Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

Re: [Icehouse] IGDC Summer 2007 Rankings

  • From"Avri Klemer" <avri@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateFri, 21 Sep 2007 11:34:05 -0400
Hi, Jeff.  Feedback from my playtest groups, as requested:

The biggest issue we had, realized pretty early in our first game, was the *very* specific situation needed for the game end conditions. As the game progressed, and the positions shifted so quickly and unpredictably, it was clear that the game would never end due to any plan or skill on our parts. In three attempts over the month, we never saw a game to completion, always bailing in frustration.

The fact that this problem was reflected in the rules made the game feel broken or at least uncompleted.

A game with moving goals and positions can obviously work. A game with a difficult or very specific end condition can also work. The two together was what left us not enjoying MCC.

[This is actually a problem I ran into myself with the 4-player version of Penguin Soccer, and as a result I will remove that version from the "official" rules once the wiki is unlocked (*hint* *hint*, Mike . . .)]

As was mentioned on the wiki, MCC is hurt somewhat by the fact that it is theme-free. We did not really know why we were doing what we were doing, nor what a Chaturanga was.

However, while I do like a strong theme, it is far from the be all and end all - I voted Pylon as my favorite IGDC game, and there couldn't be a less themey game! The difference is, Pylon's rules were clear, simple and, best of all, unambiguous - no theme required. I wish I could get the Penguin Soccer rules this clean!

I find theme works best when it helps explain the goal or the mechanics of the game - Moon Shot was a decent example of this.

Our feeling is that there is a fun and dynamic game in MCC, but a tightening up of the victory conditions is needed in order to allow the gameplay to shine.

Hope this is helpful, Jeff, and taken in the spirit of constructive criticism in which it is intended. I had a great time over the last month playing all 8 games, and created a number of Icehouse converts ("Tube-heads"?) in the process.

I would also like to solicit specific feedback to players' experiences with Penguin Soccer. Again, here or the wiki would be just fine.

Already playtesting ideas for the next IGDC . . .


----- Original Message ----- From: "Jeff Zeitlin" <icehouse@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "Icehouse Discussion List" <icehouse@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, September 20, 2007 5:03 PM

Ranking Results below

OK, I'm the author of Martian Coaster Chaturanga, and from the rankings,
I see that it scored fairly consistently in the bottom half of the
rankings among those who ranked it at all. To me, that seems to imply
that there was either a fundamental design flaw, or a fundamental
misunderstanding by me of what makes a game fun and/or interesting.  I'd
be interested in hearing folks' thoughts on why they ranked MCC
generally low