Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

Re: [Icehouse] Re: Ice Game Design Competition 2007

  • From"Carlton Noles" <carlton.noles@xxxxxxxxx>
  • DateMon, 16 Apr 2007 12:12:22 -0400

On 4/16/07, Brian Campbell <lambda@xxxxxxx> wrote:
On Apr 16, 2007, at 11:09 AM, David Artman wrote:

> I'd like to see the competitions--open AND themed--focus on current
> Looney Labs products and strategies. Basically, this means it
> should be
> playable by a totally new user for an investment of (say) no more than
> ~$25. That's two stashes and Martian coasters, 3HOUSE (almost), two
> stashes and Volcano caps, or a stash and a card game (except
> Chronauts). So, a game which (say) calls for seven full monochrome
> stashes would not qualify for either contest--a player must buy
> to play, or a mix of Treehouse and monochromes through the LL site.
> This
> might not be a permanent submission requirement, but I'd like to
> see it
> as a major focus for at least a couple of rounds of contests. Think of
> it in terms of ends: the Looneys can FAR more use a bunch of games
> that
> help initiate sales than a bunch of games that presume the player
> has a
> (nearly) complete collection.

I would prefer a combination of the laissez-faire approach taken by
the old competitions, with themed competitions that target currently
available offerings for the first several themed competitions. In the
old system you could submit games that required whatever extra
components you wanted, with the caveat that people may rank lower
games that just require too much stuff. There were no explicit
criteria for voting; people could base their judgements on whatever
they wanted, including that it required too much equipment. That way,
if there was a strong community feeling that stuff that required too
much equipment wasn't worth it, it would be reflected in the votes,
without any rules imposed from on high, and with the opportunity for
really great games that just happened to require more than some
arbitrary cutoff to still be recognized. I think that having the
themed competitions, with particular entry requirements, will be
enough to spur interested in designing smaller, simpler games that
are good entry level games.

I agree with Brian here. My intention when I originally brought up an 'Open' format was that it be just that, open. Anything goes so long as it uses Icehouse peices. I know there are several multi stash games out there as well as 1 stach per player games and so on. yes it is possible that not everyone will be able to play all the games submitted but in the end the game just wont get as many votes. As an example if the Roleplaying game were submitted i wouldn't be able to give it a good test as it requires ALL the colors available and i only have six stashes. In fact until recently I hadn't played Volcano because I lacked enough pieces. So some may not be able to play all of the games but designers should be able to submit anything they like in an Open competition.

> That said, MY notion for the "themed" contest is that it would not
> just
> be tied to a particular product (because both competitions essentially
> have that as a requirement), but rather it would be something more
> akin
> to the Iron Game Chef competitions:
> http://www.game-chef.com/
> Basically, the competition organizer(s) would throw out four general
> themes (mechanics, flavor, timing), and all submissions would have to
> use at least three of them. Example: Turnless, Chessboard, Theft, the
> Orient. The ultimate "end' of this sort of competition is (perhaps) to
> inspire a new boxed set or create better bridges to the more
> mainstream
> board game and miniature markets (or RPGs?). And it pushes the
> boundaries of creativity more than just "use Volcano Caps" would....

That's an interesting idea, but I don't know how it will work in
practice. Board game design is a bit different than RPG design, and
having too many requirements may make the games too similar (in RPG
design, there's a lot more room for creativity, since they are a lot
more open-ended), so I don't know if this would transfer over
appropriately. I'll definitely keep it in mind, and maybe try out one
or two simpler themes (Volcano caps, Martian Coasters), and one or
two Iron Game Chef style themes, to see which works better.
I Think this is an interesting concept as well. I think though perhaps the "Iron Ice" (or maybe Cold Steel ;{)} ) competition could be a bit further off or even a Special Additional contest with req's announced significantly in advance. The IGDC in general was for folks designing games in general to submit their designs for competition. Though I am certain some games were designed specifically to compete that need not be the case. For the "Iron Ice/Cold Steel/Whatever" competition the game almost certainly would need to be designed specifically for that competition. I do think it could be very fascinating to see what comes out of such a competition specifically because of the similatities that could arise (thus making the differences that much more significant). Such a competition could be come a great learning experience for what constitutes excellent in game design.

Just sayin'
Carlton "Kermit" Noles
"Joy Multiplies when it is shared among friends but grief diminishes at every division. That is life"
-Drizzt Do'Urden
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