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Subject: Which of these abstract games do you think is most publishable? Why? rss

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Nick Bentley
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arehberg wrote:
I'm curious how you performed the Pepsi challenge. Did you use the same components and only a rules explanation?
I used components which were as similar as possible: identical game pieces, but different boards, which were aesthetically as similar as I could make them.

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Even telling people the title of a game would be leading them to experience the games in a different way.
I did provide names and I agree it influences perception. Though I was aware of that. For example, after introducing each game, but before the subjects played either, I asked players which they'd rather buy and why. That was an attempt to get at some of those first-impression things.

Interestingly, there was a very strong correlation between what people said they would prefer to buy before playing, and after playing. Less than 10% of subjects changed their opinion after playing. That means: either first-impressions greatly color the play experience, or subjects were just really good at predicting what each game would feel like to play.

I can share the question sheets with you late next week if you remind me. Though it certainly has weaknesses, I've found it to be an outstanding way to get inside people's heads. Empathy is both extremely hard and extremely valuable. Given that this process makes empathy easier for me, I regard it as a small miracle that I stumbled on it.
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milomilo122 wrote:
Interestingly, there was a very strong correlation between what people said they would prefer to buy before playing, and after playing. Less than 10% of subjects changed their opinion after playing. That means: either first-impressions greatly color the play experience, or subjects were just really good at predicting what each game would feel like to play.
Or people (consciously or unconsciously) didn't want to appear inconsistent / indecisive / flip-floppy / etc. :/

I.e. asking people which game they would prefer to buy before they've played might have prejudiced their play impressions and feedback in favor of the best title instead of the best game.
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russ wrote:
milomilo122 wrote:
Interestingly, there was a very strong correlation between what people said they would prefer to buy before playing, and after playing. Less than 10% of subjects changed their opinion after playing. That means: either first-impressions greatly color the play experience, or subjects were just really good at predicting what each game would feel like to play.
Or people (consciously or unconsciously) didn't want to appear inconsistent / indecisive / flip-floppy / etc. :/

I.e. asking people which game they would prefer to buy before they've played might have prejudiced their play impressions and feedback in favor of the best title instead of the best game.
This is absolutely true. One of the weaknesses of the method. I'm aware of it.

One thing I've noticed however, which relates to this question, is that I think I see this same thing happening in the marketplace, and I suspect it drives sales. I think the effect may be even stronger after someone has purchased a game than before. Once I've purchased a game, then it becomes even more important that my evaluation be consistent, because I have to justify my purchase. Watching the way that people review the "hyped" games on BGG, or the way that people who've purchased those games teach them to others, gives me this impression anyway.

If true, the pre-play questions in my split test may yet be relevant for predicting the more viable game, commercially.
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milomilo122 wrote:
mocko wrote:

Like Christian, I've only ever been interested in aiming for games rich enough to sustain élite-level play, by which I mean literally Fischer-Spassky, Carlsberg-Marijuana, etc. Games, in short, where enjoyment means appreciation of the intellectual stimulus you're receiving. The thing about sugar-coating the pill in the hope of getting more players to swallow it is that, even supposing you're successful, the members of that extended audience are unlikely to be players of the kind you were originally hoping to attract. It's not just the numbers, you see - in fact, it's not even principally the numbers.
I think I disagree with this but don't have time to rebut in detail today. So just a quick analogy: Oxo culinary tools. They were originally designed just for people with arthritis, but it turned out they made cutting and peeling easier for everyone, even high-end chefs. We all share the same hand physics.

So I believe it is with games, because our perceptual equipment all shares the same "physics". Another way to put it is that I don't believe the differences between patzers and pros means it's a good idea to ignore patzers, even when the goal is the make the pros happy.
The difference between pros and patzers, as you put it, isn't the difference at issue here. It's more of a social/educational divide - not absolutely uncrossable, but one where the crosser will always be a rarity rather than the norm. The physical austerity of abstract games is fundamental to them. In Blooms, for example, the colour of the pieces is essential, but making them in the form of flowers would be purely cosmetic. Come to think of it, the beauty/prettiness distinction is quite apposite. Generally speaking, the respective valuers of the former and the latter are to be found at different ends of the social continuum.
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mocko wrote:
milomilo122 wrote:
mocko wrote:

