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Subject: [WIP] AKUR-GAL - 2018 9-Card Nanogame PnP Design Contest - Component Ready rss

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giampiero randazzo
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by Giampiero Randazzo



AKUR-GAL is a solitaire game adapted from the Royal Sumerian Tablet of Ur (2500 B.C.).
The aim of the game is to recreate the original pattern of symbols and figures in the least number of moves.

For a single player;
Playtime: 2 - 5';
Age: +12 years old

Component: 9 cards poker size only.

Status: CONTEST READY!

Setup: Shuffle the cards, face down, and place them face up on the table to form a 3 x 3 grid;

On each turn swap the positions of any 2 cards.


In a maximum of 9 moves arrange the cards to create the original tablet design(shown below).





Scores:
6 - 9 moves – IPA DESH - (Sumerian: Simple Mind);
4 - 5 moves - ENSI - (Sumerian: Important Mind);
3 moves or less - AKURGAL - (Sumerian: Immense Mind).


Files avaiable:
CARDS full ink new version

CARDS low ink new version

RULES A4 new version




Categories:
Best Overall Game
Best Solitaire Game
Best Card only game "no components"


I have prepared a hook-box to put the 9 cards with the rules written on the inside... the printable file can be downloaded from here

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Joseph Propati
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Welcome to the contest!
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giampiero randazzo
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kingspud wrote:
Welcome to the contest!

Thanks Joseph!
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Chris Hansen
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If given the option, I would prefer to play with the green pieces, please.
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I have two new 9 Card Games: 300 Spartans and Franky's 1st Christmas
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I will try this soon!
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Caroline Berg
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...124 to run fleeing from the mountain. ...125 to use a rope to climb the steep cliff. ...126 to quickly cast "summon stairs." ...127 to dodge under the falling rocks.
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Just one nitpick...


King, servant, servant, general

The figures you chose - it should always be a standing servant facing the seated King of Ur, or a seated general. There can only ever be one King of Ur (figure seated with the feathery skirt) but you could have many seated generals - and many servants.
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Garry Hoddinott
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I enjoyed my first few plays. I was terrible! 7 moves and even then I was continually looking at the original. I like the graphics and can see this idea being applied to 9 cards that are even more complex and confusing. This brings me to a suggestion ... what about a reverse side image in a very different color that makes for an even harder game.

Outside the 9 card competition I can see this working very nicely as a sliding tile puzzle - perhaps 4x4 or 5x5 ... ummmm ... maybe not, it could be VERY difficult!!!
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Christopher Melenberg
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I haven't tried this yet, but love how simple it is.

Is there only one single way to complete this? Or many possible ways to complete the picture? Basically, wondering if like the person above I should be staring at the end goal to see when I am right.

Also is there a maximum number of moves depending on how you shuffle the cards? I would suspect that depending on how the cards get dealt would determine a lot. It's possible you might shuffle and lay it out and have no moves...

Also LOVE the art. Is it taken from somewhere or did you make it?
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Marek Kolcun
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The game with such nice graphics should have provided back of the cards too. I will wait with playtest, after following requests / ideas are considered.

adularia25 wrote:
Just one nitpick...


King, servant, servant, general

The figures you chose - it should always be a standing servant facing the seated King of Ur, or a seated general. There can only ever be one King of Ur (figure seated with the feathery skirt) but you could have many seated generals - and many servants.

That's actually pretty good pinpoint. According to original tablet of ur, only standing servants face the sitting persons. This assymetry would also raise the difficulty.

TopherMel wrote:
Is there only one single way to complete this? Or many possible ways to complete the picture? Basically, wondering if like the person above I should be staring at the end goal to see when I am right.

Good point too. Personally, I'd provide multiple solutions, otherwise the replayability drops down to memorize key details in each card position. With more ways to win players will also have a choice to build the most optimal solution.
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Chris Hansen
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If given the option, I would prefer to play with the green pieces, please.
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I have two new 9 Card Games: 300 Spartans and Franky's 1st Christmas
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Do the cards have to be adjacent or anything? Or do you just switch any two cards that you'd like?
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giampiero randazzo
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adularia25 wrote:
Just one nitpick...

