Sunday, July 24, 2005

Weekend Gaming

My father is weak, which was expected, but he is also losing weight, which is bad. Unless something changes, back to the emergency room on Sunday.

Gaming over the weekend with David, Sharon, and kids went well. Their house is the local teen hangout. Most of the teens who hang out also know me and know I'm the game man. So a few of them joined in the games.

Before I forget, David and Sharon had dinner guests on Friday night who don't know any of the new games. They were describing the problems they had while playing Monopoly. Apparently, the husband always plays viciously. He believes that alliances, promises, and deals which are not part of the game rules can be broken at will. For instance, the "we won't attack each other for three turns" rule in Risk is something that he will make with another player and then break at his own convenience, not waiting three rounds. His defense of this horrific breach of etiquette is a) his opponents should figure it out, and if not, they will learn fast, and b) people shouldn't take games too seriously.

I argued that he should at least tell people before the game begins that this is the way that he plays, to no avail. My arguments that his style of play is a effectively a set of rules, and that others may want to play by different rules, didn't help. As far as he is concerned, if they don't like the way he plays, they shouldn't play! And stop taking games too seriously! I suggested to them to try Settlers of Catan, which they might.

After dinner, I started out with a game of Dvonn with one of the teenage guests, while we waited for the rest of the players to coalesce (they were walking the dog). Ari has been to my game group once before; he is a sharp kid, but not too happy with being in the army. I am happy to give him some opportunity to get his mind off of it.

Unfortunately, although he picked up the rules, I happened to win with a wipeout. I reminded him that my understanding of the game's tactics is still so infantile that this is more likely the result of chance than any skill on my part.

The party returned and I brought out my game prototype #1. It was a hit - we played four-player four times in a row. The next day, Galit (their daughter) played with Tal (my daughter) two-player two times, and then we played two more four-player games. Eight plays in one weekend.

The family/friends all thought that one small part of my game was not to their liking, so we tried changing it a bit. I have to say that I still like the current design best. They also managed to play the auction in the game in a way I had not at all expected nor experienced in my previous plays. It still played great; it was amusing to see this after I had already played the game about fifty times.

I also introduced to them For Sale, one of the games which Chris Brooks brought me. They enjoyed it, and we played four times. I never won once, nor came close. I'm still not sure why. After that I taught them how to play Geschenkt using the For Sale houses as cards (1-30), six players, and eight tokens each. We played four games of this, too. Geschenkt has a great little mechanic that can be played with almost any set of cards and tokens, anywhere. It is very adaptable.

I was actually played out with all of these short games. I said my goodbyes, and went back to my parents to rest.


No comments: