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   Author  Topic: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games  (Read 489946 times)
MarkSteere
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #315 on: Oct 30th, 2010, 12:45pm »

on Oct 30th, 2010, 11:59am, Fritzlein wrote:

I am glad that you have clarified that you are not merely "surprised", but in fact offended that the Arimaa community is not engaging with Symple, and that you feel we owe it to you to take up your latest game in order to see how great it is.

A word in defense of a fellow designer.  Christian is known for releasing games people like and so has earned credibility.  If you like his games, you do owe it to him to fairly thoroughly evaluate his latest one, not as Arimaa community members, but as players of Christian Freeling games.  It doesn't matter that the discussion happens to be taking place here in the Arimaa forum.  It is in the off topic subforum.
 
Don't offer a blaze response like, Well I'll see if I can get around to reading the rule sheet some time next week.  That's BS.  You don't have an obligation to *like* the game, but you really do need to at least read and understand the rulesheet, in a timely manner.
 
When a designer feels he isn't being treated fairly, this can lead to backlash, the prerogative of the artist.
 
on Oct 30th, 2010, 11:59am, Fritzlein wrote:

What I am saying is that your inflated claims of your own powers are tiresome.  

Bingo.  When someone throws a party in your honor, they don't expect you to show up with a toothbrush and provisions for seven months.
 
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #316 on: Oct 30th, 2010, 1:11pm »

on Oct 30th, 2010, 12:45pm, MarkSteere wrote:
Bingo. When someone throws a party in your honor, they don't expect you to show up with a toothbrush and provisions for seven months.
Yes, somehow the fat lady never showed up, but I don't want to appear impolite, so I'll contact posters whose comments deserve a fair answer privately.
 
I'll leave you with this final public thought though. Mark's Atoll is a great game. Anyone who is only slightly familiar with Hex can see that.
Like Hex it needs a balancing factor. Provided there are cells that are 'sufficiently bad' to start with, a swap will work in a game of this type.
 
Does anyone actually have to play Atoll to see that? Is anyone able to explain how it could not be a great game?
 
The irony is that Mark's scoresheet at iGGC shows 21 losses and 2 wins. Does that mean anything?
 
Now I'll stop being a troll in a thread that has my name in the title Wink .
Again, thanks for contributing and have a good life!
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #317 on: Oct 30th, 2010, 1:20pm »

on Oct 30th, 2010, 12:45pm, MarkSteere wrote:

A word in defense of a fellow designer.  Christian is known for releasing games people like and so has earned credibility.  If you like his games, you do owe it to him to fairly thoroughly evaluate his latest one, not as Arimaa community members, but as players of Christian Freeling games.  It doesn't matter that the discussion happens to be taking place here in the Arimaa forum.  It is in the off topic subforum.

Yes, Christian has great credibility as a game designer.  His past successes incline me to believe that his latest offering is more likely to be a great game than a game invented by someone with no track record or a poor track record.  Yet Christian has staked his claim to credibility not on the fact that he has invented games in the past that have proven to have strategic depth, most notably Havannah, but rather that he knows how Symple will turn out.  You shared my astonishment, at least according to your response:
 
Quote:
You realized Symple's profound depth after playing it for three weeks??

Note that Christian didn't back away at all from his claim to foreknowledge, only from his comparing Symple to Go.
 
I have been playing Arimaa for over six years, and have learned enough about its strategy to fill a book.  We have over a hundred active players and a database of over 150,000 games played on arimaa.com.  Ratings span over eight class intervals.  Yet in spite of all this evidence, the claim I make for Arimaa is that is has the potential to be a great game.  Arimaa hasn't developed any problems yet that would cut off the seemingly-infinite strategy learning curve, but that could change.  It is not too late for Arimaa to be busted.
 
My interest in this thread was from the beginning based on my curiosity as to whether there is a way to know in advance what games are great, with an eye to applying that evaluation method to Arimaa.  Is there a shortcut to many people playing a game quite seriously for a prolonged time?  The case of Hanniball gave me a satisfactory answer to the negative.  I was never motivated by wanting to try out all the latest abstract strategy games, or even to try out all the Christian Freeling games.  I don't see why I would have given cause to anyone to believe that I was.
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #318 on: Oct 30th, 2010, 1:24pm »

on Oct 30th, 2010, 1:11pm, christianF wrote:
Does anyone actually have to play Atoll to see that? Is anyone able to explain how it could not be a great game?

