Gary Simpson

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Hopefully the boys @ bgdf.com won't add any spoilers ; )

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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David Kahnt
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Youngstown
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It's fun, it's healthy, it's good exercise. The kids will just love it. And we put a little sand inside to make the experience more pleasant.
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You know, they say there was a man who jumped from the forty-FIFTH floor? But that's another story...
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Well, I know for me, the pics are blocked here at work...

So there's your flaw.. unseeable pics...

-DK
 
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Frank Strauss
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Flaw 1: When you´re at the play number 12 and have only positive cards, you can´t continue.
Flaw 2 ( somehow the same ) when you´re at the play number 1 and have only negative cards, you can´t continue.

I´m sure you mean something "deeper" devil
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Matt Davis
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New Concord
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You've also neglected to mention what will happen if no one chooses 4 as their number - who starts, does the running marker still start on 4, etc.
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John W
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gsimpson wrote:
think you know the flaw(s)?
Yeah, the game doesn;t have Christian Bale in it.



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Greg Zekser
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Wouldn't starting player 7 be the best choice as all the cards can be played for 7 while each other starting position will have useless cards depending on where the running number is on the board, assuming there are equal numbers of each card the range is -5 to 5?

 
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Gary Simpson

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Quote:
Yeah, the game doesn;t have Christian Bale in it.


lol. Is "man-crush" one word or two?
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Nathan James
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The players with PLAY numbers 4 and 9 have two distinct disadvantages.
First, the middle players are never quite as far away from success as the end players may be. Second, the other players each have a position on the run track that is a win for two players, e.g. the 4 space is a win for either "4" or "5" depending on who goes out.

One thing about actually playing the game- an emerging behaviour flaw is that it is never really in your interest to draw to more than two cards. Because you must discard all cards to win, and you can only discard two cards per turn a hand of three or more automatically prevents you from winning that turn. It would be funny to watch that dawn on a group of players, though.

"Gahh! Joe wins again! This is such a luckfest. He hasn't had more than two cards all game and he gets exactly what he needs. Me, I have fifteen cards and I can't ever get rid of all my cards when the token's on my space...Oh... crap!"

But the fatal flaw is as Matt Davis noted: "You've also neglected to mention what will happen if no one chooses 4 as their number - who starts, does the running marker still start on 4, etc."

So the game might not even start with out a house rule.

I think a few relatively simple adjustments would make it playable. But you're right Gary, it's broken.
I'm sure I'll be checking in again to see if I can't spot anything else, and I'll look foraward to hearing the "solution."
Thanks Gary,
N
 
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John W
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gsimpson wrote:
Quote:
Yeah, the game doesn;t have Christian Bale in it.


lol. Is "man-crush" one word or two?

I'm effectively forced by my wife to mention his omission in a game called Equilibrium, even if I didn't think he was a great actor. laugh
 
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John Lopez
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The three that I see immediately:

1. No ruling is made on the situation when a player only has cards that would leave the running track and yet is up against the hand limit.

2. Players with 6 and 7 only get two spaces to score in the early game; the track location for these are above the scoring track.

3. With "unlimited" hand sizes, the deck could easily be exhausted in the early game.
 
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Chaddyboy
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Olathe
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So long as I hit it squarely, the game should break right between the 6 and 7.

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Russ Williams
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Probably not what you mean, but as written the game is incomplete since you don't tell what the distribution of cards in the deck is. E.g. if all the cards had even values, then there would be interesting brokenness as half the spaces are unreachable every hand. Or if all the cards were negative. Etc...

Since players choose their numbers each hand, I don't see that the already noted differences between player numbers is "brokenness" per se.

The rank system seems intended to make it harder to go out, but as already noted, a large hand size appears to be a possible liability anyway, so it seems a lower hand limit is not any sort of disadvantage, and thus arguably the rank rules are "broken".
 
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Chris
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Not really flaws, but some omissions:
-- How many players can play? (2-6?)
-- Does the dealer deal cards to himself or herself?
-- Why does the "RUNNING token" have an "e" in it?
 
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Gary Simpson

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Quote:
Not really flaws, but some omissions:
-- How many players can play? (2-6?)
-- Does the dealer deal cards to himself or herself?


If there are omissions, these are FORMAL RULES flaws. Imagine them to be rule flaws that you would encounter in reading rule books. Alternately, any flaws coming from playing the game are EMERGENT RULE flaws.

A flaw is a flaw and even minor flaws can act as breadcrumbs to the flaw that breaks the game.

Quote:
Why does the "RUNNING token" have an "e" in it?

E for Equilibrium.
 
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Gary Simpson

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Formal rules (the rulebook) breaks:
The rules state "between 4-9" instead of "from 4 to 9".

If no player chooses the PLAY number of 4, technically the game will never start.

The rules never cover the value range of the play cards besides the exampled "+3" and "-5". Actually seeing the deck of play cards would reveal a value range from -5 to +5 with no "0" value cards.

The rules never cover what happens if a PLAY number isn't chosen.

There are no rules covering an exhausted DRAW pile and how it might be replenished.


Emergent rules (the gameplay behaviour) breaks:
Encouragement of players to pickup cards conflicts with the winning condition of discarding cards to go out.

4 & 5 have a slight advantage since the RUNNING token starts on their numbers as well as PLAY 4 player going first.

6 & 7 have 1/3 less chance of going out since they have less area to actively go out in the early game.

There are too few cards for a six player game. The opening deal gives six players five cards each totalling 30 cards. The first DRAW can up that total to 48 cards removed if every player DRAWS three cards each. By the second DRAW, the 52 card deck could be completely exhausted.

The range of the RUN track is fixed between the value of 1 thru 12. When the mechanism of discarding cards is triggered, there are no rules to dictate what happens if that RUN value exceeds the fixed value.

The constriction of limiting handsize over the RANKS has practically no bearing since the winning condition is to discard cards.

--------------------

The fatal flaws were the "Too Few Cards" and "Exceeding the Fixed Value of the Run Track", both causing the game to break from play. The gameplay suffered doubly from the direction of the rulesbook, which was spotty and short. While it might have gotten the gist across, it didn't reinforce the game mechanisms well enough to be comprehensive.

Good play from you game design detectives that set out to figure where the game would break. Perhaps the next mystery game will stump you next time on BREAK MY GAME!


Simpson
 
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Russ Williams
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gsimpson wrote:
The rules state "between" 4-9 instead of "from" 4-9.

Are you complaining that "between 4-9" is ungrammatical? (Then I agree; it should be "between 4 and 9".) But "from 4-9" is also ungrammatical and should be "from 4 to 9".

Or are you complaining that "between 4 and 9" suggests that the legal values are 5, 6, 7, and 8? That's pretty rules lawyerly, but yes I agree that theoretically "between" is ambiguous and should be qualified with as "between 4 and 9 inclusive" if one thinks it's not obvious from context (but it seems pretty obviously inclusive to me).
 
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