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   Author  Topic: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games  (Read 380473 times)
christianF
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #555 on: Aug 4th, 2011, 5:54am »

GoogleGroups is seriously down, so why not.
 
on Aug 3rd, 2011, 10:13pm, MarkSteere wrote:
[Fractal is] one example of outstanding architecture translating directly to outstanding gameplay.
Would you have taken Oust for an example, I would have heartily agreed. Implicitly: I agree the requirements of 'great architecture according to Mark Steere' may translate directly to an excellent game.
 
Fractal? I have some reservations. Where's the 'architecture'? I wouldn't accuse Hex of having and architecture: once you see the idea, there's nowhere you can go except Hex. Unless you want to apply archtecture by adding something, as some have tried, unfortunately.
 
Fractal is much the same: the idea for the board and the name fit like a glove. But is that architecture?
The rules are much like Hex, that is, the idea shapes them. So I wonder if the concept of architecture applies at all.
 
Connection games are notorious for a first player advantage. I see no pie or other balancing mechanism in Fractal. That makes me wonder.
 
Making moving compulsory in a game where moving is never disadvantageous is something I would not lightly consider. The game is there for the players, not vice versa, and as a rule I presume players' intentions to be fair towards each other and towards the game.
 
I wouldn't accuse Havannah of having an architecture either. It's a lucky merger of three winning structures, that's all the architecture to it. After the rules thus emerged, Havannah turned out to have one of the smallest drawmargins in the business. That was never intentional, but it was factual.
 
Havannah's strategy and tactics are thus that beginners cannot reach a draw. A draw, other than base-4 or -5 hasn't happened yet. Base-8 or higher it could only result from a game between two high-ranking players. But it has never happened. Two things would happen if it did: The game would be implicitly of a very high standard, and it would be instantly famous.
 
Isn't that great?
Now what would your dogmatic approach regarding 'architecture' make of this? Draws being unacceptable? One can't even make a simple draw prevention rule for Havannah, so what 'solution' would you suggest?
« Last Edit: Aug 4th, 2011, 1:28pm by christianF » IP Logged
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #556 on: Aug 4th, 2011, 1:43pm »

on Aug 4th, 2011, 5:54am, christianF wrote:

Would you have taken Oust for an example, I would have heartily agreed.

Oust would be my second choice of a game showing the equivalence of architecture and gameplay.  It's just more apparent in Fractal.
 
on Aug 4th, 2011, 5:54am, christianF wrote:

Fractal? I have some reservations. Where's the 'architecture'?

If Fractal doesn't have architecture, none of my games do.  Fractal practically defines my concept of architecture.
 
Problem In Hex - Center area cells are much more valuable than acute corner area cells.
 
Think, think, think, think, BOOM - Fractal.  There's nothing more to architecture than that.  Just turn your brain on and let it run until you either hit paydirt or burn out.
 
on Aug 4th, 2011, 5:54am, christianF wrote:

I wouldn't accuse Hex of having and architecture: once you see the idea, there's nowhere you can go except Hex. Unless you want to apply archtecture by adding something, as some have tried, unfortunately.

Whatever architecture is, it isn't something you tack on to an existing design.  You can't add architecture to a game like Havannah that doesn't already have it.  Yes, Fractal is a variant of Hex, but it was designed with a singular objective from the ground up, resulting in arguably a superior game - just as Atoll is arguably superior to Hex.
 
on Aug 4th, 2011, 5:54am, christianF wrote:

Connection games are notorious for a first player advantage. I see no pie or other balancing mechanism in Fractal. That makes me wonder.

To me, the pie rule is ubiquitous.  I recommend its use in all games, certainly all of my own.  It's a matter of etiquette more than anything else.
 
Player 1 [grinning, salivating, and greedily rubbing hands together]: "Woo hoo I won the coin toss.  Now I'm going to grab the biggest apple in the barrel."
 
Player 2: "Wrong."
 
