Posted 30 January 2013 - 08:43 PM
So I'm reading Sirlan's book (linked in Macabre Derek's original post). And right at the beginning he asks the (obvious) question: Do you want to win?
Now I would almost always say "yes".
(Help me out here guys). There's this game where the sole purpose of the game is to win. It has two rules sets: "Immutable Rules" and "Mutable Rules". Players take it in turns to propose rule changes (or new rules), or whatever. And they get voted on (initially; the rules can be changed so that proposing new rules does not require a majority of votes). If you can get it past the group, you can make a rule that says "I win". And so you do!
I can't remember what it's called, but this should tweak a few serious gamers' memory banks.
Anyway, a mate decided to start a game, gathered a group of us, and off we went. It was the second time I'd played the game, and I was looking forward to, as much as anything, having this pointless game chew up huge amounts of my leisure time just for the hell of it.
Now one of the people playing with us was a fellow gamer and programmer. She was _good_. In fact, I didn't realise quite how good she was until this story took place.
To cut a long story short, however, she made a boo boo. Shot her "you can't stop me winning" winning round off, but got beat. All within an hour or so of the game starting!
I was next!
And my mate who had started the game was after me! Now either of us could have simply implemented her strategy for an instant win. Not that we deserved it. She had well and properly blind-sided everyone and only a last minute blunder had seen her off.
And I thought, and checked with my mate, who thought the same: "I actually want to drag this game out. I want to win. BUT NOT YET." Even if delaying winning meant quite possibly that I/we wouldn't win at all.
So instead of implementing instant win, my rule change was to unravel her entire structure.
Now I know this is not quite what Macabre Derek intended for this thread, but it is provoked by it, because I wouldn't have gone to Sirlan's book otherwise. So I want to ask, growing out Sirlan's book, is there a point at which "winning" the game becomes self-defeating? Can any of you agree with what I did, or do you all think I'm mad? Because, after all, I went to Sirlan's book to find some tips! (Which presumably is what Derek wanted us to do).
"On Topic": I can't think of too many titles/authors off hand, but when I was at Uni I mined books on game design and game theory. If you have a decent librarian, you could ask them to get some books on game theory for you, probably as an inter-library loan. I mean, my local library was able to get D&D (4E) adventure modules for me as an ILL! So you can do worse for reading material than asking your librarian for help.
For watching: it's a bit old, but there is Matthew Broderick movie called (from memory) "Wargames" (featuring 8 inch floppy disk drives). Broderick hacks into the DoD to play a decent wargame, but doesn't realise he has hacked the actual defence system, which responds to his "moves" thinking they are genuine Russian military attacks.
Does anyone remember an old (and quite silly, but mega-fun) computer game called "Nuke War" (or somesuch), featuring such world leaders as "Ronnie Ray-Gun"?
Now I remember! You pour acid into water, not water into acid!