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Subject: [WIP] - KOKONO - a 2 player game for the 9-Card Nanogame PnP design contest rss

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Mark Tuck
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UPDATE 29 March 2016: Contest Ready

.



This is an entry for the 2016 9-Card Nanogame PnP Design Contest

Game Status: Contest Ready

Synopsis: A 2 player game of strategy and luck. Be the first player to get 3 tokens from your base into your opponent’s base across an everchanging board.
The word Kokono is derived from the Japanese word for nine.

Components:
9 cards to create the playing board.
4 dice
6 tokens (3 black and 3 white)
Note that the tokens can be anything as long as they can be distinguished as 'black' and 'white'.

Players: 2
Age: 8+
Playing Time: 15 - 45 minutes

I'd like Kokono to be entered in the following catagories:
Best 2-player Game
Best Written Rules
Best Artwork
Best Greyscale Printed Game









Download:
Rules (Greyscale) and PnP files (Greyscale or, if you want to splash out, full colour ‘wood’ version) - as both A4 and US letter formats - all available here:

KOKONO PnP files

Any feedback most welcome!
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Charles Ward
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Re: [WIP] - KOKONO - a 2 player game for the 9-Card NanoGame PnP design contest
Looks great, will try it.
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Re: [WIP] - KOKONO - a 2 player game for the 9-Card NanoGame PnP design contest
The cards look rectangular, so they can only be rotated 180 degrees, right? Ninety and 270 degrees don't seem feasible unless you have square cards, and 360 degrees is nonsensical.

Kokono Rules wrote:
When flipping, you may rotate the card through 180 degrees before placing it.


How much playtesting have you already done?

If you want a free second pair of eyes to help edit your rules, just GM me.
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Re: [WIP] - KOKONO - a 2 player game for the 9-Card NanoGame PnP design contest
GeorgeMo wrote:
The cards look rectangular, so they can only be rotated 180 degrees, right? Ninety and 270 degrees don't seem feasible unless you have square cards, and 360 degrees is nonsensical.

Kokono Rules wrote:
When flipping, you may rotate the card through 180 degrees before placing it.


How much playtesting have you already done?

If you want a free second pair of eyes to help edit your rules, just GM me.


Hi George

Thanks for your interest.

What I meant was that, when flipped, a card can be placed in the same orientation or turned 180 degrees - so you have two choices (you're right - anything else is not possible). Not sure how to make this clearer.

Have only tested it with my son, so any feedback or suggestions for rule improvement would be great.
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Re: [WIP] - KOKONO - a 2 player game for the 9-Card NanoGame PnP design contest
According to the guide to Kokono etiquette laid down by the Imperial Court, it was "frowned upon to look at the reverse of a card and then replace it without flipping".

It's therefore important for players to know what is on the other side of each card.

Would it be beneficial to have the following info, or a diagram of all the cards, on the back of the rules sheet as a reference?

A Vertical Straight (2 open paths) has a Horizontal Straight on the reverse.
A Left Corner (2 open paths) has a Right Corner on the reverse.
A Vertical T Junction (3 open paths) has a Horizontal T Junction on the reverse.
A Crossroads (4 open paths) has an isolated Spot (no open paths) on the reverse.
The exception to this is the '7' card which has a Crossroads on both sides.
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Re: [WIP] - KOKONO - a 2 player game for the 9-Card NanoGame PnP design contest
tucky60 wrote:
According to the guide to Kokono etiquette laid down by the Imperial Court, it was "frowned upon to look at the reverse of a card and then replace it without flipping".

It's therefore important for players to know what is on the other side of each card.

Would it be beneficial to have the following info, or a diagram of all the cards, on the back of the rules sheet as a reference?

A Vertical Straight (2 open paths) has a Horizontal Straight on the reverse.
An Left Corner (2 open paths) has a Right Corner on the reverse.
A Vertical T Junction (3 open paths) has a Horizontal T Junction on the reverse.
A Crossroads (4 open paths) has an isolated Spot (no open paths) on the reverse.
The exception to this is the '7' card which has a Crossroads on both sides.


I think it would be cool if the back of the card could be superimposed somehow on the card to suggest what is underneath. Imagine a slightly translucent card, I guess the word would be under imposed not superimposed.
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George P.E., PMP, DM
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Re: [WIP] - KOKONO - a 2 player game for the 9-Card NanoGame PnP design contest
I went ahead and assembled a PnP, almost. I was going to get people at work to play today during lunch, but I didn't have 3d6 (or even 1d6) on hand. I could've used my phone, but they preferred to play Dragon Slayer instead of using my phone. I'm bringing in my ol' Crown Royal bag-o-dice tomorrow, so I'll get someone to play.
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Re: [WIP] - KOKONO - a 2 player game for the 9-Card NanoGame PnP design contest
GeorgeMo wrote:
I went ahead and assembled a PnP, almost. I was going to get people at work to play today during lunch, but I didn't have 3d6 (or even 1d6) on hand. I could've used my phone, but they preferred to play Dragon Slayer instead of using my phone. I'm bringing in my ol' Crown Royal bag-o-dice tomorrow, so I'll get someone to play.