I just don't feel the need to keep adding "This game uses the pie rule" to all my rule sheets.  Fractal certainly doesn't depend on the pie rule to anywhere near the degree that Hex does, but, as I said, it should be part of the game.
 
on Aug 4th, 2011, 5:54am, christianF wrote:

Now what would your dogmatic approach regarding 'architecture' make of this?

Christian, you've been harping your "architecture = dogma" pitch for weeks.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  You do raise a semi-valid point though.  "Can a draw susceptible game have architecture?"  No.  To me it can't.  But since there's no precise definition of game architecture, I suppose it can apply to draw susceptible games - for you, lol
 
on Aug 4th, 2011, 5:54am, christianF wrote:

Draws being unacceptable? You can't even make a simple draw prevention rule for Havannah

I don't make "draw prevention rules", Christian  Smiley
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #557 on: Aug 4th, 2011, 2:07pm »

on Aug 4th, 2011, 1:43pm, MarkSteere wrote:
I don't make "draw prevention rules", Christian  Smiley
I had already changed that to "One can't ..." to prevent any personal interpretation.
 
Apart from that the restriction placed on non-capturing baby moves in Monkey Queen looks a clear draw prevention rule to me (as well as an overdone one, but that's another matter).
 
You obviously reject Havannah along with about all traditional great games, by declaring a jewel of drawmarging into a flaw in the game. I fear I have an altogether more considerate approach to draws, in general. It's like the salt in a dish (rather than arsenic, as you doubtless feel). And yes, some games look like a dish in salt, but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong other than the amount.
 
I like draws if the margin is small, better even than no draws at all. I've even started a thread about it at RGA. Not that anyone could read anything new, for the last three days or so Tongue
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #558 on: Aug 4th, 2011, 2:13pm »

on Aug 4th, 2011, 2:07pm, christianF wrote:

I've even started a thread about it at RGA. Not that anyone could read anything new

Get a newsreader, and stop using google groups.  I already read and responded to your Aug 3 post claiming credit for Monkey Queen, using my newsreader (Newsrover).  Now both posts are gone because you initiated yours with google groups.  Google groups actually harms rec.games.abstract.
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #559 on: Aug 4th, 2011, 2:29pm »

on Aug 4th, 2011, 2:13pm, MarkSteere wrote:
Google groups actually harms rec.games.abstract.
I'll see what I can do this weekend. Gg obviously doesn't work as intended.  
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #560 on: Aug 4th, 2011, 2:32pm »

on Aug 4th, 2011, 2:07pm, christianF wrote:

 the restriction placed on non-capturing baby moves in Monkey Queen looks a clear draw prevention rule to me.

Well sure.  Monkey Queen could be viewed as one giant draw prevention rule.  It's a bass-ackwards point of view that shows zero concept of the forces that shaped Monkey Queen.
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #561 on: Aug 4th, 2011, 4:14pm »

I'm butting in because I'm bored.  
 
The MQ move restriction seems distinctly unSteere-ian.  It seems like the very kind of rule that the Mark Steere I know would ridicule.    
 
Also, it feels awkward to play with.  When I make a move, I *feel* the extra cognitive load that comes with confirming whether each of the moves I'm considering conform to the move restriction. That reduces my enjoyment of the game.  Between enjoyment and formal drawlessness, I'll always take enjoyment.  (don't get me wrong, if the game were often drawn, that would reduce my enjoyment too)    
 
I think the rule illustrates two of my beliefs:
 
1. Move restrictions probably aren't good if they require more than about zero mental overhead to parse.  
 
2. The structure of a game should be built around not only criteria like drawlessness and balance, but also (and in fact more importantly) around how our psyches work and what feels good.  These things can't be operationalized, but they're important.  
 
Grain of salt though: I've only played once. I know I have no right to comment on anything. BIG grain of salt then.  
 
ps we gotta find a better a more permanent forum for these discussions.  
 
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #562 on: Aug 4th, 2011, 7:42pm »

Who would be great to write their blogs here?  In no order:  Cameron Browne, Kris Burm, Omar Syed, Christian Freeling.  
 
