RE: [piecepack] Design Contest Winner Announcement


-----Original Message-----
From: Ron Hale-Evans [mailto:rwhe@...]
Sent: Monday, March 03, 2003 2:13 PM
Subject: Re: [piecepack] Design Contest Winner Announcement

> One game was strictly 2-player, while the others were variously
> either 2-4, 3-4 or 4-player.  

Um, Mike?  Easy Slider's instructions say that it can be played with
any number of players, from solitaire up through 10 or more.  That is
the point of its BYOP (Bring Your Own Piecepack) mechanism.  We have
tried it with at least 6 or 7. 
Sorry about that Ron. Four players was the greatest number we played with
and in my haste to get the announcement typed up and posted yesterday before
starting work I guess it slipped my mind that Easy Slider supports literally
any number of players.
> and if any other of the game authors are interested in the
> play-testers' opinions and comments about their games, feel free to
> e-mail me privately (mschoessow@...).

I would be interested in your opinions and those of the other
playtesters about Easy Slider, critiqued either publicly on the list,
or privately, as you see fit. 
We liked the game fine. As you said, its ancestry from the game, 15 is
obvious and I think everyone reading this must be familiar with that little
solitaire game (my own first exposure to it was when I was 4 years old and
my dad gave me one to play with in church to keep me quiet). Easy Slider has
a replayability advantage over 15 however because a completely random new
board configuration can rapidly be achieved, and because it supports
multi-player games. My own opinion is that the replayability improvement is
a bigger advantage than the multi-player innovation because I intend to add
it to my stable of solitaire games that I actually play (my other favorites
are One Man: Thrag, plus some card games).
One suggestion for the rules is that you should  point out that the tile
array should be constructed with a little space (we used about 1/4 inch)
between adjacent tiles. At first we started with a tight array (all tiles
touching neighbors) and of course this was unworkable in a speed game like
this because the tile corners kept "catching" on one or more of the flanking
tiles ahead, ruining the array. In retrospect the use of spacing between
tiles to fix this seems obvious and I'm a little embarrassed to even bring
it up but still, I think it wouldn't hurt to put that into the rules text.
The rules for Easy Slider, as written, make it into a fast-thinking, logical
reasoning, dexterity game because of the speed aspect. During play-testing
it was realized that an interesting variant is to take away the dexterity
aspect and some portion of the fast thinking aspect by preventing the
various players from seeing each other's boards and then having the caller
announce "slide" at equal time intervals, at which times each player MUST
immediately slide a tile. Sliding at other times is not allowed. Thus, at
the moment one player wins, all players will have made an identical number
of moves. With short intervals the fast thinking aspect is still there but
the pressure isn't quite so high and there's more time for deeper planning.
The character of the game changes because mistakes are more damaging but
there's also more time to think before moving. It also somehow *feels* like
there's more player interaction.
As you pointed out, this is a game in the same class as Take It Easy, a game
I own but seldom pull out on game nights. We found no problems with the
rules or game play, and the play-testers were ambivalent about the game; a
definite personal preference thing here. There were lots of other fine games
this time too, making choices difficult, and when I typed up the
announcement I my plan was to announce a winner and runner-up, and then to
make a short mention of three or four of my other personal favorites among
the games.