Talk:Choosing games

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It might be good to somehow link or merge this page with the Wiki categories, perhaps starting at the Uncategorized Categories page. -- Dougo 20:39, 18 Apr 2006 (GMT)

Nests/player[edit source]

Treehouse is the only one so far, but a section for One Stash/player (+house)... or X stashes/player would be useful once more games like that are made.

I think this will be similar to the Stash/player section.

Perhaps the whole section can be just plain 'Nests needed', while the individual categories can mention the number and color requirements and whether it changes by number of player.

  • 1 Nest per player + 1: Treehouse (No color requirement mentioned)
  • 3 Nests in each of four colors: Binary Homeworlds
  • 3 Nests in one color per player: Martian Race for four or five players
  • 5 nests in each of fours colors: Zendo
  • 5 nests in each of six colors: Volcano (...assuming we don't want to quibble about using just the smalls out of the nests of the sixth color)

Ryan 19:45, 12 Apr 2007 (GMT)Ryan

I think that listing it by how the pieces are bought (in stashes or treehouse sets) is the most useful, but I wouldn't be averse to adding a "one nest per player" to mirror the "one stash per player" category we already have. The problem is when you get into the "three nests of one color, and two of another" kinds of categories, which is just less useful and more confusing than saying "three treehouse sets". We want to avoid having way too many categories; just like I want this page to have only the best games, it should have only the best categories for choosing games. — Lambda 20:19, 12 Apr 2007 (GMT)

What games to include[edit source]

There has been some discussion on the Looney labs Icehouse mailing list about which games should be listed here. Maybe this page should be just to categorize the short list of "quality" (by some reasoanble definition) games, while we add another page for the full list of 170+ games from S.L.I.C.K.

  • "Chris Kice" wrote:
Just as an FYI, I jumped on the initial request and added Zamboni Wars to the Choosing Games page. So as not to do a bunch of edits and re-edits, I'll wait until this issue is sorted out before moving and/or removing my entry.
  • Ryan 19:37, 12 Apr 2007 (GMT)
Same for me and Martian Race.
I think that games on the Games in Dev page should not be included on this page as they are still technically in the playtesting stage and not quite ready for icehouse noobs.
It seems to have been decided: a game only gets here by being award-winning, published, or pushed in by popular demand. The What Can I Play? page is now the comprehensive listing--go put your stuff there ASAP!
Further, there are a LOT of winning games that haven't been added--we need a volunteer to (a) search for those games here at the wiki and (b) figure out where they go on the tables and add any missing Categories. As Brian has asserted that only published games and competition winners go here, I volunteer Brian to do the updates! ;^)

Proposed guidelines for this page[edit source]

As per the discussion on the Icehouse list, here are the guidelines I would propose for this page.

This page is designed to help new players find the best Icehouse games. This is a fairly subjective, and there can be many definitions of what is best, but some simple guidelines can help determine what to include. The two basic principles are that we should trust existing filters for good games, since that gives us some idea of an independent judgement of quality, and that we should include games with a wide player base, as that will make the game more rewarding for new players to learn, as well as being another rough indicator of quality. If a game matches one of the following criteria, it's probably good enough for inclusion in the list. If it matches two, almost certainly.
  • The game has been published
  • The game has won a game design contest, that involved actual playtesting of the game
  • The game has been implemented on a computer, especially as part of an online gaming service (such as Volity or SuperDuperGames).
There may be games that don't meet any of the criteria which are still of sufficient quality for the list, but good judgement should be used in including them. A basic rule of thumb should be that you don't add your own game to the list; a game that is good enough should be sufficiently good enough and widely enough played that someone else, besides yourself or immediate play group, feels that it deserves to be added to the list.

Does anyone else have any strong feelings about these criteria? I feel that implementing something like this will keep this list as a really good resource for beginning players, and doing another list (or taking advantage of categories on the wiki) will give us a comprehensive list of all Icehouse games, so people can explore the full range of games available. — Lambda 20:05, 12 Apr 2007 (GMT)

If that's the case, you might want to appoint a "gatekeeper" for this page to determine which games are worthy of inclusion. I think Zamboni Wars is a good candidate as it is one of the few you can play with Treehouse and Martian Coasters, has gotten good community feedback, and (IMHO) the rules are well-illustrated and easy to follow (especially now that there is also a Spanish translation available).

While this is somewhat against the Wiki vibe, I think it would be good to have a custodian so that inclusions are fair and consistent. (Since publications and contests are few and far between, I think that using those as the primary criteria may exclude otherwise worthy games.)

— Nekura 04:16, 13 Apr 2007 (GMT)

The only way I would be pleased with the notion of an "exclusive" page is if there was also an "inclusive" page, per the suggestion in the section above. Sure, I understand the point about "quality" games for the new users. But I sincerely believe there's something to be said for the "WOW" factor of seeing that one can play 30 games with a single Treehouse set (or 50-80 with three). But... I don't actually think either is the ideal solution.... This whole thing sort of started with my proposal that a database be made which would allow designers to register the "minimum piece requirements" for a game (or variant), and then users could fill out a form of "what sets I own," and with some SQL and scripting, each user would have a "{User Name} Can Play" page auto-generated. Tom Phoenix suggested this "Choosing games" page as an "adequate" alternative (I believe it is only barely adequate: it's a manually generated sorting system--computers are really good at sorting). BUT if this page has a gatekeeper, then it isn't even adequate, in the context of providing an exhaustive list of games one can play with X stashes. In closing, please give some thought to the database suggestion. A decent Perl programmer (i.e. not me, sadly) with some SQL knowledge could put something together in a couple of days, I bet. I can help with things like form layout/design and database table structure (to save the real programmer some grunt work). And if the database is "impossible," then definitely create an "All Games, by Requirements" page--and link in the Navigation panel--to expand upon this "Best Games, by Requirements" page. --David Artman 14:04, 13 Apr 2007 (GMT)