Nick, your game Ketchup is a work of genius, and anything you write here is appreciated [by me], among others.  As long as you are a fan of Arimaa, I see no reason for you to not be a member of this Forum...
 
Note:  you don't have to be good at Arimaa to be accepted here.  I've read books on Bridge, Backgammon, Gin Rummy, and the wiki-book on Arimaa.  I suck at them all!  I'm probably not dumb:  my chess rating in all three time categories has climbed to over 2K.
 
Nick, if you're an Arimaa fan, your input is very welcome here in this Forum  Smiley
 
Hopefully, one day, your name belongs in the same list of the Four Geniuses I'd mentioned above...
« Last Edit: Aug 5th, 2011, 8:59am by SpeedRazor » IP Logged
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #563 on: Aug 4th, 2011, 8:00pm »

on Aug 4th, 2011, 4:14pm, NickBentley wrote:

The MQ move restriction seems distinctly unSteere-ian.

You don't know me very well, Nick  Smiley  Intricate mechanisms that ensure finitude are more the rule than the exception at MSG.
  Byte
  Cage
  Diffusion
  Oust
  Rive
  Tanbo
 
What sets Monkey Queen apart for me is simply that it's a Chess variant.  
 
on Aug 4th, 2011, 4:14pm, NickBentley wrote:

ps we gotta find a better a more permanent forum for these discussions.  

No, we don't.  Get a newsreader and have instantaneous, reliable access to rec.games.abstract.   Don't worry, I'll continue to repeat that until you eventually notice what I'm saying.
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #564 on: Aug 4th, 2011, 8:02pm »

on Aug 4th, 2011, 7:42pm, SpeedRazor wrote:

Who would be great to write their blogs here?  In no order:  ... Omar Syed

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
 
on Aug 4th, 2011, 7:42pm, SpeedRazor wrote:

I'm probably not dumb

rofl
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #565 on: Aug 5th, 2011, 12:38am »

on Aug 4th, 2011, 8:02pm, MarkSteere wrote:

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
 
rofl

Hey I thought we banned this guy
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #566 on: Aug 5th, 2011, 1:00am »

on Aug 5th, 2011, 12:38am, megajester wrote:

Hey I thought we banned this guy

lol, You can't ban your own flies.
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christianF
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #567 on: Aug 5th, 2011, 3:09am »

on Aug 4th, 2011, 4:14pm, NickBentley wrote:
When I make a move, I feel the extra cognitive load that comes with confirming whether each of the moves I'm considering conform to the move restriction.  
...
 
I think the rule illustrates two of my beliefs:
 
1. Move restrictions probably aren't good if they require more than about zero mental overhead to parse.  
 
2. The structure of a game should be built around not only criteria like drawlessness and balance, but also (and in fact more importantly) around how our psyches work and what feels good. These things can't be operationalized, but they're important.

 
on Aug 4th, 2011, 8:00pm, MarkSteere wrote:
Intricate mechanisms that ensure finitude are more the rule than the exception at MSG.
...
 
  Oust
  Cage
  ...
 
What sets Monkey Queen apart for me is simply that it's a Chess variant.

I don't feel this addresses the point Nick is trying to make. Oust is an exception in that it doesn't have a rule labeled "draw prevention", but MQ and Cage have it flashing in neon. The mechanisms involved are drains that suck the forces together, fixed in Cage, mobile in MQ. I feel that's fairly blunt, rather than 'intricate'.  
 
As said, your answer doesn't address "the extra cognitive load" presented by having to check for what is basically unnatural behaviour.
 
Of course the same might have been said when someone decided long ago that a chess pawn would move different from the way it captures. In other words, players might eventually feel it to be 'natural'.
But I doubt that, quite frankly.
« Last Edit: Aug 5th, 2011, 3:10am by christianF » IP Logged
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #568 on: Aug 5th, 2011, 5:20am »

on Aug 4th, 2011, 2:32pm, MarkSteere wrote:

Monkey Queen could be viewed as one giant draw prevention rule. It's a bass-ackwards point of view that shows zero concept of the forces that shaped Monkey Queen.
The "forces" that shaped MQ? You make it sound like the Himalaya being pushed op by tectonic forces.
 