Like Christian, I've only ever been interested in aiming for games rich enough to sustain élite-level play, by which I mean literally Fischer-Spassky, Carlsberg-Marijuana, etc. Games, in short, where enjoyment means appreciation of the intellectual stimulus you're receiving. The thing about sugar-coating the pill in the hope of getting more players to swallow it is that, even supposing you're successful, the members of that extended audience are unlikely to be players of the kind you were originally hoping to attract. It's not just the numbers, you see - in fact, it's not even principally the numbers.
I think I disagree with this but don't have time to rebut in detail today. So just a quick analogy: Oxo culinary tools. They were originally designed just for people with arthritis, but it turned out they made cutting and peeling easier for everyone, even high-end chefs. We all share the same hand physics.

So I believe it is with games, because our perceptual equipment all shares the same "physics". Another way to put it is that I don't believe the differences between patzers and pros means it's a good idea to ignore patzers, even when the goal is the make the pros happy.
The difference between pros and patzers, as you put it, isn't the difference at issue here. It's more of a social/educational divide - not absolutely uncrossable, but one where the crosser will always be a rarity rather than the norm. The physical austerity of abstract games is fundamental to them. In Blooms, for example, the colour of the pieces is essential, but making them in the form of flowers would be purely cosmetic. Come to think of it, the beauty/prettiness distinction is quite apposite. Generally speaking, the respective valuers of the former and the latter are to be found at different ends of the social continuum.
I'm having trouble understanding your point. My assertion is that designing for patzers can lead to insights to make games better for pros, not that I can design to turn a patzer into a pro. What have I misunderstood?
 
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mocko wrote:
It's more of a social/educational divide - not absolutely uncrossable, but one where the crosser will always be a rarity rather than the norm. The physical austerity of abstract games is fundamental to them. In Blooms, for example, the colour of the pieces is essential, but making them in the form of flowers would be purely cosmetic.

Yet serious chess players seem to want the purely cosmetic minis, when Shogi and Xiangqi etc show that it's perfectly possible to play such games without minis...
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milomilo122 wrote:
mocko wrote:
milomilo122 wrote:
mocko wrote:

Like Christian, I've only ever been interested in aiming for games rich enough to sustain élite-level play, by which I mean literally Fischer-Spassky, Carlsberg-Marijuana, etc. Games, in short, where enjoyment means appreciation of the intellectual stimulus you're receiving. The thing about sugar-coating the pill in the hope of getting more players to swallow it is that, even supposing you're successful, the members of that extended audience are unlikely to be players of the kind you were originally hoping to attract. It's not just the numbers, you see - in fact, it's not even principally the numbers.
I think I disagree with this but don't have time to rebut in detail today. So just a quick analogy: Oxo culinary tools. They were originally designed just for people with arthritis, but it turned out they made cutting and peeling easier for everyone, even high-end chefs. We all share the same hand physics.

So I believe it is with games, because our perceptual equipment all shares the same "physics". Another way to put it is that I don't believe the differences between patzers and pros means it's a good idea to ignore patzers, even when the goal is the make the pros happy.
The difference between pros and patzers, as you put it, isn't the difference at issue here. It's more of a social/educational divide - not absolutely uncrossable, but one where the crosser will always be a rarity rather than the norm. The physical austerity of abstract games is fundamental to them. In Blooms, for example, the colour of the pieces is essential, but making them in the form of flowers would be purely cosmetic. Come to think of it, the beauty/prettiness distinction is quite apposite. Generally speaking, the respective valuers of the former and the latter are to be found at different ends of the social continuum.
I'm having trouble understanding your point. My assertion is that designing for patzers can lead to insights to make games better for pros, not that I can design to turn a patzer into a pro. What have I misunderstood?
Well, maybe it's I who have failed to understand what you mean by "designing for patzers". Could you give a clarifying example of what would count as that, and then ideally an example of an actual 'design for patzers' which has made things better for pros?
 
