Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

Re: [Icehouse] What is 2HOUSE?

  • FromChristopher Hickman <tophu@xxxxxxx>
  • DateMon, 12 Nov 2007 11:02:32 -0500
This sounds like a decent compromise and an excellent end to the argument. :)

I'm glad you decided to see it through.

On Nov 12, 2007, at 10:45 AM, David Artman wrote:

OK, I have re-read the thread, given it some thought, and now I just
want to see the end of this whole discussion (if at all possible--I have
my doubts that some participants are capable of conceding).

What is a 2HOUSE game? That's all this boils down to, when stripped of
alleged allegations, aggravations, and accusations.

I thought I summarized it rather well, in the portion of the discussion
that involved Ryan:

"So the only games I'd reject are those which are mechanically
indistinguishable, identical-in-play games when converted to 1HOUSE; but
conversely, if they can scale up well (ex: Icecaster, Martian Chess)
then I say so much the better for sales promotion!"
""Will this game absolutely require a new Icehouse System adopter
with one set to buy his or her second set?" If the answer is no,
then the game doesn't qualify."

The (repeated) reasons are also summarized:
"But relaxing to "1 or 2 sets": no, not now. The whole point is to
encourage new Icehouse System players to buy a second set in order to
gain the capability of playing several new games. I think a "1 or 2 set"
requirement would lead to more 1-set games--not a *bad* thing, per se,
but we already have about thirty-six 1-set games (not counting those
languishing in development) but only nine 2-set games, most of which are
limited variations or only support a limited number of players in a
2-set setup. Andy made it pretty clear that "2HOUSE" games would serve
Looney Labs best, once one accepts that thirty-six-plus 1-set games is
"enough" to motivate first-set purchases."
...and... (from Jorge, before he switched opinions)
"While that may be true in some cases, in other cases it may lead to
that are "almost 1HOUSE" and that may even work better removing those artificial elements... but you're right: now it's not the time to change
rules... Let's hope that people do games that really need 2 sets, else
newcomers to the system that bought a second set to play more games may
a bit cheated :)"
"What you fail to mention is that you would have invested time and
into reading a game that you would, in turn, then rate very lowly
because it basically spurned the requirement or tried to circumvent it
in a trivial manner.
Now recall how much trouble we had getting complete ranking from every
judge--why should we exacerbate that problem by admitting games which
spurn the requirement just to "get seen" or whatever (as we presume
winning would be neigh impossible)."

To enumerate:
1) A game which doesn't promote sales of second sets to new adopters
doesn't qualify. ("Must Sell Some Plastic")
2) New adopters should not be put in the position where they might
realize they didn't actually need a second set. ("No Bait and Switch")
3) Several judges' time to read and reject is worth more than one
designer's time or submission. ("The Needs of the Many...")
4) The judges should be focussed on what game is "best" without having
to adjust that due to an orthogonal element of judging: conformity to
the restriction. ("No Men in the Mrs. America Contest")
5) It has already been announced. ("Don't Change Horses in Midstream")

As Coordinator--or should I say, if I am to remain the Coordinator--I
would be the "first gateway" for submission acceptance. If (*if*) I
reject a game because it's trivially 1HOUSE, then the designer may
appeal to the list and, if he or she gains a consensus in favor of
letting it be judged, I will list it among the games.

If that doesn't make my position clear, let me add to it one thing: I am running this competition for Looney Labs' benefit and for the expansion
of the Icehouse System market, NOT for the community on this list and
NOT for the designers to gain recognition. Should the latter two
benefits accrue, so much the better, but I will not place them at a
higher priority than promotion of sales and the System.

Those of you who simply *must* make a 1HOUSE game--or make a game which is aesthetically more pleasing as 2HOUSE but which anyone could see can
easily be played with 1 set--are encouraged to do so and seek
playtesters. But I won't let such a game "pad" the list of submission or "water down" the requirement which other, conforming designers struggle
to meet.

If someone feels that being the first gateway makes me a dictator, then
he or she has one recourse: take over the IGDC, re-announce the
relaxation of the requirement in all location online where it has been
announced, and proceed with the general management throughout autumn and
early winter.

The restriction is clear, reasonable, and good for the business. I am
serving ONLY the best interests of Looney Labs, and will not tolerate
further implications that I have another agenda (or a swelled head).
Until this competition, Coordinator of the IGDC was a merely
administrative role: wiki-work and cajoling someone to do the math for
me. Now, it has a managerial aspect--vetting games for
qualification--and if I have to occasionally so "no" to a game, it's
only for the benefit of the business and of the judges (and new players, of course); NOT because I am reveling in my glorious power. And, again,
anyone who wants the "fun" of being in this damned shooting gallery is
welcome to it.

If anyone has a logical argument to make which conforms to the above
enumerated priorities and justifications but reaches a different
conclusion than I have, feel free to present it and I will respond. If
someone has an opinion that "it's too arbitrary," then I welcome them to
further detail precise aspects of the requirement to remove the
(alleged) subjectivity and make it objective, NOT to remove the
requirement completely (we were doing a fine job of detailing such
nuances until the noise kicked in).

Beyond that, I am just too insulted, tired, and (frankly) busy with the
real world to continue to go back and forth over whether or not the
requirement will be enforced by me as Coordinator. It's my job, I do my best, and I *always* ALWAYS ***ALWAYS*** am thinking of the best for the Looneys and building the brand, not what's best for any of you. Sorry if
that sounds "harsh" or unfeeling--I am not, in fact, anyone here's
adversary, in spite of obvious grudges held against me for my past
transgression--but them's the facts. It goes:
God > Country > Looneys > Customers (Judges) > folks on a listserv > me.


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