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Subject: Win conditions rss

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Florent Becker
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dpeggie wrote:
russ wrote:
Can you clarify what you mean by a "connection restriction"? Your implicit distinction between "unification" and "connection" is not obvious to me.
This is sort of why I wrote all of that

Because I believe that "connection" is an overloaded term, I distinguish between
linking: a chain of the player connects (two or more) distinguished zones; and
unification: all stones of the player form a single chain.

I distinguish these because linking is a condition on some stones and it requires distinguished zones, whereas unification is a condition on all stones which does not require distinguished zones.

As a turn restriction, unification means that all stones (either of each players, or of all stones) form a chain. This is done in Dieter Stein's Ordo, for example. Now linking as a turn condition would mean that after a turn, the distinguished zones are still connected. Imagine a chain of stones marching rubber-like across the board.

There are turn linking-prohibitions, though, in Quoridor, Cairo Corridor and probably others.
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Russ Williams
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galbolle wrote:
There are turn linking-prohibitions, though, in Quoridor, Cairo Corridor and probably others.
Ah, nice one! Link requirement via empty spaces, not by player pieces.


Somewhat in that vein, see also Alien City, in which every placed player piece must be able to reach every other one via a chain of empty spaces. Or (pondering further) maybe this is more of a "unification by empty space" requirement rather than "linking"...
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christian freeling
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Caïssa is played on a 7x7 square grid covered with tiles that gradually disappear. However, the 'tile-complex' must under all circumstances remain orthogonally/diagonally connected ('linked' for the occasion).

rules
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Russ Williams
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christianF wrote:

Caïssa is played on a 7x7 square grid covered with tiles that gradually disappear. However, the 'tile-complex' must under all circumstances remain orthogonally/diagonally connected ('linked' for the occasion).

rules
"unified", rather, right? (I.e. all tiles must always stay unified in one group, but there is no requirement that the tiles must always link opposite board sides, right?)

(In any case, looks like a nifty game which was not previously on my radar.)
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David Ploog
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Words are really hard I feel the sentiment Richard occasionally seemed to have...

Here is how I ended up with my vocabulary, which is not fixed, and has changed before:

1. I want to avoid connection because it is imprecise and leads to confusion, as can be seen in this very thread. It is generically meant for "connecting zones", but sometimes more encompassing than that. Browne's book did the word no favour by cramming a lot of additional concepts into "connection". To this, I can only reply by quoting Lewis Pulsipher: If you try to stretch a definition to encompass all those games, you end up with no definition worth discussing.

2. So I call games about chains/strings/groups of stones touching various goal zones linking games. Examples: Hex, Gonnect, Slither. (I used to write "connection games", but now I think it is better to use a new term.) A drawback is that while "link" is also a noun, I still feel compelled to write "White's winning connection" rather than "White's winning link".

3. For games where the goal is to bring all your pieces into one chain/group/clump, I use unification. Examples: Lines of Action, Inertia. I had a different word before, "connectivity" but I borrowed "unification" from Christian, and I think it is better: for one, you can make an adjective out of it. A contender would be "contigous" but I've only ever seen that in "the 50 contigous states", and I don't know how it sounds to the native ear when applied to games.

By the way, in German there's some difference between "verbunden" (connected) and "zusammenhängend" (connected). (The "connected components" of topology are called "Zusammenhangskomponenten", true to German style!)
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christian freeling
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russ wrote:
christianF wrote:

Caïssa is played on a 7x7 square grid covered with tiles that gradually disappear. However, the 'tile-complex' must under all circumstances remain orthogonally/diagonally connected ('linked' for the occasion).

rules
"unified", rather, right? (I.e. all tiles must always stay unified in one group, but there is no requirement that the tiles must always link opposite board sides, right?)

(In any case, looks like a nifty game which was not previously on my radar.)
You're right, unified it is. I'm glad you noticed the game. I found Shakti by accident and decided that the fatality inherent in the disappearing playing area should be carried by the king, or in this case by the Queen. That's how the game came to be.
A modest but most likely true innovation is the 'capture by exchange' concept.

