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Posts tagged game design

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Card game of hidden information and structured communication

This is a game of hidden information, structured communication and cooperation. To play you will need a standard deck of playing cards. The game is a modified version of Hanabi which is played with a custom deck of cards and tokens.

How to play

Remove aces and 2s from the deck. Place aces in a pile, face up. These are the information tokens, a form of in-game currency.

Place the 2s in a line at the center of the play space. All cards will be played on top of the 2s.

Shuffle the remaining cards. Deal each player (up-to 5 players) 5 cards, face down.

Once everyone has cards, lift cards. A player cannot ever look at their own hand! Players hold their cards so that all other players can see them, but so they cannot see their own cards.

Players now go around the circle, building ascending piles of cards by suit, starting from 2 working up.

During a turn a player can take 1 of 3 actions:

  1. Take an ace (information token) and use it to tell another player something about their hand
    • A player may only reveal information about suit or number. E.g., they can indicate that another player has 2 spades or may indicate that a player has 3 3s.
    • After revealing information the ace is discarded and is unusable until it is reactivated.
  2. Discard a card from their own hand, reactivating a previously discarded ace for another player to use.
  3. Play a card onto the play piles.

A player must always have 5 cards in their hand. After playing a card, or discarding a card, a player draws another card from the remainder of the deck.

Cards that have been discarded to reactive an ace cannot be played and are removed from the game space.

If the draw pile is empty, continue playing until either everyone runs out of cards, or no moves can be made. Play is over when no moves can be made.

The game has a soft win-state, where you determine by how much the group won by how many piles they successfully create, 2 - king.


WikiJousting is a competitive sport where 2 or more individuals race to reach a target page. Whomever reaches the target page in the fewest steps wins the joust.

Players competing in a Wikijoust (or just a joust”) are known as either players or as knights.”

How to play

Visit Wikipedia (this document uses the English language version of Wikipedia as example, but there is no reason not to use another language locale).

Designate 1 knight (perhaps the winner of the last bout) to select the target page. They can choose a specific page, or they can use the Random Article link to choose a target at random.

Once the target page is decided all knights click the Random Article link — from there, the knights progress through to the target.

Once the target is reached all knights review their browser histories to count up the number of pages that were navigated through to reach the target page.

Example play

Sarah and Ricardo are the knights.

Ricardo clicks Random Article to generate the target page. The resulting page is the entry for Joan of Arc.

Ricardo and Sarah agree on the target page and each click the Random Article link again to start the joust.

Sarah’s first page is Polish Village, from there they click Poland > Member States of the EU > France > Joan of Arc.

Ricardo’s first page is Songlines, from there they click Bruce Chatwin > West Riding Of Yorkshire > Southern England > EU Parliament Constitution > Member State of the EU > France > Joan of Arc.

Sarah wins the joust!

Link logging

Bulletin Butter and Jelly

If I set up a BBS would you want in? What would you want to BBS about?”

Texting Means Never Having to Say Goodbye

I thought about the last time I’d actually typed ttfn. I imagine it was at least 18 years ago, on my family’s Gateway desktop during the era of dial-up AOL. And then I realized I couldn’t remember the last time I said g2g,” or even bye,” in an online conversation.

The medium is the message, and the message is nearly always deliverable. So easy to be alone when you can’t ever be apart. Never say good bye,” but are you then always alone?

Go! Make a game — play a game.

Report on Anthem’s development woes draws terse response from BioWare

Also see Jack de Quidt on this.

here’s the wild thing that it feels almost impossible to say in the games industry: the game doesn’t mean shit! it’s lights and colours! it’s nice to play one and it’s nice to make a good one, sure

but — and i mean this very sincerely — if the production of the object ruins the lives and health of the people making it, the object doesn’t mean shit! what — you shipped a fun mech game? or a good cowboy game? great. who’s taking medical leave?

All games are a mess

I love that strange homemade games like The Frogs Of War and Legacy Of The Golden Hammer exist, these unpolished mishmashes of ideas and design as a form of creative expression. Enjoying these games is a way to enjoy all games, to accept that everything is from the same cloth, a different flawed piece of creativity, a different glimpse into what can be created.

On Flooding: Drowning the Culture in Sameness

And how much discovery can there be, really, with the same critics occupying the same space?

Hard left turn to allow me to insert a different conversation/question at this point on algorithmic curation.

Does algorithmic curation cutout the human element in what would elsewise be an artistic effort of mixing, or does it simply push the person a little further away — algorithm programmer as space builder, and us the viewing audience” as participant in a shared effort of consumptive curation…

So, you know, Derrida?



Also see @kicks on roundups. (Thanks for the link-love, btw! (I enjoy collecting things, and this exercise is a good way of scratching that itch. My favorite part of collecting is making the collage at the end — by putting disparate things in proximity to one another making a new thing. These posts are my trying to do that. If you are interested in the unfiltered stream oh-links that are eventually paired down to become this, check out my profile on

Why there is so little left of the early internet

Sometimes the sites that are lost echo even more seismic changes; the deaths and births of nations themselves. It happened with Yugoslavia; .yu was the top-level domain for Yugoslavia, and that ended when it collapsed. There’s a researcher who is trying to rebuild what was there before the break-up,” she says.

Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System

Parameters are dead last on my list of powerful interventions. Diddling with the details, arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Probably 90, no 95, no 99 percent of our attention goes to parameters, but there’s not a lot of leverage in them.

Can we truly think about climate change at all?

Object Oriented Ontology says no. Enter the Hyperobjects.”

Make it hard to screw up driven development

This is the request web dev resources link.