Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

[Icehouse] Icehouse Dynamic Connection Game

  • FromSpencer Cappallo <tsi@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateWed, 10 Mar 2010 22:06:46 +0000

I've been working on a 2player Icehouse connection game. It's not finished yet, but I thought I'd post what I've got so far. I've played it a number of times now, and I think it's really starting to take some shape.

It's played by two players with a stash each on a chessboard. There are imagined (or real if you want to make/draw them in) rows extending out on all sides of the board, as if it were a 10x10 board with the corner squares removed.

The object of the game is to connect the (imaginary) row nearest you with the (imaginary) row farthest from you, while stopping your opponent from doing likewise. Basically, connect your two sides.

I've uploaded a quick mockup of the board here: http://headphoned.com/icehouse/emptyboard.png

Players take alternating turns. On a player's turn he may do ONE of four things:

1) Place a pyramid from his stash onto any empty square on the board (EXCEPT his opponent's two special rows, colour coded in the above image). The piece must be laying on its side pointing in one of the four orthogonal directions.

2) Rotate one of his pieces already on the board. He may rotate the piece 90, 180, or 270 degrees.

3) Move the piece. Pieces move orthogonally, never diagonally. They move up to 4 - p spaces, where p is the pip-count. Or, in other words: big pieces move 1 square, mediums up to 2 squares, and smalls up to 3 squares. Pieces can not move through, move onto, capture, or push other pieces.

4) Pick up one of your pieces from the board and return it to your stash. [This one shouldn't come up often]

Every piece on the board has an imaginary line extending out from it in the direction it's facing. This area extends for a number of spaces equal to the piece's pip count, or until it hits another piece.

This is illustrated here for each of the three sizes: http://headphoned.com/icehouse/influence.png

If this line hits another piece, it stops at that square. If the other piece is the same colour, the two are connected. If the other piece is the opposite colour, it's blocking the first piece.

This is easiest to see in a diagram: http://headphoned.com/icehouse/blocking.png In the above image, there is a 3-pip piece pointing North. Its line would, unobstructed, extend 3 squares beyond it. However, since there is a blue 2-pip piece in the way, the line is blocked and a piece 3 squares away from the 3 pip red piece would not be connected to it. Also pictured is a 1-pip red piece pointing directly at the 3-pip red piece. The 1-pip's line only extends one square, and that square is occupied by the 3-pip piece, thereby connecting the two.

It is through linking pieces of your colour in this manner that you hope to connect your two sides and win.

An example of connecting two sides is here: http://headphoned.com/icehouse/connection.png It is important to note from the above example that one piece in the connection, a 2-pip, is getting pointed at by two different pyramids. The direction of the arrows need not necessarily flow provided there is still a connection between your two sides.

And finally, here's an example of a game in progress where whoever's turn it is can win by moving: http://headphoned.com/icehouse/ekzamplo.png

Anyway, that's my little game I'm working on. I hope some of you will give it a look, maybe even a try, and give me some feedback. I haven't really tried varying the board size much yet. I suspect it could be turned into a placement-only connection game with the right board size (on my to-investigate list). Also, I suspect it can become a three player game on a hexagonal grid. (Maybe a 5x5x5?)

Thanks for reading!


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