <antiw...@me.com> wrote:
>
> > Hey All!
>
> > Rule:
> > 1.   Stacking as part of the mechanism
>
> I think that means that the order of stacked pieces is relevant?
>
Not necessarily. Focus, Bashni, Emergo and Explocus all handle it
differently.

I got a nice mechanism for moving, but no decicion on the nature of
capture yet. So I can't breathe anything into it yet to give it life
and intent and make it an organism :)

spielstein

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Dec 22, 2010, 6:12:09 PM12/22/10
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> > I think that means that the order of stacked pieces is relevant?
>
> Not necessarily. Focus, Bashni, Emergo and Explocus all handle it
> differently.

Sure, but there is the notion of a prominent piece, other than in
Mancala games where you usually also have an amount of pieces sharing
one space, but no kind of immanent order.

> I got a nice mechanism for moving, but no decicion on the nature of
> capture yet.

So this could be a racing game ... ;)

marks...@gmail.com

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Dec 22, 2010, 7:52:43 PM12/22/10
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On 22-Dec-2010, spielstein <spiel...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I ended up with some half-finished designs ... I'll try
> to dig them out now.

Jeez, don't put yourself out, Dieter. How about something fresh for the
contest?

marks...@gmail.com

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Dec 22, 2010, 9:55:49 PM12/22/10
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On 22-Dec-2010, "Daniel S." <anti...@me.com> wrote:

> 4. Must be a game not finished/released yet.

Must not be a minor variation of an existing game from the same designer.
Instances of that would be disappointing, anti-climactic, totally deflating,
boring, and not worthy of a positive score.

Let's make this a symphony of fresh ideas. Not a potluck of lukewarm
rehashes.

Daniel S.

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Dec 22, 2010, 10:05:16 PM12/22/10
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Mark,
Deadline - First of spring due date is alright by me. That would be
March 20th.
**Any other deadline date preferences anyone?
Entries - I see no harm in having multiple entries. I was just
thinking that there might be a lot of games to test for the vote and I
had a hunch that Christian could bust out 20 or so in a week ;P
Topology - "The only limit on how wide to crack it open is that it
should be playable in real life." Sounds good. I guess I would add
that you can stray from the norm 'at your own risk'. Meaning that if
you're gonna use some crazy rhombic dodecahedron stacking you'd best
have a program that we can all use to play it on or it might not get
tested. I wouldn't reject an entry on this condition though, I'd be
way to curious for one thing :). It'd just be hard to get votes for
something nobody can play.

Dieter,
I see no problem with pulling out unfinished work. If a contest can
motivate finishing something then I'm all for it.
About the stacking I guess you're right! I never thought of it that
way, but I suppose a stacking game would need to distinguish itself
from a game where there's a pool of something having an arbitrary
position such as a mancala game or a territorial majority.
**Any other thoughts on stacking definition? I wasn't expecting this.
Günter says hello btw. I work with him at the Spielwiese boardgames
cafe. I was really surprised to see his name on one of your design
pages at BGG!


spielstein

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Dec 23, 2010, 2:30:48 AM12/23/10
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On Dec 23, 1:52 am, markste...@gmail.com wrote:

> On 22-Dec-2010, spielstein <spielst...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > I ended up with some half-finished designs ... I'll try
> > to dig them out now.
>
> Jeez, don't put yourself out, Dieter.  How about something fresh for the
> contest?

I think you're right, Mark. Most likely, these old game zombies will
never work.

spielstein

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Dec 23, 2010, 2:50:19 AM12/23/10
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Hi Daniel,

> I see no problem with pulling out unfinished work.  If a contest can
> motivate finishing something then I'm all for it.

In the end it would be something new for the audience either way :)

> About the stacking I guess you're right!  I never thought of it that
> way, but I suppose a stacking game would need to distinguish itself
> from a game where there's a pool of something having an arbitrary
> position such as a mancala game or a territorial majority.

Ok.

> **Any other thoughts on stacking definition?  I wasn't expecting this.

No more constraints, please. An idea strikes me right now...

> Günter says hello btw.  I work with him at the Spielwiese boardgames
> cafe.  I was really surprised to see his name on one of your design
> pages at BGG!

Ahh, this is the good ol' Bambusspiele "tactic blue" box... so you
know Günter? :) It's a small world ... well, it's Berlin, am I right?

Dieter

marks...@gmail.com

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Dec 23, 2010, 4:00:39 AM12/23/10
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On 22-Dec-2010, spielstein <spiel...@gmail.com> wrote:

> No more constraints, please.

