On Feb 7, 2006, at 2:27 PM, Christopher Hickman wrote:
I guess I seriously underestimated the demand here. No one else
comment on a contest to design quality single-stash games as entry
Hmm, I managed to miss this the first time around.
This is a good idea. As Mark Rosewater (of Magic: the Gathering
fame) frequently mentions, restrictions breed creativity.
I definitely agree that restrictions can be extremely helpful in
inspiring elegance, creativity, and lots of other good stuff, though
removing restrictions can also help see problems from a completely
different angle ("why does a board game have to have a board, or
I think one of the reasons Icehouse is such a good game system is
because of it's fairly limited palette. You only have a couple colors
to work with, 3 sizes, and 5 pieces of each size/color. The
restrictions here actually end up serving as inspiration, and I think
the restricted palette of one or a couple of Treehouse sets could
also provide such inspiration.
Another added benefit of forced creativity, there's the obvious:
to single-stash games gives us more of what we need--single-stash
Yep! Single-stash games are so much more convenient than multi-stash
games, for a variety of reasons: cost, space, ease of setup and
cleanup, and so on.
I'd also like to bring up something else I recently read.
According to Wil
Shipley (http://wilshipley.com/blog/2006/01/os-x-prize.html), Larry
X-Prize fame believes that prize-incentive research is the wave of the
future. Since the horizontal growth of the Icehouse market is more
important than the vertical growth, and elegant and compelling
games allow for an easier introduction to the world of Icehouse,
prize to spur developers would be good. The bounty discussed in
linked article began with a $100 prize and has grown to over $6000
days. If some such similar bounty were made for compelling single-
games, with the Icehouse community at large adding their own
support the effort, I think we'd generate some good stuff.
:/ I'm not very fond of the idea of having monetary prizes for
Icehouse game design competitions. The X-Prize is a very different
beast from game design. There is a very high cost of entry in aero
and astronautics, which means that there needs to be some fairly high
potential payoff for people to spend the time and money to design a
new spacecraft. Game design can be fairly quick or somewhat involved
(as in, Andy vs. Kory's design styles), but it costs nothing and the
time taken is doing something you enjoy and would do in your free
time anyhow, playing games. Also, I think money could make the
community a lot less friendly; when money's on the line, people are
going to care a lot more about the vote being fair, you have to worry
about people stacking the vote, and so on. I prefer being a member of
a casual community where people design games for the fun of it, or at
least for just fame and glory, rather than a truly competitive group
motivated by money.