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Subject: Contest - 4 cards or tiles only - win 15GG rss

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Michael Barlow
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Hello there, everyone!

I've got some geekgold to give away, but I thought I'd run a contest to do so.

I've been fiddling around with an idea to make a print-and-play game that has only 4 tiles (or cards) with information printed on the 4 sides of each tile (or card) that can be placed down in a variety of positions relative to one another and then something happens...
..scoring or,
a roll-and-move path is created or,
something!

I don't have any theme or anything solid going on; it's just a vague idea I have.

So, on to the contest.

Can you design a print-and-play game that has only 4 tiles or cards as its primary components?

There shouldn't be very many other things needed to play the game -- maybe a few tokens per player, some dice, or similarly little else.

Apologies up front for the copious usage of the term "cards or tiles".

Rules:

1. Make a print-and-play game that has only 4 tiles or cards as its major components. The size of each card (or tile) shouldn't be larger than what will print out on one standard US letter sized sheet, though you are welcome to make a smaller sized game.

2. There is no size limit on the rules. If you need 20 pages to explain your game, go for it.

3. You can enter more than once providing each game is totally separate from the other in theme and mechanics.

4. Your entry may use any mechanics and may be themed or abstract. It may be for any number of players. Players can own the cards (or tiles), share them, or there could be no ownership at all. The game can have any number of turns, including no turns at all.

5. The only mechanic that you must use is that something happens when the 4 cards (or tiles) come into contact with each other somehow:

For example, they can abut like in Carcassonne, be spaced apart but interact like in Light Speed, overlap like in Gloom or like that game with holes punched in the cards (Punch Cards: Wasted Lands), it can even be a modular board (Löwenherz) providing there's little else needed to play the game.

6. The game should have exactly 4 cards or tiles. The game cannot have a deck or stack of tiles or cards of which you only choose 4 of them a turn to play; that isn't the sort of game I want for this contest. Your entry will not be eligible to win if it requires more than or less than 4 cards or tiles.

7. The cards (or tiles) do not have to be all the same shape or size. Any two dimensional shapes are acceptable. The L-Game is a good example; it has 2 L shaped pieces and 2 squares as its main components plus a simple board.

8. The game must use original components. Entrants cannot use Carcassonne tiles or Decktet cards or Piecepack bits or those Icehouse things, though of course, forgery is the sincerest form of flattery.

9. Post your game to this thread via a picture or link and explain how the game works or post the rules.

10. You do not need to post a complete game to win this contest; the idea is to get your creative juices flowing. But vague descriptions may not generate votes for your entry.

11. The deadline for entries will be March 21, midnight pacific time. That's about a month creation time. I'll ask people to wait until Monday Feb 23rd before they post an entry just to make sure all the rules make sense to everyone.

12. The winner will be determined 1 week later exactly by votes, thumbs, positive comments, etc. I'd prefer if votes or comments were used to vote since I can date stamp those, but hopefully there won't be too many problems.

12. The winner will be determined by a poll that I'll create after all the entries are in. I'll create the poll on a separate thread so it gets some front page time and add links (if possible) to each entry's post's page. The poll will be open for one week after the deadline is crossed for entries -- that can be controlled when the poll is created!

13. If you entrants change your game based on other the input of other users, it will be up to you to credit your helpers or not.

14. I will only be awarding GG to the winners based on the formula below:

15 will go to the most popular game or game idea

5 will go to the second most popular entry.


15. Any tips given this thread will be evenly divided between the first and second place winners.

16. I'm not eligible to win, though I may enter if I think of something.

17. If I've muddled any rules so that they make no sense or if you want something clarified, please post a polite observation and I'll consider a correction to the rules.

To that end I won't accept entries for a day or two while people consider the rules.

Again, this contest is open for entries starting February 23.

List of edits:
* Added rule about size and shape of components (Rule 7).
* Fixed numbering blush
* Spelling, grammar, etc.
* Rewrote Rule 12 after a great suggestion
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Jeremiah Lee
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Wowza, that's a tricky one. Thanks for the idea, I'll see if I can come up with something. I don't see any confusion in the rules.
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Chris Schenck
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Cool idea for a contest! I have a few questions about the rules though. I certainly don't want to rule-lawyer the conditions, but I want to make sure I don't burn time and energy pursuing a game that won't qualify.



Reprint wrote:
There shouldn't be very many other things needed to play the game -- maybe a few tokens per player, some dice, or similarly little else.

I understand why you didn't put a fixed number on the miscellaneous components, but I am curious to know what "very many" means to you. If each player needs 20 tokens in my game, is that too many? Again, not trying to nail down a fixed number here, just trying to get a handle on the flexibility of this criterion.



Reprint wrote:
The size of each card (or tile) shouldn't be larger than what will print out on one standard US letter sized sheet, though you are welcome to make a smaller sized game.

So each "card" can be the size of a 8.5" x 11" paper? Does that mean that one or two of the "cards" can form the board for the game?