Yes, I would have to play it to see it.  I can't tell just from the rules.  It could prove not to be a great game if the strategic learning curve runs out at some point.  I don't see how anyone can know that the strategic learning curve will never run out.
« Last Edit: Oct 30th, 2010, 1:27pm by Fritzlein » IP Logged

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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #319 on: Oct 30th, 2010, 2:11pm »

on Oct 30th, 2010, 1:11pm, christianF wrote:

Like Hex [Atoll] needs a balancing factor.

No, Christian, I can't allow you to make a fallacious point and run off.  The pie rule is a simple, generic, ugly-but-extremely-useful rule that can be applied to any game, including Symple.  I know, I know.  Symple doesn't need it, right?  You want to know a game that really doesn't need it as much as Hex?  Atoll.
 
Byg, Symple, etc. are based on an unstable, divergent principle. If they're in the same class as Go Moku, only worse, which I strongly suspect, advancing skill will always be accompanied by advanced tweaking of the balancing rule set. Your special balancing rule, the Nagasaki of Symple, makes the the pie rule look like a firecracker in comparison.
 
on Oct 30th, 2010, 1:11pm, christianF wrote:

The irony is that Mark's scoresheet at iGGC shows 21 losses and 2 wins. Does that mean anything?

lol It means that, like you, I don't play the game.  I *make* the game!
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #320 on: Oct 30th, 2010, 2:16pm »

on Oct 30th, 2010, 1:24pm, Fritzlein wrote:

[Atoll] could prove not to be a great game if the strategic learning curve runs out at some point.  I don't see how anyone can know that the strategic learning curve will never run out.

Not to put too fine a point on it Fritzlein, but in this case Christian is right and you are wrong.  Because Atoll is extremely robust and crudely scalable, you will *never* wring out Atoll.
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #321 on: Oct 30th, 2010, 3:38pm »

on Oct 30th, 2010, 2:16pm, MarkSteere wrote:
Not to put too fine a point on it Fritzlein, but in this case Christian is right and you are wrong.

Wrong about what?  I didn't say that Atoll wasn't a great game, or that it was not robust, or that it was going to run out of strategy.  I said that one can't tell it is a great game from the rules alone.  That is what Christian asserted, and what I disagreed with.  You have more experience with Atoll than just knowing the rules, and presumably bring that experience to bear in evaluating its quality.  (And now that I read more carefully, even Christian tries to bring in familiarity with Hex as an aid to being able to evaluate Atoll.  There is a gray area in my "no playtesting" criterion if massive playtesting of one game is relevant to evaluating another, newer one.)
 
Are you staking out the position that it is possible to tell a great game just from its rules, without playtesting?  If so, then it is humorous that the two people in this Forum who believe that it is possible to know without playtesting each often think that they get it right and the other guy gets it wrong.  Or how else do you explain the fact that the two of you can disagree about the quality of games when you both know all the rules?
 
Bringing it from the general to the specific, you were a vocal critic of Hanniball throughout its vogue.  Is it not fair to say you thought Hanniball had serious problems that Christian was not aware of just from the rules, and became aware of only as it was being playtested, because it was being playtested?  And therefore that you believe Christian didn't demonstrate, in the case of Hanniball, the ability he claimed to have?  And finally, if Christian doesn't have this ability, you are the only one around here who does?
 
I'm just curious to know on exactly what points we disagree.
« Last Edit: Oct 30th, 2010, 3:44pm by Fritzlein » IP Logged

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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #322 on: Oct 30th, 2010, 5:38pm »

on Oct 30th, 2010, 4:29pm, SpeedBump wrote:

You do understand that you come off as a jerk. A Jerk.  

Welcome aboard, SpeedBump.  One can never have too many psychotic fans, apparently.
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #323 on: Oct 30th, 2010, 6:13pm »

on Oct 30th, 2010, 3:38pm, Fritzlein wrote:

I'm just curious to know on exactly what points we disagree.

It is possible to know just from looking at the rule sheet for some games, such as Atoll (http://www.marksteeregames.com/Atoll_rules.pdf), that the strategic potential is unlimited.   Just logically, any sort of "winning strategy" in Atoll would translate into first move advantage.  We know enough about the strategic depth of Hex to extrapolate that to the "convoluted" Atoll.  Bump the board up to the next larger size and boom, the once superior strategy isn't looking so superior any more.  I've lost track of how many people have told me Atoll is a better game than Hex.  
 
There's always room for a better strategy in Atoll.  The only question is, "How good are you?".  The answer to "How robust is this game?" should be evident from the rule sheet alone.
 
Too much ado is made of the pie rule.  It's a very simple concept.  One player should not start the game with the dual advantage of both first move and best move.  It should be first move and sufficiently bad move to compensate for the sente advantage that the first move provides.  Boom.  Done.  You made the starting point as fair as possible, and sufficiently fair that the better player will probably win.  Quick and dirty, but very effective.  The pie rule is clearly defined.  It's used once at the beginning and then forgotten about.  It's not an arbitrary, ridiculous baloneyfest that's the base point for an endless tweakfest.
 
