The problem with theme and icehouse or piecepack games is more that the components are too simple to convey the chrome the rules would need to really convey a heavy theme. That's why abstracts are a perfect fit for these systems. It's not so much about the pretty pictures (I do think both game systems look really nice), but about customized components that help portray a certain theme with more complex rules in a manner that makes sense when playing. Ultimately you have to add other componentes like customized decks (like Martian Gunsllinger needed badly) to create a real themed game.
In my designs I usually start with a theme and then see if mechanics derived from that theme are interesting. Even VF was like this (just as Ryan explained to his class), even though mechanically and rules wise the game is more in line with the abstract games.
On Thu, Feb 21, 2008 at 11:21 PM, miyu <xmiyux@xxxxxxxxx
Count me as one of those people who wants a theme. If I'm craving an abstract I play Go, otherwise I tend to gravitate to some sort of theme - even if the theme is pasted on. Case in point: I keep wanting to try the game Branches, Twigs, Thorns for no other reason than the imagery of the tree seems kind of captivating.
When I taught Virus Fight to my class today I went into detail how the board represented the computer memory and their programs had a limited amount of space in which to operate etc.
I think themes are useful for people who like to make up stories in their heads for things they are doing. :D
Ora, lege, lege, lege, relege, labora et invenies.
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