OK, I've thought enough about it to get angry. See the Icehouse mailing list. This "best games" qualification is WRONG and ELITIST and it doesn't reflect the Looney Life that I imagine when I see or read Andy and Kristin. Choosing is about CHOICE, not someone else telling you what's good for you. If you want some digg-like or kudoes-like element on the wiki, then install a Page Ranking plug-in or make a new page called "Popular Games" and let folks give thumbs-ups to games there. But the basic portal for a new user should represent the WEALTH of choices he or she has, not some minuscule subset of games that got published, what, five or more years ago? Choosing Games, the way you propose it, is elitist and fossilized and flies in the face of wiki philosophy. BIG THUMBS DOWN. (Yep, I ow have a "strong opinion" about it!)
AND, no matter if there's one open page, or two pages (one elitist, one open) PUT THEM IN THE NAVIGATION PANEL. If your current admin can't find the time, make me an admin and I'll do it. It's silly to have year-old Admin Requests unanswered, and it's super-silly to have major sections of a wiki (like, oh, the first page you want new users to read) buried in text and not on the main navigation panel. Web Design 101, folks.... --David Artman 15:32, 13 Apr 2007 (GMT)
Our one admin isn't seen much these days. I agree that more admins would speed up resolutions many things. You and Rootbeer both seem proficient in wikis... are you volunteering? - Cerulean 18:01, 17 Apr 2007 (GMT)
Sure, I'd admin. Half the stuff needing fixing would probably be fixed by updating the wiki code; the rest (navigation panel links; redirects from broken pages; page deletions) would take a matter of minutes.
Of course, the original admin has to make us admins (or give the site to the Looneys, who could then make us admins), and so we wait. --David Artman 14:21, 18 Apr 2007 (GMT)

Multi-column format[edit source]

I am experimenting with putting the games on this page into multiple columns, to make this page easier to use. I'd appreciate comments on how it looks, and if other people would experiment with the look and layout to find the most useful layout. The following are questions I'd be especially interested in:

  • Are 4 columns OK, or is that too wide? Would 3 columns be better?
  • Do you think it looks good with no borders or backgrounds, or would it be better with a little decoration?
  • I know I could Google around for it, but I haven't done CSS for a while and I'm lazy. Could someone make the columns stop centering vertically? It looks weird when they're of different lengths.

Anyhow, let me know what you think, and feel free to tweak and adjust what's there. I'll probably go through and apply this to all of the categories in a day or two if there are no objections. — Lambda 20:33, 12 Apr 2007 (GMT)

Table format seems fine, to me; and four columns aren't too wide. But I think the bullets should be removed (they're pointless, no pun intended) and I would ratchet up the "pseudo-headings" a font size, maybe even underline. I'll make that edit and you can rollback if you don't like the results. Oh, and I went ahead and added valign="top" to the TR tag, which got rid of the valign center default. --David Artman 14:07, 13 Apr 2007 (GMT)

UPDATE: OK, sizing the pseudo-heading font up proved too ugly, and it was unnecessary once I'd removed the bullets and used colons to make simple lists out of the bullet lists. I also put back in the "Rainbow & Xeno Set" and "Ten Stash" categories because they are required as long as Stacktors! is making the cut (which I suppose it won't, if the elitist "been published" standard holds out). Finally, I made your headings consistently capitalized (Title Case, rather than a mix of that and sentence case).
Thanks, I think the bullet-less format looks good, consistent title case is nice, and the valign="top" helps a lot. My concern on the 4 columns was that if people had large fonts or narrow windows it would get crowded or wrap poorly, but I can make my window really narrow and it still looks good, so I think this is a pretty good design. — Lambda 15:26, 13 Apr 2007 (GMT)

I added links to the category pages for the table, but it looks really ugly now (sorry). Somebody please feel free to clean this up somehow. Joss Ives 16 April 2007

I think these number of stashes categories are all-but-useless (and, further, almost no one uses them: click some). It is too hard to try to categorize a game for X Treehouse OR Y monochrome OR Z monochrome per player (or W Treehouse per player, if/when such games crop up). That's why I have employed a table format on What Can I Play?, because otherwise, many games will have upwards of thirty (!) #/stashes/sets categories. In fact, if I were admin, I'd probably purge those Categories and refer designers to the method used on What Can I Play? (I've already done the latter, on the Main Page). To this end, I am going to recommend that Brian remove those category links on this page--though "everyone" can edit this wiki, I still think it's best to let a page designer handle the major decisions and changes.
Also, perhaps you could copy my formatting from What Can I Play? and thereby break-up all the Treehouse versus Icehouse stuff. After all, it's sort of confusing as it is jumbled together; some folks will be coming at this with monochromes, not TH; and it's easier to sort out where a game goes (ex: Any X Stash per Player game can support 4 or 5 players with 5 TH sets OR one Icehouse per player; thus, that type of game will have to appear twice on the current table, which could confuse a newbie). Also, as this is mostly FOR newbies, having a clear demarcation between TH and IH will help them drill down to what they want faster.