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Subject: R↺undab↻ut rss

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Scot Eaton
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Genre: Rotating Puzzle
Number of Players: 2
Time: 15-20 minutes
Components:
32 tokens
1 Board



Introduction
The goal of R↺undab↻ut is to get the largest interconnected group of pieces on the board. Sound simple? Not so much. You see, one player is trying to group their pieces by shape, and the other is trying to group by color. Each piece is a double-edged sword, and players must take care to place the pieces that help them while limiting options for their opponent. In addition, the board, made up of 3 rings, is shifted each turn, changing the location of your pieces. Pieces are placed into the middle, and will bump other pieces to outer rings as they move. Can you position your pieces to give you the largest grouping without helping your opponent?

Setup
Place the board in the middle of the table. From the 32 color/shape pieces, take four pieces that have unique shapes and colors (such as the blue circle, green cross, yellow triangle, and red square) and place them on the 4 spaces of the center ring. Choose which player will be trying to line up shapes, and which player will be trying to line up colors. Then determine the starting player by any means. You are now ready to begin.



Gameplay
Each turn will consist of 2 steps: Rotating one ring and placing a piece.

Rotating One Ring: At the beginning of your turn, rotate one of the 3 rings by one space either clockwise or counter-clockwise. Note that there are four cardinal lines that extend through all 3 rings, and that the spaces alternate light/dark. When you rotate one space, rotate so that the cardinal lines remain unbroken, and the light/dark pattern is opposite what it was.


Rotation Example: The active player rotates the middle ring one space counter-clockwise. The cardinal lines (highlighted in red) are maintained, and the light/dark pattern of the middle ring is now opposite.

Placing a Piece: After rotating, choose any one of the unplayed pieces and place it on the center circle of the board. Then, move it out to one spot on the central ring. Your piece will displace a piece that is already on the space. The displaced piece will move to the next ring out, but you will get to decide which of the 2 spaces it moves to. If there are no spaces which the piece can move to, then the piece may not be displaced. It is locked in place. This is true for all pieces on the edge of the board.


Placement Example: The active player places a red circle in the center spot, then pushes it out to displace the blue circle. They choose to have the blue circle move to dark, displacing the green circle. The green circle cannot displace the yellow circle, which is locked, so it moves to light.

Game End
The game ends when all spaces are filled. There will be 4 pieces left over. The first player will get to make one final rotation of the board.
Each player should count up their largest unbroken group of each shape or color. An unbroken group consists of all pieces that share an edge with a like piece. Corner adjacency does not count. The sum of the largest groups is their final score. The player with the most points wins.


Scoring Example: The shapes player’s largest groupings are 7 triangles, 4 crosses, 3 squares, & 3 circles for a total of 17 points. The colors player’s largest groupings are 5 blue, 5 yellow, 3 red, and 2 green, for a total of 15 points. The shapes player wins!

Print and Play
1 page Print and Play with 1 page of rules:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2hRtEeJ6EmpOVQyVEc2dWV4SlE...

R↺undab↻ut is currently being offered in this free, print and play format. While it is possible to construct this with standard paper, black and white printing, and a 4-color pack of highlighters, the quality you put in will directly influence the ease of playability. Standard paper buckles when rotating the board, and flat paper pieces can be hard to pick up. I would recommend playing a game or two with the minimum construction effort. Then, if you want a more permanent copy, use full color printing on 110lb cardstock and use 32 1” wooden discs or checkers for the game pieces.

Begin by cutting out the 3 rings along the white lines. (The light gray on the outside is only added so that you can clearly see the white lines.) There should be an approximately 1/4” gap between each of the rings so that you can easily rotate them. The middle spot should not be cut out, even though it is not a space in the game. The 32 pieces have been presented here as 3/4” squares for easy cutting. If you are able to, punch these out as 3/4” circles for added visual appeal.


Also, if you enjoy R↺undab↻ut, please check out the sister game, ↓This Side Down↓, played with the same pieces.
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Drozdy András
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Re: ↻This Way Round↺
Sounds good, 15 minute games are always fun to try.

