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Subject: What is the smallest game ? rss

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Sam Mercer
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Just popped into my head. A strange question that I am unable to answer myself, but I would love to hear your interpretation of it.

"What is the smallest possible game that either has, or could be developed."

What would this look like?

caveat: I will not define what "game" or "small" is, hence looking for your interpretation. Any answer that is "Well it depends on what you mean by small and/or game" is totally valid, and also lame.

Sam
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Matt Sturm
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Sturv Tafvherd
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I Spy
(smaller than rock paper scissors because you don't need hands)

... edit...

lots of games along these lines

... conversational puzzles
... lateral thinking puzzles
... solve this algebra/geometry problem in your head


"A dead body was found hanging in a shack, question is whether it is suicide or homicide. Door was locked from the inside. No furniture, boxes, or anything else found inside ... the shack is empty. Rope was found hung on a 10ft high beam. Police are puzzled as to how anyone could tie the rope on a beam that high without any visible means of climbing up. Foul play is suspected."

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Key questions would lead to the suggested solution of 3 or 4 ft Ice Block being used as a stepping stool to tie the rope. Foul play may still be suspected, unless the quizmaster wishes to add more to the story ... like the victim being an Ice Delivery person.
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Russ Spears
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Stormtower wrote:
I Spy
(smaller than rock paper scissors because you don't need hands)


20 Questions - Don't even need an eye

In all seriousness, though, I've seen all sorts of "in a tin" games mentioned in DIY & Print & Play threads, and that's pretty small in my opinion.
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Lizzie
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Stormtower wrote:
I Spy
(smaller than rock paper scissors because you don't need hands)


Though arguably you need the whole world to spy on.

21 doesn't need anything. (start at one each player says 1,2 or 3 numbers in turn, whoever says 21 looses).

For a more "board" game small game, there was a competition to make a game with only 4 tiles, another for games in a tin and the classic nine men's Morris was originally played with stones on a board scratched into an availible surface...

But an interesting question
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Sturv Tafvherd
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rasslor wrote:
Stormtower wrote:
I Spy
(smaller than rock paper scissors because you don't need hands)


20 Questions - Don't even need an eye

In all seriousness, though, I've seen all sorts of "in a tin" games mentioned in DIY & Print & Play threads, and that's pretty small in my opinion.


Hehehe, yeah!

I was in the middle of an edit when you posted. I realized there's a ton of "conversational" games.


And technically speaking, The Dating Game is also relatively small ... but may become extremely expensive.
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Mike Austin
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A stupid game a friend and I made up 20 years ago, back before I had a beard: Who's most psychic?

Take a die (d6). Both parties guess a number on the die. The number has to be different than the previous person's guess, and you alternate who goes first on each roll. Roll the die. If it matches someone's guess, they get a point. First to 10 points is the most psychic.

Stupid game, but you could play it with one of those super mini d6's. That would make it pretty darn small. Its rule set is also very small. It's duration is pretty small.


Mike
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Sam Mercer
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Mathmanx wrote:
A stupid game a friend and I made up 20 years ago, back before I had a beard: Who's most psychic?


For some reason Mike...I absolutely adore that game. That is like - way cool. That presses all my "psychology in gaming" buttons really nicely. Awesome.

A small game idea

"Players take turns in touching the table. Whoever touches the table best, wins" - Is this a "small game"? Why not?
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T. Rosen
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In terms of actual physical games, Pico came to mind first when I read the question.
 
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Aaron Morgan
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Thommy8 wrote:
In terms of actual physical games, Pico came to mind first when I read the question.


A game of craps using the dice in Pirates of the Spanish Main has that beat by a long shot.
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Campbell
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Le Boomb! has a custom d6 and a bomb. Cthulhu Dice is only really just s d12, but they give you stones to track sanity.
 
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Sturv Tafvherd
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EitherOrlok wrote:
Thommy8 wrote:
In terms of actual physical games, Pico came to mind first when I read the question.


A game of craps using the dice in Pirates of the Spanish Main has that beat by a long shot.


Somehow, dunno why, but when I saw Pico, I was reminded of another card game that could also fall in this "Smallest Game" discussion:

Win, Lose, or Banana
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Andrei Ivanesei
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Cogentesque wrote:
Just popped into my head. A strange question that I am unable to answer myself, but I would love to hear your interpretation of it.

"What is the smallest possible game that either has, or could be developed."

What would this look like?

caveat: I will not define what "game" or "small" is, hence looking for your interpretation. Any answer that is "Well it depends on what you mean by small and/or game" is totally valid, and also lame.

Sam


Coin flipping.
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Jordan Booth
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Smallest physical game could be Tic Tac Toe on the head of a pin (or even just an 11x11 atom grid - 3x3 atoms per cell, 1 atom for grid lines)
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Nomadic Gamer
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Hive
 
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Dan B.
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My smallest published game I own I think would be LCR in that circular tube thingy. This pill bottle seems smaller than most of the small card games I own.
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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HuggableHamster wrote:
21 doesn't need anything. (start at one each player says 1,2 or 3 numbers in turn, whoever says 21 looses).

I read this description, decided that solving it would be trivial and pointless, but felt compelled to do it anyway. I think there's something wrong with me.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Winning opening is to say "one" and then stop.


Though games of this sort are usually described as being played with a pile of objects, where you take turns removing objects from the pile. So you could argue that this game actually uses a pile of 21 tokens but your hypothetical players have agreed to keep the game state in their head; by that reasoning, any deterministic perfect-information game (e.g. Chess) is equally small, because you could choose to play it entirely in your head (saying your moves aloud).
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Philip Newman
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Antistone wrote:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Winning opening is to say "one" and then stop.


Well off topic, but that is incorrect:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Second player wins by always counting up to the next multiple of four.
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John "Omega" Williams
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The smallest game of all though is...

Game design. ninja
 
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Sturv Tafvherd
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mith wrote:
Antistone wrote:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Winning opening is to say "one" and then stop.


Well off topic, but that is incorrect:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Second player wins by always counting up to the next multiple of four.


yeah.. That's Nim

I first encountered it about 32 years ago. Somehow, it was programmed into the same computer being used to control some big chemistry contraption ... I'm not entirely certain what the contraption was ...
 
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Runs with scissors
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Haba makes a series of games called Mini-Spiel. These are about the size of a keychain fob, maybe 1" x 2" inches or so. about 1 cubic inch of space.



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Christian Link
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For a suggestion containing a real, honest to god, boardgame...
I've always considered the first version of Red November (Silver Series FFG)to be the boardgame with more game in a tiny box than any other.

Otherwise I'm sure someone has put Monopoly on a grain of rice.

And Googled just for you...heres chess compared to a matchstick
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Dougie LB
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On an insert sheet for Battleline's Air Force was a "game" called "Yellow Tavern". It consisted of seven hexes, the tavern surrounded by 6 hexes like a ZOC, and 3 counters: a Confederate officer whose name I forget, the feather from his hat and a bullet. The officer and feather moved one hex each turn and the bullet 2, when the feather was shot off the officer ducked into the tavern before reappearing to be chased and shot. Stupid and pointless I know but a published "game" all the same!!
 
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Derek H
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HuggableHamster wrote:
For a more "board" game small game, there was a competition to make a game with only 4 tiles...

de Bono's L-game is a good example of this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L_game)
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