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   Author  Topic: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games  (Read 489939 times)
christianF
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #285 on: Oct 27th, 2010, 11:43am »

on Oct 27th, 2010, 11:25am, MarkSteere wrote:
It's more than a hint.

It's a bait Grin .
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #286 on: Oct 27th, 2010, 11:55am »

on Oct 27th, 2010, 11:24am, christianF wrote:

Indeed it doesn't. To me it would seem that requiring any skill starts with the intention to do so. Hence 'wannabe'.  

 
Ok. I was just wondering why not use a word that is not loaded with negative connotation.
 
Quote:
Are you their spokesman?

I'm no-one's spokeman, not even mine. I just pointed out what felt controversial in the light of the post previous to yours, i.e. Forum Admin's.
 
Quote:

Baffled? I made a suggestion regarding a theme for a game. Am I missing something?

 
Maybe I don't know how to use "baffled" at the right context. It didn't reference the totality of your suggestion to try out finding out a game -- only the "wannabe" usage.
 
Quote:

P.S. You may actually harbor the opinion that game inventing is not a skill. I won't comment on that.

 
My take on this is that in traditional sense, it is a skill. But personally I feel that everything is just a discovery; i.e. one explores the space of possibilities. It doesn't mean I don't value inventors/discoverers. Inherently nothing has absolute value. I just prefer some things, and I do prefer to see skilled inventors over non-skilled.
« Last Edit: Oct 27th, 2010, 11:59am by clojure » IP Logged
christianF
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #287 on: Oct 27th, 2010, 12:17pm »

on Oct 27th, 2010, 11:55am, clojure wrote:
I'm no-one's spokeman, not even mine. I just pointed out what felt controversial in the light of the post previous to yours, i.e. Forum Admin's.

The moderator's action was directed against a member who addressed another member personally, in a fashion that "borders on baiting someone to say something that would violate the posting guidelines".
 
Could you please explain how that reflects on my post?
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #288 on: Oct 27th, 2010, 12:34pm »

on Oct 27th, 2010, 12:17pm, christianF wrote:

The moderator's action was directed against a member who addressed another member personally, in a fashion that "borders on baiting someone to say something that would violate the posting guidelines".

 
Sure, I did consider the difference before posting. The attack with targeting specific person is more visible and concrete but to me the spirit of what Forum Admin was saying was that one should not attack anyone, by mentioning someone specifically, or as well by having more abstract way to categorize the object of disrespect.
 
Quote:

Could you please explain how that reflects on my post?

 
Your post doesn't necessarily fulfill the criteria what Forum Admin said in concrete terms. Also your intention wasn't to hurt anyone's feelings, as you said. I wanted only you to dis-ambiguate the word "wannabe".
 
But in general, I don't think Forum Admin would approve if someone says bad words about a subset of people even when not mentioning anyone by name. If I'm wrong here, please correct me.
 
Anyways, let's leave this interplay and concentrate on your interesting game design musings.
« Last Edit: Oct 27th, 2010, 12:37pm by clojure » IP Logged
christianF
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #289 on: Oct 27th, 2010, 12:39pm »

on Oct 27th, 2010, 12:34pm, clojure wrote:
But in general, I don't think Forum Admin would approve if someone says bad words about a subset of people even when not mentioning anyone by name. If I'm wrong here, please correct me.

Al Qaeda springs to mind. Note that I'm not mentioning "He who must not be named".
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #290 on: Oct 27th, 2010, 12:49pm »

on Oct 27th, 2010, 12:39pm, christianF wrote:

Al Qaeda springs to mind.

Osama Bin Laden is alive and Pat Tillman is dead.  Not that I care about Pat Tillman, a victim of his own ego.  Sit the ____ down, shut the ____ up, and wait for backup to arrive, just like everyone else in the unit.
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #291 on: Oct 27th, 2010, 1:08pm »

on Oct 27th, 2010, 12:34pm, clojure wrote:
Anyways, let's leave this interplay and concentrate on your interesting game design musings.

 
If we were to do that, we'd notice that Symple was conceived in a few seconds, in a small window while drifting off to sleep. I published it before playtesting and described its character.
 
The only thing playtesting suggests is to set the parameter '2n' at n=2.
The mechanism is new and the game is of a profound strategical depth, very Go-like but much faster and, because there's no capture, without any ambiguity in the rules.
 
So maybe we'd better not concentrate on them Wink .
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #292 on: Oct 27th, 2010, 2:08pm »

on Oct 27th, 2010, 1:08pm, christianF wrote:

Symple was conceived in a few seconds,

I've had that experience with a lot of designs, including Oust.  Once I considered the boundary conditions, that the board starts out empty and ends with only one color of stones on it, the solution instantly materialized.  
 