Reprint wrote:
5. The only mechanic that you must use is that something happens when the 4 cards (or tiles) come into contact with each other somehow

This may run afoul with my previous question. If two of the "cards" form the board, then nothing really "happens" when you put the two together, other than the formation of the play surface during the setup of the game.



Reprint wrote:
12. The winner will be determined 1 week later exactly by votes, thumbs, positive comments, etc. I'd prefer if votes or comments were used to vote since I can date stamp those, but hopefully there won't be too many problems.

Contests like this one largely reward the early entries, since they have more time on the list. Someone will look at the list and think, "that's the best of the 4 on here" then possibly not visit the thread again, even though 10 more entries were added later. I'd hate to see a budding game designer work hard to playtest an idea for a long time to get it right, only to lose to a lesser game because he only had 1 week of voters instead of the 5 weeks the lesser quality (but quickly-posted) game had. I'm not sure of an effective way to eliminate this effect though. Perhaps one way would be to require all games to be posted on the same day (or a small window of a few days), so they all have equal time to be evaluated by the masses.
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Jeremiah Lee
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Bravo, those are good things to bring up.
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Stig Morten
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cbs42 wrote:

Contests like this one largely reward the early entries, since they have more time on the list. Someone will look at the list and think, "that's the best of the 4 on here" then possibly not visit the thread again, even though 10 more entries were added later. I'd hate to see a budding game designer work hard to playtest an idea for a long time to get it right, only to lose to a lesser game because he only had 1 week of voters instead of the 5 weeks the lesser quality (but quickly-posted) game had. I'm not sure of an effective way to eliminate this effect though. Perhaps one way would be to require all games to be posted on the same day (or a small window of a few days), so they all have equal time to be evaluated by the masses.


You could solve this by having a poll after the entry deadline have been reached.
This would give you a chance to check the legitimacy of the entries.
Voting goes on for a week and the winner is announced after that.
Just my thoughts.
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Chris Schenck
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ad79 wrote:
cbs42 wrote:

Contests like this one largely reward the early entries, since they have more time on the list. Someone will look at the list and think, "that's the best of the 4 on here" then possibly not visit the thread again, even though 10 more entries were added later. I'd hate to see a budding game designer work hard to playtest an idea for a long time to get it right, only to lose to a lesser game because he only had 1 week of voters instead of the 5 weeks the lesser quality (but quickly-posted) game had. I'm not sure of an effective way to eliminate this effect though. Perhaps one way would be to require all games to be posted on the same day (or a small window of a few days), so they all have equal time to be evaluated by the masses.


You could solve this by having a poll after the entry deadline have been reached.
This would give you a chance to check the legitimacy of the entries.
Voting goes on for a week and the winner is announced after that.
Just my thoughts.

That's an outstanding idea.
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Stig Morten
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cbs42 wrote:
That's an outstanding idea.


Rarely have I done so little for so much!
Thanks for the thumb and tip, cbs42!

Thanks to the rest of you guys too!
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Michael Barlow
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ad79 wrote:
You could solve this by having a poll after the entry deadline have been reached.
This would give you a chance to check the legitimacy of the entries.


Writing it into the rules! Thanks!
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Michael Barlow
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cbs42 wrote:
Reprint wrote:
There shouldn't be very many other things needed to play the game -- maybe a few tokens per player, some dice, or similarly little else.

I understand why you didn't put a fixed number on the miscellaneous components, but I am curious to know what "very many" means to you. If each player needs 20 tokens in my game, is that too many? Again, not trying to nail down a fixed number here, just trying to get a handle on the flexibility of this criterion.

Well, the idea is to have just those 4 pnp components as the [/b]main[/b] contribution to the game. I'll let it be up to the entrants how many other things are needed to play the game, and you'll have to decide yourself at what point your extra bits become more important to the game instead of the 4 components I'm asking for. The voters will decide if you've gone to far.


cbs42 wrote:
Reprint wrote:
The size of each card (or tile) shouldn't be larger than what will print out on one standard US letter sized sheet, though you are welcome to make a smaller sized game.

So each "card" can be the size of a 8.5" x 11" paper? Does that mean that one or two of the "cards" can form the board for the game?

Yes, or even all 4. But then, if you refer back to the previously answered question, how far can you go with those extra bits?



cbs42 wrote:
Reprint wrote:
5. The only mechanic that you must use is that something happens when the 4 cards (or tiles) come into contact with each other somehow

This may run afoul with my previous question. If two of the "cards" form the board, then nothing really "happens" when you put the two together, other than the formation of the play surface during the setup of the game.

The formation of the board, whether put together higgilly piggilly (like in Camden)or in some modular fashion (again, like the little boards in Löwenherz or the hexagons in Nexus Ops) is an important interaction of the components of the game. But again, your success in interpreting the rules will be decided by your peers during the voting/polling process.


cbs42 wrote:
Reprint wrote:
12. The winner will be determined 1 week later exactly by votes, thumbs, positive comments, etc. I'd prefer if votes or comments were used to vote since I can date stamp those, but hopefully there won't be too many problems.

