SDG Wishlist

Some Thoughts

What kinds of games can be created specifically to take advantage of the strengths of SDG?

What kinds of games can SDG handle well? (Or, What games benefit greatly from automation?):

  • Games with lots of pieces
  • Games with unusual boards (Dugi, Numica)
  • Games that require lots of setup (Numica, Settlers of Catan)
  • Games with pieces that change their attributes during the course of the game
  • Games with boards that change or shift during the course of the game (The Blackout variant of Dugi, ?Slipmax?)
  • Games with resolution mechanics that require manipulation of lots of fiddly bits (Run, Hamster, Run!, Peep War, any Avalon Hill game from 1975 to 1985+)
  • Games with rules that humans can easily overlook or misinterpret (Numica (at least for me))
  • Games with simultaneous movement / resolution (Frames)
  • Games that require regular "upkeep" of pieces or board state (a countdown timer, a decaying barrier)
  • Games with secret knowledge. (Stratego, Poker)

What games would be difficult for SDG to handle?

  • Speed games (Spit, Falling, Pit, etc.)
  • Games where the action of one player can be interrputed by another player (Casting a Counterspell in M:tG, blocking an attack in Lunch Money)
  • Games with heavy, asychronous payer interaction in parts (like the trading phase in Bohnazna or Civilization, or the entire gameplay of Icehouse or Icetowers). This is a subset of the inturrupt problem.
  • Trivia games. It'd be far too easy to do research on the side.
  • Games that rely heavily on memory conditions for their challenge (Concentration, Literature, Immer oben auf!, Coda)
      • There's a complete log of all turns readily visible in all games. And a notebook. And if there weren't, it'd be easy for people to "cheat" with an actual notebook. –––MrStickman

What new or novel game ideas does this inspire?

Original, Player-Invented Games

Feel free ask questions or discuss variants in the below pages!

The List

What games would you like to see implemented? Games that are for sure in progress or other tasks waiting to be completed can be found on my TODO List. Although most of the games on this site are non-traditional abstract-strategy, this is not a requirement. The goals are to find interesting and unique games that are begging for an audience. We are trying to avoid, however, any duplication of effort. If there is a perfectly working implementation of a game elsewhere (Richard's PBeMServ, for example), you are welcome to suggest it, but it will probably not be implemented for a while. I fully support and encourage third-party development so if there's a game you're really excited about but I seem to have at a lower priority, feel free to visit the SDG API and have a go at it!

Please try to keep the list in alphabetical order.

