But I also think there's another simple fact that somewhat limits the
expressibility of an Icehouse or piecepack game: most good games have
much more than 30 components (which is all you get with two stashes--
32 if you count the Treehouse dice). (A piecepack has, what, 56
pieces? I think that's still not enough.) Aside from the
checkers/backgammon/Gipf families of games, it's hard to think of a
well-regarded game with fewer than, say, 80 pieces (5HOUSE). Look at
the list of Spiel des Jahres winners: I think the only ones that meet
this criteria are Villa Paletti, Bluff, Top Secret Spies, and Focus.
(But now that I think of it, all of these could be adapted into
Icehouse games pretty easily, except maybe Bluff, though that would be
a fine piecepack game for 2-4 players.)
I agree with this. It's similar to what I said in my last message. More components are needed to be able to add more complexity to the rules.
I'd like to see that. In fact, one of my suspicions about why some
> In fact, I've been toying with different ideas since I "finished"
> VF to take the game to another level, with specific components.
people voted it so low is that it doesn't use much of the qualities of
a Treehouse set: no dice, and no stacking or pointing. And it's only
2HOUSE if you play it with 2 players. (Personally I didn't think any
of these affected its suitability for the design restriction, but I
could see how some could take that into account.)
I really hope that's not the case, as it was made pretty clear that the 2HOUSE limit was only on the lower end. If more sets were needed for more players, it wasn't supposed to be a problem. In fact, wrecktangle is really a 1HOUSE game for two players, and it didn't seem to hurt it much... :)
For me, the thematic/abstract distinction is irrelevant. It's not
> When I play a game at home, I find myself going more for thematic
> games... It's hard to do a thematic game with abstract components,
> even though there are some in both game systems that more or less
> manage to do it...
hard to attach a theme to any game-- I briefly thought about coming up
with a theme for Pylon, but I decided it wasn't worth it, simply
because it didn't make a difference to me. But if it makes it easier
for someone to grasp, feel free.
I discussed how I view the relationship with theme in my last post, but I'll briefly say that what I mean about it being hard to do a thematic game with these abstract componentes is that a good themed game needs chrome (rules that add the thematic feeling and complexity to the game) and it's hard to add that to a game with such few and generic components. . I'm not talking about pasted on themes. Those are much more easy to apply.