Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

RE: [Icehouse] IGDC Winter 2008 is ready for announcement tomorrow!

  • Fromkerry_and_ryan@xxxxxxx
  • DateTue, 06 Nov 2007 16:31:05 +0000
David Artman:
> Folks, if a game is *actually* one-set-per-player and it's presented as
> a two-player "dueling" game (regardless of whether it scales to more
> than two players), is that 2HOUSE? 

My vote is Yes.

> One clearly can't play it with less
> than two sets--it requires 15 mids per player--but it could also be (and
> is probably more fun as) a three- or four-player game; it is
> "artificially" constrained to two sets by "forcing" two-players-only
> with a rule... almost as if the 2HOUSE version is a variation on the
> main game.

It depends on what the default number of players is.  Me, Ryan, I personally think that 2 player games are the default unless a larger number plays SIGNIFICANTLY better.  For instance, I'd call Icehouse a four player game 'cause it don't play worth a crap with only two people.  Zendo is a "three to four player" game.  Volcano is a two player game.  Sure, each of these games can be played with numbers of players, sometimes requiring more equipment, but for me at least they have a default number of players.  Assuming Icecaster plays just fine with two people without any finagling (like two-player Icehouse), then I would indeed call it a 2HOUSE game.

Assuming the above, would I let Icecaster in a hypothetical 4HOUSE competition?  Hmmm... good question.  Since the two-player default is just my own opinion, I'd have to say yes.

But how set-in-stone are the requirements for any game.  You could play Black Ice with two people and _eight_ Treehouse sets, using the exact same mechanics.  Did Andy "artificially" cram the scalable Black Ice game mechanic into the 3HOUSE format just to fill out the 3HOUSE booklet?  Who knows?  (Yes, I know 8HOUSE Black Ice won't be "just" a bigger version of normal Black Ice because of the increased likelihood of matching dice turning into WILDs.)

What about Martian Chess?  What makes it 3HOUSE?  2- and 3-player MC is 2HOUSE.  4- and 5-player MC is 3HOUSE.  6-player MC is 4HOUSE.  Assuming it was a brand new game, what competition (if any) should Martian Chess be allowed in?

Summary, I would be liberal and let pretty much ANY game that could reasonably be played with the requisite number of Treehouse sets into the competition.  It's up to the designer to play the meta-game of deciding WHICH competition to enter such a game in.  If a game that is REALLY fun with four players and four Treehouse sets is entered in the 2HOUSE competition, its ranking will likely suffer AND disqualify the game from being entered into future competitions.  Of course then we get into the discussion of what qualifies as "the same game".  Is 2HOUSE Icecaster "the same game" as 4HOUSE Icecaster?  I'd say yes, unless there are MAJOR changes other than the number of Treehouse sets required.


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