You got me thinking of a little psychology:
My first thought was about the asymmetry between the players.
One player has to follow shapes the other colors. I wonder how that effects player thinking. Will certain people find playing one side easier then the other?

Of course a player has to follow both properties, but I think people will tend to follow their own property more closely and the opponent less. So it could be an advantage, if the opponent is with the property that is easier to follow for you.

Not that I think it matters much, more of a philosophical question. whistle
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George P.E., PMP, DM
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Re: ↻This Way Round↺
It looks interesting. Have you considered the issue of color-blind players? I just put in a request here for a forum in which to collect that kind of information. From there, you can find the thread that inspired it (starting at the link) with great information on the best colors to use. I ask, because it appears that your design relies heavily on discerning colors.
 
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Re: ↻This Way Round↺
DAndras wrote:
Sounds good, 15 minute games are always fun to try.

You got me thinking of a little psychology:
My first thought was about the asymmetry between the players.
One player has to follow shapes the other colors. I wonder how that effects player thinking. Will certain people find playing one side easier then the other?

Of course a player has to follow both properties, but I think people will tend to follow their own property more closely and the opponent less. So it could be an advantage, if the opponent is with the property that is easier to follow for you.

Not that I think it matters much, more of a philosophical question. whistle


Yes, I definitely favor shapes! In playtesting this, I've been playing against myself, and it's been really, REALLY hard to switch my mind from one to the other each turn. I feel like I'm in the Pixar short "Jerry's Game", where I make a move as the shapes player, then switch my mind to colors, and say, "Heh heh heh! He didn't see that!"

GeorgeMo wrote:
It looks interesting. Have you considered the issue of color-blind players? I just put in a request here for a forum in which to collect that kind of information. From there, you can find the thread that inspired it (starting at the link) with great information on the best colors to use. I ask, because it appears that your design relies heavily on discerning colors.


I am actually a colorblind designer, so I've thought a lot about it! There's no accident that Red, Green, Yellow, and Blue were the colors chosen. Note specifically the color pair that gives people problems: red and green. The red is very bright and vibrant; almost a vermillion. Meanwhile, the green tends towards forest green... even teal. The colorblind eye processes these according to their relative light levels. The red is "light", while the green is "dark". This was to maximize color differentiation while taking multiple different types of printers into account. I printed it off on a cheap inkjet printer, and had no problem.
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Konrad T
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Re: ↻This Way Round↺
GeorgeMo wrote:
It looks interesting. Have you considered the issue of color-blind players? I just put in a request here for a forum in which to collect that kind of information. From there, you can find the thread that inspired it (starting at the link) with great information on the best colors to use. I ask, because it appears that your design relies heavily on discerning colors.
All that's needed is to use correct colors.
From Designer Diary: Don't Turn Your Back, and Don't Stop Believin'!:
Quote:
One of the interesting things Fred set out to do with this design was to make it friendly for players with impaired color-vision, so in addition to some of the normal devices for this, such as having a symbol paired with the player color on each card, Fred did a lot of research into which set of four colors would register as most distinctive for people with various forms and degrees of color-blindness. This led us to have an unusual set of player colors: orange, blue, olive and teal, which again just helps to enhance the overall strange feel of the game.
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Scot Eaton
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Re: ↻This Way Round↺
I have also tested sets of colors on multiple different types of colorblindness, and have found that the following set of 6 (red, yellow, green, cyan, blue, magenta), plus black, white, and gray, are distinguishable by almost everyone. Only monochromats have trouble. I have even been able to distinguish these colors both printed and painted at sunset with no extra light.



Konrad, this would fit with what you found too, since the Green represented here is closer to Olive than to traditional green, and teal is a darker shade of Cyan. The band between blue and green (including teal/cyan) is actually where most colorblind people are the strongest. However, linguistically, the most color distinction happens between Red and Green (including yellow, orange, brown, tan, peach).
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George P.E., PMP, DM
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Re: ↻This Way Round↺
BleuVII wrote:
GeorgeMo wrote:
It looks interesting. Have you considered the issue of color-blind players? I just put in a request here for a forum in which to collect that kind of information. From there, you can find the thread that inspired it (starting at the link) with great information on the best colors to use. I ask, because it appears that your design relies heavily on discerning colors.


