Last night’s game design meeting was just Ian and me again. I showed off my early prototype for the Lucca games contest, and Ian showed a galactic empire / abstract tile game. Those both had good starts and need more development.

At the end of the evening, we decided to do some collaborative design. The method for this collaboration was simple. We started with a blank slate. Then I’d declare a rule, and then Ian would declare a rule. We continued until we though we had a game. I started with an easy rule:

  • The winner of the game is the player with the most points.

Then Ian followed with the two part rule:

  • On your turn, you may play a tile or add a glass stone onto a tile.

That gave us a lot of direction. A few more rules went into the rule-set including:

  • Each player had a set of five tiles of their color.
  • At the beginning of the game, pile up four colors of glass stones in the center of the table.

That was all well and good, but the center of the table was also where we were supposed to place our tiles. It was my turn to add a rule, so I declared that we would indeed be placing our tiles amongst randomly arranged beads on the table. At that point both Ian and I knew we were venturing into strange design space. Some other interesting rules were:

  • You can use your turn to move any one stone in a straight line such that it eventually hits another stone and stops. (Although not an official rule, we both made magnetic swooshing and locking noises when the stones were moved and stopped)
  • Tiles must be placed so they are touching two matching colored stones.
  • Scoring occurs three times per game, each when you place your fifth tile.
  • When scoring occurs all beads and tiles used to score are discarded from play.
  • Plus many more…

We went ahead and played this freak of a game. Surprisingly it actually worked pretty well. We both agreed that this was something that we would have never come up with on our own. Even though we didn’t add a theme to it, it felt like some otherworldly planet mining game with processing plants (tiles) and ore (stones). The game was even close at the end. Of course the end never actually officially happened. We forgot to add a rule to determine the end of the game!