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Author Topic: Interview with Donald X.  (Read 2159554 times)

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Teproc

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1200 on: April 01, 2014, 11:52:02 am »
0

Fun + objective = game.

I think that's all that's necessary?

Possibly necessary, but certainly not sufficient. Going for a jog isn't a game for example. Or watching a film with friends. Or many other examples of things that are both fun, have objectives and aren't games.

In fact I don't even think those two are necessary. Monopoly is a game and only satisfies one of the conditions.

I thing "aiming to be fun" is a better wording for it. Some people truly find Monopoly fun, even actual gamers, much to my constant surprise.
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Axxle

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1201 on: April 01, 2014, 01:18:55 pm »
+3

I find monopoly fun if you play it with the right attitude and group.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1202 on: April 01, 2014, 01:21:31 pm »
0

For me, monopoly is the type of game where I play it every couple of years with one specific person.  We both made that realization at the same time.
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SirPeebles

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1203 on: April 01, 2014, 01:45:11 pm »
+10

Have you ever considered partnering with Hasbro to publish a Dominion themed Monopoly?  I bet my mom would buy me it for Christmas.

Edit:  or a Monopoly promo!

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In games using this, you may gain a Go from the Go pile whenever you shuffle your deck.
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allanfieldhouse

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1204 on: April 01, 2014, 03:06:35 pm »
+1

I just wanted to throw this out there since the discussion of Monopoly came up: http://www.criticalmiss.com/issue10/CampaignRealMonopoly1.html
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soulnet

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1205 on: April 01, 2014, 03:14:10 pm »
+2

I just wanted to throw this out there since the discussion of Monopoly came up: http://www.criticalmiss.com/issue10/CampaignRealMonopoly1.html

I have read this several times in the past, and in my childhood, I actually played the "real" version most often than not. I still think its an awful game.
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Ozle

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1206 on: April 01, 2014, 03:19:41 pm »
+3

I just wanted to throw this out there since the discussion of Monopoly came up: http://www.criticalmiss.com/issue10/CampaignRealMonopoly1.html

Haha, it basically says blame the parents for monopoly being a crap game.

No, in afraid it's still crap. Getting rid of the extraneous rules like free parking and no auctions and stuff doesn't solve any of its fundamental flaws unfortunately.

Monopoly and risk are why most people of my generation hardly play board games in the UK
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1207 on: April 01, 2014, 03:58:25 pm »
+3

Monopoly and risk are why most people of my generation hardly play board games in the UK

Or anywhere. Risk is kinda fun though, it just goes on forever (whereas Monopoly goes on forever AND isn't fun).
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1208 on: April 01, 2014, 05:36:47 pm »
+11

Quote
Go
$0* Treasure

Worth $2


In games using this, you may gain a Go from the Go pile whenever you shuffle your deck.
(This is not in the Supply)
Dude, "pass" is a rules-defined term and everything. "When you pass Go, gain a Silver."

People take the wrong lesson from Monopoly. It's an awful game (actual rules or not), and gamers see, here's this game that sucks because it gives you automatic decisions and can take hours and has player elimination and politics. And people trying to cash in on Monopoly see, here's this game where you roll-and-move, that must be good. So roll-and-move is associated strongly with awful games, enough that you don't want to ever use that mechanic, even though there's nothing wrong with it otherwise.

But the real lesson is, Monopoly is a successful game, because of the fun things in it (well these days because of nostalgia, but you know, originally). You roll dice, that's fun, you draw cards, that's fun. You gain control of properties on the board and can build them up, that's great. You care what happens when it's not your turn.

As many have pointed out, Settlers of Catan is essentially a fixed Monopoly. You build up your stuff. Every turn someone rolls the dice and you might gain stuff. There are cards to draw. There's trading. Settlers fixes some of the huge problems but of course is still an exercise in voting on who wins.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1209 on: April 01, 2014, 10:28:32 pm »
+3

As many have pointed out, Settlers of Catan is essentially a fixed Monopoly. You build up your stuff. Every turn someone rolls the dice and you might gain stuff. There are cards to draw. There's trading. Settlers fixes some of the huge problems but of course is still an exercise in voting on who wins.