The figures you chose - it should always be a standing servant facing the seated King of Ur, or a seated general. There can only ever be one King of Ur (figure seated with the feathery skirt) but you could have many seated generals - and many servants.


Yes, you're right, Caroline.
At first I had left the original iconography of the Standard of Ur; but he did not convince me.
It took a repetitive pattern to deceive the player's eye.
For this reason I changed it that way.
 
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giampiero randazzo
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GarryHoddinott wrote:
I enjoyed my first few plays. I was terrible! 7 moves and even then I was continually looking at the original. I like the graphics and can see this idea being applied to 9 cards that are even more complex and confusing. This brings me to a suggestion ... what about a reverse side image in a very different color that makes for an even harder game.

you should try the low ink version!

GarryHoddinott wrote:

Outside the 9 card competition I can see this working very nicely as a sliding tile puzzle - perhaps 4x4 or 5x5 ... ummmm ... maybe not, it could be VERY difficult!!!

let's try this too!laugh
 
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Caroline Berg
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...124 to run fleeing from the mountain. ...125 to use a rope to climb the steep cliff. ...126 to quickly cast "summon stairs." ...127 to dodge under the falling rocks.
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etacarinae1965 wrote:
adularia25 wrote:
Just one nitpick...

The figures you chose - it should always be a standing servant facing the seated King of Ur, or a seated general. There can only ever be one King of Ur (figure seated with the feathery skirt) but you could have many seated generals - and many servants.


Yes, you're right, Caroline.
At first I had left the original iconography of the Standard of Ur; but he did not convince me.
It took a repetitive pattern to deceive the player's eye.
For this reason I changed it that way.
You could still do a repetitive pattern, just with the servant always across from the king. Or with servants only, facing away from each other.

The way it is now... bothers my historical sensibilities to the point where I wouldn't be able to play the game, because I know the art the tiles are referencing, and it doesn't match what I expect.

I'm sure people who didn't study Ancient Sumer wouldn't have such issues.
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giampiero randazzo
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TopherMel wrote:
I haven't tried this yet, but love how simple it is.

Is there only one single way to complete this? Or many possible ways to complete the picture? Basically, wondering if like the person above I should be staring at the end goal to see when I am right.

Also is there a maximum number of moves depending on how you shuffle the cards? I would suspect that depending on how the cards get dealt would determine a lot. It's possible you might shuffle and lay it out and have no moves...

Honestly I have not asked myself so many questions ... I've played it so many times, and it's a amusement for the mind ...

TopherMel wrote:

Also LOVE the art. Is it taken from somewhere or did you make it?

The figures are retouched photos, but the geometries and the lapis lazuli texture are reproduced
 
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giampiero randazzo
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Mystael wrote:
The game with such nice graphics should have provided back of the cards too. I will wait with playtest, after following requests / ideas are considered.

I did the back of the cards, but I have to find a solution that does not confuse the player with the front figures ...

Mystael wrote:

That's actually pretty good pinpoint. According to original tablet of ur, only standing servants face the sitting persons. This assymetry would also raise the difficulty.

TopherMel wrote:
Is there only one single way to complete this? Or many possible ways to complete the picture? Basically, wondering if like the person above I should be staring at the end goal to see when I am right.

Good point too. Personally, I'd provide multiple solutions, otherwise the replayability drops down to memorize key details in each card position. With more ways to win players will also have a choice to build the most optimal solution.

maybe I will have a limitation ... but every time I play, even if I am the author, I find it difficult to memorize the order of geometries!cry
 
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giampiero randazzo
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chansen2794 wrote:
Do the cards have to be adjacent or anything? Or do you just switch any two cards that you'd like?

There is no order ... it's your free choice!
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Chris Hansen
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If given the option, I would prefer to play with the green pieces, please.
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I have two new 9 Card Games: 300 Spartans and Franky's 1st Christmas
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I just played using a very low-ink version...



I've played a few times but haven't managed to beat a score of 6 yet. Maybe I'm missing something, but if every card starts in the wrong spot, the game would require 5 moves at a minimum. Getting the AKURGAL result (3 moves or less) requires a lucky deal where at least 3 cards start in their correct space because the most cards you can possibly move in 3 moves is six cards.

