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Subject: New Game: CIRQUE rss

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Rey Alicea
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Needs some more playtesting and feedback if anyone is willing. I've included a PNP board in the rules PDF.

 
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Christopher Markham
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Re: New Game: CIRQUE - A 5 in a row with highest score win condition
The problem I’m seeing is that even though the color scoring method is semi-interesting, the only person who scores any points is the one who connects 5. If you don’t connect, your score is 0, so there’s no point in trying to connect sub-optimally to chase color bonuses.

As a result, actually connecting 5 becomes everything, and the colors that you use to connect them are an afterthought.

With that in mind, isn’t this just Connect 5 with the minor twist that you play two per turn? I’m still seeing a lot of draws, and the colors on the board (while pretty) are utterly ignorable.

Just my two cents. Kudos on actually putting something out there.
 
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Rey Alicea
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Re: New Game: CIRQUE - A 5 in a row with highest score win condition
Ludus Rex wrote:
The problem I’m seeing is that even though the color scoring method is semi-interesting, the only person who scores any points is the one who connects 5. If you don’t connect, your score is 0, so there’s no point in trying to connect sub-optimally to chase color bonuses.

As a result, actually connecting 5 becomes everything, and the colors that you use to connect them are an afterthought.

With that in mind, isn’t this just Connect 5 with the minor twist that you play two per turn? I’m still seeing a lot of draws, and the colors on the board (while pretty) are utterly ignorable.

Just my two cents. Kudos on actually putting something out there.


Hi Christopher thanks for commenting.

I have to disagree with you on the point that connecting 5 in a row is everything. In CIRQUE you need to play two rounds to determine a winner by points not by getting 5 in a row.

Example: Black connects 5 in a row in round one and scores 17 points for that round. Round 2 White gets 5 in a row and scores 25 points. White wins the game 25 to 17.
 
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Christopher Markham
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Re: New Game: CIRQUE - A 5 in a row with highest score win condition
My point exactly.

The points only matter when each person wins one round. When the same player wins both rounds, they don't matter at all. So the objective is really to win the rounds by connecting 5, which is done optimally by ignoring the colors entirely.

I wouldn't worry about how many points I was racking up, or how to stop my opponent from racking up points, I'd just focus on making sure they couldn't connect five.

Also, as a simple Connect 5 game, I've solved this. If you play first to one of the center 4 squares, there are a few places were player 2 can go that result in a draw (if both play optimally), and if player 2 doesn't play to those spots, player 1 can force them into the loss.

It's slightly bigger "tic-tac-toe" with the ability for the novice player to get distracted by the colors.

Sorry to be so negative in my analysis, I'm just trying to point out what I'm observing. Please feel free to point out anything that I may be overlooking.

 
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Rey Alicea
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Re: New Game: CIRQUE - A 5 in a row with highest score win condition
Ludus Rex wrote:
My point exactly.

The points only matter when each person wins one round. When the same player wins both rounds, they don't matter at all. So the objective is really to win the rounds by connecting 5, which is done optimally by ignoring the colors entirely.

I wouldn't worry about how many points I was racking up, or how to stop my opponent from racking up points, I'd just focus on making sure they couldn't connect five.


I agree with you to a point (Pun intended)

Two rounds equal a match.

What if a player is unable to win both rounds he still might win the game by scoring the most points in the match.

By the way your not being negative, all feedback is constructive.
 
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Christopher Markham
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Re: New Game: CIRQUE - A 5 in a row with highest score win condition
Try playing some solitaire of this on a board with no colors.

If you ignore the colors completely, then there is one opening move that player 2 can make that won't result in a forced loss. If both players know this, then the game is tic-tac-toe (no player can win). Otherwise, it's just a person who knows how to play tic-tac-toe exploiting a newer player.

Again, I like where your head is at, but if I can study this game and never lose and never have any variance after a little bit of analysis, some tweaking might be needed.

Edit: Here's a wrinkle that I just thought up (and absolutely have not tested at ALL. Could be garbage). Maybe when a player completely fills in one of the fun Tetris shapes, they immediately get an extra stone to place as a bonus. Thus, they can still stop the otherwise forced loss while gaining the additional board position that filling in the Tetris piece resulted in.

At the very least it might make definitively solving this game take more than an hour.
 
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Rey Alicea
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Ludus Rex wrote:
Try playing some solitaire of this on a board with no colors.

If you ignore the colors completely, then there is one opening move that player 2 can make that won't result in a forced loss. If both players know this, then the game is tic-tac-toe (no player can win). Otherwise, it's just a person who knows how to play tic-tac-toe exploiting a newer player.

Again, I like where your head is at, but if I can study this game and never lose and never have any variance after a little bit of analysis, some tweaking might be needed.

Edit: Here's a wrinkle that I just thought up (and absolutely have not tested at ALL. Could be garbage). Maybe when a player completely fills in one of the fun Tetris shapes, they immediately get an extra stone to place as a bonus. Thus, they can still stop the otherwise forced loss while gaining the additional board position that filling in the Tetris piece resulted in.

At the very least it might make definitively solving this game take more than an hour.


Thank you kindly Christopher for your help. This was the reason I joined BGG, so I could get some needed motivation and guidance.

So I've revised the board and the rules at the start of this thread. Take a look and please let me know what you think.

Cheers
 
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Christopher Markham
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Rey,

These updated rules are more like an entirely new game. I'll give you detailed feedback on this iteration a bit later (probably tomorrow).

My short term critique is that rules should be elegant and simple, and your .pdf is becoming a bit daunting.