Edit: "the the. to too"
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #324 on: Oct 30th, 2010, 6:48pm »

Christian, I hope you don't mind my posting your question here in what has been up until now an active discussion of your game, Symple.  I don't understand what you're asking, but maybe the other participants in the discussion can be of help.  In any case I see no reason to suddenly take the discussion offline.
 
"Hi, I just sent a message to Fritz(lein) about a difference between the pie rule and a swap (Huh) I never realized before. It emerged because Symple features a pie rule, but not a conventional swap. Do you want me to elaborate? (Put the same question before F)."
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #325 on: Oct 31st, 2010, 8:21am »

on Oct 30th, 2010, 7:37pm, SpeedRazor wrote:

You wear an muscle shirt, even turning up the right shoulder.

Studying my picture, are you?  Classic psychotic obsession.
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #326 on: Oct 31st, 2010, 9:22am »

Christian, I'm going to make one more attempt to bring the discussion back online.  Yes the group did go a little "dog pack" on you but you instigated that by ignoring repeated warnings to stop talking about your claims, from me and others.  My challenge to you: don't use the word claim again in this thread.  
 
One can naturally expect to find loyalty to Arimaa in a forum entitled "Arimaa".  Don't mention Arimaa if there's a risk of your comments being misinterepreted.  Like I said earlier, we are in the off topic subforum.  There's no requirement to include Arimaa in the discussion.
 
In any case, I am absolutely not willing to discuss Symple with you privately.  The topic of Symple does not in itself hold my interest, though I have found the public debate about it entertaining.  
 
 
"I think the thread has become a waste of time. I would appreciate to
continue discussing the arguments with Fritz, who is concerned with
their content rather than their source, and with you, Benedikt, Ed and
whoever is interested in abstract game design.
But to be interrupted time and again by a dogpack that due to
misdirected loyalty bites at anything that is perceived to be an attack
on Arimaa, and almost anything is, is tiresome.
 
Oh, yes, a swap is a special case of the pie rule, the foremost case
too, because it can be applied to a large number of two-player abstracts.
A pie however can be extended to more than two players, a swap cannot.
When applied to more than two, the element of 'timing' enters the
equation. I'll explain what I mean by that later. For the moment I'll
leave it at the fact that a swap doesn't work for Symple, the problem
being that there appear to be no obvious 'bad cells'.
 
This also reflects on your answer to my statement that Atoll needs a
'balancing factor', and that a swap fits it perfectly. You said:
 
------
"No, Christian, I can't allow you to make a fallacious point and run
off.  The pie rule is a simple, generic, ugly-but-extremely-useful rule
that can be applied to any game, including Symple.  I know, I know.
Symple doesn't need it, right?  You want to know a game that really
doesn't need it as much as Hex?  Atoll.
 
Byg, Symple, etc. are based on an unstable, divergent principle. If
they're in the same class as Go Moku, only worse, which I strongly
suspect, advancing skill will always be accompanied by advanced tweaking
of the balancing rule set. Your special balancing rule, the Nagasaki of
Symple, makes the the pie rule look like a firecracker in comparison."
-------
 
I see no disagreement in the first paragraph: as you said "You want to
know a game that really doesn't need it as much as Hex?  Atoll.",
therewith implying that it does need one. _That's_ the balancing factor
I was talking about.
 
In the second paragraph you lose me, but that's the point I'd like to
discuss in the first place, but later. Just staking out the context."
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #327 on: Oct 31st, 2010, 11:50am »

"Since you decline a private exchange of ideas, I suggest we go elsewhere. Last October 5, Benedikt started a thread at BGG.."
 
Ok, I'm agreeable to a change of venue.  I no longer post at bgg as a matter of policy.  Rec.games.abstract is really the best place to discuss abstract games IMO.  The yahoo group abstractgames is barely alive but that would probably work too.
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #328 on: Oct 31st, 2010, 12:35pm »

I started a topic for you in rec.games.abstract entitled "Christian Freeling".
 
http://groups.google.com/group/rec.games.abstract/browse_thread/thread/f cef5852dc96d784#
 
No moderator, no dog pack.  There was a dog pack but that's a story for another time  Smiley
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #329 on: Oct 31st, 2010, 6:16pm »

Symple Newsflash:
 
"Note: In the first version of the game the 'group penalty' was set at 2 rather than 4, which leads to the possibility of..."
 
BOOM!!  What did I say about the tweaking Huh  Do you believe me now Huh
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