Great. Look forward to hearing how it goes, as I've only played it with my youngest son to date. You'll actually need 4d6 in total.

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Re: [WIP] - KOKONO - a 2 player game for the 9-Card NanoGame PnP design contest

I noticed that the colour of one of the cards on the colour pdf was a slightly different shade, which annoyed me somewhat. So it's now fixed.
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Re: [WIP] - KOKONO - a 2 player game for the 9-Card NanoGame PnP design contest
Ok, I finally have gameplay feedback.

I played with a friend, and it took 37 minutes. A lot of that time, probably 6-8 minutes, was taken looking up and discussing rules as we learned how to play. Here are our comments. For most of these, we could guess what you wanted, but it's best to remove all ambiguity so there's little to no chance of confusion.

1) You had scribe 'ticks' on the page edges for cutting the cards, but I would've liked full scribe lines. Not all of us did well in kindergarten with the scissors and straight lines

2) You don't specify in what order the cards are placed. When I dealt them, it would have been very easy to lay them out in an order that benefited me. I think there needs to be a set order, like Player 1 shuffles, then Player 2 lays them out in this order:
1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9
Or something like that.

3) You imply that each base is one large area which, at the start, includes all three tokens and all three can move to any of the first row cards. I think it's better to clearly state that either the 3 tokens line up with the three cards or all three tokens are together in one big 'base box' which covers all three rows (a layout diagram can show the 9 cards and base boxes).

4) My opponent had a heck of a time starting. He had all odd-numbered cards on his front row, and he kept rolling even numbers. He won 3-2 anyway, but he started out frustrated. I don't know if saying that at the beginning or at any time you can choose to combine all 3d6 and keep a strength of 0 to allow more chances to flip one of those first 3 cards.

5) You say, "each player adds 1 to their piece's Strength score if it sits on a Spot of it's [sic - should be its] own colour." There was enough ambiguity there to generate a short discussion if only the defender's spot mattered as the 'battle site', or if the attacker used its own spot and not the defender's. We decided that you meant for each token to use their own spot and not both use the defender's spot, but you might want to clarify that.

I think that was everything. We enjoyed it, and once we got used to it, it flowed pretty well. If any of my comments are unclear, please let me know.


Edit: had to correct two stupid mistakes, including one which I had corrected for someone else.
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Re: [WIP] - KOKONO - a 2 player game for the 9-Card NanoGame PnP design contest
GeorgeMo wrote:
Ok, I finally have gameplay feedback.

I played with a friend, and it took 37 minutes. A lot of that time, probably 6-8 minutes, was taken looking up and discussing rules as we learned how to play. Here are our comments. For most of these, we could guess what you wanted, but it's best to remove all ambiguity so there's little to no chance of confusion.

1) You had scribe 'ticks' on the page edges for cutting the cards, but I would've liked full scribe lines. Not all of us did well in kindergarten with the scissors and straight lines

2) You don't specify in what order the cards are placed. When I dealt them, it would have been very easy to lay them out in an order that benefited me. I think there needs to be a set order, like Player 1 shuffles, then Player 2 lays them out in this order:
1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9
Or something like that.

3) You imply that each base is one large area which, at the start, includes all three tokens and all three can move to any of the first row cards. I think it's better to clearly state that either the 3 tokens line up with the three cards or all three tokens are together in one big 'base box' which covers all three rows (a layout diagram can show the 9 cards and base boxes).

4) My opponent had a heck of a time starting. He had all odd-numbered cards on his front row, and he kept rolling even numbers. He won 3-2 anyway, but he started out frustrated. I don't know if saying that at the beginning or at any time you can choose to combine all 3d6 and keep a strength of 0 to allow more chances to flip one of those first 3 cards.

5) You say, "each player adds 1 to their piece's Strength score if it sits on a Spot of it's [sic - should be its] own colour." There was enough ambiguity there to generate a short discussion if the only the defender's spot mattered as the 'battle site', or if the attacker used it's own spot and not the defender's. We decided that you meant for each token to use their own spot and not both use the defender's spot, but you might want to clarify that.

I think that was everything. We enjoyed it, and once we got used to it, it flowed pretty well. If any of my comments are unclear, please let me know.



Thanks for playing the game George. Thanks also to your friend.

This is excellent and clear feedback.

37 minutes fits with my stated playing time of 15 - 45 mins.

1) I will put complete lines on one side of the pages to aid cutting out. Aesthetically, I'm reluctant to put them on both sides, as this would mean they would show when printed out on both sides of the card if there is any slight misalignment.