Maybe even remove an existing constraint. Just a suggestion: Stacking
requires checkers, and checkers are designed to slide on checkerboards as
well as stack on them. To me, stacking games and sliding games with stacks
of height one are closely related. How about allowing games such as Cage,
Clobber, LOA, Konane, etc?

If that's getting too far away from stacking games, no problem. Just a
suggestion for broadening the range of possibilities.

christian

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Dec 23, 2010, 5:53:36 AM12/23/10
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On Dec 23, 12:12 am, spielstein <spielst...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > I think that means that the order of stacked pieces is relevant?
>
> > Not necessarily. Focus, Bashni, Emergo and Explocus all handle it
> > differently.
>
> Sure, but there is the notion of a prominent piece, other than in
> Mancala games where you usually also have an amount of pieces sharing
> one space, but no kind of immanent order.

Well, I forgot Pilare. In Pilare there are checkers and the mechanism
is closely related to Mancals's.

>
> > I got a nice mechanism for moving, but no decicion on the nature of
> > capture yet.
>
> So this could be a racing game ... ;)

Never thought of that :) ... but as it is I'm aiming at elimination
and 'soft finitude' as in, say, Focus. Good to have a plan B though.

christian

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Dec 23, 2010, 5:58:08 AM12/23/10
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On Dec 23, 10:00 am, markste...@gmail.com wrote:
>
> If that's getting too far away from stacking games, no problem.  Just a
> suggestion for broadening the range of possibilities.

Yes, no stacking would get it too far from stacking games I
feel ... ;-)

Come to think of it, have a look at Breakthrough ... the other
Breakthrough :)
http://mindsports.nl/index.php/the-pit/breakthrough-517

It's yet another 'stacking application'.

christian

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Dec 23, 2010, 6:56:49 AM12/23/10
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On Dec 23, 11:58 am, christian <christ...@mindsports.nl> wrote:
> It's yet another 'stacking application'.

Come to think of it, it _is_ a race game :)

marks...@gmail.com

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Dec 23, 2010, 10:26:55 AM12/23/10
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On 23-Dec-2010, christian <chri...@mindsports.nl> wrote:

> Yes, no stacking would get it too far from stacking games I
> feel ... ;-)

Ok, no worries :)

spielstein

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Dec 24, 2010, 3:59:01 AM12/24/10
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Here's a geeklist I created some years ago:
http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/2246/stacking-games

It also includes Jenga, but apart from that, a nice collection of
(mainly abstract) stacking games.

Dieter

christian

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Dec 24, 2010, 6:17:52 AM12/24/10
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Nice list, here are some additions:

1. Bashni.
http://www.iggamecenter.com/info/en/bashni.html
2. Emergo.
http://www.iggamecenter.com/info/en/emergo.html
Bashni is the original stacking game based on Shashki (Russian
Checkers). Lasker in turn used the idea to make Lasca, which is the
same principle applied to Anglo-American Checkers.
Emergo is not a track but a pit - it does away with an initial
position, direction and promotion and uses an entering procedure that
fits the mechanism like a glove.
Since I invented Emergo, I would like to ask you to to consult
Benedikt Rosenau about these two. He's a leading expert on Bashni, and
column checkers variants in general.

3. Crossfire.
http://mindsports.nl/index.php/the-pit/crossfire-525
Not all that important, basically 'hexfocus', but if you read the
rules you'll find a significant difference: In Focus the 'ceiling' is
a stack of 5. In Crossfire the ceiling of a stack equals the number of
adjacent cells of the cell it occupies. This has far reaching
strategical consequences, since large stacks can be aimed at 'low
capacity' cells, redering large captures and numbers of reserves. It
provides fixed targets in a notoriously 'fluid' mechanism.

4. Explocus.
http://mindsports.nl/index.php/the-pit/explocus-527
Explocus was invented by dutch game designer Martin Medema. It is
probably the most capricious one of the bunch.

5. Breakthrough.
http://mindsports.nl/index.php/the-pit/breakthrough-517
A nice tactical race game based on an adaption of the 'explosion
mechanism' that also powers Explocus, and that in itself came from a
stacking game called 'Explosion' that was published in the English
"Games & Puzzles" magazine somewhere in the early to mid seventies.

christian

christian

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Dec 24, 2010, 6:21:48 AM12/24/10
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On Dec 24, 12:17 pm, christian <christ...@mindsports.nl> wrote:

I forgot Pilare:
http://mindsports.nl/index.php/the-pit/pilare-547
Here's the intro at mindsports:

"Pilare is a board game designed by Basque game author Jorge Gómez
Arrausi. It won a proxime accessit award in the games creation contest
of Tona, 2005.
Arrausi is arguably the best human Lines of Action (LOA) player of the
world. He lives in Basuri near Bilbao. Pilare is a 'stacking game',
which resembles mancala games since pieces are sown in a mancala-like
manner. On the other hand, it has a certain affinity with other
elimination games that employ stacks or columns, like Focus and
Explocus."

marks...@gmail.com

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Dec 24, 2010, 9:25:47 AM12/24/10
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On 24-Dec-2010, christian <chri...@mindsports.nl> wrote:

> On Dec 24, 9:59 am, spielstein <spielst...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Here's a geeklist I created some years ago:
> > http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/2246/stacking-games
>

> Nice list, here are some additions:
>
> 1. Bashni.

> 2. Emergo.
> 3. Crossfire.
> 4. Explocus.
> 5. Breakthrough.
> I forgot Pilare:

Bashni, Emergo, Crossfire and Pilare are already on the list, as are my own:

1. Dipole
http://www.marksteeregames.com/Dipole_rules.pdf
2. Byte
http://www.marksteeregames.com/Byte_rules.pdf

But not on the list are:

3. Colonnade
http://www.marksteeregames.com/Colonnade_rules.pdf
4. Impasse
http://www.marksteeregames.com/Impasse_rules.pdf

Well, I guess that about does it for existing stacking games. Glad we got
that out of the way ;D

Daniel S.

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Dec 24, 2010, 9:51:03 AM12/24/10
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> Well, I guess that about does it for existing stacking games.  Glad we got
> that out of the way  ;D

not quite :)

Two of my favorite stacking games:
Chroma - which is based on the Four-Color Theorem
http://www.cameronius.com/games/chroma/
Boche - http://www.cameronius.com/games/boche/

I guess Akron would also be a stacking game:
http://www.cameronius.com/games/akron/

Do you know if anyone has written a book on stacking games? It's
looking pretty vast with fairly open parameters. Connection Games did
a good job of analyzing that genre of games. It would be great to see
someone undertake this behemoth.

christian

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Dec 24, 2010, 10:56:03 AM12/24/10
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On Dec 24, 3:51 pm, "Daniel S." <antiw...@me.com> wrote:
> > Well, I guess that about does it for existing stacking games.  Glad we got
> > that out of the way  ;D
>
> not quite :)
>
> Two of my favorite stacking games:
> Chroma - which is based on the Four-Color Theoremhttp://www.cameronius.com/games/chroma/
> Boche -http://www.cameronius.com/games/boche/

>
> I guess Akron would also be a stacking game:http://www.cameronius.com/games/akron/
>
> Do you know if anyone has written a book on stacking games?  It's
> looking pretty vast with fairly open parameters.  Connection Games did
> a good job of analyzing that genre of games.  It would be great to see
> someone undertake this behemoth.

We can accumulate them here and in Dieter's geeklist, if he would be
so kind. I read it rather sloppy obviously, not noticing that Bashni,
Emergo, Crossfire and Pilare were already in there :(

Anyway, there's a couple to follow, following the contest. My entry is
ready, came together nicely too. It's called "SOAR", but it'll be
after new year when I publish, because I want it to be accompanied by
Ed's applet, and he's away for the holidays.

marks...@gmail.com

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Dec 24, 2010, 11:22:43 AM12/24/10
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On 24-Dec-2010, christian <chri...@mindsports.nl> wrote:

> I read it rather sloppy obviously, not noticing that Bashni,
> Emergo, Crossfire and Pilare were already in there :(

No worries, Christian :D Just pulling your leg.

> My entry is ready,

Omg, what's the hurry? :) We've still got three months.

christian

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Dec 24, 2010, 11:26:54 AM12/24/10
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On Dec 24, 5:22 pm, markste...@gmail.com wrote:

> On 24-Dec-2010, christian <christ...@mindsports.nl> wrote:
>
> > My entry is ready,
>
> Omg, what's the hurry?  :)  We've still got three months.

Better early than ever :)


Daniel S.

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Dec 24, 2010, 12:19:03 PM12/24/10
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>Daniel wrote:
>"I had a hunch that Christian could bust out 20 or so in a week ;P"

I knew it. Here it comes :D

christian

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Dec 24, 2010, 3:38:07 PM12/24/10
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On Dec 24, 6:19 pm, "Daniel S." <antiw...@me.com> wrote:
>
> I knew it.  Here it comes :D

So it does, why wait for the applet.

I set out to make a game in a select category: games of elimination
that start on an empty board, like the traditionals Nine Men's Morris,
Morabaraba and Yote, and the moderns Oust and Emergo. So here is the
new kid on the block: Soar.
http://mindsports.nl/index.php/the-pit/soar-574

marks...@gmail.com

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Dec 24, 2010, 8:04:26 PM12/24/10
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On 24-Dec-2010, christian <chri...@mindsports.nl> wrote:

> So here is the new kid on the block: Soar.
> http://mindsports.nl/index.php/the-pit/soar-574

Interesting game. Thanks Christian. I don't want to be overly critical,
but this is a contest and ultimately I will have to render a numeric rating
for Soar, so a little advanced explanation might be in order. I like the
elements of Soar - the Hexplode explode, the watermelon seed pinch, the
Dipole/Focus stack movement. But it all seems like a lot in one game. My
highest scores will probably go to games with less involved rule sets.

Bill Taylor

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Dec 25, 2010, 7:29:14 AM12/25/10
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On Dec 22, 6:02 am, "Daniel S." <antiw...@me.com> wrote:

> ps.  Stop being dickheads.  There are only so many abstract
> enthusiasts in the world and even less places where they congregate.
> Plus I don't want to have to dive into an 80 reply thread to find
> stuff which relates to the original topic.  It's annoying.  If you're
> gonna rant (like I currently am) at least add something in your post
> which adds something to the topic.  I'm not a moderator, babysitter,
> fight resolver, etc... On the other hand, I love that this forum is
> not moderated!  Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing.  Look at
> wikileaks :).

Bad luck Daniel.

But this is no longer a place where sensible abstract games
enthusiasts can gather. Stark Mere has killed it.

Everyone but him, his sugar daddy, and about 2 other
hangers-on have long ago left for r.g.c where there are genuine
debates and discussions.

Give it a try.

This forum is dying, if not dead.

christian

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Dec 25, 2010, 7:46:05 AM12/25/10
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On Dec 25, 2:04 am, markste...@gmail.com wrote:

Rules are always clear to the inventor :)
So what should a more advanced explanation cover? The explosion
mechanism comes from a game published by Games & Puzzles Magazine" in
the mid seventies. I also used a hexversion in Mu. 'Hexplode' is
unknown to me.

My problem is usually turning a mechanism into an organism, that is:
give it will and intent (Bill wouldn't know what I'm talking about,
sadly enough he couldn't resist farting all over the thread again). If
you let the rules sink in, you'll find it is _one_ organism, and
there's no separation between entering and movement. That's one thing
I aimed at.

The vote doesn't concern me all that much, I think it's a nice game
and once the applet is there, we may actually play it and find out for
sure :) .

My own vote only concerns the other entries (naturally - I don't think
we need a procedure for that).

christian

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Dec 25, 2010, 8:30:42 AM12/25/10
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On Dec 25, 2:04 am, markste...@gmail.com wrote:
>
> ... a little advanced explanation might be in order.

A detail I didn't mention, you may have noticed, is that if the game
is reduced to one man against one (probably not a frequent occurence)
the game is won by the player who has 'the move', that is: is able to
get diagonal opposition.

The game has 'soft finitude': it will not terminate if both players
_aim_ at not terminating it, and _only_ then.

christian

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Dec 25, 2010, 8:52:29 AM12/25/10
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Cross posted from the Yote thread:

On Dec 19, 10:58 pm, markste...@gmail.com wrote:
> I love phases in games, but only if they arise
> naturally, not if they're forced by the rules. Like first you fill up the
> board, or add so many pieces to the board, and then the rules are different.
> This is an aesthetic problem for me.

It's only a problem if you can't get around it. It was precisely to
problem that presented itself in Soar.
I agree 100% with your considerations, so I let it sink in till it
solved itself in the most natural way: there are two stages in Soar,
one where a player has still one or more men in hand, and one where
that is no longer the case.
Moving (as opposed to entering) is allowed in both phases, so the
'division' is only rooted in the fact that both may at some point
have
entered all their men - the rules remain the same throughout.

marks...@gmail.com

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Dec 25, 2010, 1:37:01 PM12/25/10
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On 25-Dec-2010, christian <chri...@mindsports.nl> wrote:

> On Dec 25, 2:04 am, markste...@gmail.com wrote:
> >

> > Interesting game. Thanks Christian.
> > ...


> > ultimately I will have to render a numeric rating
>

> Rules are always clear to the inventor :)

> ...


> My problem is usually turning a mechanism into an organism, that is:
> give it will and intent (Bill wouldn't know what I'm talking about,
> sadly enough he couldn't resist farting all over the thread again).