I hope you don't mind, but I made some alterations to your original design. After a bit of testing, I find this version to be simple yet strategic.

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2Xtj-dMC-b9X0F4SElybWZnbUE/...

It's probably not infinite hours of enjoyment, but after some analysis I think it holds up as a light, abstract game.
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Rey Alicea
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Ludus Rex wrote:
Rey,

These updated rules are more like an entirely new game. I'll give you detailed feedback on this iteration a bit later (probably tomorrow).

My short term critique is that rules should be elegant and simple, and your .pdf is becoming a bit daunting.

I hope you don't mind, but I made some alterations to your original design. After a bit of testing, I find this version to be simple yet strategic.

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2Xtj-dMC-b9X0F4SElybWZnbUE/...

It's probably not infinite hours of enjoyment, but after some analysis I think it holds up as a light, abstract game.


Yeah I tend to write long and confusing rules, sorry about that. I'm going to need an editor at some point. The game is really easy to play I assure you.


Very cool redesign Christopher I like and I don't mind. Now the question is how would you like to be referred to in the credits.
 
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Rey Alicea
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I think we should call this version CIRQUE Jr.

I found a game by Nestor that is similar to CIRQUE Jr., it was published in 2010. Let me know what you think.

Domina 4
 
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Rey Alicea
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Hi Christopher hope you are well.

Here is a another pic of CIRQUE JR

 
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Christopher Markham
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Hey Rey, sorry for the slow turn around.

Here’s some feedback regarding CIRQUE, which I hope you will find useful:

In the new version of CIRQUE, your rules do not make it immediately clear how to determine which quadrant is which. I did figure out that the identifier was the number in the top center of each quadrant (could still be wrong), but only after scrutinizing your examples.

This game has strong similarities between Ultimate Tic-Tac-Toe, which is fresh in everyone’s mind because of the recent coverage of that game on the Penny Arcade report: http://www.penny-arcade.com/report/article/an-interesting-lo...

The primary difference is that in Ultimate Tic-Tac-Toe, you need to win the battle for each quadrant to ultimately win the game. In CIRQUE, you’re still playing connect 5. The problem with that? In a game of connect 5, the center of the board has the most value. As a result, no matter what quadrant I’m forced to play in as a result of my opponent’s second move, I choose the space in that quadrant that’s closest to the center of the board and my other pieces. I then place my second piece back near my other guys.

The center space rule seems different just for the sake of being different.

In this iteration, Player 1 not only gets to play just as many rings as Player 2, but now has the advantage of being able to place anywhere while Player 2 is forced to observe the quadrant rule. Player 2 is at a HUGE disadvantage here.

As before, the color based scoring seems an easily dismissible secondary consideration to the primary objective of the game, making it feel tacked on.

I don’t want to be dismissive of these ideas, as I really appreciate your exploration of abstract mechanics and your ability to put the work in, but this version of CIRQUE doesn’t seem to be very playable, in my opinion.


Regarding CIRQUE Jr.;

I’m not necessarily a huge fan of the name, as Jr. implies that it might be for kids. While it’s not really a super deep game, the subtle impact that the rules have on what would otherwise be a standard game of connect 5 will probably be lost on kids. It’s harder than it originally seems.

That being said, because CIRQUE Jr. does lack any form of variance/randomization, it’s probably not good for more than a dozen games, just to explore the mechanics. If you wanted to add longevity to it, changing the layout of the tetris pieces on the board does have a drastic impact on how it plays. This means that when you move these pieces, you have to test it very thoroughly for balance. For example, anyone who has scrutinized the current rules and board layout may have realized the extreme significance of the straight line pieces. They’re at the edge of the board for a reason.

Regarding Domina 4:

Domina 4 doesn’t really seem to have much to do with either of these games, aside from the look of the board. I also find that game to be a smidge imbalanced in favor of player 1, as player 2 has to react fairly immediately to the threat player 1 poses with their initial placements. And by fairly immediately, I mean player 2 MUST respond correctly with their very second move to avoid being forced out.

Hope that my opinions (which are not to be confused with Game Law) are in some way helpful, and keep fighting the good fight.
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Rey Alicea
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Hi Christopher, welcome back!

I want to thank you for all the input Chris, if you don't mind me calling you Chris.

Now onto the game:

Quote:
This game has strong similarities between Ultimate Tic-Tac-Toe, which is fresh in everyone’s mind because of the recent coverage of that game on the Penny Arcade report: http://www.penny-arcade.com/report/article/an-interesting-lo...


I wasn't aware of this, my inspiration came from Mark Steere's Scribe from 2006.

Quote:
In this iteration, Player 1 not only gets to play just as many rings as Player 2, but now has the advantage of being able to place anywhere while Player 2 is forced to observe the quadrant rule. Player 2 is at a HUGE disadvantage here.



Yep I agree with this observation, with further playtesting we ( my daughter and I) came to the same conclusion. I tried to fix it and made it worse, back to the drawing board.

Quote:
That being said, because CIRQUE Jr. does lack any form of variance/randomization, it’s probably not good for more than a dozen games, just to explore the mechanics. If you wanted to add longevity to it, changing the layout of the tetris pieces on the board does have a drastic impact on how it plays. This means that when you move these pieces, you have to test it very thoroughly for balance. For example, anyone who has scrutinized the current rules and board layout may have realized the extreme significance of the straight line pieces. They're at the edge of the board for a reason.


Now this Chris started the old juices flowing, I need to test this new idea out a bit for viability before posting. Will get back to you soon.

Thanks again
Rey





 
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