Re: The next Nomopoly (or Nomic something)...
at 09/10/05 6:30 PM
When I'm developing a new game or initial ruleset, I usually use the following criteria for evaluating the workability of the game:
- Fun. (Why else are you playing?)
- New players can join in the middle of the game. (The game may not be that popular at first)
- Players can quit the game at any time without ruining it for everyone else. (And if we lose too many players, all the more reason for the previous goal to be true)
- Immediate response to an action by players is not neccesary. (If someone does something that requires a reaction by another player, the game should still be able to continue while we wait for that player)
- I can handle it. (Without the admin keeping up, the game won't really go anywhere)
- Players don't have to invest huge amounts of time to play. (Minimal sign-in rate of twice per week is generally my goal)
With that said, here are my comments on what we have so far:
- Nomic Snakes and Ladders: Would be extremely simple to make, and has the door wide open for a game consisting of pretty much anything. The board would likely be at least 1000 squares to keep the game going for a while.
- Nomic Risk: The first Nomic Risk wasn't really that great, simply due to the fact that I couldn't think of a way to take turns simultaneously in a play-by-email setting. Given that, players would often spend up to two weeks on a turn, with a constant loop of requests such as "do this, show me the results". With the live web-based setting, this game might be more feasible. As for the minimal initial ruleset, in Nomic Risk I the map was 19 hexes, each player started with 1 unit in 1 hex, and there was no attacking/cards/anything else in the initlal ruleset.
- Mao-opoly: Obviously this would have to be an Imperial Nomic where I unilaterally decide what proposals are accepted (players can't exactly vote on proposals they aren't allowed to see. Or can they...?) The general idea here is: players make proposals, I pick the ones that don't suck, and I implement them into the game. Players are informed when a new rule is implemented, but are not told what it is. In general, all actions are public, so you can see the results of other player's actions. For example, you see the following input box:What does it do? Only one way to find out!
- CivNomic: I've been tinkering with this idea for a long time now. My initial ruleset would consist of "frameworks" for units, buildings, wonders, etc. that would simply describe the required information for defining the unit/building/wonder (kind of like the spells proposal in Nomopoly III). The settler unit would be defined initially, and each player would have one to start the game, and the players take it from there. It would be the coolest Nomic in the history of the universe, but I'd most likely either go crazy running it, or the game would have to go so slowly that it wouldn't be much fun.
- Grid Nomic: Funny you should mention that. I have actually been thinking about a ruleset with a similar idea:
It would be a cool game, but we would have to use the old play-by-email system (I can't see any possible way to program this).
- Start with a 2 dimensional grid of some size (say 10x10), and all players start at the origin (0,0).
- Each player starts with 0 points.
- Taking a turn consists of rolling two dice, with one die moving you in the x direction, the other in the y direction (wrapping at the edges).
- When you make a proposal and it is accepted, the new rule is not global, but instead it has a "circle of influence" centered on your current location. The radius of the circle could be a function of the results of voting (so a unanimous acceptance could be a radius of 8, an acceptance with a margin of 1 vote could be radius 1, and all other values scaled accordingly). So each square on the board would essentially have its own ruleset, and at all times, a player must abide by the ruleset of his current square.
- If a paradox occurs in a ruleset (and it most likely will), then the square containing the paradox is destroyed.
- If the origin ever gets destroyed, the game ends and the winner is the player with the most points.
- NomicRPG: A neat idea, but given any Nomic base ruleset, the game could have a push in an RPG direction with a few proposals (Nomopoly III seemed to have a start this way with experience/levels/hit points/spells).
- Nogi/Ness/Nomic Qi: Also interesting, but would need a workable ruleset for multiple players to play. (Nomic with 2 players would suck). Also, would players be able to join/leave the game in the middle?
- Nomic: The Gathering: As Le Roc said, this would probably be best played as an in-person table game. There's too much action/reaction stuff that wouldn't work in the online setting.