It's bizarre. Bill Taylor has been repetitively declaring the death of
rec.games.abstract for almost two months now. It's a plot to destroy the
group by making everyone drowsy. GOD I FEEL SORRY FOR BILL TAYLOR'S
STUDENTS !!

> If you let the rules sink in, you'll find it is _one_
> organism, and there's no separation between entering
> and movement. That's one thing I aimed at.

And something I believe you succeeded at, Christian. My point was not that
I don't like your game. If there even was a point, it was that my vote will
be totally unbiased. If Bill Taylor enters a game I like more than yours,
I'll give it a higher rating.

> The vote doesn't concern me all that much,

Me neither. I know I have virtually no chance of winning, with my hunting
style :) All prey, small and large, are eluding me now.

> I think it's a nice game and once the applet is
> there, we may actually play it and find out for
> sure :) .

Yes, the gameplay certainly matters. I didn't have high hopes for Daniel's
game, Charisma, but playing it totally changed my mind.

One more tiny complaint about Soar, and you can get revenge on me when I
enter my game, assuming I get one in the next three months, which I'm
already working at. The maintaining of separate piles of like colored
stones...

christian

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Dec 25, 2010, 1:54:00 PM12/25/10
to
On Dec 25, 7:37 pm, markste...@gmail.com wrote:
> One more tiny complaint about Soar, and you can get revenge on me when I
> enter my game, assuming I get one in the next three months, which I'm
> already working at.  The maintaining of separate piles of like colored
> stones...
Maybe I should leave that suggestion out. A player has twelve men. If
and when his opponent captures them, they're on the other side of the
board anyway.

Hope your 'inventor's block' ends in time :)

Daniel S.

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Dec 26, 2010, 11:57:03 AM12/26/10
to
I'll be gone for a week to Poland. See y'all when I get back.
Hopefully I'll have some ideas. I look forward to trying Soar and
whatever entries are also finished. My work, the games cafe, was
getting rid of an old copy of Sid Sackson's Focus which I've heard is
a modern classic stacking game so I picked it up. Maybe I can convince
a friend of mine to play it before I leave...

cya!

Daniel

>This forum is dying, if not dead.

This is the only completely off topic post on this 40 message thread,
so you're not making a very strong point.

>hangers-on have long ago left for r.g.c where there are genuine debates and discussions. Give it a try.

I'm an active poster on r.g.c. Give it a read. :P

marks...@gmail.com

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Dec 26, 2010, 12:56:24 PM12/26/10
to

On 26-Dec-2010, "Daniel S." <anti...@me.com> wrote:

> Bill Taylor wrote:
>
> >This forum is dying, if not dead.

> This is the only completely off topic post on this 40 message thread,
> so you're not making a very strong point.

lol, It's a ludicrous point. Bill Taylor, maven of mediocrity, has deemed
irrelevant Christian Freeling, Dieter Stein, me, and other world renowned
abstract game designers who may yet join your contest. Not to mention
budding new designers such as yourself, Corey Clark (who has promised to
submit a game), and Michael Howe. We're all "dead" to Bill Taylor, lol, who
teaches a math appreciation requirement to drama majors.

christian

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Dec 26, 2010, 1:01:58 PM12/26/10
to
On Dec 26, 5:57 pm, "Daniel S." <antiw...@me.com> wrote:
> I'll be gone for a week to Poland.  See y'all when I get back.
Have a good trip and don't get snowed in altogether ;-)

> >hangers-on have long ago left for r.g.c where there are genuine debates and discussions. Give it a try.
>
> I'm an active poster on r.g.c.  Give it a read. :P

LOL

marks...@gmail.com

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Dec 26, 2010, 1:15:41 PM12/26/10
to

On 25-Dec-2010, christian <chri...@mindsports.nl> wrote:

> Hope your 'inventor's block' ends in time :)

Let's just say I'm glad I requested the extension. The only thing I feel
about abstract game design right now is that I need to take a break for at
least a week or two.

Rive, believe it or not, was a huge effort. At least 1/2 hour every day for
well over a month - gargantuan by my admittedly lax standards. What made
Rive especially work-like was not just the usual "It's all been done
already" nagging doubt, but the additional "the gameplay certainly won't be
as good as Oust's". I'm all about architecture, not popularity, but I got a
little spoiled with Oust. It was my first game where the gameplay
compliments outpaced the architecture compliments (of which there have been
many as well for Oust).

