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NESTORGAMES continuous abstract game design contest
Néstor Romeral Andrés
Spain
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CONTEST CANCELLED!

Hi, all.

I receive around half a dozen submissions of abstract games each month. Most of them are great designs. I hope I can publish all of them, but by now I can't. Not enough time. Morevover, I'm not focused exclusively on abstracts at the moment.

So I've decided to create a continuous abstract game design contest.

How does it work? Simply add your game to this list (first you must add the game entry to the bgg database), and when it reaches enough thumbs up, I will contact the author and propose and agreement. How many thumbs up? I still don't know. I will try to fix this number soon.

Rules:

1. The game must fit on one of the NESTORGAMES formats (1 and 2 so far):

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/weblink/58717/nestorgames-forma...

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/weblink/58716/nestorgames-forma...

2. The game must be an abstract. It can be lightly themed (like Hippos & Crocodiles).

3. The game must be finished. No variants, corrections or whatever.

4. Games already published are accepted too, as long as the author can license it to other publishers.

5. You can submmit other author's games.

6. You can submmit as many entries as you wish.

7. Any entry can be rejected because of production issues.

8. Games that can be easily home made or that can be played with existing NESTORGAMES games could be rejected for obvious reasons. Sorry for this.

When and if a game is published, I will give a free copy to a randomly picked geekuser among the ones that gave this list a thumb up.

Thank you and good luck!

Néstor Romeral Andrés

EDIT:

So what is an abstract game? That's a difficult question.

Theoreticaly an abstract game is a game with no theme at all. Hence the word "abstract".

Some of the entries in this contest have a theme, and even a low dose of randomness. This is not a bad thing. But where is the line? I don't know. I'm still learning...

EDIT: By now, 2 games have reached the 40 votes barrier. 40 is a good number. I will fine-tune it over time.

Barrier is now: 40

EDIT: Added rule.

EDIT: 3 games have reached the 40 votes barrier so far! Well done!

EDIT: Added rule.

EDIT: As one of the entries has reached 50 votes and the geeklist has more than 50 thumbs, it is time to raise the barrier.

Barrier is now 50.

EDIT: 4th winner! Time to raise the barrier again.

Barrier is now 60.



EDIT: 5th winner!

Barrier is now 70.

EDIT: 6th winner!

Barrier is 70 again

Edit: 7th winner!

Barrier is now 100

Edit: 7th winner removed from the contest by the author.

Edit: 8th winner!

Edit: 9th winner!

Edit: 10th winner!

Edit: 11th winner!

Edit: Barrier raised to 200!



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

Winners list:

- Mundialito (Gold Cup). Re-implemented to Robosoccer
- Penguin Soccer
- Symbol
- Zaic
- Topology
- Linkage
- Splut! Game removed from contest by the author
- Pilus
- Isaac
- Hello, Dolly!
- BASKETmind
- Penguin Panic: The Great Icescape






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1. Board Game: Pex [Average Rating:6.29 Unranked]
David Bush
United States
Shipman
Virginia
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This is implemented on www.iggamecenter.com

It's like Hex, but with pentagons instead of hexagons. The image shows pieces with holes in them, but this is not necessary for a physical set. As long as each piece is small enough that you can see the color of the pentagon it sits on, the game should work fine.
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2. Board Game: Hextris [Average Rating:6.07 Unranked]
David Bush
United States
Shipman
Virginia
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This won an Icehouse game competition. It's for 2 or 3 players. I wrote a module for the software Zillions of Games, but I never submitted it to the ZoG website. I intend to submit it next week, Saturday 7 Nov. 2009. But you would have to buy Zillions in order to use this module.
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3. Board Game: Odd [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Nick Bentley
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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I'm submitting two games to this contest. You can find the rules to Dustin (aka Odd) here:

http://nickbentley.posterous.com/one-of-my-better-games-odd

The 1st game is in the BGG database as Dustin, but the name has since been changed to Odd. It's played on a hexhex5 board. One player is trying to ensure that when the board is full, there's an odd number of groups of a certain minimum size (both colors are counted), and the other player wants the number of such groups to be even. The number of groups at the end of the game will be small, usually between 3-6. Importantly, a player can play either of two colors on her turn.

It's tricky, and it feels like playing several simultaneous connection games at once on the same board, each of which influences the others.