And now I have finally learned why I hate Settlers so passionately.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1210 on: April 02, 2014, 10:43:12 am »
+1

Well if we compare performances, that's a competition. I guess it's fair to say that attitude is relevant; sometimes "race you to that tree" is a game, and sometimes there is a bear after us.

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Polk5440

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1211 on: April 02, 2014, 11:53:26 am »
+1

I love playing Monopoly. There. I said it.

The biggest problem I have with it is marketing: it shouldn't be billed as a "family game." Being able to evaluate and offer mutually acceptable trades and bidding well in auctions is difficult -- if the kids can't handle it, then it's not going to be a fun time. Hence all the house rules that add luck and money making the game go on forever. It's also not a good game for older and younger children to play together for the same reason.

Most modern games "fix" Monopoly by focusing on either an auction mechanic or a trade mechanic because it is a lot to do both. Catan "fixes" Monopoly in this way: no auctions and a vastly reduced trading space, making it much easier to make and evaluate offers.

I don't mind a little politics in some of the games I play. It's a way of adding variety: how the game should be played depends on the people you are playing with (rather than, say, just the kingdom). It can also add strategic depth: how you go about winning matters.

Donald, do you have a favorite "political game" or are you against politics in games generally?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1212 on: April 02, 2014, 05:03:24 pm »
+7

I don't mind a little politics in some of the games I play. It's a way of adding variety: how the game should be played depends on the people you are playing with (rather than, say, just the kingdom). It can also add strategic depth: how you go about winning matters.

Donald, do you have a favorite "political game" or are you against politics in games generally?
Politics removes variety, in that it makes a game play like every other political game.

Back when, my anti-politics speech focused on, I just don't enjoy spending the evening moaning, "don't trade with Tom, he's going to win, look he's just about to get the longest road." Richard Garfield's anti-politics speech focused on, all political games are the same game. In his (co-written) book, they look at the things you want to be good at to be good at a political game, and then note that this just stays constant as we shift the games. Or, back to me, once controlling someone else's turn with your voice is as profitable as doing your own thing, that's that, we are spending the evening arguing about who should win.

Back when we discussed this stuff, Richard was not so much anti-politics as he was anti- making political games. He'd had fun playing political games, trying to work out whether he should try to come in second so the kingmaker could show their power, or first so they could show how fair they were, and so on. But that experience would be close enough between political games that there was no point making more, you were just making that game again. Whereas I just never enjoyed politics. It's fair to note that the game designer is at a disadvantage there. "Man who should we gang up on. Donald X., right? I mean he made the game, he must know what he's doing."

Politics is about picking opponents (generally, to hurt). I have various tricks to reduce politics (like, you always hurt everyone). But you never get rid of the politics completely (like, this says "hurt them all" but in this situation it really only hurts one of them). Politics is a consequence of having 3+ players/teams, decisions, and player interaction (besides comparing final scores). All you can do is mute it. And well I mute it as much as I can, to the point where I feel like it's way more important to be good at the game then good at politics, where I'm not spending the evening trying to convince people to do things that are good for both of us. I tolerate the remaining politics and still prefer multiplayer games, even though 2-player games eliminate the politics.
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blueblimp

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1213 on: April 02, 2014, 05:09:25 pm »
0

Politics is about picking opponents (generally, to hurt).
Are there games where most of the politics are around choosing who to help, rather than hurt? That might have a significantly different feel than other political games, if only because of a more positive vibe. In a game like Settlers, even when you're helping someone (by trading), most of the politics is around other people trying to convince you to hurt the other player by not making the trade.
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scott_pilgrim

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1214 on: April 02, 2014, 06:01:31 pm »
+2

Have you tried "Quo Vadis?" by Reiner Knizia?  It's very simple and elegant and strips out everything but the politics.  It's probably the game that convinced me that not all political games have to be bad.