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mocko wrote:
milomilo122 wrote:
mocko wrote:
milomilo122 wrote:
mocko wrote:

Like Christian, I've only ever been interested in aiming for games rich enough to sustain élite-level play, by which I mean literally Fischer-Spassky, Carlsberg-Marijuana, etc. Games, in short, where enjoyment means appreciation of the intellectual stimulus you're receiving. The thing about sugar-coating the pill in the hope of getting more players to swallow it is that, even supposing you're successful, the members of that extended audience are unlikely to be players of the kind you were originally hoping to attract. It's not just the numbers, you see - in fact, it's not even principally the numbers.
I think I disagree with this but don't have time to rebut in detail today. So just a quick analogy: Oxo culinary tools. They were originally designed just for people with arthritis, but it turned out they made cutting and peeling easier for everyone, even high-end chefs. We all share the same hand physics.

So I believe it is with games, because our perceptual equipment all shares the same "physics". Another way to put it is that I don't believe the differences between patzers and pros means it's a good idea to ignore patzers, even when the goal is the make the pros happy.
The difference between pros and patzers, as you put it, isn't the difference at issue here. It's more of a social/educational divide - not absolutely uncrossable, but one where the crosser will always be a rarity rather than the norm. The physical austerity of abstract games is fundamental to them. In Blooms, for example, the colour of the pieces is essential, but making them in the form of flowers would be purely cosmetic. Come to think of it, the beauty/prettiness distinction is quite apposite. Generally speaking, the respective valuers of the former and the latter are to be found at different ends of the social continuum.
I'm having trouble understanding your point. My assertion is that designing for patzers can lead to insights to make games better for pros, not that I can design to turn a patzer into a pro. What have I misunderstood?
Well, maybe it's I who have failed to understand what you mean by "designing for patzers". Could you give a clarifying example of what would count as that, and then ideally an example of an actual 'design for patzers' which has made things better for pros?
Two examples in my own design life:

1. The aforementioned stuff about negative feedback, though this is mainly due to pleasant side effects rather than the pros benefiting from the same effect the patzers do. Those side effects include: added tactics/strategy, and non-boring endgames (negative feedback tends to keep games from "breaking" for one player or the other too early, so you get a lovely crescendo, climax, and not too much denouement in high-level play - as long as the amount of negative feedback is titrated EXACTLY right). Even so, I think it's worth mentioning because it was through a consideration of patzer play that I found ideas valuable for high-level play.

2. Perceptual Binding. This maps more closely to the Oxo analogy. I began thinking about perceptual binding to help new players "find their way in", but perceptual binding is fundamental to everyone's visual perception: it makes it easier for high level players to formulate high level play just as much as it makes it easy for low level players to see what the game is about in the first place.

Maybe also my thinking about speciousness, but I have to think about that more to decide if that really qualifies.
 
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russ wrote:
mocko wrote:
It's more of a social/educational divide - not absolutely uncrossable, but one where the crosser will always be a rarity rather than the norm. The physical austerity of abstract games is fundamental to them. In Blooms, for example, the colour of the pieces is essential, but making them in the form of flowers would be purely cosmetic.

Yet serious chess players seem to want the purely cosmetic minis, when Shogi and Xiangqi etc show that it's perfectly possible to play such games without minis...
Help with "mini", please. Failing to derive a confident gloss from context, I surmised that the term must be a recent young-person atrocity, and so headed for the Urban Dictionary. But I'm guessing that their suggestion of "fanny (the English meaning), beaver, snatch, pussy or the c*** word" isn't what you had in mind.

(Edit: Though of course it's hardly my place to second-guess what serious chess players might want.)
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mocko wrote:
russ wrote:
mocko wrote:
It's more of a social/educational divide - not absolutely uncrossable, but one where the crosser will always be a rarity rather than the norm. The physical austerity of abstract games is fundamental to them. In Blooms, for example, the colour of the pieces is essential, but making them in the form of flowers would be purely cosmetic.

Yet serious chess players seem to want the purely cosmetic minis, when Shogi and Xiangqi etc show that it's perfectly possible to play such games without minis...
Help with "mini", please. Failing to derive a confident gloss from context, I surmised that the term must be a recent young-person atrocity, and so headed for the Urban Dictionary. But I'm guessing that their suggestion of "fanny (the English meaning), beaver, snatch, pussy or the c*** word" isn't what you had in mind.

(Edit: Though of course it's hardly my place to second-guess what serious chess players might want.)
Heh, yeah, not that definition of "mini".