In any case, I'm just not ready to jump headlong into another major design
effort, but the whole Winter should be enough time to figure out a new
design. Otherwise, carry on without my entry.

christian

unread,
Dec 26, 2010, 5:45:10 PM12/26/10
to
On Dec 26, 7:15 pm, markste...@gmail.com wrote:
> In any case, I'm just not ready to jump headlong into another major design
> effort, but the whole Winter should be enough time to figure out a new
> design. Otherwise, carry on without my entry.
What's that, winter depression ringing through? I had two month of
lethargy, august and september, remember? Creativity can strike
unexpectedly, as long as you don't try to summon it ;-)

About 'Soar', I was lucky to have some leftover pieces of wreckage
floating around to work with, and a fairly specific target. Not
anything revolutionary in terms of mechanics, but a nice fit. The
process is so fresh in my memory that I can give a fairly accurate
account of how it went.

For what it's worth (yes, go ahead Bill):
http://mindsports.nl/index.php/how-i-invented-games-and-why-not/late-arrivals-a-final-whispers#soar


Cameron Browne

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Dec 28, 2010, 6:05:52 AM12/28/10
to
Hi Daniel,

I'd like to enter Stax: http://www.cameronius.com/games/stax

Cameron

P.S. Thanks for pointing out this competition Mark!

christian

unread,
Dec 28, 2010, 6:35:38 AM12/28/10
to
On Dec 28, 12:05 pm, Cameron Browne <cambol...@googlemail.com> wrote:
> Hi Daniel,
>
> I'd like to enter Stax:http://www.cameronius.com/games/stax
>
> Cameron
>
Hello Cameron, good to hear from you. If "Stax" (great name, wonder
why nobody thought of it before!) is as good as its presentation,
we're in for a serious contender :) . I've yet to read the rules
carefully and let them sink in, but at first glance it has the feel of
a "chess-like Trax", though Trax of course has only placement.

Quote:
"The twelve pieces represent all symmetric arrangements of 0 to 6
pointers within six sides. There are another two asymmetric
arrangements of three pointers; these were not included for aesthetic
reasons and to keep the number of pieces managable."

Aestetics might reason towards completeness I feel, but the 'a-
symmetry' comes in handy as an argument against them and the
'managable number' may indeed enhance game play. I assume you've
tested that.

The complete set, including the two asymmetric 3's, is again a subset
of the "China Labyrinth" set:
http://mindsports.nl/index.php/puzzles/tilings/china-labyrinth/

I'm very happy to see such a renown designer take part, welcome :)

christian

marks...@gmail.com

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Dec 28, 2010, 9:08:05 AM12/28/10
to

On 28-Dec-2010, Cameron Browne <camb...@googlemail.com> wrote:

> I'd like to enter Stax: http://www.cameronius.com/games/stax

Excellent! Lovely game. Thanks, Cameron.

> P.S. Thanks for pointing out this competition Mark!

You're welcome :) Christian Freeling, Dieter Stein and me had already
signed up. What would it look like if we kept the contest a secret from the
world renowned Cameron Browne? In the spirit of fairness, if there's anyone
else who should be notified, let's get them notified.

Lo and behold rec.games.abstract is starting to look like an abstract games
forum for the first time in its punctuated evolution.

___________________________________________________
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___________________________________________________

christian

unread,
Dec 28, 2010, 10:05:08 AM12/28/10
to
On Dec 28, 3:08 pm, markste...@gmail.com wrote:
>  In the spirit of fairness, if there's anyone
> else who should be notified, let's get them notified.
>
I've posted about the contest at Little Golem's Blog:
http://www.littlegolem.net/jsp/blog/index.jsp

marks...@gmail.com

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Dec 28, 2010, 11:03:08 AM12/28/10
to

On 28-Dec-2010, christian <chri...@mindsports.nl> wrote:

> I've posted about the contest at Little Golem's Blog:

Ok, excellent. I've notified a couple of designers directly, since they
might not monitor the forums.

There was some discussion offline about the valid concern of inviting people
to the rec.games.abstract unmoderated barnyard forum. But I think decorum
suggests an invitation sometimes, even if the invitee is unlikely to attend.
When only certain people are invited, the uninvited are expressly excluded.
Kris Burm, you're invited.

It's funny because I'm in a total slump right now and my prospects for this
contest aren't good at all. But I'm loving this confluence of abstract game
designers.