  • 3 Pips
  • 5 Champs (//Fields//)
  • 6x5
  • Aboyne
  • Abstract Chess - Don't hate me until you read the link! If you still hate the idea, please let me know :)
  • Abstract Puluc
  • Accelerator
      • This game has a slight issue in that pieces can leave the board and remain in play. Not insurmountable however.
  • Ahyoheek - A D'ni game similar to Rock, Paper, Scissors, no longer available online since Myst Online Uru Live went down, except maybe on Second Life in one of the Uru fan created sims, like Eder D'Uru.
  • Akron - The game that takes a lot of balls.
  • Alea evangelii
  • Alva
  • Ambivalence
  • Anchor - Excellent territory / connection game. Simple rules, should be easy to implement.
  • Andantino
  • Antipod - assymmetrical connection game.
  • Apex
  • Archers
  • Arimaa - It would be great for its diffusion to have another place to play it. I think it is really one of the best games around.
  • Atlanteon - territory game with almost nonexistent theme and no luck. Also published as Revolution.
      • Commercial, therefore problematic.
  • Atoll - A Hex variant by Mark Steere.
  • Atoms
  • Audacity!
  • Ayu - An original connection game where players try to join all their stones in a single group. Very simple rules and nice mechanics for a drawless game. It has been played a number of times in the igGameCenter's sandbox, but hasn't been implemented anywhere yet. SDG would be an excellent place to start.
  • Azacru - Territory game; haven't played this much due to lack of opponents.
  • Bin'Fa - this would be a unique addition to this site - each player rolls a die at the start of his turn, and can then make a production move or a move on the main board. Players may continue to move until they roll a doubles or until they run out of supplies. It's not a traditional game of perfect information, but it is really fun. First published by AH as "Hexagony". The designer's site seems to be defunct. This is the first game I would code if I knew how!
      • Ooh! Yes! Yes! -rdreilly
  • Break Away
  • Breakthrough(2)
  • Bushka
  • Camelot - Capture / race game.
  • Canoe - Pattern game.
  • Castle(2)
  • Cathedral - Territory game.
  • Chameleons
  • Chaturanga
  • ConHex - Connection game where ownership of an area is decided by majority of corners.
      • Some display issues, but not insurmountable.
      • An interesting connection game. ––– Elektrodo
  • Chariots
  • Chesstique
      • This is another where the pieces can leave the board and then come back. It's a commercial points-based capture race using morphing chess-like pieces, but it's a hoot. Probably best to ask permission first. ––– CDRodeffer
  • Citadel - I've seen another (better) rules link somewhere that I have to find
  • Corintho
  • Court
  • Cribbage might fit in here really well. ––– MrStickman
        • It's very puzzle-like, which should appeal to the existing crowd.
        • It's well-known. It would be SDG's first real "classic" game, and it might attract a whole different crowd.
        • It's got scoring that'd be improved with a computer. I imagine the "muggins" rule would simply be ignored.
        • Its randomness is in very controlled bursts, so the Undo problem doesn't exist.
        • There are plenty of variations available.
            • Numbers of players: 2-player, 3-player (every man for himself or uneven teams), 4-player (again, in teams or alone), 5-player. (Partnerships on the internet might be a tricky business: collusion off-site could be ruinous.)
            • Game length: Single race to 61, 91 or 121; "best of seven" match; first to win seven games (with skunking and double-skunking, of course).
  • Cross-Kalah A mancala game which is more than just a "minor" variant of Kalah.
  • Deity
  • Dino-Czars This is a chess-like game I invented a few years ago. I've played against Zillions many times, and Keith Carter and Dan Troyka made some wonderful improvements to my original graphics and the ZoG piece evaluations. ––– CDRodeffer
  • Domina - there is a Zillions files for this. Intriguing mechanism.
      • You mean this game?
          • Yes, that is the one I meant. Read my threads at BGG for some rules questions. -unic
  • Edges
  • Emergo
  • Enantiomer
  • Entrapment ––– An innovative multi-action pawn and barrier game that looks a little like Quoridor but instead of a race to goal objective you have to capture your opponents pawns (called "roamers").
  • Ergo ––– commercial, but long dead.
  • Epaminondas variant Heximondas The hex version of Epaminondas adds some tactical twists while retaining the same overall feel of play. The differences are driven by three things. First, pieces start the game occupying two edges of the board so only the center goal space is defended by all back row pieces. Second, some of the hex rows have an even number of spaces while others have an odd number of spaces. Third, pieces on the outer flanks start closer to the enemy than the central pieces.
  • Escapade
  • Evade (see also)
      • This is a simple game of bluffing to get one of your 2 secret special pieces across the board without being frozen first. –––- Keefe8
