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Piecepack Game Design Competition (Ludic Synergy)

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  • Ron Hale-Evans
    Announcing the Summer 2002 piecepack Game Design Competition! Theme: Ludic Synergy Closes: 21 June 2002 (Summer Solstice, two months from today)
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 21, 2002
      Announcing the Summer 2002 piecepack Game Design Competition!

      Theme: Ludic Synergy
      Closes: 21 June 2002 (Summer Solstice, two months from today)
      Winner TBA: 13 July 2002 (approx. three weeks later)
      Prize: Complete set of games from tjgames.com, piecepack pyramids,
      Mesomorph 2nd ed. piecepack with rules CD-ROM, and
      Trophy Cloth
      Sponsors: Center for Ludic Synergy, Mesomorph Games,
      and tjgames.com
      Judges: Marty and Ron Hale-Evans


      The theme for the Summer 2002 competition is Ludic Synergy. The prize
      will be awarded to the game that best melds the piecepack
      <http://www.piecepack.org/> with another commonly available game
      system in a fun and interesting way. (A game system is a set of
      components that function together in multiple games, much like the

      One good example of a game that melds two game systems is Jim
      Doherty's game Baseball <http://www.piecepack.org/rules/Baseball.pdf>,
      which unites the piecepack and a standard deck of cards. Other
      examples of game systems that can be melded with a piecepack set
      include chess pieces and chessboards, polyhedral dice, alphabet decks
      (such as Alpha Playing Cards), and dominoes.

      For more information about the concept of ludic synergy, see the
      homepage of the Center for Ludic Synergy <http://www.ludism.org/>.

      THE PRIZE:

      The prizes for this contest are:

      1. A complete set of games from tjgames.com
      <http://www.tjgames.com/>, including the following:

      * Alpha Playing Cards game system, with rulebook
      * The HexGames game system
      * Colvmn game
      * Mutant Chess

      2. Two sets of piecepack pyramids, handmade by Tim Schutz.

      3. A second edition piecepack from Mesomorph Games
      <http://www.mesomorph.com/>, including an up-to-date CD-ROM of
      piecepack rules.

      4. The Trophy Cloth: a card-table-sized tablecloth with a colour
      piecepack suit emblem machine-embroidered on each side of the
      table. The winner will sign and date the cloth in fabric paint,
      then pass the cloth on when the winner of the next quarterly
      contest is announced.


      1. Your game entry must incorporate another readily available game
      system as well as the piecepack, as outlined above. "Readily
      available" means that the game system must be either in the public
      domain, like a chess set, or easily obtained, such as an Icehouse
      set. An obscure, out-of-print game system such as Orion
      <http://www.ludism.org/orion/>, however interesting, doesn't

      2. For the purposes of this contest, Tim Schutz's piecepack pyramids
      will be considered a separate game system from the piecepack, so
      entries that use only the piecepack and piecepack pyramids are

      3. Submit your entry to Ron Hale-Evans at rwhe@.... The
      submission must reach Ron by the end of 21 June 2002 Pacific Time
      (-0800 GMT). (If you do not receive an acknowledgment of your
      entry in email within 24 hours, please check with Ron to make sure
      he received it.)

      4. The entry must be either in platform-independent PDF format (for
      example, it must print under GNU/Linux and the Mac OS as well as
      Microsoft Windows), or plain text (with accompanying PNGs, JPGs, or
      GIFs if needed for diagrams/photos).

      5. The submission must be freely redistributable (feel free to retain

      6. The submission must have a header containing fields for Title,
      Version Number, Version Date, Number of Players, Approximate Length
      of Game, Equipment Needed, Author, Copyright, and Licensing

      7. Ideally, the winner of this contest will judge the next quarterly
      piecepack game design contest (Fall 2002) and will donate an
      interesting prize. However, this is not a requirement for entry,
      and if you win, but don't want to judge the next contest, we'll

      8. The winner will also receive the piecepack contest Trophy Cloth,
      then pass it on to the winner of the next contest in due time.


      We will judge the entries according to what we find most interesting
      and fun, in a wholly subjective way. However, if you want to play to
      the judges, we usually like games that:

      1. Play in two hours or less.

      2. Use the unique strengths of the piecepack as well as the strengths
      of the other game system(s) melded with it (for example, a standard
      deck of cards plus poker chips should not be easily substituted for
      the piecepack part of the game).

      3. Combine the game systems in a non-trivial way.

      4. Have rules that are quick to read and easy to remember.

      5. Have a well-integrated theme or background story.

      6. Incorporate novel mechanics, especially novel piecepack mechanics.
      For example, see James Kyle's comments
      <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/piecepack/message/342> on the novel
      mechanics of Brad Johnson's game Conspiracy, which was entered in
      the Spring 2002 "Time Marches On" competition. We hope the
      competitions will spur piecepack game designers to develop a
      "pattern language" or "bag of tricks" for the piecepack.

      7. Incorporate strategic and/or tactical thinking, and are not merely
      games of chance. It is best when the game's strategy and tactics
      emerge elegantly from relatively simple rules.

      8. Are not only freely-redistributable (a definite requirement), but
      also freely-modifiable. In our opinion, the best way to make your
      game free is to place it under the GNU Free Documentation License
      <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/fdl.html>, but there are numerous
      other free licenses.


      If you are planning to judge the next contest, have an idea ready
      about the theme of the contest _you_ will be judging well ahead of
      time. We dithered for days about what our theme was going to be.
      Also, feel free to crib from this document for your own contest
      announcement, as we have cribbed from James's original:

      Ron Hale-Evans ... rwhe@... & rwhe@...
      Center for Ludic Synergy, Seattle Cosmic Game Night,
      Kennexions Glass Bead Game & Positive Revolution FAQ: http://www.ludism.org/
      Home page & Hexagram-8 I Ching Mailing List: http://www.apocalypse.org/~rwhe/
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