-Mark

Mark Steere Games
http://www.marksteeregames.com

christian

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Dec 28, 2010, 11:15:29 AM12/28/10
to
On Dec 28, 5:03 pm, markste...@gmail.com wrote:
>  When only certain people are invited, the uninvited are expressly excluded.
>  Kris Burm, you're invited.
>
> -Mark
>
I don't know Kris personally but I feel his status would justify a
personal invitation. Does anyone know him personally?
I've also notified the Arimaa off topic forum:
http://arimaa.com/arimaa/forum/cgi/YaBB.cgi?board=other;action=display;num=1293552633

christian

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Dec 28, 2010, 12:51:22 PM12/28/10
to
On Dec 28, 12:35 pm, christian <christ...@mindsports.nl> wrote:
> On Dec 28, 12:05 pm, Cameron Browne <cambol...@googlemail.com> wrote:> Hi Daniel,
>
> > I'd like to enter Stax:http://www.cameronius.com/games/stax
>
> > Cameron
>
> Hello Cameron, good to hear from you. If "Stax" (great name, wonder
> why nobody thought of it before!) is as good as its presentation,
> we're in for a serious contender :) .

Ralf Gering posted in the chat at iGGC that the name 'Stax' was used
for a stacking game in 1919. Don't know of any details myself but you
may want to ask him about it (or maybe he'll mail you).
Anyway, it's almost a century ago :)

Gert Buschmann

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Dec 28, 2010, 1:30:06 PM12/28/10
to
On 23 Dez., 00:12, spielstein <spielst...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > I think that means that the order of stacked pieces is relevant?
>
> > Not necessarily. Focus, Bashni, Emergo and Explocus all handle it
> > differently.
>
> Sure, but there is the notion of a prominent piece, other than in
> Mancala games where you usually also have an amount of pieces sharing
> one space, but no kind of immanent order.
>
> > I got a nice mechanism for moving, but no decicion on the nature of
> > capture yet.
>
> So this could be a racing game ... ;)

Hi, this is my first post on rec.games.abstract.

In a stack the position of at least one piece should be relevant. For
example the uppermost. Otherwise there is no need to stack the pieces.

marks...@gmail.com

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Dec 28, 2010, 2:31:25 PM12/28/10
to

On 28-Dec-2010, Gert Buschmann <gert.bu...@googlemail.com> wrote:

> Hi, this is my first post on rec.games.abstract.

Welcome to the forum, Gert.

> In a stack the position of at least one piece should be relevant. For
> example the uppermost. Otherwise there is no need to stack the pieces.

In games where a stack's checkers must be uniformly colored, position
doesn't matter. Like in Dipole.

Dipole rule sheet:
http://www.marksteeregames.com/Dipole_rules.pdf

Stacking like-colored pieces serves one very important purpose though - to
represent the group count with stack height. A stack of eight like-colored
checkers has an easily recognizable height. A pile of eight Mancala stones
in a little pit does not represent its count well. Maybe it's really seven
stones or nine stones. This is why traditional African Mancala games are
primitive and imprecise.

Stacking, to me, is simply stacking. The notion of some arbitrary level of
sophistication a stacking game has to meet before it can be considered a
"true" stacking game is painfully absurd. Reasons for stacking: economics
and ergonomics. As Christian correctly pointed out in another forum, you
could play Chess with stacks of checkers, but this would neither be economic
nor ergonomic.

Certainly there are games where one multi-colored stack sidles up next to
another multi-colored stack, and there's an intricate exchange of sub-stacks
between them. Byte, for example.

Byte rule sheet:
http://www.marksteeregames.com/Byte_rules.pdf

But the notion of bending over backwards to rework the obvious definition of
stacking game - games in which things get stacked - simply to rule out the
pedestrian Checkers as a member of the class is ridiculous. Now you have
this endless succession of "newbies" referring to Checkers as a stacking
game and being "corrected".

"Oh, Checkers isn't really a stacking game...."

Fuck that.

Now if Checkers play *started* with stacks in place and there was no
crowning phase, that'd be like playing Chess with stacks. Wouldn't make
sense. But the stack is formed *during* play by moving into the far row.
Is there a sophisticated, multi-colored sub-stack exchange with neighboring
stacks? No. An off-board checker is simply stacked onto an on-board
checker. But it happens during the game and the stack is significant in the
game.

Game pieces are just ways of representing data in an economic and ergonomic
way. In Checkers, for instance, there is admittedly nothing particularly
stack-like about the underlying data. It's just that there are usually
extra pieces lying around and it's ultra convenient to stack one on another
to represent a king. It makes so much sense in fact, economically and
ergonomically, that checkers are designed with interlocking ridges to
accommodate stacking.

It's convenient to represent Checker's underlying data with stacked
cylinders and so it's done - exactly as with Byte, though stack manipulation
is much more sophisticated in Byte. The notion that a stack of two
like-colored checkers, formed during the game, isn't really a stack is
absurd.

