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Subject: [WIP] Continental Drift - 2017 Two-Player PnP Contest - Components Ready rss

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Max Seidman
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CONTINENTAL DRIFT

A resonym entry to the 2017 Two-Player PnP Contest.

Tectonic plates are shifting and the mighty
continent of Pangaea is splitting up!


Compete to divide the continent in this
no-setup print and play game.


Download the game


Players: 2
Duration: 10 minutes
Ages: 6+ (provided you trust them with scissors)
                                          

About the game:
Continental Drift requires none of the pesky cutting and folding that traditionally plague print & play games. Simply print one of the randomly generated boards, grab your scissors, and you're ready to play! I have provided 5 randomly generated boards at the link above.

Gameplay is based on the classic game Dots and Boxes, but more fun (I think) for two main reasons: (1) the (hidden) animal collection element provides differing player motivations and perspectives so that players often overlook the good moves that they are setting their opponents up for, and (2) using scissors as part of the game is fun!

Components:
1 Printed board
1 Pair of scissors

Credits:
Design by Max Seidman
Art by Zara Downs
Made for Resonym

Next Steps:
*Test to make sure instructions on the boards are understandable
*If instructions require clarification, make a separate instructions sheet
*Add color! (Probably after the contest)
*Add cosmetic additions like plants, ground textures, etc. (Probably after the contest)

Considered For:
Best Date Night Game
Best Game to Play with Your Child
Best Casual/Gateway Game
Best Heavy Game
Best Deck & Dice Game 6

Best Game with Language Independent Components
Best Use of Theme
Best Art/Graphic Design
Best New Mechanic
Best New Designer
Best Game
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JK
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Welcome to the contest!

I love the clean and cute artwork and it is great to see moa in a game (I am an ecologist from the land of the moa, so I am already biased towards liking your game).

I'm sure you realise that moa (NB plural and singular are both "moa") were never on Pangaea, but only evolved later once the sliver that is now New Zealand broke off leaving the early mammals and snakes behind.

And I'm sure you know that mammoths evolved later too. In fact mammoths, dinosaurs and moa have never coexisted anywhere at any time.

But they are still super cool and super cute for this game, so don't go changing it!

Looking forward to trying out your unique (though not very waste-friendly) mechanism. Seems like this game would work particularly well as an app.

Cheers,
JK
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Max Seidman
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JohnKean wrote:
Welcome to the contest!

I love the clean and cute artwork and it is great to see moa in a game (I am an ecologist from the land of the moa, so I am already biased towards liking your game).

I'm sure you realise that moa (NB plural and singular are both "moa") were never on Pangaea, but only evolved later once the sliver that is now New Zealand broke off leaving the early mammals and snakes behind.

And I'm sure you know that mammoths evolved later too. In fact mammoths, dinosaurs and moa have never coexisted anywhere at any time.

But they are still super cool and super cute for this game, so don't go changing it!

Looking forward to trying out your unique (though not very waste-friendly) mechanism. Seems like this game would work particularly well as an app.

Cheers,
JK


Thanks for the thoughts! Yeah I intentionally passed on historical accuracy for representations of creatures that were not just dinosaurs. (Also, the scoring incentives don't make a hell of a lot of sense from a biodiversity perspective)

I'm pretty sure I deliberately chose to say "Moas" to make the instructions clearer, but in retrospect I have no idea why I didn't just say "1 Moa" in the example. So that's a revision to do.

As for the waste question, I was very concerned with that as I was working on this game (hence the subtle recycling reminder watermark). As I think about it, though, it's possible that Continental Drift is actually NOT that wasteful... let me do some research and math and get back to you!
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Max Seidman
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JohnKean wrote:

Looking forward to trying out your unique (though not very waste-friendly) mechanism.


Okay I did some math as a justification for disposable games like this one! The core thing we care about is effectively "waste per play"-that is, if you play a game infinite times, it is infinitely not wasteful. If you play a game 0 times before throwing it out, it is entirely wasteful because you get no satisfaction for the waste created in manufacturing the game.