Here's how the forces began:
Quote:
Hi Christian,
 
My new "stacking" (?) game bears an obvious resemblance to your Monkey Trap. As a tribute, I wanted to call it Monkey Queen. If you're not a million percent comfortable with that name, I won't be the least bit offended and it'll be a very simple matter for me to find a different  theme, or just not have a theme, which I usually don't have anyway.
 
-Mark
That was January 6th 2011.
 
After claiming that the inspiration came from Amazons, later, I did remind you of this mail. That was interpreted as me "claiming credit for the invention of MQ", or suggesting jealousy:
on Aug 3rd, 2011, 4:08pm, MarkSteere wrote:
It bothers you that I invented it.

Or, after criticizing the game at RGA:
Quote:
Christian Freeling:
"If I had discovered the magnificent Monkey Queen mechanism, I would have immediately demolished it, turning MQ into an uninspired, dime-a-dozen, ko dependent game. Call it intuition."  
lol, There was never any danger of you discovering MQ, Christian,  
because ..... (you're not me)
No indeed, and what a trouble the 'discovery' turned out to be. More like building on trial and error.
 
MQ is not a stacking game except by your definition (you redefine a lot to be 'right'):
Quote:
To me, a stacking game is one such as MQ which is conveniently played with stacking pieces.
MQ isn't 'conveniently' played with stacking pieces, but with a Queen and the babies beside the board to be entered. To keep the ridiculous stacking game argument upright (because you couldn't come up with a stacking game for the contest), you even marred object of the game into the incomprehensible:
 
To win you must either:
  1. Kill the enemy queen or  
  2. Deprive your opponent of legal moves by leaving him with a queen of height two, no babies, and nothing within line of sight for said queen to kill.
 
To use one of your favorites: an aesthetic Hiroshima. Just to not be wrong. What's the matter with you?
 
Regarding the restriction rule on babies, there's a much simpler and natural way to corner the queen, not by forcing the whole battle down the drain, but by weakening the over-mobile queen. My feeling is that if you:
 
  1. restrict it to the king's move if moving out of check, and
  2. disallow giving birth if moving out of check (as well as if capturing)
 
you'd reduce the draw margin to near zero. Here I touch on Nick's point: seeing the restriction on movement and birth if a queen is in check, comes naturally.
But it doesn't eradicate draws. That's no problem for a game, but it certainly appears to be a problem for you.
 
For the record, people who like draws (if only in modest amounts) are usually nicer Kiss .
Also for the record, no I don't claim any credit for MQ. I'm glad for you for inventing it and sad for the way you marred it to fit your box of dogmata. But for better or worse, it's all yours.
« Last Edit: Aug 5th, 2011, 7:37am by christianF » IP Logged
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #569 on: Aug 5th, 2011, 10:17am »

I think the only games that ever really inspired me were Go and Reversi, which got me into design twenty years ago.  Amazons, a game I certainly admire, only "inspired" me in the sense that I needed a fun game for the rec.games.abstract contest, Amazons is fun, queens are fun...   How about a game with queens?
 
Christian, would you be surprised if your self-described "children's game", Monkey Trap, never entered my mind during Monkey Queen's development?  Or that you're utterly incapable of "inspiring" me in any sense of the word? lol
 
Because of the obvious, yet superficial, similarity between Monkey Queen and the profoundly uninspiring Monkey Trap, I offered to name my game similarly and borrow your primate theme, again in an effort to make my game fun for the contest.  You leapt at my offer.  If you now feel that endlessly quoting my offer all over the Internet elevates your fame somehow, feel free to press on with that.
 
Ironically, while you're desperately claiming all the credit you can for Monkey Queen, you neglect to credit Don Green for his Snail Trail, virtually identical to but preceding your Monkey Trap.  Instead, in your Monkey Trap rule sheet, you note the "obvious affinity with Walter Zamkauskas' Amazons", rofl  With all your vast powers of intuition, Christian, here you are "intuiting" Don Green's game.
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