Dipole is a stacking game. The stacks could be replaced by polyhedral dice.
So what? That'd be a pain in the ass. Dipole is no less a stacking game
because it could be played with polyhedral dice instead of checkers.

Anyway, getting back to the topic, I think the consensus is that the contest
isn't real particular about what qualifies, as long as stacking is involved,
although by the same token, I don't think anyone really wants to see any
Checkers variants.

christian

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Dec 28, 2010, 3:20:49 PM12/28/10
to
On Dec 28, 8:31 pm, markste...@gmail.com wrote:

> Anyway, getting back to the topic, I think the consensus is that the contest
> isn't real particular about what qualifies, as long as stacking is involved,
> although by the same token, I don't think anyone really wants to see any
> Checkers variants.
>

No, not really, but since people can't even agree on the definition of
a chair (and all on good grounds and all, too) I think it's best to be
as inclusive as possible.

christian

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Dec 28, 2010, 5:10:35 PM12/28/10
to
Maybe there should be a thread with the official rules for the
contest, for reference, but that will have to wait till Daniel is back
from Poland (since he started the thread and in that sense 'owns' the
contest).

marks...@gmail.com

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Dec 28, 2010, 6:25:17 PM12/28/10
to

On 28-Dec-2010, christian <chri...@mindsports.nl> wrote:

> Maybe there should be a thread with the official rules for
> the contest, for reference,

I think we've pretty much got it covered already. It's not that
complicated. Borderline anything goes and in three months, or sooner if it
looks like we've gotten all the entries we're going to get, we determine
which game is best.

The winner gets recognition as being the winner. I think we can probably
live without the bgg writeup. Let's just be rec.games.abstract and let bgg
be bgg. Kudos to Daniel for the contest though.

spielstein

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Dec 28, 2010, 6:32:26 PM12/28/10
to
What about to call it the "multiple-pieces-share-one-space-contest"
and just carry on?

marks...@gmail.com

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Dec 28, 2010, 6:49:43 PM12/28/10
to

On 28-Dec-2010, spielstein <spiel...@gmail.com> wrote:

> What about to call it the "multiple-pieces-share-one-space-contest"
> and just carry on?

"Games with a vertical component" :)

Nice job with Verto, btw.

spielstein

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Dec 28, 2010, 6:57:05 PM12/28/10
to
On 29 Dez., 00:49, markste...@gmail.com wrote:

> On 28-Dec-2010, spielstein <spielst...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > What about to call it the "multiple-pieces-share-one-space-contest"
> > and just carry on?
>
> "Games with a vertical component"  :)

... or 3D games ... LOL

> Nice job with Verto, btw.

Thanks.

Gert Buschmann

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Dec 29, 2010, 6:28:35 AM12/29/10
to
On 29 Dez., 00:25, markste...@gmail.com wrote:

It would be nice if there was a thread just for the rules and the
entries. The entries are somewhat hard to find in this thread.

Harald Korneliussen

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Dec 29, 2010, 7:29:51 AM12/29/10
to
On 26 Des, 17:57, "Daniel S." <antiw...@me.com> wrote:

> This is the only completely off topic post on this 40 message thread,
> so you're not making a very strong point.

Number of posters is a more relevant metric. Google groups collects
statistics for you:

http://groups.google.com/group/rec.games.abstract/about

To be fair, this thread is the first non-OT one in a long time. If you
follow through with this competition of yours, you'll have done
something good - though not for r.g.a, which is beyond help. Talk is
also cheaper than action. I have my doubts anything will come out of
it, if you make it serious at all (like demanding participants play
the games they rate). You can see this as a taunt, to goad you into
going through with it.

christian

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Dec 29, 2010, 8:32:53 AM12/29/10
to
On Dec 29, 1:29 pm, Harald Korneliussen <vinterm...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 26 Des, 17:57, "Daniel S." <antiw...@me.com> wrote:
>
> > This is the only completely off topic post on this 40 message thread,
> > so you're not making a very strong point.
> ...

> If you follow through with this competition of yours, you'll have done something good - though not for r.g.a, which is beyond help.
Obviously, then, there must be another reason for you to visit a place
that is beyond help.

> Talk is also cheaper than action. I have my doubts anything will come out of it ...
http://mindsports.nl/index.php/the-pit/soar-574
http://www.cameronius.com/games/stax/

... with and several other inventors working at an entry and a couple
of month to go. I have little doubt something will come out of
it ... :)

marks...@gmail.com

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Dec 29, 2010, 10:36:01 AM12/29/10