Now, no game is played infinitely; eventually you'll get bored of it and stop playing, or at the very least the components will wear out. The relevant question is do traditional boxed games get more bang (play) for their (waste) buck than Continental Drift (or any other one-time use game) does?

Comparison to a Legacy Game
It's really hard to know how many plays the average boxed game gets before it is thrown away, so I'm going to use an easy cop out: legacy games. Pandemic Legacy is a great comparison point here-it (like all games) eventually isn't going to be played any more, but unlike other games after a point it CANNOT be played any more.

I weighed the paper components (not plastic) of the game and got 3.75 pounds or very close to 1700 grams. Pandemic Legacy can be played a maximum of 24 times, and a minimum of 12, but let's go with the number my group played: 16 games.

Weight / # of Games Before Throwing Out = Weight Wasted Per Game

1700 / 16 = 106 grams wasted per game.

A sheet of copy paper weighs 5 grams, which is Continental Drift's weight wasted per game. So Continental Drift could be considered around 21 times less wasteful than Pandemic Legacy.

This isn't a perfect comparison. We could factor in the fact that a game of Pandemic Legacy lasts around 3 times as long as Continental Drift, leaving us with (Pandemic) 2.36 grams wasted per minute and (CD) .333 grams wasted per minute. We could even throw in the fact that Pandemic Legacy can give up to 4 players enjoyment whereas Continental Drift can only make 2 players enjoy it per game, which would leave us with (Pandemic) .59 grams wasted per player minute and (CD) .167 grams wasted per player minute.

Comparison to a Traditional Game
No matter how you cut it, Continental Drift is just less wasteful than Pandemic Legacy. And this isn't a condemnation of legacy games... Pandemic Legacy is among the most played if not THE most played game in my small collection. So at least for people with relatively little gaming time, I would suspect that Continental Drift is actually less wasteful than traditional boxed games.

As the amount a group plays any given game goes up (including things like resale/trading), the more wasteful Continental Drift is in comparison. By my math, once your copy of Dominion has been played 35 times it breaks even with Continental Drift (ignoring player count; factoring in game length). Every game of Dominion thereafter makes it less wasteful than CD. My copy of Dominion certainly hasn't been played 35 times. And of course this isn't even counting any non-paper components, or the shipping from China (I'm told most paper for North America is made in North America).

Comparison to a Print and Play Game
This is of course where Continental Drift fails. If you have a 9 card (1 page) print and play, it's going to be less wasteful than CD. Do note however that many print and plays are more than 1 page, and that while they theoretically can be played forever, print and plays wear out super fast unless sleeved/protected, and the sleeves have their own waste cost.


This whole thing is mostly to ease my conscience, but I thought somebody might find it interesting/point out inconsistencies.
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JK
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Ramenhotep wrote:
Okay I did some math as a justification for disposable games like this one!


Hi Max. Interesting analysis. My original comment was a wasteful disposable "throw-away" comment so shame on me!

I'm actually not at all concerned about how much paper the game uses because let's face it, we are a small audience... If/when your game goes Big Time I imagine it would be in the form of an app, which will be less wasteful.

Cheers!
JK
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Max Seidman
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JohnKean wrote:
Ramenhotep wrote:
Okay I did some math as a justification for disposable games like this one!


Hi Max. Interesting analysis. My original comment was a wasteful disposable "throw-away" comment so shame on me!

I'm actually not at all concerned about how much paper the game uses because let's face it, we are a small audience... If/when your game goes Big Time I imagine it would be in the form of an app, which will be less wasteful.

Cheers!
JK


Oh yeah, definitely understood it was throw away ()! Just reminded me of how conflicted I was initially with the concept. I had considered that something like the above might be the case, but it's nice to know now!