A couple of years ago, I initiated a contest to see if anyone could solve the game. No one succeeded, and now I'm pretty sure it's impossible except by brute force, but the contest yielded some insight into the game, particularly with respect to possible symmetry strategies:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/1430248#1430248
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4. Board Game: Coil [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
Nick Bentley
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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...and here's the second game:

Complete rules, along with printable play meterials can be found here:
http://nickbentley.posterous.com/new-game-coil

Coil is a 2-player connection game on a hexhex7 (or larger) board, where one player is trying to form a loop of stones in his color, while the other is trying to prevent the loop's formation. There's a "chicken ballot" at the beginning of the game to ensure that the two sides are balanced. Because loops come in a wide range of sizes and shapes, and have many degrees of freedom, the game has rich tactics and strategy. Small loop threats force players to focus on local battles while large loop threats force them to think globally, and to consider how the local battles fit into the global war.

When I first invented the game, I wasn't excited about it, since it seemed like "just another connection game", but then when I had playtesters provide feedback, the feedback was highly positive, much more than I expected. Playing it myself, I too feel a special communion with it.

I think this is an important lesson in game design: even if you're a seasoned game developer, it can be very hard to infer game quality from a reading of the rules. Abstract game designers, myself included, rely far too much on such inferences when evaluating game concepts, probably because we love the "eureka" moment that a pure, beautiful concept gives us, more than we enjoy evaluating how real people respond to our games in actual play.

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5. Board Game: Mundialito (Gold Cup) [Average Rating:6.79 Unranked]
José Carlos de Diego
Spain
Zaragoza
Zaragoza
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Mundialito (Gold Cup) is an abstract strategy board game of movement and attainment whose objective is for you to score a goal (getting your ball to the last row) before your opponent. Move your pieces, push and jump over your opponents pieces until you score a goal.

Ages: 7 and up, a game for children and adults.

Available:

http://www.labsk.net/index.php?topic=4157.0
http://icehouse.labsk.net
http://icehousegames.org/wiki/?title=Mundialito


This game is one of the finalists of the 2007 Ciutat de Granollers de Creación de Juegos.
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6. Board Game: Penguin Soccer [Average Rating:5.80 Overall Rank:8317]
Avri Klemer
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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"It is a truth universally acknowledged that everybody loves seeing penguins sliding around on the ice. And soccer is the world's game, right? So take some cute families of penguins, give them an icy soccer field and a ball, and watch the slippery goodness that ensues. . ."

Despite the theme-y blurb, Penguin Soccer is a perfect information abstract for two players. Try it for free at turn based web gaming site Super Duper Games and if, after playing, you would like to see a professionally produced version, thumb this item!

Penguin Soccer was originally designed using the Icehouse/Treehouse system, but I've always thought it could do well if marketed with custom components. (Think Hey, That's My Fish!.)

So, my question for Nestor: are you able to produce "penguin" pieces which are capable of indicating which one of 8 directions they are pointed, or if they are standing, and if they have possession of the ball?
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7. Board Game: EinStein würfelt nicht! [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:5450]
Gregorio Morales
Spain
Alicante
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Fast paced, but deep and subtle. Not sure about the publishing rights
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8. Board Game: ESP [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Cameron Browne
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
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ESP is a tile placement game of strategy, deduction and extrasensory perception. Suitable for 2-4 players.
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9. Board Game: Hop It! [Average Rating:8.20 Unranked]
Cameron Browne
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
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Hop It! is a game for two players set in a lily pond full of nervous frogs and tadpoles. They’re nervous because the pond is also a nesting ground for the Blue-Headed Frogmuncher.
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10. Board Game: WYPS [Average Rating:7.77 Unranked]
 
Rio Malaschitz
Slovakia
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WYPS game is word game played online on www.littlegolem.net. Game is combination of connect game Y and word game.

Game example in english
http://www.littlegolem.net/jsp/game/game.jsp?gid=1087963

Game example in spain: http://www.littlegolem.net/jsp/game/game.jsp?gid=1098198

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11. Board Game: Bee-Siege [Average Rating:7.25 Unranked]
Matthew Blain
Australia
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Hello again Nestor!

I've re-tooled my original entry to your First contest ("Arctic Meltdown"). This version addresses the problems you had with that entry; that is, I've added a healthy dose of randomness, removed the war-game theme and received some good help writing the rules.