The Oust concept did require a couple of quick run-throughs on a tiny board.  I had to allow singletons adjacent to enemy groups because there are no-legal-moves positions without that.  I also had to add the reiterative kill.  Otherwise it was an automatic first kill win.
 
My sudden design experiences are wildly outnumbered by failed design attempts that can span weeks or months.
 
on Oct 27th, 2010, 1:08pm, christianF wrote:

The mechanism is new and the game is of a profound strategical depth, very Go-like

You realized Symple's profound depth after playing it for three weeks??  Smiley  
 
May I call upon designers to, in specific terms, abandon the tiresome, epidemic Go comparisons?  
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #293 on: Oct 27th, 2010, 2:50pm »

on Oct 27th, 2010, 2:08pm, MarkSteere wrote:
You realized Symple's profound depth after playing it for three weeks?? Smiley
 
May I call upon designers to, in specific terms, abandon the tiresome, epidemic Go comparisons?

 
Yes to the first. You didn't with (Hex)Oust? It's organic simplicity points to a field of strategical and tactical refinements to be unveiled in prolongued play, even if beginners, yours truly included, cannot see the full extend of them. It's in the nature of the organism.
 
Concerning the second, sorry Undecided, you're right, frequent (mis)use has made it less of a recommendation, if at all.
 
Let me elaborate on the first in this specific case. Obviously white would have an advantage if no balancing mechanism were present. Symple is balanced by a new one: black gets a privilige that counterbalances it, but to a shifting degree. At any time white can decide to insert a growing move to keep black from cashing in his privilige. If he does so too early black will have the advantage white used to have - being one move ahead - at almost no price. If he does so too late, he doesn't at all, because black will cash in. Of course black wants to cash in as late as possible. There's the first dilemma for both.
 
The second dilemma is when to stop placing stones and to start growing. This moment, in actual play, is something of a black hole: the games are circling around it and the precise center must be derived from their orbit.
 
The point being: there is such a center, albeit not so precise as a black hole, but indeed something to zoom in on, in prolongued play. Deeper knowledge of tactics may help, but the presence of a timing dilemma is clear in this game, in every single game.
« Last Edit: Oct 27th, 2010, 3:42pm by christianF » IP Logged
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #294 on: Oct 27th, 2010, 7:30pm »

on Oct 27th, 2010, 2:50pm, christianF wrote:

[Oust (hex hex)'s] organic simplicity points to a field of strategical and tactical refinements to be unveiled in prolongued play,

Yes, that is happening.  Oust gradually reveals new tactics to the extent that its gameplay becomes counterintuitive after a hundred or so plays.  You want to avoid killing, almost no matter what, in the opening game now.  This is diametrically different from how the opening play was in the first few weeks.  Strategy has grown a lot with no obvious limit in sight.
 
I'm not sure what you mean by organic, though from the context I'm interpreting that as a fundamental concept embodied in a minimal rule set.
 
There's a sente in Oust, something I've become aware of after playing it over 200 times.  Play can end in as little as three moves, and there's a clear distinction between Black play and White play in the first several moves.
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #295 on: Oct 28th, 2010, 2:56am »

on Oct 27th, 2010, 7:30pm, MarkSteere wrote:
I'm not sure what you mean by organic, though from the context I'm interpreting that as a fundamental concept embodied in a minimal rule set.

Close enough, but usually an 'organical' game is also homogeneous. Chess games for instance are much more 'mechanical'.
 
That being said, to me it's a way a game 'feels'. Despite being non-homogeneous, the interaction of the three fieldpieces in Hannibal felt a bit 'organical'. But that quality wasn't enough to pinpoint the game in one go, only to see the core of the system, and some rules in the final version, though well-considered, are arbitrary. Symple is much easier. I wasn't even seriously looking for it.
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #296 on: Oct 28th, 2010, 1:05pm »

on Oct 27th, 2010, 2:08pm, MarkSteere wrote:
May I call upon designers to, in specific terms, abandon the tiresome, epidemic Go comparisons?

Oh dear, I tried to get it back in, even invoking your spirit, but the genie is out of the bottle Shocked .
 
On another note, this thread started around my claim to sometimes be able to perceive a new game and see what it holds for a hypothetical future in a world where it would be played extensively. Obviously this is not a claim that takes its commercial success or lack thereof into account, as some posters assumed.
 
There was a lot of scepticism and general disbelief, and among the best argued answers was one of Fritzlein that I quote here in part:
 
on Mar 8th, 2009, 6:30pm, Fritzlein wrote:
I'm intrigued by Freeling's claim that he (unlike normal people) can tell from the rules of an abstract strategy game whether or not the game will be good.  He explicitly says that he doesn't need to be able to play at a grandmaster level to know what it will feel like to play at a grandmaster level.  He begs us to take his word on four or five of his games that haven't yet been proven to be excellent games, and offers us Havannah as evidence because he knew it was a great game decades before a serious gaming community embraced Havannah and uncovered the glory that he knew all along would be waiting.
 
I have argued in other threads in this forum precisely that one can't tell a great game just from its rules. You must play to know. Arimaa is fabulous because of its emergent complexity, and by definition, emergent complexity can't be obvious from the start. If you can see something on the surface, it is not emergent. I can't believe that anyone, even a "game whisperer" could have foretold the intricacies of the camel hostage strategy from the bare rules of the game. The way we play and talk about Arimaa today would be impossible without the accumulated experience of the community.
 
On the other hand, Freeling has so many acute insights into why rules make a game good or bad that I can't quite dismiss his claim to supernatural powers. Just because I can't judge a game from its rules (and just because I have read a ton of trash from self-styled experts trying to judge a game based on its rules) doesn't mean that it is wholly impossible. Given that Freeling will not profit monetarily if we believe him or suffer if we disbelieve, I am convinced that his motive is exactly what he says it is: he wants to leave his mark on the world by sharing what he knows.
 
I'm surprised he doesn't call himself Cassandra, gifted with prophecy but cursed that no one will believe him. But he does put his faith in generations. He believes that time will tell. I suppose prophesy is like emergent complexity: if other people could judge your claims to be true at the time you made them, then you wouldn't be a prophet.

 
This was more of a 'benefit of the doubt' than I got from most other posters. I was somewhat surpised, therefore, by the agressive answer I got from the same source after posting the freshly conceived rules of Symple.
Or of the annoying small-minded rebuke about the use of the word "wannabe" by Clojure.
 
My surprise is this: I offer a new game of which I, and by now not only I,  think its a great game.
 
Does anyone say "hey thanks, we love games and this appears to be a great game"? No, good chance Clojure didn't even read the rules, let alone try to understand them.
 
No I'm treated agressively or annoyingly and none or my critics has the greatness of mind to say that Symple may well be an example of how I sometimes perceive games - as I said I did.
 
With Hanniball it was easy to try to refute my claim - it's part chesslike and that part is mechanical rather than organical. So its more of a constuction than a self-explanatory organism, and it needed some fixing.
 
Now try Symple. The best strategy for my critics, I suggest, is showing that it's not a great game.
Or keep your silence.
But then, you're doing that already Wink .
« Last Edit: Oct 28th, 2010, 2:04pm by christianF » IP Logged
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #297 on: Oct 28th, 2010, 5:02pm »

Quote:
Or of the annoying small-minded rebuke about the use of the word "wannabe" by Clojure.

 
I apologize for the "wannabe" question, now explicitly since it seems my efforts to explain reasons for it were not enough for neutral judgement.
 
Quote:

My surprise is this: I offer a new game of which I, and by now not only I,  think its a great game.  
 
Does anyone say "hey thanks, we love games and this appears to be a great game"? No, good chance Clojure didn't even read the rules, let alone try to understand them.

 
For the record, I did give you respective and positive message after you wondered why no-one paid attention to Symplex. Now, I'm withdrawing myself from this thread since it's getting too personal for my taste.
« Last Edit: Oct 28th, 2010, 5:04pm by clojure » IP Logged
christianF
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #298 on: Oct 28th, 2010, 5:34pm »

on Oct 28th, 2010, 5:02pm, clojure wrote:
Now, I'm withdrawing myself from this thread since it's getting too personal for my taste.
Says someone who was 'baffled by my disrespectful notions', although these clearly weren't disrespectful, and clearly not directed at a specific person. You just couldn't resist.
 
But delicate sensitivities are anybody's prerogative, so be my guest.
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #299 on: Oct 28th, 2010, 5:48pm »

on Oct 28th, 2010, 1:05pm, christianF wrote:

Oh dear, I tried to get it back in, even invoking your spirit, but the genie is out of the bottle Shocked .

That was a pretty major "edit", Christian.  Your justification for the Symple/Go comparison here replaces your apology for said comparison from yesterday.  The edit function is for typos and such, not to erase and diametrically change what you already said.
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