I am actually a colorblind designer, so I've thought a lot about it! There's no accident that Red, Green, Yellow, and Blue were the colors chosen. Note specifically the color pair that gives people problems: red and green. The red is very bright and vibrant; almost a vermillion. Meanwhile, the green tends towards forest green... even teal. The colorblind eye processes these according to their relative light levels. The red is "light", while the green is "dark". This was to maximize color differentiation while taking multiple different types of printers into account. I printed it off on a cheap inkjet printer, and had no problem.


I'm not, but I have friends with whom I'd like to play your game. I'm glad it's friendly.
 
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Re: ↻This Way Round↺
You could (and should) add a symbol or glyph or pattern to each color that would make it easier to distinguish between the two for colorblind players or for play in low or odd lighting situations.
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Re: ↻This Way Round↺
I'll add that I don't have a color printer and when printed in greyscale there is a difference between your red and green, but I resorted to writing "R" and "G" on the pieces because it isn't much.
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Re: ↻This Way Round↺
BleuVII wrote:
I have also tested sets of colors on multiple different types of colorblindness, and have found that the following set of 6 (red, yellow, green, cyan, blue, magenta), plus black, white, and gray, are distinguishable by almost everyone. Only monochromats have trouble. I have even been able to distinguish these colors both printed and painted at sunset with no extra light.



Konrad, this would fit with what you found too, since the Green represented here is closer to Olive than to traditional green, and teal is a darker shade of Cyan. The band between blue and green (including teal/cyan) is actually where most colorblind people are the strongest. However, linguistically, the most color distinction happens between Red and Green (including yellow, orange, brown, tan, peach).


As a partially color-blind person (red-green), I can clearly see the six colors in the image. I don't have any special effects on my monitor (that I remember!) so if the print matches the colors, it should be just fine.

And I concur with Brendan- a symbol or other unique marking helps.

What if the border of each piece was a symbol? Is that over-kill? Or would that help a player determine their area easier?
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Scot Eaton
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Re: ↻This Way Round↺
The original version of these pieces had a glyph (hearts, diamonds, spades, clubs), and it was WAY too visually confusing to have the glyph and the shape. People were struggling to play. Maybe a texture...
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Re: ↻This Way Round↺
But I will also reiterate that I AM colorblind. I have strong deuteronopia. I chose these four colors specifically because I could see them.
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Scot Eaton
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Re: ↻This Way Round↺
Okay, first full game has been played. It was me vs. myself, and I won!



The final score breakdown was as follows:

-=SHAPES PLAYER=-
Triangle: 7
Hex: 4
Square: 3
Circle: 3
TOTAL: 17

-=COLORS PLAYER=-
Blue: 5
Yellow: 5
Red: 3
Green: 2
TOTAL: 16

Shapes was 1st player, meaning colors got the advantage of the final rotation. Had there been one more rotation, The Circles would have increased from 3 to 5, and the Yellows would have increased from 5 to 6, making the final score 19 to 17.

Does this scoring feel right? Shapes focused on triangles to the exclusion of all else, whereas colors played the whole board.
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Re: ↻This Way Round↺
Looks like a cool game.

My opinion on the look --- I don't think the shapes work. Triangle looks different but the other shapes look too similar. This is because they have the same amount of color, while triangle has more black. Ultimately you might end up with a theme that will work effectively with textures or patterns. So I'd keep trying different things there.

Scoring is harder to judge by look. You want players to know their score prospects immediately at a glance to help with decision making.

It sounds like the last player has a big advantage.
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Re: ↻This Way Round↺
TimST1E wrote:
Looks like a cool game.

My opinion on the look --- I don't think the shapes work. Triangle looks different but the other shapes look too similar.


