Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

[Icehouse] Regarding Official Zero-Pointers

  • FromDavid Artman <david@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateWed, 07 Mar 2007 11:49:05 -0700
> Elliott wrotte...
> As I mention in that file, it's my personal belief that
> the base and height measurements of the pieces increase
> linearly with point value, and that the pieces get
> squatter as size increases.

Really? Some quick math, to confirm:
any pyramid angle = 2arctan(B/2H)
LARGE angle = 2arctan(1/3.5) = 31.89°
      height:base ratio = 1.75
MEDIUM angle = 2arctan(0.78125/2.75) = 31.79°
       height:base ratio = 1.76
SMALL angle = 2arctan(0.5625/2) = 31.42°
      height:base ratio = 1.7777...

So while my Base formula might be right--B(x)=B(x-1)+0.21875--the Height
formula which depends upon the consistent ratio of 1.75 breaks down.
And, yep, they get squatter as they grow (ratio decreases; angle
increases). BUT, one could go ahead and "hold" that ratio firm, for 4+
pointers, and the only disadvantage would be that nested pieces would
not "fully nest"--touch on all faces while sharing bases. Hmmm... do
they even do so, now, I am wondering....

So these theoretical n-pointers might not end up fully nesting, when
all's said and done? Or do we need to storm Wunderland and demand they
make the 1 through 3 according to a harmonious, consistent set of
formulas? ;)

> How cool would it be? Would it be $5 cool per color? $4? These
> aren't worth manufacturing, but someone with a band saw could
> quickly turn a bulk order of Treehouse sets into a pile of
> 0-pointers. They'd probably wind up at ~$1 *per piece* retail,
> though. That's a lot of money for such a small pyramid.

Thanks for asking, Elliott.

In my opinion, a buck a piece (the standard price for any, individually)
is a fairly decent price, for one-off "replacements". But when one wants
to initially buy a complete set--5 per color, 55 total--that could get
prohibitive. That's when bundling would come in, as you suggest above.

So... Volcano caps are $4 for a set of five. Assuming the production
cost goes down for a 0 (less plastic, no paper insert, tiny baggie) one
might be able to get the MSRP of a set of five 0-pointers down to $3.

No brainer: I'd drop $33 for 55 pieces, to "complete" my rainbow; and I
suspect many other folks would as well. And one cool thing is that they
could just be sold in a plastic baggie, because one *can* fit five
stacks of four pieces into an existing tube. You have to do one stack
up, one stack down, one stack up, etc--so that no stack's peak nests
into the stack above it--but it does work (I do this to add a d6 in a
Treehouse set, for Martian Coasters).

If this were a web forum, I'd start a Poll right about now. :)

> Avri wrote...
> If someone comes up with a particularly good game (or two) that requires
> the 0-pointers, my guess is there would be a market at the prices you're
> talking about.

Well, so long as a game doesn't live or die on the strict presence of
only three sizes (ex: Tic Tac Doh) and so long as the pip value is not
a key element (ex: the "hit points" in Armada), it could accept a

One BIG issue, though, is whether or not a 0-pointer can actually tree
on top of another piece! Not having made any yet, I don't know--could
Andy or someone chime in, to confirm or deny that a 0-pointer can rest
on top of another piece's peak?

So long as that is possible, you could add 0-pointers to just about any
game. Folks have already mentioned Zendo and the interesting options it
opens up (ex: "more pieces than points"). I should think Martian
Coasters would be unaffected, too--just a 33% longer game, on

AND, I could sit here going through the wiki, plucking out titles.
Suffice it to say that there is already AT LAST ten games that could
use them. Now... what sort of game could we make that *requires* them
for its strategic interrelations? :)

OK, this is fun, now...

Current Thread