10 new games on the Piecepack Wiki

I’ve added 10 new games to the Games page on the Piecepack Wiki for
your enjoyment.


The first seven games were entries in the Good Portsmanship contest
that neither I nor the games’ authors have ever made public before:

* Croquet for piecepack, by Dan Smith, ports Croquet
* Globular Cluster, by Michael Schoessow and Stephen Schoessow, ports
Tikal (3rd place)
* Human Harvest, by Todd Krause, ports Atta Ants
* Pub sCrawl, by Jonathan Dietrich, ports Senet
* Shopping Mall, by Michael Schoessow and Stephen Schoessow, ports
MarraCash (2nd place)
* Sonic Bio-Mutants in Space!, by Jonathan Dietrich, ports Holiday
* Temple of Gold, by Jorge Arroyo, ports Goldland

I also added the following two games by Sean Anthony Brady. They were
available from his blog, so some people may already be familiar with

* The Royal Feast and the Court Jester
* Welcome to GEM

And the following game’s rules were written directly on the wiki —
and the author, George Harnish, is looking for collaborators — but it
was never added to the Games page. Looks fun! I wonder what other gems
are buried in the wiki…

* Piecepack Conquers the World

I’ve also been playing with duplicating some of the functionality of
the old Category pages with built-in Oddmuse features. For example,
the MechanicSlidingTilesCategory page below is an attempt to restore a
broken page, and the CategoryPortedGame page is brand new. Anyone want
to see more of these?


To get to all the games and pages mentioned above more conveniently,
visit this wiki page:


Finally, general cleanup goes on, and on…

Finnegans Wake FAQ number zero: Isn’t the book a joke?

No, it’s not a joke, not in the way you mean. Joyce spent roughly the
last 17 years of his life writing it. During much of this time he was
practically blind, and had to find new ways to work, such as in crayon
(really), and with the help of sighted friends such as Samuel Beckett.
Joyce filled at least 55 notebooks with detailed notes for the Wake,
returning to the text over and over to add new layers of meaning.

Finnegans Wake is a funny book, but it’s not a joke.

Playing Alien City with just piecepack?

Hi all,

I was recently musing on whether it would be possible to play Alien
City with just piecepack (that is, without Icehouse pieces).


In addition to a standard piecepack, Alien City requires five large
red, five large blue, and four large green Icehouse pieces for towers,
and six small Icehouse pieces to cap the towers — three in two
different colors (we usually use black and clear, because we have them
packed in the same bag as the four basic Icehouse colors of red,
green, blue, and yellow). Is there a way to replace these Icehouse
pieces with piecepack pieces?

If you had two standard piecepacks, you could use one set of coins for
domes, as usual, and another set for the towers, which are usually
Icehouse pieces. You *could* distinguish domes from towers by
orientation — how the coins were rotated — but they still might be
hard to distinguish visually. A better suggestion might be to raise
the coins representing towers somehow. You could stack them on top of
other coins from another piecepack, for example. This third piecepack
could be a Four Seasons set or a Playing Card set, or yet another
standard set; it wouldn’t matter, because its coins would be hidden
underneath. If you didn’t have a third piecepack of some kind, you
could use pennies or other small coins.

It seems pretty workable. For tower caps, I suggest one player should
take three dice of any suit and the other three pawns. This would make
the sides even more visually distinct than in a game with Icehouse

Thus, it seems the most you really need to play Alien City is two
standard piecepacks and some pennies (or a third piecepack of any
kind). This shouldn’t be surprising, as Alien City has been played
with homemade purpose-built sets, on the web, and in virtual reality,
among other ways and places. Like Chess, it seems the game is so
involving, you can probably play it with sticks, stones, and coconuts
on a desert island and have a good time.


Books read, Jan-Feb 2010


1. Galileo’s Dream, Kim Stanley Robinson, 2009, 100103,

2. Wireless, Charles Stross, 2009, 100103,

3. The Accidental Time Machine, Joe Haldeman, 2007, 100105,

4. Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth, Apostolos Doxiadis et al.,
2009, 100117, http://www.librarything.com/work/8273037


5. Quicksilver, Neal Stephenson, 2003, 100202,

6. The Wordy Shipmates, Sarah Vowell, 2008, 100218,

7. The Omega Game, Steven Krane, 2000, 100228,