I hear you on "problems you want to have"-don't need to worry too much about sustainability until we've got thousands of players!
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Nick Shaw
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Ramenhotep wrote:
Oh yeah, definitely understood it was throw away ()! Just reminded me of how conflicted I was initially with the concept. I had considered that something like the above might be the case, but it's nice to know now!

I hear you on "problems you want to have"-don't need to worry too much about sustainability until we've got thousands of players!


Wanted to throw in another opinion here. I'd also compare your game to games that come with scorepads. Specifically, scorepads of 100 sheets or more (most games I own with scorepads have around 100 sheets). Those aren't necessarily thrown away, but once you've used one (unless you write in pencil and rub out to reuse after each game), that sheet is done with. And 100 sheets on a small scorepad is still way more than a single sheet for Continental Drift. And how many people actually play games with scorepads enough times to use ALL the score sheets?...

So, personally, I have no problem with the disposable aspect of the game. The beauty of it being a PnP is that you can print as many, or as few, copies as you want - it's "print and play on demand" effectively!

PS - I also love the mechanic of having to cut up the 'board'. Having a pair of scissors as a required component is very refreshing.
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Max Seidman
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njshaw2 wrote:

Wanted to throw in another opinion here. I'd also compare your game to games that come with scorepads. Specifically, scorepads of 100 sheets or more (most games I own with scorepads have around 100 sheets). Those aren't necessarily thrown away, but once you've used one (unless you write in pencil and rub out to reuse after each game), that sheet is done with. And 100 sheets on a small scorepad is still way more than a single sheet for Continental Drift. And how many people actually play games with scorepads enough times to use ALL the score sheets?...


That's a really good comparison! I definitely can't think of a scorepad game where I've used all of the sheets.

njshaw2 wrote:

PS - I also love the mechanic of having to cut up the 'board'. Having a pair of scissors as a required component is very refreshing.


Thanks! I made this mainly because I HATE assembling PnPs and I figured if you have scissors to assemble one, then you have scissors to play Continental Drift!
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Jeremy Mort
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I'm having issues downloading it. It automatically sends me through DropBox. Any other ways to post and download?
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Max Seidman
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Mortjer2 wrote:
I'm having issues downloading it. It automatically sends me through DropBox. Any other ways to post and download?


Oops thanks for letting me know! I changed the link from Dropbox to Box so hopefully it should work now.
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Jeremy Mort
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Ramenhotep wrote:
Mortjer2 wrote:
I'm having issues downloading it. It automatically sends me through DropBox. Any other ways to post and download?


Oops thanks for letting me know! I changed the link from Dropbox to Box so hopefully it should work now.


Perfect. Thank you.
 
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Mark Fuhrman
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I'm liking the scoring mechanic for this- forcing you to try and specialize. A question- on the files, the scoring example has 6-3+0. What is the "+0" referring to? It doesn't get mentioned at all... Do you score positively or negatively for your third species?

Thanks! Love the super-easy assembly concept!
 
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JK
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Hi Max,

Can you please add a link back to the 2 Player Contest thread in your top post.

Thanks,
JK
 
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Max Seidman
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MrSaturn17 wrote:
I'm liking the scoring mechanic for this- forcing you to try and specialize. A question- on the files, the scoring example has 6-3+0. What is the "+0" referring to? It doesn't get mentioned at all... Do you score positively or negatively for your third species?

Thanks! Love the super-easy assembly concept!


Glad you like it! The "+0" is just referring to the fact that your third species is always worth nothing. Is that confusing?
 
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Mark Fuhrman
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Ramenhotep wrote:
MrSaturn17 wrote:
I'm liking the scoring mechanic for this- forcing you to try and specialize. A question- on the files, the scoring example has 6-3+0. What is the "+0" referring to? It doesn't get mentioned at all... Do you score positively or negatively for your third species?

Thanks! Love the super-easy assembly concept!


Glad you like it! The "+0" is just referring to the fact that your third species is always worth nothing. Is that confusing?


