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

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christian freeling
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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.

Emphasis is mine. This sentence came back to me a couple of times and in all its vagueness it somehow nails it.
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I'd say that outside-inside is "engineering complexity" whereas inside-out is creating "organic complexity". In both cases starting from simplicity.
 
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Jessica Eccles
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mocko wrote:
As a matter of fact I have a suspicion that this thread is as much about raising and maintaining public awareness of NB games as it is about canvassing opinion

Well, thanks to this thread I've just tried Blooms on BGA.

milomilo122 wrote:

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.

Another benefit of having a game that appeals to casual players as well as pros is that the players help to market and spread the game too so even if the casual players don't themselves become pros, a casual player might introduce the game to someone else who is interested in exploring deep strategy.

Another idea for an approach to three player Blooms is for the three players to share control of a neutral colour, a la Blokus (though in Blokus you only get to place the neutral colour once every three rounds).
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George Leach
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Look up Wizard Hex for some clever designing with shared colours.
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Cody Kunka
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Whoops... the posts were removed because of KS links. I confirmed that I am able to post a BGG link though.

Anyways, I had suggested that Blooms get a new theme (especially a scientific one because of Nick's background) in light of the growing number of Flower games, even ones with similar names. Here's the new one.

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/267414/blume
 
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christian freeling
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Some games are pathetic in their eagerness to please the public.
 
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Cody Kunka
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christianF wrote:

Some games are pathetic in their eagerness to please the public.
I’m confused. What does this mean? I would think the point of a game is to please some audience... Maybe you’re talking about a nonfocused design that tries to incorporate too many popular elements? That could be interesting to discuss. How do you decide which elements will work together well?
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christian freeling
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Kunkasaurus wrote:
christianF wrote:

Some games are pathetic in their eagerness to please the public.
I’m confused. What does this mean? I would think the point of a game is to please some audience... Maybe you’re talking about a nonfocused design that tries to incorporate too many popular elements? That could be interesting to discuss. How do you decide which elements will work together well?

Dressing an abstract in flower power or anything fancy with a far fetched link to the goal doesn't inherently make it a bad game, but neither does it make a good game any more interesting. The point of a game may indeed be to please an audience, but not just any audience. You either create to serve or to sell and that seldom has the same outcome.
 
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Cody Kunka
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I just saw that Entrapment will be getting the Santorini treatment at Essen this year. Of course, adding expansions to the celebrated base game brings up the debate on marketability of abstracts.

... which got me thinking about this post on Nick’s games. I know I was disuaded before, but my point about Blooms being so similar to Go still seems problematic for marketing to me. Originally, the idea of having 2 colors per player seemed unique, but the new rules on suicide make the use of two colors less complicated. There’s less need to think about the interplay of your own colors.

... which brings me back to Bug. The ease of writing the story about the novelty of Bug’s development highlights its uniqueness. Plus, the fact that Bug is so intricate even on a hexhex3 (or 4) is amazing and would better allow a deluxe design than a hexhex6 and many more pieces of Blooms. Hence, I’m switching my recommendation back to Bug.

Side note: I do see the novelty in 2 colors per player (though it’s been done in Blokus). However, I think an even neater idea would be to have 3 colors (1 friendly, 1 enemy, 1 neutral). I really like that interplay in LYNGK, which has 6 colors. I bet focusing on 3, perhaps in something like Bug or Blooms, could be neat.
 
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Rex Moore
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Kunkasaurus wrote:
Originally, the idea of having 2 colors per player seemed unique, but the new rules on suicide make the use of two colors less complicated. There’s less need to think about the interplay of your own colors.


Can you explain this more? My brain isn't working tonight.
 
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Cody Kunka
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orangeblood wrote:
Kunkasaurus wrote:
Originally, the idea of having 2 colors per player seemed unique, but the new rules on suicide make the use of two colors less complicated. There’s less need to think about the interplay of your own colors.


Can you explain this more? My brain isn't working tonight.
With the old rules, there could be situations in which you would want to play in a certain place but cannot because that placement would remove the last liberty for a small group (even one stone) of your other color. Hence, with illegal suicide, you can force your opponent to work against himself. You would intentionally leave minority, enemy stones alive sometimes. However, now with legal suicide, there’s less need to carefully consider the interaction of your two colors. You still have shared eyes but not the so-called “one-sided seki.”

There used to be a neat article including “one-sided seki”... but the link is now broken:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2002039/life-blooms-3rd-eye...

https://www.nickbentley.games/life-in-blooms/
 
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Rex Moore
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But doesn’t legal suicide now just open up other paths of interaction between your colors? The rule about your own pieces not being captured until the start of your turn is the key. E.g., allowing things like “reserving” a spot you need.
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Nick Bentley
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orangeblood wrote:
But doesn’t legal suicide now just open up other paths of interaction between your colors? The rule about your own pieces not being captured until the start of your turn is the key. E.g., allowing things like “reserving” a spot you need.

This is my view. I feel it introduces more tactics than it eliminates.

That said, I’ve been leaning more toward Carnivores or Bug for this publishability question lately.
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Cody Kunka
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milomilo122 wrote:
This is my view. I feel it introduces more tactics than it eliminates.

That said, I’ve been leaning more toward Carnivores or Bug for this publishability question lately.
I do want to clarify: I do think Blooms is a neat design. I just am super excited about the novelty of Bug. Congrats on all your great designs.

As for Bug, I was thinking about potential themes. I imagine you already thought of this... but just in case not: You could treat each group of pieces not as parts of the same creature but as multiple creatures in a group. The groups only challenge for dominance for a competing group (of same size and shape). Small groups aren't threats, and big groups are too scary to take on. Same sizes but different shapes are confusing.

Here's a fun list of groups of animals for the title of the game: https://grammar.yourdictionary.com/word-lists/list-of-names-...

Apes: a shrewdness
Badgers: a cete
Bats: a colony or a camp
Bears: a sloth or a sleuth
Bees: a swarm
Buffalo: a gang or obstinacy
Camels: a caravan
Cats: a clowder or a glaring; Kittens: a litter or a kindle; Wild cats: a destruction
Cobras: a quiver
Crocodiles: a bask
Crows: a murder
Dogs: a pack; Puppies: a litter
Donkeys: a drove
Eagles: a convocation
Elephants: a parade
Elk: a gang or a herd
Falcons: a cast
Ferrets: a business
Fish: a school
Flamingos: a stand
Fox: a charm
Frogs: an army
Geese: a gaggle
Giraffes: a tower
Gorillas: a band
Hippopotami: a bloat
Hyenas: a cackle
Jaguars: a shadow
Jellyfish: a smack
Kangaroos: a troop or a mob
Lemurs: a conspiracy
Leopards: a leap
Lions: a pride
Moles: a labor
Monkeys: a barrel or a troop
Mules: a pack
Otters: a family
Oxen: a team or a yoke
Owls: a parliament
Parrots: a pandemonium
Pigs: a drift or drove (younger pigs) or a sounder or a team (older pigs)
Porcupines: a prickle
Rabbits: a herd
Rats: a colony
Ravens: an unkindness
Rhinoceroses: a crash
Shark: a shiver
Skunk: a stench
Snakes: a nest
Squirrels: a dray or a scurry
Stingrays: a fever
Swans: a bevy or a game (if in flight: a wedge)
Tigers: an ambush or a streak
Toads: a knot
Turkeys: a gang or a rafter
Turtles: a bale or a nest
Weasels: a colony, a gang or a pack
Whales: a pod, a school, or a gam
Wolves: a pack
Zebras: a zeal

I'm liking sleuth and shiver...

EDIT: Another idea is to use a plant/animal that has repeating patterns. Example: Coral (though Reef already took that idea). Algae blooms...
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Nick Bentley
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I've thought about it, but thematically, it feels weird to me. Generally speaking, trying to theme bug is tough. The best-fitting theme I've thought of is mutant cannibals, but it doesn't fit with the kind of game it is.

Speaking of theming, here's a thing that's come from this thread: I'm changing the name of Carnivores to Circle of Life, and for the purpose of communicating about the game to people beyond hard core abstract game fans, I'm leading with the theme, since maybe the most unique thing about it is the game's dynamics reflect real ecosystem dynamics in a number of ways.

I'm still working on it, but you can see the basic presentational idea here.

I'd love feedback from anyone with an opinion about how to improve this (still on the todo list: better graphics, especially color design, and give each species a name, as discussed in this thread).

(I've requested that the name get changed in the BGG database. Still waiting on that.)
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Cody Kunka
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milomilo122 wrote:
I've thought about it, but thematically, it feels weird to me. Generally speaking, trying to theme bug is tough. The best-fitting theme I've thought of is mutant cannibals, but it doesn't fit with the kind of game it is.

Speaking of theming, here's a thing that's come from this thread: I'm changing the name of Carnivores to Circle of Life, and for the purpose of communicating about the game to people beyond hard core abstract game fans, I'm leading with the theme, since maybe the most unique thing about it is the game's dynamics reflect real ecosystem dynamics in a number of ways.

I'm still working on it, but you can see the basic presentational idea here.

I'd love feedback from anyone with an opinion about how to improve this (still on the todo list: better graphics, especially color design, and give each species a name, as discussed in this thread).

(I've requested that the name get changed in the BGG database. Still waiting on that.)
Whoa... that image is unnervingly captivating. Something about those eyes. I like that it's literally a circle (of life). I see how this type of artwork could be broadly appealing. I wonder if you could work in hexagons to the artwork to tie the theme to the gameplay. Maybe a hexagon (rather than circle) of life? I wonder how you'll add theme to the pieces themselves. My idea of a group of pieces representing multiple creatures of the same kind facilitates themed pieces... though your plan gets more variety of creatures.

I'd suggest going more science than Eastern religion (both because of the fact that you are a scientist and that religious aspects can alienate those of different beliefs). I think the science focus is what's happening in the thread you linked.

Idea: Carnivores/CoL and Bug share alot. It would be hard to sell both separately. Instead, could one be included with the other not as a compilation but as a variant? Variants feel like added value while compilations deemphasize each game.
 
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Nick Bentley
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Quote:
Whoa... that image is unnervingly captivating. Something about those eyes. I like that it's literally a circle (of life).

I might have the same thing commissioned in a different style. More stylized, more impressionistic, less cartoon, more colorful, less grotesque. I can imagine something that looks really striking and beautiful.

Quote:
I wonder how you'll add theme to the pieces themselves. My idea of a group of pieces representing multiple creatures of the same kind facilitates themed pieces... though your plan gets more variety of creatures.

This is the tough part

Quote:
I'd suggest going more science than Eastern religion (both because of the fact that you are a scientist and that religious aspects can alienate those of different beliefs). I think the science focus is what's happening in the thread you linked.

Totally agree. Eastern looks are WAY overdone for this style of game (though it still works commercially sometimes - see Onitama).

Quote:
Idea: Carnivores/CoL and Bug share alot. It would be hard to sell both separately. Instead, could one be included with the other not as a compilation but as a variant? Variants feel like added value while compilations deemphasize each game.

I think that's a possibility, for sure. It makes sense to me because they're both part of the same thread of design thinking.
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Cody Kunka
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milomilo122 wrote:
I might have the same thing commissioned in a different style. More stylized, more impressionistic, less cartoon, more colorful, less grotesque. I can imagine something that looks really striking and beautiful.
This sounds neat. I can imagine many different ways this can go.

What did you think of my idea of a "hexagon of life"? In other words, make the ring of animals the shape of a hexagon instead of a circle to tie back to the board. I do like hexagons...
 
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Nick Bentley
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Kunkasaurus wrote:
milomilo122 wrote:
I might have the same thing commissioned in a different style. More stylized, more impressionistic, less cartoon, more colorful, less grotesque. I can imagine something that looks really striking and beautiful.
This sounds neat. I can imagine many different ways this can go.

What did you think of my idea of a "hexagon of life"? In other words, make the ring of animals the shape of a hexagon instead of a circle to tie back to the board. I do like hexagons...

I like the idea! I'll try it.
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Nick Bentley
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I had a little dough burning a hole in my pocket, so I commissioned the box cover art for Circle of Life that I had in mind:

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Ray R.
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I really like the picture, but I don't know if I would recognize it as representing a "circle of life". I kind of want more fading from one to the other or something symbolic of one stage absorbing/eating another stage.

I went looking for a picture that conveyed the thought and I accidentally found this.

https://cargocollective.com/oddworx/Adorable-Circle-Of-Life

I ... ummm. hmmm. Strange emotions. Words failing. Don't know where to put this. I *need* someone to make a game out of those pictures RIGHT NOW.
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Nick Bentley
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rayr wrote:
I really like the picture, but I don't know if I would recognize it as representing a "circle of life". I kind of want more fading from one to the other or something symbolic of one stage absorbing/eating another stage.

I went looking for a picture that conveyed the thought and I accidentally found this.

https://cargocollective.com/oddworx/Adorable-Circle-Of-Life

I ... ummm. hmmm. Strange emotions. Words failing. Don't know where to put this. I *need* someone to make a game out of those pictures RIGHT NOW.


Great feedback! Thanks. I probably won't get to modify this image for a while. I commissioned the thing to make the vision clearer to a publisher. If a publisher picks it up, I'll revisit for modifications.

Anyone else with feedback?
 
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