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Re: The next Nomopoly (or Nomic something)...

by Le Roc at 09/10/05 9:24 AM

I thought I might add my own thoughts here to the mix.
I'm not quite certain how Mao-opoly would work. If players are allowed to propose rules and players can't know what rules are in place I don't see what would allow the game to run for any more then 1 rule cycle. It would seem to me the game would come down to a race to see whom could add an exploitable rule and exploit it first... But I wasn't in Nomopoly 1 and I haven't read over the log. So I will assume that that works in some way.

Unless the board is very very long I expect that Nomic S+L would be a pretty short game. Though that could be fun too. Maybe we end up playing a few rounds of N S+L before moving on to a different form.

Nomic Risk II well I'm personally not that fond of risk, I tend to sort of find it actually un-strategic. It always feels to me when I play it that it comes down to luck to often unless you have huge battles which take forever to run through. Though the game isn't bad with a computer handling the rolling. With the Nomic aspect going this could be fun though.

Civ Nomic well if Jeff is up to handling writing all the back end for this (which isn't any small feat I'd guess) I'd be game. I like Civ but haven't played much in a while. I can sort of picture how this would work though a website but wow... it just seems like a crazy amount of work and I think I'd rather play something then end up hearing Jeff has failed out of university/been fired from his job due to attempting to take on an insurmountable challenge.

Grid Nomic I would be interested in. I never proposed it but I had a rule in place for being able to move in 2d for Nomopoly 3. The math gets a little silly with the snaking back and forth of the board but I think I had manage to pull it off properly. This would be pretty trivial for Jeff to program (I think) given the base from Nomopoly 3 and would bring a slightly different flavor to the game.

Nomic RPG I like this one a lot. Though basically its Grid Nomic with a whole bunch of base rules thrown in. Maybe it would be easiest to just start with Grid Nomic and call it Nomic RPG and let us work out everything else... Maybe include some kind of basic combat system, but really once you have the rules for combat down you have pretty much a whole RPG. I don't know if it would be possible to learn about it but the old CCG Animayhem might be worth wild to look into for some ideas of how to handle things. I'm not saying copy it but despite all of its short comings in many ways (I played this game so yea, I know) there were some good ideas in it.

Nomic-Shogi/Chess/Xian qi (I'm not sure which game this last one is, I expect its what I know as Chinese Chess but never mind that I'll assume its fundamentally similar to the other games). This is an interesting idea but unless I'm mistaken all of these games share the principle that they are intended mostly to be played by 2 people. I have seen of (but not played) a 4 player chess game. I was told the game tends to not be so fun because its usually pretty easy to eliminate one person very quickly with two people attacking them. If we have even more people then this becomes all the more of a problem I would expect. Though if the initial piece set for say Nomi-Shogi consists of merely a king maybe this could work (especially since in Shogi you can add pieces back onto the board or in this case add the pieces proposed into the board).
Maybe some type of Nomic Go could be interesting and would be fairly strait forward Go having only 5 rules to it. Though how Go would be played with 8-10 people is something of a mystery to me.

Nomic: The Gathering. I really like this idea too, and I think it would be really fun to play in person. However, in this kind of an environment I see some real problems with it. The key one is that Magic is a very interactive game, with people responding to other peoples actions with instant effects. The official rules to magic handle instants in this fashion: (please feel free to skip down to where it says "The game continues...")