Not terribly, but slightly, since in the rules before the example, you refer to your first and second most, but have no mention of the third. This was the conclusion I came to, but I had to kind of connect it in my mind. I guess I think you could leave the "+0" off, but it's probably not a big deal.
 
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JK
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PLAYTESTER SPOT PRIZES

This game is eligible for a playtester spot prize for the next week!

See this post for more details.
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Max Seidman
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If anyone has any rules questions, I'm here!
 
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Ghislain LEVEQUE
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When you start your cut from an existing one, and you "move" in the direction of the edge, you may end up cutting less than 4 cells. Is this allowed or are you forced to always cut 4 cells and so I should have started from the edge ?
 
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Max Seidman
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courtjus wrote:
When you start your cut from an existing one, and you "move" in the direction of the edge, you may end up cutting less than 4 cells. Is this allowed or are you forced to always cut 4 cells and so I should have started from the edge ?


I should figure out how to work that into the instructions! That is allowed; you can cut less than 4 cells if you go off the edge.
 
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David Sals
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Max:

I love the concept of this game. As someone who has spent a ridiculous number of hours as a kid playing connect-the-dots type games with friends, I get the simple appeal of this.

- I like that the goal is not simply to get the most territory, but specifically to work with the population of the continent as you're choosing what to cut. It means every game will be different.

- I like the whimsical nature. Dinosaurs mixed with Moas makes me smile. Again, simple appeal.

----

Regarding wasting paper -- again, I spent so many hours as a kid playing games like this and I'm sure we "wasted" thousands of sheets of paper with dots, connect 4, 3D tic-tac-toe and more. I can compare to Mad Libs, Yes & Know, coloring books, crossword puzzles and Sudoku... basically this fits into a category of game where you have single use sheets of paper. If you don't want to create that category of game, that's another thing altogether, but within that category this doesn't feel particularly wasteful.

If you are concerned about that, though, I also think this would also make a great app, and then there's no waste involved.

----

Regarding rules - I would move the rules to their own page. 2 reasons:

- First, you then have more room for rules. As someone else pointed out, there are some exceptions to the current rules, such as cutting to the edge. Also, it's not clear in the current rules if you're allowed to cut at a right angle if you start with an existing cut (I think you should be)? And -- if you can cut at a right angle, do you have to start at the end point of the existing cut or can you start anywhere along it?

- Second, assuming this game would come in some kind of booklet form with a bunch of pages, we don't need to see the rules again on every single page. They're simple enough that once you get the concept you won't need a refresher. Better to have more room for a bigger playing board, I think.

----

I'm also curious to see how this game would play out differently with 4 types of creatures, or 2 types. Just as Sudoku has different difficulty levels of puzzles, this might have different difficulty levels to choose from based on density and variety of population.

----

Last thought for now: What if different creatures were worth different points? For example, let's say Dinos were worth 3, Mammoths worth 2, and Moas worth 1. Then if you have 6 Dinos, 3 Mammoths and 2 Moas, you get credit for 3 Dinos x 3 Points = 9 points. If you had 6 Moas, 3 Dinos and 1 Mammoth you'd get 3 Moas x 1 point = 3 points. You could even have a special creature (Unicorns?) that only appears one place on the board, that is worth 10 points or something, but only if you can get it by itself.

----

Hope that helps. As always, please take what is useful and throw away the rest. And good luck with your game!
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David Sals
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dsals wrote:
Also, it's not clear in the current rules if you're allowed to cut at a right angle if you start with an existing cut (I think you should be)? And -- if you can cut at a right angle, do you have to start at the end point of the existing cut or can you start anywhere along it?

Re-reading the rules I can see that there are two ways to interpret them, based on the reading:

1) Make a cut exactly 4 units long in a straight line -- in any direction from the edge -- or from an existing cut.

2) Make a cut exactly 4 units long in a straight line in any direction -- from the edge or from an existing cut.

I read it the first way the first time, meaning if you chose the second option -- an existing cut -- you had to continue in a straight line. But I see it could be read the second way which would allow for right angles and maybe even starting in the middle of an existing cut.

