Recent Game Systems: Since some readers may be familiar with me from my Game Systems series for The Games Journal, I thought I might bridge the gap by kicking the column off with a look at cool new game systems that readers might not be aware of: the Decktet, the Rainbow Deck, the Alpha comprehensive word game system, and so on.
3D and 4D boardgames
: From 3D Go to 4D Chess, there’s a whole genre of boardgames that have left Flatland behind, in many cases facilitated by computer. This article will also give a brief
introduction to higher spatial dimensions (4D and beyond) for people unfamiliar with the concept.
Game system dimensionality
: Building on ideas about dimensionality established in the previous article, this article would explore why a standard deck of cards is conceptually two-dimensional (suit x number), while the card game Set is four-dimensional (shape x number x color x shading). We’ll look at the idea of compactified dimensions, taken from string theory and applied to game systems — what dimensions lie dormant in the standard deck?
: Games that take less than one tenth the time of their regular counterparts, such as the Hasbro Express series (example: Risk Express), as well as Nannon (a commercial deci-Backgammon), One-Check Chess, One-Capture Go, and so on.
Fabbing and POD in boardgaming
: How print-on-demand technology is leading to a revolution in rapid prototyping and open-source games, why sites like The Game Crafter are more than a vanity press, and how emerging technologies such as 3D printing can help you quickly make a Chess set or an Icehouse set, or something new that only you have thought of.
Games and free culture
: Why, as a game designer, you might want to place your work under Creative Commons or a similar open license, and how a POD/fabbing free culture (such as creating homemade boards for abandoned games) thrives semi-legally on BoardGameGeek and elsewhere.
The Laws of Game Systems
: This column would lay out a set of semi-facetious laws in the style of Murphy’s, such as “Every collection of objects eventually becomes a game system.”.
: Complex and interesting new games you can play with game components you already have, such as a Checkers set and dominoes, and why you might want to play them.
: Survey of some of the more unusual and fun boardgames of the 20th and 21st centuries, such as Bugs & Looops, Nemoroth, and Crumble.
Glass bead games
: Survey of the various ways game designers have tried to make “real” playable versions of Hermann Hesse’s fictional Glass Bead Game.
: Overview of a free, open-source metagame system for creating game variants, which you can extend yourself. This is my game, but I hope it will interest readers, and it will contain links to several complete, playable games. I will of course explain the basic idea of metagames as well.
“Abductive logic” games
, a third category of logic games besides deductive (e.g., Sleuth) and inductive (e.g., Zendo). Examples: Raymond Smullyan’s chess problems, and Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective.