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Subject: First play, with comments from my daughter. rss

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Justus
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So after printing out the game the second it was posted on BGG in on Monday Evening, I finally had a chance to play the game. Unfortunately my wife was busy cooking so I had to solo play it.

So the initial draw pulled a cloak vs a cup, so my left hand got to go first. After much deliberation he decided to task a monk and pull a potter as an assistant. Then the right hand started his turn and tasked a smith and then pulled the tailor to his assistant (leaving the revealed potter on the table). This is when things got interesting.

My daughter decided that watching my wife dutifully performing her gender role was a tedious exercise and came over to critique the game in progress.

1 She first questioned the choice of card sleeves. I had explain to her that the sleeves were purchased in daddy's distant past when he found it ironically amusing to play Magic the Gathering using the most garish sleeves available. And while he now better understands the objectional nature of the fantasy the objectification of women, he did not think the angel was as problematic as the sleeves that had a minimally clothed, massively racked woman wielding a sword twice her height while staring down a troll.

2 She then began the challenge the user interface design of the double sided play mat. She acknowledged that the density of information shown on each side was about appropriate, but questioned why the mats were not just enlarged to accommodate all the information on a single side. She felt the necessity to reverse the playmat to access crucial information created cognitive dissonance which inhibited the mental retention of the procedural information required to properly conduct gameplay.



3 When I explained to her that the constraints of the play mat size were most likely a function of publication concerns, namely to keep the box size and thus costs down, she started getting into the critique of the game itself. Her first issue was to challenge the nature of playing cards. As she noted, David Parlett states that cards are by their very nature used to disguise information, there is inherently a front and a back. She found the blind acceptance of this duality a problematic acceptance of the binary modality of the modern digital age and suggested stacking the deck with cards facing up and down.

4 With this change, she then realized that a neatly stacked deck would only allow you to look ahead one card at a time, which unfortunately still emphasizes the hidden nature of the draw deck. However she also did not want to enlarge the available information to include the complete extent of the card deck. As she noted, the goal is to provide a balance between the known and the unknown, finding the narrow path where knowledge enriches the gameplay experience without paralyzing the participants due to an over abundance of choice. As such she then decided to propose a partially spread out pile of cards. She acknowledged her aesthetic preferences trended towards a disorderly mix, but felt it would be possible to accomplish this in a more organized fashion if desired.

5 And then she questioned the use of turns in the game. She felt that Glory to Rome was a trend towards a more democratic game, breaking down the authoritarian singular player by player turn structure. Therefore she saw Mottainai as a regressive return to such strict paradigm. Instead she believes that a spiritual successor to such a groundbreaking game should push further against the tyranny of the turn. As such she thought the game should be played with simultaneous actions being selected and executed in real time.



6 On the bright side, she did mention that she found it intriguing that some of the cards had art and others did not. She thought that this inconsistency was actually quite interesting as it breaks the market expectation of fully realized graphics executed throughout the card deck. She felt it was good to leave empty spaces of open thought so the game players could insert their own liminal imagery for a more aesthetic participatory experience.

It was a this point my wife told us that dinner was ready, so my daughter walked back to the dining room. Before heading out, her final judgement was that she was quite fond of Chudyk's overall oeuvre of game design and the trajectory of his work, but she is strongly concerned with his return to old game modalities in Mottainai. However with a few simple fixes as outlined above, she feel it would be all good.
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Chris Cieslik
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Quality feedback, this
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SJ S
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this is delightful Justus. kiss
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Marc Puig
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How much does she earns for a proofreading?

I would like to contract her for my company...
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Henrik Reschreiter
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Brilliant - loving it!!
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Christian K
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Point 2 seems somewhat reasonable.
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Jonathan C
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"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose."
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Quote:
push further against the tyranny of the turn


What a good read. Thank you!
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