"mini" = "miniature figure" in boardgamespeak. (Often used in the context of games marketed with minis instead of e.g. flat pieces to increase the game's appeal.)
 
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mocko wrote:
milomilo122 wrote:
I'm having trouble understanding your point. My assertion is that designing for patzers can lead to insights to make games better for pros, not that I can design to turn a patzer into a pro. What have I misunderstood?
Well, maybe it's I who have failed to understand what you mean by "designing for patzers". Could you give a clarifying example of what would count as that, and then ideally an example of an actual 'design for patzers' which has made things better for pros?
So 'the better games for pros' may come after your attempts to please the market have led to better insights?
I must confess that I always had a category of players in mind: the real players (I'm not even included) who want their weapons to serve their talents indefinitely. I wanted to serve them, not sell them something.

And indeed, I doubt whether you can keep your passion and your job entirely separated. That station may already have been passed although I can see the arguments against it. Hate to cite Trump, but let's see what happens.
 
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christianF wrote:
So 'the better games for pros' may come after your attempts to please the market have led to better insights?
Question: does trying to understand how various people experience games, and trying to use that understanding to make better games, necessarily constitute "pleasing the market", in your view?

It does not to me. I regard such effort as a fundamental tool in the pursuit of ludological truth. I think that that's so because I believe games are fundamentally tied to perception.
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russ wrote:
mocko wrote:
russ wrote:
mocko wrote:
It's more of a social/educational divide - not absolutely uncrossable, but one where the crosser will always be a rarity rather than the norm. The physical austerity of abstract games is fundamental to them. In Blooms, for example, the colour of the pieces is essential, but making them in the form of flowers would be purely cosmetic.

Yet serious chess players seem to want the purely cosmetic minis, when Shogi and Xiangqi etc show that it's perfectly possible to play such games without minis...
Help with "mini", please. Failing to derive a confident gloss from context, I surmised that the term must be a recent young-person atrocity, and so headed for the Urban Dictionary. But I'm guessing that their suggestion of "fanny (the English meaning), beaver, snatch, pussy or the c*** word" isn't what you had in mind.

(Edit: Though of course it's hardly my place to second-guess what serious chess players might want.)
Heh, yeah, not that definition of "mini".

"mini" = "miniature figure" in boardgamespeak. (Often used in the context of games marketed with minis instead of e.g. flat pieces to increase the game's appeal.)
Ah. Right. Thank you - that helps a lot (with my education, apart from anything else).

But look, the modern chess player has inherited those pieces, and is hardly likely to start campaigning for a less figurative design. Why would he?

Then, to trace the game back to its origins, there had to be differentiation of some kind, and maybe chess and shogi are simply products of two rather different representational traditions. In any case (and I realise that there's always a market for period or novelty sets, though perhaps not mainly among players), chess pieces are very stylised versions of what they stand for, and I'll stick to my guns and describe them as on the whole quite austere. Finally, of course, the military embodiment is inseparable from what a chess game is supposed to be, whereas Blooms, say, has little to do with flowers, and Eigenstate still less with lily-pads

 
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milomilo122 wrote:
mocko wrote:
milomilo122 wrote:
mocko wrote:
milomilo122 wrote:
mocko wrote:

Like Christian, I've only ever been interested in aiming for games rich enough to sustain élite-level play, by which I mean literally Fischer-Spassky, Carlsberg-Marijuana, etc. Games, in short, where enjoyment means appreciation of the intellectual stimulus you're receiving. The thing about sugar-coating the pill in the hope of getting more players to swallow it is that, even supposing you're successful, the members of that extended audience are unlikely to be players of the kind you were originally hoping to attract. It's not just the numbers, you see - in fact, it's not even principally the numbers.
I think I disagree with this but don't have time to rebut in detail today. So just a quick analogy: Oxo culinary tools. They were originally designed just for people with arthritis, but it turned out they made cutting and peeling easier for everyone, even high-end chefs. We all share the same hand physics.

So I believe it is with games, because our perceptual equipment all shares the same "physics". Another way to put it is that I don't believe the differences between patzers and pros means it's a good idea to ignore patzers, even when the goal is the make the pros happy.
The difference between pros and patzers, as you put it, isn't the difference at issue here. It's more of a social/educational divide - not absolutely uncrossable, but one where the crosser will always be a rarity rather than the norm. The physical austerity of abstract games is fundamental to them. In Blooms, for example, the colour of the pieces is essential, but making them in the form of flowers would be purely cosmetic. Come to think of it, the beauty/prettiness distinction is quite apposite. Generally speaking, the respective valuers of the former and the latter are to be found at different ends of the social continuum.
I'm having trouble understanding your point. My assertion is that designing for patzers can lead to insights to make games better for pros, not that I can design to turn a patzer into a pro. What have I misunderstood?
Well, maybe it's I who have failed to understand what you mean by "designing for patzers". Could you give a clarifying example of what would count as that, and then ideally an example of an actual 'design for patzers' which has made things better for pros?
Two examples in my own design life:

1. The aforementioned stuff about negative feedback, though this is mainly due to pleasant side effects rather than the pros benefiting from the same effect the patzers do. Those side effects include: added tactics/strategy, and non-boring endgames (negative feedback tends to keep games from "breaking" for one player or the other too early, so you get a lovely crescendo, climax, and not too much denouement in high-level play - as long as the amount of negative feedback is titrated EXACTLY right). Even so, I think it's worth mentioning because it was through a consideration of patzer play that I found ideas valuable for high-level play.

2. Perceptual Binding. This maps more closely to the Oxo analogy. I began thinking about perceptual binding to help new players "find their way in", but perceptual binding is fundamental to everyone's visual perception: it makes it easier for high level players to formulate high level play just as much as it makes it easy for low level players to see what the game is about in the first place.

Maybe also my thinking about speciousness, but I have to think about that more to decide if that really qualifies.
Oh, but come on, Nick! The OP of this thread isn't about stuff like negative feedback, perceptual binding or 'speciousness', or about anything actually built in during what I would call the design process proper. It explicitly foregrounds questions about potential for theming (whose desirability it seems to take for granted), and for attractive piece design. In other words, this is all a matter of decking the game itself in trappings designed to make it more palatable to people who would otherwise find it a turn-off. You can present that how you like, but Christian is surely right: it's marketing, and looks like a lack of faith in your own games.
 
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mocko wrote:

Oh, but come on, Nick! The OP of this thread isn't about stuff like negative feedback, perceptual binding or 'speciousness', or about anything actually built in during what I would call the design process proper. It explicitly foregrounds questions about potential for theming (whose desirability it seems to take for granted), and for attractive piece design. In other words, this is all a matter of decking the game itself in trappings designed to make it more palatable to people who would otherwise find it a turn-off. You can present that how you like, but Christian is surely right: it's marketing, and looks like a lack of faith in your own games.
Oh, for sure, the original intent of this thread is to understand how to market my games.

But I don't see how that invalidates the claim I've just made. I'm making a claim specifically about quality of play, quite apart from the main question that drives this thread.
 
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milomilo122 wrote:
christianF wrote:
So 'the better games for pros' may come after your attempts to please the market have led to better insights?
Question: does trying to understand how various people experience games, and trying to use that understanding to make better games, necessarily constitute "pleasing the market", in your view?

It does not to me. I regard such effort as a fundamental tool in the pursuit of ludological truth. I think that that's so because I believe games are fundamentally tied to perception.
Oh yes they are. The point is that where games are concerned some people have extraordinary powers of perception. You are actually included and so is Magnus Carlsen, albeit in a different way. I see games as instruments for players with those extraordinary powers and very few games comply. The rest, including 90% of my own work, is collateral damage. But this collateral damage category generally speaking holds the majority of marketable games.
 
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milomilo122 wrote:
Thanks for weighing in DeepFishTaluva. Just one comment:

DeepFishTaluva wrote:

But you'd need some more gamey rules and clever interactions and really low down-time to get everybody involved. For example each player controls a particular colour (each hex they have has some cool critter art on it's face. Each stone therefore is one critter and multiple stones are groups of the same critter - basically, for interchangeable and identification art reasons. Groups form different shapes to inform the size/type of group and their interaction with other groups of carnivores (to use the language). You'd need gamey rules such as "having already eaten 6 greens your carnivores are sick of green and take a penalty if they eat green again this turn etc. Combo-booster for eating 3 reds in a row or some such. etc. Or even different challenges per game, Red must eat Green, Green must eat Blue and so on (though any can eat any but not score)...