Bee-Siege is a two-player game of strategic positioning, lasting eight rounds (allow one hour to play). Players co-ordinate their small swarm of Bumblebees, Queens, Honeybees and Workers by selecting order tiles from a shared pool. The player with the most points (usually, controls the most flowers) at game’s end is the winner.

Note: No Bees will be harmed during the course of play!

Thanks again for giving an Average Joe a glimpse of the publishing world.

Regards, Matthew Blain, Melbourne Australia
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12. Board Game: A-mazing rooks [Average Rating:5.75 Unranked]
JM G
Guadeloupe
Moule
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Please have a look at this one
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13. Board Game: Symbol [Average Rating:8.17 Unranked]
Ben Stanley
United States
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If you love perfect information, deeply strategic and tactical games, that still play in 20 minutes and let two players clash on the battlefield in a brilliant, balanced fight for dominance, this game is for you.

Symbol, the abstract battle simulation game, is played on a 7x7 grid divided into three areas and nine regions. Players use green, blue, white, red, and black pieces symbolizing the Aristotelian elements (earth, water, air, fire) and the element of "death" to control the board’s regions and attempt to capture their opponent’s leader piece.

It plays a lot like chess with more freedom to select and customize a starting army and an empty board which fills as the players develop their strategy and use their leader's power to reinforce the battle with more units.

Each player chooses 15 pieces of whichever five main unit colors in whatever numbers they prefer as their army, plus one leader piece.

Each unit has different rules for movement and powers, and as the players take turns vying for positional control and attempting to capture enemy pieces, they can also combine their pieces into stacks, conferring multiple powers or more optional movements to the stack of pieces. On a player’s turn she can use the power of any one of her pieces on the board (which generally involve movement, pushing and killing enemy units, or adding new units to the board). She could also use the powers of multiple pieces if those pieces occupied the same space on the board and formed a stack.

Knowing when to stack and unstack pieces and clever tactical use of the powers of the pieces are key to winning the game.

EDIT: It looks amazing, Nestor. Thank you, everyone!
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14. Board Game: Subdivision [Average Rating:6.11 Unranked]
Spencer C
Netherlands
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Subdivision is a great placement game for 2-4 players by Carlton Noles. It would work well with your format.
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15. Board Game: Merano [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Henrik Morast
Sweden
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arrrhA chess variant played with stackable pieces. Calls for devolopment of new strategies!
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16. Board Game: Santorini [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:2186]
Spencer C
Netherlands
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Another game that I didn't author, and whose author is unaware that I'm posting his game: Santorini.

A fascinating multi-level game which many BGG users have said they'd like to get a proper copy of.

However, without making the tiles have side length less than one inch, this one might be hard to fit under the weight limit.

Still, worth looking at, I reckon!
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17. Board Game: Portals [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
David McCord
United States
Ionia
Michigan
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This should fit nicely into the Nestor collection. I printed a board to A4 and it's a little tight, but still quite playable. The only unique piece is the "portable portal" (see details on the BGG page) which is really just a chit the same size as the spaces on the board, and there's a d4 for moving it.

Thanks for the opportunity!
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18. Board Game: Zaic [Average Rating:6.95 Unranked]
Erik D
United States
Elmhurst
New York
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Zaic is a 2-player 15-minute abstract that can be played on any flat surface without a board. Inspired by the ziggurats of Mesopotamia and the tiles of my bathroom floor, each player vies for the largest area of his tiles by connecting his own and covering his opponent's.

Each player is given 19 tiles in three sizes. As the game progresses, it gets more difficult to play the larger tiles. However, the game ends when one player cannot make a move, so forcing a quick end by having no playable tiles left may be an advantage.

Rules are posted on the game's BGG entry:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/493697/official-rules
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19. Board Game: Mix-Match [Average Rating:7.75 Unranked]
Just call me Erik
United States
Waldorf
Maryland
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Mix-Match is a 2-4 player perfect information abstract game. It features high interaction, low downtime, and high strategy. The game is fairly simple. You swap 2 colored pieces, then remove a set of two or more that are all directly adjacent. You may then collapse the board in one direction.

The twist comes in that the pieces you swap and the pieces you remove don't have to be in any way connected. They don't even have to be yours!