2) Yes, I meant for them to be dealt straight, as you indicate, without any selection of position. Not sure how to phrase that better. Your diagram is clear.

3) Good point - I'll amend the set up diagram to show the 3 tokens together in the base area, rather than each lining up with a card.

4) I think he was really unlucky! If he rolled only even numbers then combining all 3 dice would not have helped him (still totals an even number). I'll need to think about this - I don't want to add too many additional rules.

5) Yes you understood correctly. Each token uses their own spot. I'll clarify this.

Glad you enjoyed it. I'll update the rules shortly.
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Re: [WIP] - KOKONO - a 2 player game for the 9-Card NanoGame PnP design contest
tucky60 wrote:

4) I think he was really unlucky! If he rolled only even numbers then combining all 3 dice would not have helped him (still totals an even number). I'll need to think about this - I don't want to add too many additional rules.


Heh, I'm the friend he was playing against, I figured I just got a rare combination of bad starting rolls and initial card placement, but it seems like a bad idea to allow the possibility for a player to have no valid moves at the start of the game. Maybe each player gets a single card flip on their front row at the start of the game right after setup and before the first turn?
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Re: [WIP] - KOKONO - a 2 player game for the 9-Card NanoGame PnP design contest
JohnnyGarza wrote:
tucky60 wrote:

4) I think he was really unlucky! If he rolled only even numbers then combining all 3 dice would not have helped him (still totals an even number). I'll need to think about this - I don't want to add too many additional rules.


Heh, I'm the friend he was playing against, I figured I just got a rare combination of bad starting rolls and initial card placement, but it seems like a bad idea to allow the possibility for a player to have no valid moves at the start of the game. Maybe each player gets a single card flip on their front row at the start of the game right after setup and before the first turn?


Hi there.
I like this - it's a simpler solution. I'll incorporate it into the revised rules - hopefully this weekend (in between the other game I'm working on).
Thanks.
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Re: [WIP] - KOKONO - a 2 player game for the 9-Card NanoGame PnP design contest

I've now updated the rules - just to make everything clear with no ambiguities. Actual gameplay remains the same.
Rule sheet now also has a card reference chart on the back.

The card files themselves have not changed, other than having some fine lines on one side to help if cutting out with scissors.


This is how I imagine Kokono in wood.

The budget (card) version is available to download from:
KOKONO PnP files
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Re: [WIP] - KOKONO - a 2 player game for the 9-Card NanoGame PnP design contest
GeorgeMo wrote:
I went ahead and assembled a PnP, almost. I was going to get people at work to play today during lunch, but I didn't have 3d6 (or even 1d6) on hand. I could've used my phone, but they preferred to play Dragon Slayer instead of using my phone. I'm bringing in my ol' Crown Royal bag-o-dice tomorrow, so I'll get someone to play.


When in a bind, you can always use a pen or Sharpie to put pips on each side of a hexagonal pencil. whistle
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Re: [WIP] - KOKONO - a 2 player game for the 9-Card NanoGame PnP design contest
That rendering looks great.

kzinti wrote:
GeorgeMo wrote:
I went ahead and assembled a PnP, almost. I was going to get people at work to play today during lunch, but I didn't have 3d6 (or even 1d6) on hand. I could've used my phone, but they preferred to play Dragon Slayer instead of using my phone. I'm bringing in my ol' Crown Royal bag-o-dice tomorrow, so I'll get someone to play.


When in a bind, you can always use a pen or Sharpie to put pips on each side of a hexagonal pencil. whistle


Great idea. I brought my bag-o-dice and have it always handy now.
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Re: [WIP] - KOKONO - a 2 player game for the 9-Card NanoGame PnP design contest
kzinti wrote:
GeorgeMo wrote:
I went ahead and assembled a PnP, almost. I was going to get people at work to play today during lunch, but I didn't have 3d6 (or even 1d6) on hand. I could've used my phone, but they preferred to play Dragon Slayer instead of using my phone. I'm bringing in my ol' Crown Royal bag-o-dice tomorrow, so I'll get someone to play.


When in a bind, you can always use a pen or Sharpie to put pips on each side of a hexagonal pencil. whistle


Done that Those pips should come printed on all hex pencils.
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As a woodworker I'm looking at your game with possibilities of creating it but have some questions.

1. How thick would you make the pieces?
2. When the pieces are in the game board, how do you get them out to flip or rotate them?
3. What would you see as the ideal wood material for the game?
4. Do you think square would be much better than rectangle pieces?
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kingspud wrote:
As a woodworker I'm looking at your game with possibilities of creating it but have some questions.

1. How thick would you make the pieces?
2. When the pieces are in the game board, how do you get them out to flip or rotate them?
3. What would you see as the ideal wood material for the game?
4. Do you think square would be much better than rectangle pieces?