Namely, a very different exterior of game but still at heart the abstract core.
I've no doubt you're right, BUT my goal here is to see if I can find a way to produce a commercial abstract that satisfies my own "purist" game design aesthetic. That's the very unfortunate rub. I could do what you suggest, but then I may as well use that time to work on the games built for commerce from the ground up. It's much easier to build a social filler, for example, when I set out to do that from the beginning.

Quote:
Carnivores has such an immediate intuition of how it works when you see the game, and what it's about. It's got a very solid core.
I've noted your opinion on the original question (along with your doubt about its viability as-construed). Thanks.

Ok, apologies I probably forgot you stipulated this contraint and I've ended up going off topic and providing suggestions that are not useful and more distracting which is no good. Oops.

I do have an agenda of my own, which is: I see a lot of potential in there being "some" more abstract popularization to feed into more pure abstract games. I'm working on a very small project (not a game design unfortunately!) with this in mind actually.

Hence, to me, it's similar to, in video-games, the roguelike purism debate vs the rogue-LITE extension into other genres and some of the strong commercial success there; built off the core concepts of the former eg permadeath, random dungeon generation etc percolating into and mutating with genres such as platformers, spaceship combat, 1st person slash-em-ups etc.

So, although I acknowledge your position you're working from and only wish to aid that in this thread, I think, separately, there's a lot of merit in taking the core of abstracts and mutating into different design and feel that has a future though not here!

With that said, Carnivores is brilliant already, and with some excellent artwork, it has every right to jump out at people and grab their interest and curiosity.
 
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christianF wrote:
milomilo122 wrote:
christianF wrote:
So 'the better games for pros' may come after your attempts to please the market have led to better insights?
Question: does trying to understand how various people experience games, and trying to use that understanding to make better games, necessarily constitute "pleasing the market", in your view?

It does not to me. I regard such effort as a fundamental tool in the pursuit of ludological truth. I think that that's so because I believe games are fundamentally tied to perception.
Oh yes they are. The point is that where games are concerned some people have extraordinary powers of perception. You are actually included and so is Magnus Carlsen, albeit in a different way. I see games as instruments for players with those extraordinary powers and very few games comply. The rest, including 90% of my own work, is collateral damage. But this collateral damage category generally speaking holds the majority of marketable games.
I don't disagree with any of these claims (though I think it's a perfectly valid pursuit if someone wants to design games for groups other than the one you mention here. The main thing is not to fool oneself about one's purpose in design).

And I certainly agree that perceptual powers differ greatly between the best players and the rest of us. However, I argue those differences are more differences of extent than kind. So, the difference between a pro and a patzer is more like the difference between looking through a telescope and not looking through a telescope, than between vision and smell. If true, a study of patzer perception can provide windows onto how to construct games for pros. That's what I was trying to capture with the Oxo analogy.
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DeepFishTaluva wrote:

Hence, to me, it's similar to, in video-games, the roguelike purism debate vs the rogue-LITE extension into other genres and some of the strong commercial success there; built off the core concepts of the former eg permadeath, random dungeon generation etc percolating into and mutating with genres such as platformers, spaceship combat, 1st person slash-em-ups etc.
Apt analogy. I'm also interested in designing games with this sort of hybridization in mind. But that's for a different day (or year, more probably). Also, there are already competent designers doing a good job of this, so it feels less pressing to me.

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With that said, Carnivores is brilliant already, and with some excellent artwork, it has every right to jump out at people and grab their interest and curiosity.
Thank you very much!
 
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milomilo122 wrote:
So, the difference between a pro and a patzer is more like the difference between looking through a telescope and not looking through a telescope, than between vision and smell. If true, a study of patzer perception can provide windows onto how to construct games for pros. That's what I was trying to capture with the Oxo analogy.
I find it a somewhat far fetched notion nonetheless. And Oxo tools were tools. Do you suggest that it is possible to for instance adapt Chess better to the "perceptional physics" of players' minds? Would that possibly result in a variant?
Now that would be something!
 
