Gary Simpson

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Challenge:
Can you figure out where this game will break? I purposely made this game design to have at least one fatal flaw...I've given all the clues in the game design. See how good your deconstruction skills are and post up your theories here on BREAK MY GAME!





think you know the flaw(s)?


Simpson!
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Matt Davis
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Well, one thing I'd point out that's pretty much a graphic flaw is that functionally, there seems to be no difference between 1 and 3 marks on the side of a colored hex. Same with 0 and 2. So changing 2's to 0's and 3's to 1's could make the game simpler to explain and think about - blue must match symbols, while red must make them not match. But that has nothing to do with gameplay...
 
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Robert C Kalajian Jr
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Simsbury
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So wait, there's 8 brains?
 
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Gary Simpson

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Right, Eight brain maps of differing sizes each named after a famous genius or madman.
 
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Nathan James
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There are a few things I'm not clear on.

Are you playing on more than one 'brain' at a time?

Are all hexen and sink hexen single hex-counters or are they multiples?

What is the meaning of "nullify?" As in sink hexen nullify other hexen.

Also, lining up odd and even sides is unclear to me.
For instance, if I play a blue hexen in the middle, where it borders nothing, are the sides totalled? Is zero even or odd? Also, the first thought I had was that blue and red can play next to each other as the totals must be different, but I'm not sure that's what you meant.

At this point I'd say the problem lies in the even/odd totals rules. But I'm not sure which interpretation you intended.

Hope to hear back about this- I've enjoyed considering it.
 
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Gary Simpson

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Quote:
Are you playing on more than one 'brain' at a time?

One brain at a time. Unless you want to play more which is just crazy talk.

Quote:
Are all hexen and sink hexen single hex-counters or are they multiples?

All hexen are single hex-counters.

Quote:
What is the meaning of "nullify?" As in sink hexen nullify other hexen.

Nullify means to negate or reduce the potential scoring of the hexen to zero. Wherein a colored hexen would score one point, when a sink hexen touches it the colored hexen scores zero points.

Quote:
Also, lining up odd and even sides is unclear to me.

Each hexen has six sides.
Each hexen has marks on its sides from 0-4.

To lay down a hexen next to one already in play you must make sure the sides where the two hexen touch total correctly. For a BLUE hexen, this total must be an even number. For a RED hexen, this total is an odd number.

So if you are laying down a BLUE hexen, you must consider that by adding the hexen to the board, that any other hexen it touches must be able to combine to make an even number.

Example One:
You lay a BLUE hexen next to another BLUE hexen. The sides touching come into terms - the hexen you just laid has a mark of "1", the hexen you lay it against has a mark of "3". You total 1+3 = 4...an even number making it a legal placement.

Example Two:
You lay a BLUE hexen next to another BLUE hexen. The sides touching come into terms - the hexen you just laid has a mark of "2", the hexen you lay it against has a mark of "3". You total 2+3=5...an odd number making it an illegal placement. You have to find another place to put your hexen.
 
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Bruce Baskir
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I don't know if you consider this a flaw, but you said the game is over when all the colored tiles are placed. It seems to me that you could get a position where there are no legal plays before all the colored tiles are placed.
 
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Gary Simpson

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Formal rules (the rulebook) breaks:
No clear definition of two players in the game - a BLUE player & a RED player.

No clear definition of a BLUE player using only Blue HEXEN. Same with RED player using only Red HEXEN.

No clear definition of a starting position for a legal play.

No clear definition of the even/odd totaling of a "zero" sum.

No clear definition of if non-neighbored sides are taken into account for legal play.

No clear definition of if two colors may be legal to lay against. Blue next to Red and vice versa.

No clear definition of a "Pass" option if no legal plays may be made.

No clear definition of nullified colored Hexen can complete a pattern.

No clear definition of which Schism Tiles may be picked at the beginning or how they may be laid.

Blue player has a slight advantage by going first and having the potential to complete patterns sooner.

Emergent rules (the gameplay behaviour) breaks:
There is no handsize limit, meaning that one player could keep drawing PATTERN Cards till there are none left.

Patterns stack. Since there is no delineation of where patterns begin nor end, several patterns can emerge from the same body. This stacking can quickly reduce the obstacle impact of what patterns do when completed.

With the amount of pattern cards to different patterns, there is a better than average chance that the same pattern will appear on two or more cards in a player's hand. This can lead to stockpiling by one player to collect patterns then play them all at once with a single deft move.

Stalemate can occur if one player is reduced to no legal plays.

Gridlock can occur if players do not remove Schism tiles within a variable amount of rounds.

_____________________________
The fatal flaws were "No Starting Positions", "Stalemate" and "Gridlock", all causing the game to either break from play or not even initiating it. With lack of clear definition the gameplay could quickly become watered down with player opinions on how "the game really works".

Solid effort from you game design detectives that figured where the game would break. You are supermen. Although the next mystery game might leave you baffled next time on BREAK MY GAME!


Simpson
 
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Nathan James
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Thanks Gary, I enjoyed the excercise. I'm glad to see I did spot a couple of the problems. I have to say I didn't get anywhere close to figuring out the "emergent play breaks." I couldn't visualize how the game would play out due to a few of the "formal rules breaks."
I'd love to try figuring out one where the rules were clear, but the gameplay breaks down. Hmmm... I know I've designed at least one game that fits that description... how did it go?
 
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