Maybe the scores should be adjusted since getting an "Immense Mind" result requires a fair amount of luck.

I like how you define an upper limit of 9 moves. You'd better be able to beat the game in 9 moves!

I liked the game. This is a fun way to kill a few minutes. The artwork is beautiful!
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Garry Hoddinott
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There's cheap and then there's ......
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Michele Bruni
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chansen2794 wrote:
I just played using a very low-ink version...



I've played a few times but haven't managed to beat a score of 6 yet. Maybe I'm missing something, but if every card starts in the wrong spot, the game would require 5 moves at a minimum. Getting the AKURGAL result (3 moves or less) requires a lucky deal where at least 3 cards start in their correct space because the most cards you can possibly move in 3 moves is six cards.

Maybe the scores should be adjusted since getting an "Immense Mind" result requires a fair amount of luck.

I like how you define an upper limit of 9 moves. You'd better be able to beat the game in 9 moves!

I liked the game. This is a fun way to kill a few minutes. The artwork is beautiful!

I think that the game with the numbers is a little easier that with the original proposed artwork... but it's a nice variant and you can play with all classic playing cards numbered.
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C. L.
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Is this game the same as the classic puzzle sold as “Scramble Squares”?
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giampiero randazzo
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GreenTea532 wrote:
Is this game the same as the classic puzzle sold as “Scramble Squares”?

I'm sorry, I did not know there was such a game ...
 
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adularia25 wrote:

The way it is now... bothers my historical sensibilities to the point where I wouldn't be able to play the game, because I know the art the tiles are referencing, and it doesn't match what I expect.

All right, I'll try to make this correction...
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giampiero randazzo
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chansen2794 wrote:


I like how you define an upper limit of 9 moves. You'd better be able to beat the game in 9 moves!

I liked the game. This is a fun way to kill a few minutes. The artwork is beautiful!

Thanks Chris, your time is priceless...
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Caroline Berg
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...124 to run fleeing from the mountain. ...125 to use a rope to climb the steep cliff. ...126 to quickly cast "summon stairs." ...127 to dodge under the falling rocks.
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etacarinae1965 wrote:
adularia25 wrote:

The way it is now... bothers my historical sensibilities to the point where I wouldn't be able to play the game, because I know the art the tiles are referencing, and it doesn't match what I expect.

All right, I'll try to make this correction...
Thanks! I know I'm being unreasonable, but Ancient Sumer was one of my favorite areas of study.
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Mark Tuck
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etacarinae1965 wrote:
GreenTea532 wrote:
Is this game the same as the classic puzzle sold as “Scramble Squares”?

I'm sorry, I did not know there was such a game ...

Scramble Squares, described by its publisher as "perhaps the world's most challenging puzzle", contains nine squares arranged in a 3 x 3 grid. The edge of each piece has half an image on it and the pieces are swapped or turned so that the images on the edges line up correctly. There is only one solution - people claim it takes anywhere from 2 hours to never to solve!

From what I can see, this game differs in that the cards are oriented one way only, so cannot be turned through 90 degrees or upside down. It would therefore be much simpler to solve.

Anyway, I've printed it out so will give it a go.
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Joseph Propati
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tucky60 wrote:
etacarinae1965 wrote:
GreenTea532 wrote:
Is this game the same as the classic puzzle sold as “Scramble Squares”?

I'm sorry, I did not know there was such a game ...

Scramble Squares, described by its publisher as "perhaps the world's most challenging puzzle", contains nine squares arranged in a 3 x 3 grid. The edge of each piece has half an image on it and the pieces are swapped or turned so that the images on the edges line up correctly. There is only one solution - people claim it takes anywhere from 2 hours to never to solve!

From what I can see, this game differs in that the cards are oriented one way only, so cannot be turned through 90 degrees or upside down. It would therefore be much simpler to solve.

Anyway, I've printed it out so will give it a go.

What if there were four images, one to each corner, could you configure each images so they differed slightly and make the game even more difficult? This way, when you rotated the cards and added flipping, it could add a step higher in difficulty.

This is really a game that should have square tiles so you can rotate each 90 degrees. You'll probably want to try this after the contest.
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