Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

RE: [Icehouse] 2HOUSE or not 2HOUSE

  • FromDavid Artman <david@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateWed, 02 Jan 2008 09:13:50 -0700
> From: "Jorge Arroyo" <trozo@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
>   After the heated discussion about the 2HOUSE requirement for the current

Frankly, it was the heated nature of that discussion that left me too
drained to give a s**t about games fitting the 2HOUSE restriction or
not. I was already late to announce submission, and I didn't want to
take the time to read every one to make a subjective judgment about how
easily one might play them with one set and "extras." (FWIW, I still do
not think that being able to substitute non-pyramid pieces is a
significant objection, as one can play nearly every Icehouse game with
only Legos or a couple of matching chess sets.)

Ultimately, it will be on the judges to rank accordingly, as it always
would be--many games can be "crammed" into a 2HOUSE model with minimal
actual creative effort (for example, I could have changed one line of
Ikkozendo's or Atom Smasher's rule text and made them "2HOUSE").
Remember the whole point of the IGDC: new games, widely tested, refined
for the masses, to increase the utility of pyramids and thus promote
more sales of them. I could care less who wins--in fact, I've though
some about how to make a "winless" or "all winners" competition, though
it's oxymoronic--as long as we get cool new games to demo that promote

>   Now, if I had decided not to submit a game because of the strict
> requirement, I probably wouldn't be very happy about this (which fortunately
> is not the case)...

It is my sincere, fervent hope that a "game designer" does not withhold
an idea merely because it doesn't happen to fit a current IGDC
requirement. In fact, I'd hope that "game design" continues regardless
of the IGDC--it would be VERY sad if creative output required the thin
compensation of a chance to win the "attaboy" that is first place in the
IGDC. I would rather, in fact, see designers make several
games--stimulated by the competition--regardless of whether or not a
given game would fit some restriction. It's like being a writer: you DO
it because you HAVE to, not because you might get published. To put none
too fine a point on it: I have absolutely no sympathy or concern for a
"designer" who does not publish a good game because he or she can't
"win" with it.

In closing, let's have a good contest, focussed not only on assigning
kudos to complete and solid work but also on refining work that isn't
quite ready for prime time. Perhaps those games which are "marginally"
2HOUSE could be refined or augmented such that they DO fit the
restriction--wouldn't that be better, in the long run, than giving them
demerits? After all, this particular restriction was put in place to
create "transition" games for new adopters, to get them from one set to
more-than-one set. In the end, I'd like for every submission (and, hey,
how about a few more?) to qualify for listing under the Two Sets heading
at What Can I Play?


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