P.S. After finding the plywood disks for Storisende I ordered enough to make a new board for the Atlantis Triplets. Here's Caïssa.
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Cody Kunka
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Neat post! I'm particularly interested in the games that have pass/fail win conditions as I find those games quite thematic (i.e., able to tell a story). Recently, I realized that non-abstract games can have pass/fail win conditions too. Discover all operatives in Codenames. Cure all diseases in Pandemic. Evade or catch in Specter Ops. I'm curious of whether there are some neat trends in pass/fail games across genres, so I made a list. Feel free to add...

https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/257436/pointless-games
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David Ploog
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Kunkasaurus wrote:
I'm particularly interested in the games that have pass/fail win conditions as I find those games quite thematic (i.e., able to tell a story).
Yes, I agree. I noticed that I silently groan whenever someone teaches a new Euro game, starting with "the goal is to achieve most victory points". Now I'm a Go player, so I am not totally consistent here. (I think what most annoys me in Euro games is that points operate on so many scales, and that there tend to be "+X" end scoring modifiers.)

Also, I had to look at your posting, and the (very neat!) geeklist for a long, hard time until I could parse "pass/fail" The reason is that "pass" made me think of "passing a move", as in Go, and I couldn't make sense of it.

Moreover, this made me phrase "scoring games" much more precisely in my manuscript. Many thanks!
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Kunkasaurus wrote:
I'm particularly interested in the games that have pass/fail win conditions as I find those games quite thematic (i.e., able to tell a story).
I don't see how these "pass/fail" games are any less thematic than games with points. It seems to me that either type of game is equally capable of telling a story. Take wargames for example - lots of them are about counting points, and they're all very obviously thematic and tell a very clear story. Or take any of the civilization games - a category loosely defined by telling the story of the development of civilization, all of them highly thematic, and all of them that I'm aware of have points.

On the other hand, there are many pass/fail games that are not particularly thematic at all, and don't tell a story. This would include a lot of abstracts, like checkers, Hive, Arimaa, Hex, etc.

Being thematic or not, and having a pass/fail or point-counting win condition are independent variables.
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:
Kunkasaurus wrote:
I'm particularly interested in the games that have pass/fail win conditions as I find those games quite thematic (i.e., able to tell a story).
I don't see how these "pass/fail" games are any less thematic than games with points. It seems to me that either type of game is equally capable of telling a story. Take wargames for example - lots of them are about counting points, and they're all very obviously thematic and tell a very clear story. Or take any of the civilization games - a category loosely defined by telling the story of the development of civilization, all of them highly thematic, and all of them that I'm aware of have points.

On the other hand, there are many pass/fail games that are not particularly thematic at all, and don't tell a story. This would include a lot of abstracts, like checkers, Hive, Arimaa, Hex, etc.

Being thematic or not, and having a pass/fail or point-counting win condition are independent variables.
Ah, I should clarify. I don't mean that all pointless games are thematic or that all point games are not thematic. Also, by "story," I'm talking about the gamer's story. The intrinsic story of the game is part of the equation, but the extrinsic experience is too. Think how these connect... how the mechanics weave the intrinsic story into the extrinsic story. The FEEL. For example, I can recall many moves in a game of Hive from last week... but very few of my moves from a game of Great Western Trail. Remembering those moves ties the mechanics to the story... and therefore FEELS more thematic to me. I'm part of it. Of course, there are poinless games with even more theme. I very much remember my experiences of Unlock games, for example.
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David Ploog
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Kunkasaurus wrote:
By "story," I'm talking about the gamer's story. The intrinsic story of the game is part of the equation, but the extrinsic experience is too.
I have thought about something quite like this: to me, an abstract game can have a theme (this is misleading but standard terminology -- I think the "abstract" in abstract game only means "plays well without recourse to a theme", and sometimes more than that...). Examples are Chess (medieval warfare), Epaminondas (Greek-era combat), Guerilla Checkers, Command and Maneuver (actual conflict simulation).
Independently, individual matches of a game may tend to narratives. This is if/how players talk about the game. The more they use out-of-game language, the higher the narrative potential.

So my question: is, in your language, "theme = intrinsic experience" and "narrative = extrinsic experience"?

I believe these are important properties, especially when it comes to longevity of games, and I'd like to make a separate thread for this.

Quote:
Think how these connect... how the mechanics weave the intrinsic story into the extrinsic story.
I think I get what you mean. In my language: the question is who are the actors. For example, in Go, single stones are rarely what gets talked about (there are exception, such as brilliant moves). Rather, players or commentors will talk about higher structures, such as groups or spheres. I think it is a special, and very nice, property of a game to give rise to such actors.

I also believe that this is relates to win conditions, with pattern (e.g. n-in-a-row) and linking (connection) games badly positioned to produce narratives. But this may be just my taste, combined with low skill at such games.
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Kunkasaurus wrote:
Also, by "story," I'm talking about the gamer's story. The intrinsic story of the game is part of the equation, but the extrinsic experience is too. Think how these connect... how the mechanics weave the intrinsic story into the extrinsic story. The FEEL. For example, I can recall many moves in a game of Hive from last week... but very few of my moves from a game of Great Western Trail. Remembering those moves ties the mechanics to the story... and therefore FEELS more thematic to me. I'm part of it. Of course, there are poinless games with even more theme. I very much remember my experiences of Unlock games, for example.
I'm not sure I'm understanding you correctly. It seems that by "story" you mean "gamer's story", and by "gamer's story" you mean. "Once upon a time, I sat down to play this game, and I made this move, and I made that move, and I made this other move, and then I made a risky move, and then I made a move that really hurt my opponent, and then I made a brilliant move, and then I made some other moves, and then I won!" To me, that's not really a story at all, and it has nothing to do with the presence or absence of a theme, and it can be applied to literally *any* game.

In the example of Hive, that you used, there really isn't any theme to hive. There's no "story" in the sense of "A bunch of insects got together and had a fight with another group of insects." Or if that counts as a story, every play of the game tells pretty much the same story, with the main difference being, "This time, the white insects won, while last time the black insects won." The only "theme" is just a mnemonic - to help you remember that grasshoppers jump, and ants crawl, and the queen bee is "royal".

I've never played Great Western Trail, but I can remember turns from other point-scoring games like History of the World and Age of Renaissance that I played years ago. And those moves very much connected the mechanics to the theme, and therefore the story of how the history of the world unfolded, or how the Renaissance developed.
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christian freeling
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dpeggie wrote:
Kunkasaurus wrote:
By "story," I'm talking about the gamer's story. The intrinsic story of the game is part of the equation, but the extrinsic experience is too.
I have thought about something quite like this: to me, an abstract game can have a theme (this is misleading but standard terminology -- I think the "abstract" in abstract game only means "plays well without recourse to a theme", and sometimes more than that...). Examples are Chess (medieval warfare), Epaminondas (Greek-era combat), Guerilla Checkers, Command and Maneuver (actual conflict simulation).
Independently, individual matches of a game may tend to narratives. This is if/how players talk about the game. The more they use out-of-game language, the higher the narrative potential.

So my question: is, in your language, "theme = intrinsic experience" and "narrative = extrinsic experience"?

I believe these are important properties, especially when it comes to longevity of games, and I'd like to make a separate thread for this.

Quote:
Think how these connect... how the mechanics weave the intrinsic story into the extrinsic story.
I think I get what you mean. In my language: the question is who are the actors. For example, in Go, single stones are rarely what gets talked about (there are exception, such as brilliant moves). Rather, players or commentors will talk about higher structures, such as groups or spheres. I think it is a special, and very nice, property of a game to give rise to such actors.

I also believe that this is relates to win conditions, with pattern (e.g. n-in-a-row) and linking (connection) games badly positions to produce narratives. But this may be just my taste, combined with low skill at such games.
This is an interesting alley of contemplation. The observation regarding single placements in Go and the game's 'narrative' is spot on. I'm interested because of a curious phenomenon I have experienced quite often. I don't, as a rule, remember games. I don't even try and analysis gives me the same overwhelming feelings of futility I've mentioned before. I like to play.
Often I keep considering the positions of the games I play when doing other things, household, groceries, the animals, the daily stuff, and suddenly I see I made a mistake! I missed that and that line!

I see the position, which is odd in itself because I tend to forget a game the moment it is over, and don't see an actual board like you would see a photograph. It's like I say 'David Bowie' and you get a 'picture' in your mind: clearly David Bowie, but when I ask what he wears you have to paste it on because it's not part of the 'picture'.
I've often wondered about noticing mistakes in retrospect because the observation is usually right and comes almost unsolicited and effortless. And I suspect that it is related to how we 'store' games (in my case in 'short memory' but Sijbrands can retrieve some 1500 game he played professionally, from memory). I'm not certain about the type of (abstract strategy) game, although I suspect that it matters. Draughts was mentioned as one of the games that 'don't tell a story', yet Sijbrands has 1500 'narratives' stored in his mind.

I must add that Storisende made me consider the 'story' aspect again, and I'm glad that the story/narrative distinction that David makes is enlightning. Being purposely forgetful of narratives, I yet feel that Storisende always has a general storyline that is clearly discernible.
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