Dealt with. I love the poll idea and that'll be how it will be deal with. I'm on my way to change the rules...

The poll will be a separate thread with links to the thread pages (if I can do this) for each entry. That's about as fair as I can make it.
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Chris Schenck
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Sounds great.
I'll start brewing up some ideas.

Thanks again for running this.
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Chris Schenck
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Reprint wrote:
ad79 wrote:
You could solve this by having a poll after the entry deadline have been reached.
This would give you a chance to check the legitimacy of the entries.


Writing it into the rules! Thanks!

One more question. This is more of a curiosity than an issue that will impact design: Are you planning on radio-button (select only one) poll, or checkboxes (where folks could vote for multiple)?
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Almarr Ormarsson
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Love this idea! I've already done a prototype for my entry, really looking forward to see what other people will do
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Michael Barlow
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cbs42 wrote:
One more question. Are you planning on radio-button (select only one) poll, or checkboxes (where folks could vote for multiple)?


One person one vote. Just like the way it's supposed to be. I don't want any ties.

Oooh, crap. Ties.

Uh. If there's a tie and I've got the geekgold, I will award mirror prizes.
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Michael Barlow
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grautur wrote:
Love this idea! I've already done a prototype for my entry, really looking forward to see what other people will do

I'm playtesting already for my entry which cannot win. I got this weird idea in the bath. Gotta give you nice folks something to look at...
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Reprint wrote:
There shouldn't be very many other things needed to play the game -- maybe a few tokens per player, some dice, or similarly little else.


but...

Quote:
8. The game must use original components. Entrants cannot use Carcassonne tiles or Decktet cards or Piecepack bits or those Icehouse things, though of course, forgery is the sincerest form of flattery.


Tokens or dice are okay, but Icehouse pieces aren't?
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It would be cool if it was 4 cards/tiles and rules on a 1 page pdf. Think of the possibilities. You could print the whole game on the back of a convention flier, etc...
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Well, I'm in.

I came up with a game about supercell thunderstorms and tornadoes. It uses nonagon shaped pieces, which I didn't even know what those were until I came up with this thing. I have the pieces designed and the general rules. I need to get it printed and start play testing.

Thanks for throwing this out there, its been fun already.
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What's Your 20?

You are a truck driver out on the open road. There is a big promotion coming up, and your boss has promised it to the person who can deliver 20 loads first. Be the first person to reach 20 loads, and the job is yours!





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Wow... thanks for putting the pressure on the rest of us by posting your entry damn near exactly at the beginning of the entry window.


(Actually, I'm really thanking you, because you've lit a fire under my ass now to actually enter something into this event.)

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indigopotter wrote:
What's Your 20?



I`m not sure if it`s me, but I couldn`t figure out how to get points in your game, indigopotter.

Do you get points for a completed loop of the track?

Othervise a nice game.

Can`t wait to see what others come up with.
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Anthony Harlan

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Not to nitpick, but does the score track count as a 5th component of the 4 component game?
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Reprint wrote:

I'm playtesting already for my entry which cannot win. I got this weird idea in the bath. Gotta give you nice folks something to look at...

Am I the only one that's a bit disturbed by this image?
Great idea for a contest, Mike... I love ultra-portable games. It's great how a simple suggestion like this can spark ideas. I've got two or three nice concepts already, so I'll do my best to get them playtested and entered.
Thanks,
Tom
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Mxyzptlk wrote:
Not to nitpick, but does the score track count as a 5th component of the 4 component game?

No, no. Read rule "5" ..er the example on "7". It's 4 "main" components. You don't have to use his scoring track!

Chris Goodwin wrote:
Tokens or dice are okay, but Icehouse pieces aren't?

There's already some design contests for Icehouse pieces. This one's for free print-and-play games. You can ask your players to come up with something to use as tokens (checkers, rocks, peanuts, earthworms), but you really can't demand that they pay for Icehouse pieces.
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Steerpike wrote:
Reprint wrote:

I'm playtesting already for my entry which cannot win. I got this weird idea in the bath. Gotta give you nice folks something to look at...

Am I the only one that's a bit disturbed by this image?
Great idea for a contest, Mike... I love ultra-portable games. It's great how a simple suggestion like this can spark ideas. I've got two or three nice concepts already, so I'll do my best to get them playtested and entered.
Thanks,
Tom


A scouring pad across the eyes won't remove that picture.
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Quote:
I`m not sure if it`s me, but I couldn`t figure out how to get points in your game, indigopotter.

Do you get points for a completed loop of the track?

Othervise a nice game.

Can`t wait to see what others come up with.


Points are indicated on the spaces (i.e., "+2" or "-3"). If there is a question mark, you roll to determine the number of loads gained or lost. (See page 2 of the rules).
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