Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

[Icehouse] Fwd: Revised IGDC ballot.

  • FromDale Sheldon <dales@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateSun, 27 Jul 2008 14:02:54 -0400 (EDT)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Daniel C <danielwithoutaplan@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, Jul 18, 2008 at 10:54 AM
Subject: Revised IGDC ballot.
To: IGDC.Coordinator@xxxxxxxxx

I managed to get people to help me playtest all four games other than
mine that can be played with the three Treehouse sets I have. This is
an expanded ballot, which replaces the one I sent a few hours ago. My
ranking is:

1. Virus Fight.
2. Dog Eat Dog.
3. Atom Smasher.
4. Pass the Pyramids.

1. Virus Fight.
Interesting game. After I got a decisive advantage, it was really
frustrating to actually figure out how to take out the other guy. But
that's no more an objection to this game than it is in, say, chess.

Suggestion: a little more clarity on the initial placement of
programs, for three-player or more. Since they should be symmetrical,
not sure how this would work on a 6x6.

2. Dog Eat Dog.
This was more fun than Virus Fight but less interesting and
challenging. I would expect to get bored of it sooner. So I guess I'll
score it lower than Virus Fight. If I were going to score my own game
I would put it on the same level with this one.

Suggestion: tweak the rules to clarify whether you can attack a 2 with
a 3, and also whether you can attack a 1 with a 3, etc. The verb
"stack" doesn't make that clear. Also, there's no need to place the
pyramids randomly at the start; it's equivalent in game terms to have
them grouped by color near the relevant players, and helps with
keeping track of what is whose, and how close the game is to ending.
The important thing is that they be within easy reach of all players.

3. Atom Smasher.
I liked this okay, but lost one smasher pyramid. Other people I played
with didn't like this one that much, and I didn't like it as well as
"Dog Eat Dog".

1. Suggest either playing in a small uncluttered room, or holding up a
sheet or something opposite the current player, to catch flying
2. Rule that any pyramid knocked clean off the playing surface may be
claimed without being circled, PROVIDED no meltdown happens that turn.
(Otherwise claimed by next person.) It's hard to circle things on shag
carpet, let alone on the edge of a thick envelope, which is where one
pyramid landed.
3. Clarify the circling procedure: are the following allowed: A.
pushing the small from behind. B. Pressing the small down by its
point. C. doing some of one, then taking the finger off, then some of
the other, etc. D. using more than one finger, as long as only one
touches the smasher at a time.
4. We had problem where one person circling a pyramid moved it because
the smasher, in sliding past, PULLED A HAIR THAT WAS UNDER THE PYRAMID
IN QUESTION. This points up the importance of a clean surface.
5. State explicitly that anyone can fire the smasher from any
direction, not restricted to "your own side of the table".

4. Pass the Pyramids.
I and two others played this a while, then quit in boredom when the
token count was at 7,6,5.

1. Set a limit on how many rounds the game goes on, if nobody busts.
2. The scoring rules are now wrong. How about this:
-a pyramid's "p-value" is its pip count if it is not upright, or the
square of its pip count if it is upright.
-if any pyramids are upright after your roll, add their p-values to
your score for this turn.
-for any pyramid that pointing at one or more others, add the p-values
of that pyramid and of the pyramid or pyramids it is pointing at to
your score for this turn.
3. The handling of the money is slightly unclear. Where you say

"If the current score is beaten, the throwing player collects the
previous stake and the pot, and reclaims his own stake. After a pot is
won, the next player clockwise from the winner stakes to begin a new

it would seem that the previous stake and the player's stake had
already been added to the pot, or at least it doesn't add anything to
separate them. Similarly, where it says

"If the score is tied, the tying player takes control of the previous
stake ("adds it to his own), and the next player clockwise may stake
or pass."

it would seem to produce the same result to say that the tying player
takes provisional control of the pot. Basically:

-initially the pot is zero and is nobody's.
-before taking your turn you must always add one to the pot.
-you may avoid this payment by skipping your turn IF the pot is greater than 1.
-if the pot is nobody's and you score anything, you assume provisional
control of the pot.
-if the pot is someone's and you tie their last score, you assume
provisional control of the pot.
-if the pot is someone's and you beat their last score, you get the
whole pot for real.
-if you still have provisional control of the pot at the START of your
turn, you get the whole pot for real and skip your turn.
-when anyone gets the pot for real, form a new pot which is zero and
is nobody's, as at game start.

These are equivalent, as far as I can tell, to the rules as written.
Of course I may have misunderstood something.

4. These rules would be slightly more intuitive if beating someone's
last score only gave you provisional control of the pot, as opposed to
letting you take the thing wholesale. I'm not saying that would be a
better game; I don't know. But oddly, I notice that you say

"A throw which ties or beats the current score on the first or second
throw *need not* be kept if the player wishes to try for a higher

In the rules as written, a throw which beats the current score gets
the whole pot immediately, which is the best possible outcome, so it'd
be idiotic to re-throw it. Maybe someone was thinking of the more
intuitive version.

Daniel Cristofani.

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