Player A is the active player. Players B, C and D are also playing. It will be B's turn after A's turn is done, then C's , then D's, etc. A and C are allies and B and D are allies.
It is A's first main phase. The stack is empty and A has priority. A plays a 1/1 goblin with haste for R, he taps a mountain for the mana and the goblin goes onto the stack. Then A gets priority and passes. Then B gets priority and passes. Then C gets priority and passes. Finally, D gets priority and decides he doesn't like the goblin so plays a counterspell tapping two islands. There is now two spells on the stack first the counterspell then the goblin. A is once again given priority. A passes, B passes. C, A's ally, comes to the goblins aid and also plays counterspell countering the first counterspell and tapping two Islands. A then is once again given priority. A passes, B passes, C passes, and D passes. Now that all players have passes in order the top of the stack can resolve. The spell is removed from the stack and since its a counterspell the counterspell D played is also removed. Then A is given priority. A passes, B passes, C passes, and D passes as well. The goblin now being the top spell is removed from the stack and put into play under A's control. A is now once again given priority. Having no spells to play A passes, B passes, C passes, D passes. Since all players have passed and there are no spells to resolve the phase ends.
Next up is combat. First precombat: player A is given priority, everybody passes. The phase ends.
Next, since its player A's turn he is given the opportunity to declare attackers. He declares that the Goblin he just cast will attack B. Steps happen to make sure this is all legal, which it is. Then A is given priority. Again everybody passes.
Next B declares defenders. B has no creatures so he declares no blockers. Then player A is given priority. He plays Giant Growth on the goblin to give it +3/+3, he taps one green mana and puts the spell onto the stack. Then A is given priority. A passes, B passes, C passes. D who is B's ally doesn't like this so he decides to cast lightning bolt on the goblin. He puts the lightning bolt onto the stack and taps one red mana. Then A is given priority, everybody passes. The lightning bolt resolves and the goblin and the lightning bolt are moved into their owner's graveyards. Then A is given priority. Again everybody passes. So the giant growth tries to resolve, but the goblin it targeted no longer exists so the spell fizzles. A is given priority, everybody passes.
The game continues....

Ok, so the point of this very long section of text is to say that every person is given the opportunity to pass a ridiculously huge number of times. Basically they have to pass or do something after every single action any player ever proposes plus about once for every phase of the game in each player's turn. If we were to try to play this way on a website we would each need to log in at the right time to likely merely say pass. I think this would make the game unbearably slow.
Now if you actually managed to read all the way through that discussion and do not actually know magic (I am impressed with your gumption) I will tell you I haven't ever heard of people actually playing this way. Mostly, people give people a short amount of time in which they can respond or make some kind of sound or gesture that they need time to work out what they will do, if the other person (or people) make no such action then it is assumed that they passed. This also causes problems since a fair amount of time to respond on a website would be a day, and having to wait a day between simple actions like taping an elf for mana, then tapping another elf, to un-tap the first elf, to once again tap the first elf for mana, would also rapidly get annoying if there is a 1 day lag between each action and with elf style decks they can end up taking very large numbers of actions.
In a real game of Magic if the playing slowly principle fails for whatever reason then usually people resort to a system of backing the game up. This can be difficult to program, unless you can easily save the state of the whole game. Though this might be the best way to actually try to handle this if people really want to.
Now this whole element could be eliminated with the removal of all instant speed effects. Allowing for only sorceries, artifacts, lands, and creatures, but this really changes magic a lot.
Also I'm curious if turns would be forced into a sequential mode (as per normal in Magic) or if they would be more simultaneous like in Nomopoly.
I think this game would be really fun to play in person but it has real issues in this environment. Also this would involve a fair deal of programming before the game could start on Jeff's part.

Well thats what I think about the various ideas so far presented. I may add some of my own ideas at some point but this post is really really long already so I think I will bring it to a close. I think I would enjoy any and or all of the presented games though I'm concerned about the amount of work Jeff might have to put into some of these. Though maybe if the games started if in an absolutely primitive fashion (civ with only 1 city and warriors and no technologies, magic involving only land and health, chess with only kings, or risk with well I can't think of how to really simplify risk to something that would be "trivial" to program) maybe what might be even difficult games could become decent to program. Also this has the added advantage of giving us more control over how the game shapes up. I'm all for having as few base rules as is possible. Personally I'd dump money and any sort of initial win condition from Nomopoly and start with people merely going around a board forever, but I'm not the one setting these games up so really my views aren't so important.
Anyways if you have read over this thank you for doing so.