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Subject: Caylubration III: Design an expansion tile competition: the results rss

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William Attia
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After a much too long delay (and I am the only one to blame about this), here are the results of the tile design contest organized by Lee for this year's Caylubration event. The entries are available in [geeklist=137999]this GeekList[/geeklist].

Of course, I have looked at all the tiles which have been submitted in the contest, and tried to form an opinion about them by myself. I also asked Cyril Demaegd (the owner of Ystari) and Thomas Cauet (one of the best Caylus players I know, as well as a fierce playtester) for their inputs and advice - most of the time, we were in agreement.

I have tried to judge each tile according to four criteria:
- originality: how new the idea is, compared to what else exists in Caylus already
- usefulness: how useful the effect of the proposed building would be
- clarity: how few and easy the rules related to the building are
- balance: how balanced the building is

The name of the tile and its picture, when present, have not been taken in consideration.The tiles have been judged based on whatever text and description were available, and from there we tried to figure out how they would work - we haven't actually playtested any of these.

Of course, it was easier to design the buildings of the base games than it is to design expansion buildings. The base buildings define what is possible and cover a lot of ground already, and new buildings are likely to be either too close to what already exists (and thus missing on the "originality" criterion) or too different (and then likely to require more rules, which is bad for "clarity"). Also, some expansion ideas could require more than just one building to work, or at least to justify the extra rules they introduce, but that would be beyond the scope of this contest.

And now, I have absolutely no idea about how to announce the results (you would have thought almost three months would have been enough to think about that, too). So I think I will keep it simple:

- the winner is: the [listitem=2070133]Scribe[/listitem], by Osirus
- the three runners-up (given in order of appearance on the GeekList) are: the [listitem=2058647]Bakery[/listitem], by out4blood; the [listitem=2058685]Vault[/listitem], by andrewfoerster; and the [listitem=2102250]Intendant[/listitem], by Dystopian

The Scribe is a very flexible building, which, unlike most wood buildings, would generally become more valuable later in the game. I would probably lift the restriction of not being able to copy the gold mine (or the printed carpenter, for that matter), but I don't know whether it should be able to copy the building next to it if the provost is on the Scribe (thus denying the activation to following building). And of course, using the Scribe should have no influence on how the worker on the copied building would work - the Scribe just does the same thing.

The Bakery is a different kind of prestige building, which expands a bit the rules for income, while remaining very easy to understand. A possible concern is the introduction of too many resources in the game, but at least these are food, so not too likely to help the Bakery's owner build another bigger prestige building directly.

The Vault is definitely an attempt to "fix the resource track", which I think is not as painfully broken as some people seem to think, even though I understand it is a perceived weakness of the game. I would probably remove the "1 denier" effect, in order to make the building a bit simpler (also, spending 1 denier to get 1 denier is not a very interesting effect anyway, and if you feel you just go there just to block someone else, you can still do so). Among the four building we have selected, this is probably the one which is the most difficult to evaluate without playtesting - but we have the feeling that something along these lines could be a nice addition to Caylus.

The Intendant is a possibly nasty building, especially if it appears before some of the construction buildings. As for the Vault above, my initial thought would be remove the "1 PP" effect to make the building more direct: sending a worker there is supposed to deal with the removed buildings, and should not be a side way to gain an extra PP, especially in the end game. Also, I would change it slightly so that you can store "up to 3" tiles (instead of exactly 3) - which is probably the intent, but could make a difference in the end game. Playtesting would reveal how useful this building really is, but I suspect it should be interesting.

Of course, there have been a lot of other interesting ideas in these GeekList, but unfortunately, I cannot comment on all of them individually now, as I had planned originally, for lack of time. Some of them were a bit too rough to be selected as they were; some seemed too weak to be considered as valid choices during a game (but then, who knows what would have happened during a playtest game or two?); others triggered interesting thoughts which were quite unrelated to what was written; and a few of them were very similar to buildings I had actually already playtested as a part of an expansion for Caylus I had started working on a few years ago.

Overall, I think it was a great contest (except that the judge took way too much time to announce the result, and will now go in hiding/holidays for two weeks and will be unable to answer the possible comments and provide additional thoughts), and I have to thank Lee again for having run it, and all of the participants for their submissions.
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James Adrian
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Thank you William and congratulations to the winners!
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Tim Seitz
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Glen Allen
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Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
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Thanks, William!
And thanks for the great game!
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Andrew Foerster
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Thanks as well for going through the entries and your great analysis of them!
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Seth Brown
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North Adams
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Thanks very much to William Attia, for the great game, the time put in to look at an unofficial contest, and for choosing my entry.

I was worried that using the Scribe as another no-pay gold source would make gold too plentiful, but I am happy to defer to William on the question of copying the printed-on squares like the gold mine, especially as fewer exception mechanics is always better.

And thanks to Ryan Sturm for making the Caylubration, Lee for organizing this contest (and hopefully a fan expansion), Viewers Like You for making the BGG community awesome, and also my pare--

*Oscar Music*
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Evan Miracle
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Congratulations to the winners! Thank you William for taking the time to look at these fan expansion tiles.
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Luis Canela
Spain
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Hi All,

Is there any information about how the expansion will be?

Obviously there will be new buildings, but...

Do you think they will all be available as usual in caylus? or maybe you ramdomly will have to pick up blindly a certain amount of buildings for the setup of the game (excluding the rest) thus avoiding people to have always the same strategies, but instead adapting their strategies to the available buildings?

=)

I personally like the second... =) any comments?

Cheers.
 
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Ryan Sturm
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Ok I just found this results announcement! Now on my christmas list is the fan expansion for the winners, any chance of this in the pipeline?
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Steve Duff
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ldsdbomber wrote:
Since Tim entered several tiles here, including one picked out by William, I think it might be a nice touch to get this done as an (admittedly very small) tribute to his contributions before his untimely passing

What the? Holy crap, hadn't seen that at all.
Tim Seitz (out4blood), R.I.P.
 
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Josh Martin
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Whatever happened to the results of this contest? I've never seen these tiles released and even the original geek list seems to have disappeared?
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