I, unfortunately, am not much of a woodworker (I did the board visual primarily as an exercise to practice my Photoshop skills) but I'll try to answer your questions.

1. I imagine the pieces would be around 5mm (1/4 inch) thick. I think you would still be able to 'shuffle' the pieces at this size.

2. I did realise, after I finished the visual, that there would be no way to remove the pieces without tipping the board upside down!

To solve this, the recess in the board in which the pieces fit could be a fraction larger, so that pieces could slide apart little when needed in order to get to their edges.
Alternatively each piece could have one corner cut slightly so as to enable a finger to lift it up.

Neither solution is ideal as they both compromise the clean fitting look of the visual - so I'll need to think a bit more on this one.

3. As for wood material, I visualised a light coloured wood so maybe maple, which I believe is commonly used in chess boards? But you are certainly more qualified than me to choose a more suitable wood.

4. Aesthetically, square pieces would definitely look better. The rule which allows only 180 degrees rotation (not 90 degrees) after flipping would need to remain and be emphasised.

Hope this helps - let me know if you have any more questions - and I look forward to hearing further news of your project.
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tucky60 wrote:
kingspud wrote:
As a woodworker I'm looking at your game with possibilities of creating it but have some questions.

1. How thick would you make the pieces?
2. When the pieces are in the game board, how do you get them out to flip or rotate them?
3. What would you see as the ideal wood material for the game?
4. Do you think square would be much better than rectangle pieces?



I, unfortunately, am not much of a woodworker (I did the board visual primarily as an exercise to practice my Photoshop skills) but I'll try to answer your questions.

1. I imagine the pieces would be around 5mm (1/4 inch) thick. I think you would still be able to 'shuffle' the pieces at this size.

2. I did realise, after I finished the visual, that there would be no way to remove the pieces without tipping the board upside down!

To solve this, the recess in the board in which the pieces fit could be a fraction larger, so that pieces could slide apart little when needed in order to get to their edges.
Alternatively each piece could have one corner cut slightly so as to enable a finger to lift it up.

Neither solution is ideal as they both compromise the clean fitting look of the visual - so I'll need to think a bit more on this one.

3. As for wood material, I visualised a light coloured wood so maybe maple, which I believe is commonly used in chess boards? But you are certainly more qualified than me to choose a more suitable wood.

4. Aesthetically, square pieces would definitely look better. The rule which allows only 180 degrees rotation (not 90 degrees) after flipping would need to remain and be emphasised.

Hope this helps - let me know if you have any more questions - and I look forward to hearing further news of your project.


Would it be possible for you to make a square version of the game so I could use the images to create the actual wood pieces?
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kingspud wrote:


Would it be possible for you to make a square version of the game so I could use the images to create the actual wood pieces?



No problem. As a pdf file?

And in colour or greyscale, or simply as linework (as I assume you wouldn't need the simulated wood background)?
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tucky60 wrote:
kingspud wrote:


Would it be possible for you to make a square version of the game so I could use the images to create the actual wood pieces?



No problem. As a pdf file?

And in colour or greyscale, or simply as linework (as I assume you wouldn't need the simulated wood background)?


PDF Full color like the nice color version above!
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tucky60 wrote:

2. I did realise, after I finished the visual, that there would be no way to remove the pieces without tipping the board upside down!

To solve this, the recess in the board in which the pieces fit could be a fraction larger, so that pieces could slide apart little when needed in order to get to their edges.
Alternatively each piece could have one corner cut slightly so as to enable a finger to lift it up.

Neither solution is ideal as they both compromise the clean fitting look of the visual - so I'll need to think a bit more on this one.

How about drilling holes through the back of the board so you can push the pieces out with your finger if you need to rotate them?
 
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kingspud wrote:
tucky60 wrote:
kingspud wrote:


Would it be possible for you to make a square version of the game so I could use the images to create the actual wood pieces?



No problem. As a pdf file?

And in colour or greyscale, or simply as linework (as I assume you wouldn't need the simulated wood background)?


PDF Full color like the nice color version above!


Okay. I'll get on the case.
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1sushi1 wrote:
tucky60 wrote:

2. I did realise, after I finished the visual, that there would be no way to remove the pieces without tipping the board upside down!

To solve this, the recess in the board in which the pieces fit could be a fraction larger, so that pieces could slide apart little when needed in order to get to their edges.
Alternatively each piece could have one corner cut slightly so as to enable a finger to lift it up.

Neither solution is ideal as they both compromise the clean fitting look of the visual - so I'll need to think a bit more on this one.

How about drilling holes through the back of the board so you can push the pieces out with your finger if you need to rotate them?


Yes, that's worth considering. Although it would mean lifting up the board each time you want to flip, and high enough to check/feel which is the right hole, which may be a bit ungainly.
I'm wondering if there is a more elegant solution.
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