Also -- this is perhaps silly but being an engineer I've seen people do silly things -- there's nothing in your rules that says you have to cut along the lines. So "in any direction" could include diagonal.
 
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Max Seidman
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dsals wrote:
dsals wrote:
Also, it's not clear in the current rules if you're allowed to cut at a right angle if you start with an existing cut (I think you should be)? And -- if you can cut at a right angle, do you have to start at the end point of the existing cut or can you start anywhere along it?

Re-reading the rules I can see that there are two ways to interpret them, based on the reading:

1) Make a cut exactly 4 units long in a straight line -- in any direction from the edge -- or from an existing cut.

2) Make a cut exactly 4 units long in a straight line in any direction -- from the edge or from an existing cut.

I read it the first way the first time, meaning if you chose the second option -- an existing cut -- you had to continue in a straight line. But I see it could be read the second way which would allow for right angles and maybe even starting in the middle of an existing cut.

Also -- this is perhaps silly but being an engineer I've seen people do silly things -- there's nothing in your rules that says you have to cut along the lines. So "in any direction" could include diagonal.


Excellent thoughts, David! Thanks so much.

#2 in your point above is the intention. You can cut in any direction (along the cell lines) from anywhere on an existing cut or from the edge of the board.

I think you're right on the instructions. I was always imagining this on a tear away pad eventually, so the instructions could be printed on the back of the cover, and then I could shorten and simplify the instructions on the bottom simply as a player aid. When I expand to full instructions that would give me space to give examples on how to make cuts, and to clarify: NO DIAGONALS!
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Sindre Finnøy
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Hi,

I played this game with my girlfriend a few months ago, but felt I didn't have any good feedback.
But now I figured I should follow my own advice, that any feedback is valid even if it feels inconsequential to the playtester.
Let's see if how much I remember.

I think this game will do better in the Play With Your Child-category than in the Date Night-category (depending on your child and your date).
The game is a bit less complex than what I would want in a game I would play with other adults, but not so simple that it would not be great to play with a kid.
And kids like cutting in paper, even without a game attached

I really like that all you need (rules and game) is on one page.
The theme is great and the scoring system is simple and works well.
I also like that there are different maps.
Good artwork, the dino is particularly cute laugh
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JK
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Yes, I played it a few days ago too, against my 9 year old. He trounced me by making sure he collected only one species. I was aware of what he was doing but didn't realise what a difference it would make to the score until it was too late...

Like Sindre, I don't really have any suggestions as the game simply does exactly what it sets out to do very well. It is elegant and simple and beautiful. Unfortunately my son didn't want to play a second game because he didn't like the fact that you cut it up into little pieces. No much you can do about that though! (Except build it as an app I guess).

Well done, and good luck.
JK
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Joshua Spooner
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This is a brilliant game! I absolutely love its simplicity and theme, and it plays wonderfully! I loved the two games that I just played with different boards, and I love that you include a few different boards in the game!

A few clarification questions:

1) If I start cutting on an existing cut toward an edge, it is possible that I won't have 4 squares of cut to make (ie: if a cut has been made 3 squares away from the edge, then a cut towards the adjacent edge would not be able to be 4 squares long). Is this (a) acceptable, and the last square is simply not "cut"? (how we played it) or (b) an invalid move?

2) While I assume we all presume it, should the clarification that only orthogonal cuts are allowed, as opposed to diagonals? "Straight" doesn't necessarily imply horizontal and/or vertical.

3) Since your opponent can see you cutting, what is the point of face down hoarding? Is it to encourage mental tallying of your own (and your opponent's) score? We assumed that you can't look at the face down piles under and circumstances, and thus your own score was a slight mystery if you lost count.

When this game goes big, feel free to make a RNG *.exe for more on-demand random maps. I want about a hundred different maps


PS: The wasted paper defense against Pandemic Legacy was beautiful as well
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