For me there's several big problems with political games:

1. Players have to choose between building up their meta and probably winning more games with the same crowd in the future, versus winning this game now.  What I mean by that is, I tell you I'm going to do something, and now it's advantageous for me not to do it, do I hold to my promise anyway because maybe players will trust me more in future games I play with them, or do I break my promise so I can win this game.  I hate this because it brings outside considerations into the game, like "am I likely to play more political games with this group".

Quo Vadis? solves this with binding promises.  If you say you're going to do something, you have to do it, so there's no meta to worry about.

2. Players always choose to go after the current winner.  Maybe some people find this fun, trying to slog their way to victory while everyone's going after them, but I don't know, it just seems really frustrating, and in a lot of cases (like Settlers of Catan or Risk) it means players are just voting on a winner, and if we wanted to play vote on a winner, man why did we spend hours moving pieces on a board.  Also in many cases it means the game never ends with optimal play, I feel like I've played games of Risk where power just rotates and it's always player A vs. everyone, then player B vs. everyone, etc., and there's never a point at which it's optimal to rebel and go into free-for-all mode because that just mean whoever is in power now wins.

I think Quo Vadis? attempts to solve this with hidden VP, which is nice I guess but I don't really like it because in reality it just rewards players with a good memory.  It may still have the "vote for a winner" problem occasionally, I haven't played it enough to know if that's an issue, but I like that it at least attempts to solve it.



I don't think political games have to be bad, but I think most of the ones that exist are bad either because of one of the problems above, or because they weren't meant to be political, and the politics are just a consequence of badly designed mechanics.  And given that Quo Vadis? exists I don't think I'll ever play another political game and think that it doesn't just boil down to Quo Vadis? with lots of bells and whistles.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1215 on: April 02, 2014, 06:09:46 pm »
+6

I don't see Settlers as "voting on a winner".  Early on, you can't really say who is the clearly winning (especially because of the dice rolling).  Later in the game, I find that players just become a lot stingier about trading.  Ways to actively hurt others are limited, so the politics is mostly in making the trade sweet enough that the other player can't pass on it.  Usually it's more of a grind to the top and seeing who gets lucky with the dice rather than voting for a winner.  YMMV though, of course.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1216 on: April 02, 2014, 06:10:21 pm »
+1

Or what do you think about the board game Diplomacy, if you're familiar? That was always one of my favorites, and it leans very heavily on the politics. Leads to some grudges sometimes, but my friends and I played the heck out of it in high school.
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SirPeebles

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1217 on: April 02, 2014, 06:18:02 pm »
+3

I don't see Settlers as "voting on a winner".  Early on, you can't really say who is the clearly winning (especially because of the dice rolling).  Later in the game, I find that players just become a lot stingier about trading.  Ways to actively hurt others are limited, so the politics is mostly in making the trade sweet enough that the other player can't pass on it.  Usually it's more of a grind to the top and seeing who gets lucky with the dice rather than voting for a winner.  YMMV though, of course.

I suppose it depends on the dynamics in your gaming group.  Oftentimes when I play, every will decide to gang up on one person who "always wins" or who "won last time".  It is very much possible for a couple players to collude against you in Settlers, trapping you in with roads and refusing the trade with you.
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eHalcyon

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1218 on: April 02, 2014, 06:36:35 pm »
0

I don't see Settlers as "voting on a winner".  Early on, you can't really say who is the clearly winning (especially because of the dice rolling).  Later in the game, I find that players just become a lot stingier about trading.  Ways to actively hurt others are limited, so the politics is mostly in making the trade sweet enough that the other player can't pass on it.  Usually it's more of a grind to the top and seeing who gets lucky with the dice rather than voting for a winner.  YMMV though, of course.