I agree. I'd swap the hexagon for a cross or X.
 
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Re: ↻This Way Round↺
TimST1E wrote:
It sounds like the last player has a big advantage.


Yeah, I'm tossing around the idea that the starting player gets one additional rotation at the end, without getting to place a piece.
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Re: ↻This Way Round↺
The original post has been updated with re-balanced rules and a downloadable print and play file. Enjoy!
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Re: ↻This Way Round↺
I've now played both Down and Round. I think your mechanics are interesting in both and provided several good "aha!" moments. Overall, I thought Down was enjoyable but Round felt a little too dry for my tastes. The spinning is harder to visualize several turns out, I guess.

Play took about 20 minutes for each game of Round. If that were halved, I'd be much more likely to mess around until I understand the patterns. That length may be due to my greyscale pieces (they are hard to differentiate at times), AP, or our poor rotating form.

I'm hesitant to post because Round may play exactly how you wanted it to and just not be a game I'd naturally reach for. I think with the work you put into your designs, you deserve feedback though.

Thanks for designing both games and posting them for us!
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Re: ↻This Way Round↺
Yeah, grayscale pieces would make AP a huge thing, as well as give a marked advantage to the shapes player. Do you have highlighters? That could fix the issue.

I'd be interested to hear more about "This Side Down". In developing "This Way Round", I've nearly shouted, "Yes! THIS is the game I was trying to make!" It always felt like there was something missing with This Side Down. I think my main problem was that I didn't want 4-in-a-row to happen on the bottom row, but my attempts to mitigate that made the board way too volatile.

I'm pretty sure you've played everything I've publicly posted, and I've always appreciated your feedback. This game is a far cry from Catan: World Wonders or 7 Wonders: Empires. To give a shameless plug, my first published game, Blend Off!, will be hitting Kickstarter April 2016, via Thunderworks Games. Look for it there.
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Re: ↻This Way Round↺
I haven't played yet, only read the rules. They seem very good, with nice use of images. Two tiny things:

In the second paragraph of "Game End" the word "all" seems messed up.

In the first image of the rotation example, I would suggest for absolute clarity that the yellow arrow should be 90 degrees in "length", if you see what I mean.
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Re: ↻This Way Round↺
Thanks. I don't think those are big enough reasons for a file update, but I've made the changes to my source file in case I need to update it for another reason.
 
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Re: ↻This Way Round↺
It was probably the volatility of "This Side Down" that I found enjoyable. I imagine the two games would switch places after we played both of them more, but, for me at least, seeing a move that would completely reorient the board in "This Side Down" feels clever. And if a volatile move is used against me, I feel like I could have seen it before and mitigated.

I would guess that my preference partially comes from the online puzzle games I used to waste time with. They taught me to think through rapidly shifting grids of squares fairly quickly. I don't have the same background to bring to the centrifugal wheel motion.

If I get around to it, I'll redraw the shapes with sharpies or colored pencils and try "This Way Round" again. My printed pieces are too dark to modify well. I've got a stack of PnP games to try though, so it may not happen until after the contest I'm afraid.

EDIT: I should have printed your new file before posting this. I bet sharpies will modify the new shapes just fine. I lost the hexagon corners when I tried before and they were hard to differentiate from the circles.
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Re: ↻This Way Round↺
Would there be any interest in expanding this to 3 players, or would that just make your brain hurt? One player would play the shape, one the foreground color, and one the background color.

 
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Re: ⟲This Ring Around⟳
The original post has been updated with a slight revision of this game. The main change is in the name, which has been updated. Other small changes include grammar and spelling.
 
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This looks really fun. Very nice rules that are easy to follow. I'm going to print it out and try it. It seems that your pieces have slowly morphed into qwirkle pieces, which I think I'll use instead of cutting out the provided pieces.

It also seems like you could easily adapt this to a single player game like tetris or bejeweled where the pieces come in randomly based on a dice roll and are removed when you have 5 shapes or colors together. Anyway, I'm looking forward to playing it.
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