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christianF wrote:
milomilo122 wrote:
So, the difference between a pro and a patzer is more like the difference between looking through a telescope and not looking through a telescope, than between vision and smell. If true, a study of patzer perception can provide windows onto how to construct games for pros. That's what I was trying to capture with the Oxo analogy.
I find it a somewhat far fetched notion nonetheless. And Oxo tools were tools. Do you suggest that it is possible to for instance adapt Chess better to the "perceptional physics" of players' minds? Would that possibly result in a variant?
Now that would be something!
I think the answer is different for each specific game. For example, a game that's already on the too-opaque side won't likely benefit from any negative feedback, which tends to add some opacity, etc. Every game works (or doesn't) as a kind of gestalt function over its constituent mechanics, so the devil is necessarily in the details. I've never specifically considered how these notions could be applied to chess, or Chess-like games, so I don't know.

As an aside: one reason I think inside-out design tends to work well is it relies so much on the subconscious, and the subconscious seems to be good at (or can be trained to be good at) seeing the gestalt forest through the mechanical trees. But if the subsconscious can be made to absorb various concepts like negative feedback, perceptual binding, speciousness, and others, it will have a broader palette to work with, as it generates those gestalt wonders.
 
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milomilo122 wrote:
christianF wrote:
milomilo122 wrote:
So, the difference between a pro and a patzer is more like the difference between looking through a telescope and not looking through a telescope, than between vision and smell. If true, a study of patzer perception can provide windows onto how to construct games for pros. That's what I was trying to capture with the Oxo analogy.
I find it a somewhat far fetched notion nonetheless. And Oxo tools were tools. Do you suggest that it is possible to for instance adapt Chess better to the "perceptional physics" of players' minds? Would that possibly result in a variant?
Now that would be something!
I think the answer is different for each specific game. For example, a game that's already on the too-opaque side won't likely benefit from any negative feedback, which tends to add some opacity, etc. Every game works (or doesn't) as a kind of gestalt function over its constituent mechanics, so the devil is necessarily in the details. I've never specifically considered how these notions could be applied to chess, or Chess-like games, so I don't know.
Maybe we already did with Chess+, subconciously!

milomilo122 wrote:
As an aside: one reason I think inside-out design tends to work well is it relies so much on the subconscious, and the subconscious seems to be good at (or can be trained to be good at) seeing the gestalt forest through the mechanical trees. But if the subsconscious can be made to absorb various concepts like negative feedback, perceptual binding, speciousness, and others, it will have a broader palette to work with, as it generates those gestalt wonders.
Maybe, I never thought about it while doing it. Never did it while thinking about it either, come to think of it.
 
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christianF wrote:
milomilo122 wrote:
christianF wrote:
milomilo122 wrote:
So, the difference between a pro and a patzer is more like the difference between looking through a telescope and not looking through a telescope, than between vision and smell. If true, a study of patzer perception can provide windows onto how to construct games for pros. That's what I was trying to capture with the Oxo analogy.
I find it a somewhat far fetched notion nonetheless. And Oxo tools were tools. Do you suggest that it is possible to for instance adapt Chess better to the "perceptional physics" of players' minds? Would that possibly result in a variant?
Now that would be something!
I think the answer is different for each specific game. For example, a game that's already on the too-opaque side won't likely benefit from any negative feedback, which tends to add some opacity, etc. Every game works (or doesn't) as a kind of gestalt function over its constituent mechanics, so the devil is necessarily in the details. I've never specifically considered how these notions could be applied to chess, or Chess-like games, so I don't know.
Maybe we already did with Chess+, subconciously!
I would sure love it if that turned out to be true.
 
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milomilo122 wrote:
christianF wrote:
Maybe we already did with Chess+, subconciously!
I would sure love it if that turned out to be true.
In that case, it was not admitted to the BGG database because it wasn't formally published. Can you modify the Chesstiny blog to become a Chess+ blog?
 
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christianF wrote:
milomilo122 wrote:
christianF wrote:
Maybe we already did with Chess+, subconciously!
I would sure love it if that turned out to be true.
In that case, it was not admitted to the BGG database because it wasn't formally published. Can you modify the Chesstiny blog to become a Chess+ blog?
It's on my list of todos, I swear it. I realize it's been slow in coming and apologize for that. It just keeps getting shoved down.
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