I suppose it depends on the dynamics in your gaming group.  Oftentimes when I play, every will decide to gang up on one person who "always wins" or who "won last time".  It is very much possible for a couple players to collude against you in Settlers, trapping you in with roads and refusing the trade with you.

Ahh, well, we tended not to hold grudges.  Sometimes people would band together within one game when one player's win seems to be inevitable, pooling resources into the second place player to see if they can unseat the clear leader.  But if it succeeds, we recognize the previous leader as the symbolic victor.

We haven't played Settlers in many years though.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1219 on: April 02, 2014, 07:19:59 pm »
+4

To me political games seem to be different, probably because of who I play with. My group tends to play with victory in mind. There is no need to play "meta" in Settlers because I trust the other players to also be playing to win. I offer a great deal in  Settlers, and you're going to pass on it simply because you don't like me or because I won the last game? That person is actively ruining the game by playing to lose and won't be invited back next time.

Also political games are more social. If you are capable of not just yelling at each other, then there is more room for conversation during the game. Dominion just doesn't have that dynamic.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1220 on: April 02, 2014, 07:48:35 pm »
+1

I don't see Settlers as "voting on a winner".  Early on, you can't really say who is the clearly winning (especially because of the dice rolling).  Later in the game, I find that players just become a lot stingier about trading.  Ways to actively hurt others are limited, so the politics is mostly in making the trade sweet enough that the other player can't pass on it.  Usually it's more of a grind to the top and seeing who gets lucky with the dice rather than voting for a winner.  YMMV though, of course.
It's been a while since I lost at Catan, even though people usually team up against me for that reason, and usually when I lose, afterwards I can tell that there were obvious mistakes that I made (that weren't politics-related).
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1221 on: April 02, 2014, 07:57:36 pm »
0

Are there games where most of the politics are around choosing who to help, rather than hurt? That might have a significantly different feel than other political games, if only because of a more positive vibe. In a game like Settlers, even when you're helping someone (by trading), most of the politics is around other people trying to convince you to hurt the other player by not making the trade.
Generally, picking who to help instead of who to hurt is a way to reduce politics; you try to help the loser and hey they still don't win. Everyone wants to be the one helped and so there's no common ground (whereas everyone but the leader wants you to hurt the leader). I think some games do focus on it.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1222 on: April 02, 2014, 08:02:37 pm »
+2

Have you tried "Quo Vadis?" by Reiner Knizia?  It's very simple and elegant and strips out everything but the politics.  It's probably the game that convinced me that not all political games have to be bad.
I have not played Quo Vadis. I think "hidden VP" that was briefly visible is a poor way to address politics. It conceivably can at least shorten the last turn when a game has the long-last-turn issue (now everything is known, I can do all this math, wait while I do it). "Hidden VP" when it means, you don't actually know their score, is better; again though, that can accomplish things for you, but "getting rid of politics" isn't one of them without other stuff doing the real work.

There are people who like political games, and it's fine that they like them. I don't like them personally, and I don't need to make them, other people are getting them made.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1223 on: April 02, 2014, 08:18:52 pm »
+2

I don't see Settlers as "voting on a winner".
It's shorthand, a terse way to sum up what's going on. When you put the robber on Tom's bricks rather than my ore, due to my successful campaign (my slogan was "Tom's winning"), that's a vote for me. It doesn't feel like a vote for me; it feels like a vote against Tom. You don't want Tom to win. I don't either but so what? Really though, you were picking one of us to hose, and picked him; it's a victory for me over Tom. Your goal wasn't to pick me as the winner, your goal was to win yourself, and hurting Tom appeared to further that. But if you don't actually win, then what you did was contribute to the race between me and Tom.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1224 on: April 02, 2014, 08:19:17 pm »
0

Or what do you think about the board game Diplomacy, if you're familiar? That was always one of my favorites, and it leans very heavily on the politics. Leads to some grudges sometimes, but my friends and I played the heck out of it in high school.
I have not played Diplomacy. As an outsider it looked overly complicated.
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