Mix-match takes about 20 minutes to play, wether with 2, 3, or 4 players. It can also be produced as a wonderfully beautiful wooden (as shown) or wooden/glass set with marbles that ride in rails for the "collapse" portion of the game, or a highly-portable version with a board that folds to just 3" on a side.
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20. Board Game: Flume [Average Rating:5.86 Unranked]
Mark Steere
United States
Palo Alto
California
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Nestor, someone recommended adding Flume to your list. After looking at your forms 1 and 2 it does seem to be a good fit. Flume is extremely simple in rule and form, yet rich and robust in play.

Flume rule sheet:

http://www.marksteeregames.com/Flume_Go_rules.pdf

Flume is played at:

igGameCenter: http://www.iggamecenter.com/info/en/main.html
games.wtanaka.com: http://games.wtanaka.com/

-Mark

Mark Steere Games
http://www.marksteeregames.com/index.html
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21. Board Game: PODS [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Vincent Everaert
France
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PODS is a game for 2 players.
There is not enough place for every Pods in the cavern ... Try to place your own Pods and beware of your opponents feet.


Pods are tiny animals, living in the darkness of unknown caverns. They are made of a head and some feet (bipod have 2 feet, tripod: 3 ... octopod:8).
A foot may be small: a foot for walking (controls 1 square forward) or big: a foot for running (controls the aligned squares forward).
Players alternate turns and place their pods in the cavern (a 7x7 grid) but have to deal with the Pods 'way of life': respect your opponent tiny space. So each foot of any pod can never threat a square occupied by an enemy pod.
When a player is unable to enter a new pod in the cavern, he loses the game.

In the advanced rules, the pods may move on the board an threat their enemies ... if a pod has no longer a foot able to walk, he dies and is removed from the board. Players then have to enter their 14 pods into the cavern to win.

Rules in (bad) english: http://vincent.everaert.perso.sfr.fr/fichiers/P-O-D-S-EN.pdf
Rules in correct french: http://vincent.everaert.perso.sfr.fr/fichiers/P-O-D-S.pdf

Printable board and pieces included.
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22. Board Game: IceFrogs [Average Rating:6.25 Unranked]
United States
Saint Joseph
Michigan
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I would do all the things I have ever dreamed of doing. I would love to become a professional whistler.I'm pretty amazing at it now, but I wanna get, like, even better. Make my living out of it.
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Bffffttt, Pffffttt, Buuuuurtt........
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Pyramids don't need to be used, could very easily be replaced with three different sizes of frog shapes.
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23. Board Game: Jobber [Average Rating:6.30 Unranked]
Nathan Morse
United States
Powell
Ohio
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Win by bearing off your pieces, and/or getting your opponent to capture them. Both facilitate this for yourself and complicate it for your opponent by using your jobber, who moves at impossible speeds within the confines of the jobbers' plus-shaped area in the middle of the board.
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24. Board Game: Tschuk [Average Rating:6.28 Unranked]
Nathan Morse
United States
Powell
Ohio
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I think Tschuk would be an excellent choice for the modern classic nestorbag. No board is required, although it could be useful for different rule sets.... Heinrich Glumpler has given me the OK to enter this cool little game system in the NESTORGAMES continuous abstract game design contest, and I'm brewing up some additional rulesets that could be included with it, pending Heinrich's and Néstor's approval, of course.

To explain the components: There are 21 coins with value 1-7 depicted on each side of the coin. The back never matches the front, and the 21 coins are all the combinations of 1-7 with that constraint. This provides the very interesting trait flexed in the original Tschuk rules, that the only thing that you know about a single coin is that what you see on the front is not the number on the back. As you see more of the coins, you can start to deduce what's out there. An opaque bag is very important in order to randomize the coins; however, I don't think it needs to be a large bag like the The Aztec Market bag. Besides, the little, zippered bag is much cooler with its icon on the end.

I love this little, quick game, and I can't believe that it still only has eleven ratings. Help me, nestorgames, you're my only hope....
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25. Board Game: Topology [Average Rating:6.92 Unranked]
Markus Hagenauer jr.
Germany
Surheim
Germany
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Topology is a tile placement game for two players. The players alternately place double-hex shaped tiles with 5 curved lines in order to build rings. The longer the ring, the higher the score.
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