Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

Re: [Icehouse] playtest request from Kristin (fwd)

  • FromLaurie Menke <laurie_menke@xxxxxxxxx>
  • DateSat, 21 Jan 2006 08:55:17 -0800 (PST)
I have to agree with others that the abbreviated
directions make learning the game no fun.  I first
read Andy's description of Treehouse on the
webzine--it sounded like a lot of fun and I was eager
to get started.  I then read the directions and still
found myself confused and thinking about giving up
after three readings.  :o(  I now think I have the
general gyst, but still find a few sentences/phrases
confusing.  I would reword the first part of the
directions to something like this:  "The House is a
trio of pieces on an imaginary line in the center of
the table, which start out like this:  Every player
begins with a Tree, which is on its own imaginary
line:  GOAL:  Line your trio up to match the House. 
On your turn, roll.  You can either 1) take the Action
on your trio, 2) take the Action on the House's trio,
or 3) pass."  Or maybe it's actually "You must take
the Action on your trio if you can.  If you can't, you
can either 1) take the Action on the House's trio, or
2) pass."  (Not sure which interpretation is

I also agree with others that there is a lot of
terminology included that non-Icehouse players might
not intuitively get:  tower (BTW--typo in that line: 
tower OF, not tower OR), upright, aim/aiming/pointing,
uncapped, unstacked.  I think tower and uncapped might
be particularly troublesome, as tower might be
interpreted as any pyramid, and uncapped may be
interpreted to mean the same as unstacked.

I'm not entirely sure how this can be used, but when I
started understanding the game, I began to get a
picture/story going in my head.  It goes like this: 
The Treehouse Club is very exclusive...you can only
get in if you come in groups of three, up a rope
ladder, starting at the bottom as a Tree (each kid on
the other's shoulders), and ending in the
configuration posted on the door of the House.  There
are four rope ladders up to the treehouse, and if one
group of kids thinks another group is getting close,
they scurry up their ladder and change the
configuration posted on the door to one that works
better for their group.  Once one group of three kids
makes it to the House door correctly, they are
admitted and the meeting begins.  All other kids are
out of luck for this meeting.  Here are the acrobatics
the kids might have to do:  get off each other's
shoulders without falling off the rope ladder (tip),
trade places with another kid on the ladder without
causing the third kid to fall (swap), pass other
kid(s) on the ladder by hanging from the underside of
the ladder--if you come up right under a kid, they end
up on your shoulders (dig), climb/leapfrog over the
kid(s) in front of you--either staying on their
shoulders or ending up in front of them (hop), or turn
your body in a different direction (aim).

OK...enough of that...my only other suggestion would
be to add an arrow to the name of the game, so that it
is called TREE->HOUSE (the arrow would be much smaller
so as not to add a lot of space between the
words--maybe it would even be an extension of the
middle line in the E of TREE).  That would be an added
clue that you are trying to start as a Tree and end up
however the House is oriented.

Thanks for another great game to try out!  It sounds
like it will be a lot of fun, and I will be hunting
down someone to play with this weekend!  :o)


--- Kristin Looney <kristin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> grumble.  I sent this this afternoon...  but mailman
> ate it...
> ------------ Forwarded Message ------------
> Hello Pyramid fans!
> I need some quick play-testing help from everyone...
> Andy designed a new single stash Icehouse game
> called Treehouse
> <http://www.wunderland.com/icehouse/Treehouse/>
> (we show it with 5 different colors, but you can
> play with 15 of one color)
> There is a bit more info about the development of
> the game on the webzine
> this week, but nothing more in the way of rules...  
> because part of what
> we want to test here is whether or not these very
> spartan rules, that we
> could print on three sides of the plastic tube, are
> enough for people to
> learn the game.
> We will create a web page that has more pictures and
> examples - and I'm
> interested in thoughts on what things that page
> should later contain... but
> the question is:
>   * can you figure it out from JUST the rules on the
> tube
>   * if not - what isn't working for you - how might
> we fix it?
> and once you actually know how to play...
>   * do you like the game?  do your non pyramid fan
> friends like it?
> We can include a little slip of paper in the tube
> with more rules and
> examples if we need to - it does fit - but it will
> add cost. (Don't get
> Kristin started about how far off the profit margins
> are on this product,
> could I get away with charging $10 for it?  I think
> not... )
> anyway...  we are on a VERY short production
> schedule on this - if we are
> going to be giving these away at the GTS show we
> need to be printing the
> stickers for the tubes in just a couple of weeks -
> so we are very
> interested in quick feedback on how the rules text
> work to teach the game.
> here is the webzine that talks more about the
> development process:
> Thanks for playing with pyramids!  Thanks for
> play-testing!
> -Kristin (of the Looney variety)
> P.S. Thanks again Janet, Kory, Jake, John, and Dave
> for the tweaks your
> playtesting gave us last night...  please look at
> the rules again - they
> have changed slightly.
> ---------- End Forwarded Message ----------
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> Icehouse@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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