  • Festival Climbers – 2 to 4 players. Players will take the roll of a team of climbers that must race to the top of the temple to start a celebration; they are bound by strict rules and are rewarded for how high on the temple they are able to climb.
  • Fibonacci
  • Galice
  • Gipf - the original game of the Gipf project.
  • Glik
      • Commercial
  • Glass Bead Game. A mancala game by Christian Freeling.
  • Gnaqush
  • Gnostica
      • I've found it hard to get people to play this game in real life, because it tends to be slow. That's fine for PBW, though. Also, you could more easily try the variant of having the game end at some point after the deck has been shuffled once, by shuffling in an end-of-game marker. –––- lambda
      • Let me second this game. I just printed a deck and want to try it, but playing it on SDG would make finding oponents much easier :) ––– Jorge
  • Go*Mofasta
  • Gosix
  • Gretrix
  • Gyges
  • Hanging Gardens
  • Havannah - connection game with a strong race element.
  • HexQuint - five in a row, on a hex board, with moving pieces and custodial capture. There is a Zillions file with rules for this.
      • this one? I sure wish people would publish their rules online in a more readable way. Would make this easier :)
  • Hex Oust - Oust on a hexagonal board.
  • Hextris
  • High Kings of Tara - territory / connection game with a capture element. http://www.projectkells.com/ Sacred Hill is similar but simpler; might be better to start with that one.
      • Commercial, and therefore problematic.
  • Hive
  • Hnefatafl (aka. Tablut, Tafl, etc…)
  • Honeypot Two-player abstract strategy game, on a hex board.
  • Hyle5 (That is, Entropy with a 5x5 board and five pieces in each of five colors) looks like fun, and it might be pretty easy to do! ––– MrStickman
  • IceFu
  • Imago - pattern matching with randomized start position, very unique abstract.
  • Influence
  • Isaac - a game of placing, removing and careful scoring
  • Kamon
  • Kauri A mancala game.
  • Kid Sprout Jumboree
  • Kendo
  • Kotra
  • Mandala
      • I think this is my favorite Icehouse game of all. It's almost good enough to compel me to finally get my development machine fixed (and, er, learn Perl, ahem) just to implement it. ––– MrStickman
  • Megalith - majority game on a grid… will always have a winner, fairly quick and short game.
  • Metal Talon
  • Missile Command
  • Mundialito - I recently played this game with the designer and enjoyed it. It'd be nice being able to play it online, as it seems to be a nice tactical game… –––maka
  • NAOS*Go to my website for info.( Remneb)
  • Navia Dratp
      • Navia Dratp is basically Tori (bird) Shogi, transformed into a collectible miniatures game. Possible implementations could be a random assignment of pieces, a points-based draft, or a longer-term game where you get a random initial set of pieces, but can then build your own starting army only with pieces you've captured in previous games. ––– CDRodeffer
  • Neutron
  • New City
  • Nightmare Pachisi
  • Olix - pattern game; builds on five-in-a-row style gameplay but adds several twists.
  • Onyx
  • Orbit
  • Os Quatro Elementos
      • Commercial game
  • Overlords
  • Pacru - Seems somewhat inelegant (until you've tried it).
      • One I'd like to try.-rdreilly
      • Played this over-the-board and it has excellent depth, bit like a cross between Go and Chess but also different from both those games. Would love to see it implemented on SDG.-abdekker
  • Partonia
  • Pasang Emas - seems intriguing, but I don't understand the rules yet
  • Pawn Poker
  • Persivic
  • Pharoaoh's Heir
  • Pilare - A stacking game with simpler rules than Focus. ––– Elektrodo
  • Platty Pressure
  • Poly-Y - connection game. The irregular board shapes might make this tricky to implement.
  • Ponte del Diavolo - Rules like a themed family game but actually a very interesting abstract game. ––– Elektrodo
  • Progressive Mancala
  • Projex - connection game. http://www.gamerz.net/pbmserv/projex.html Would like to try this out with a graphical interface.
  • Push - (Original Post by Author) (Variant)
  • Pylon - An entry in the Summer 2007 Ice Game Design Competition, which ends on Sept. 17. I would love to have this implemented before then so people can compare it to other entries (Subdivision and Penguin Soccer). –––dougo
  • Quadratafl
  • Quoridor
      • Commercial so…
  • RAMbots
      • This game poses certain representational challenges. The game interests me a great deal though. I will have to ponder it further.
      • What "representational challenges" do you have in mind? The only difficulty I can imagine here is showing the players how the programs run. This should ideally get some sort of animation, but that's not such a great option for web-based content. (Unless you wanted to use heavy Javascript ––– yuck!) You could use a sequence of diagrams, either all on one page, or linked, one to the next. jesse
  • Ramses - Ancient Egyptian game.
  • Rhythmomachy - This ruleset is for a particular 16th Century variant that seems pretty clear. (More Info)
  • Rings
  • Rocket Ball
  • Run, Hamster! Run!
  • Sacred Hill - excellent connection / territory game. The kingdoms scoring version should be easy to implement; the knot-scoring might be a bit trickier.
  • Santorini
      • Commercial, and therefore problematic
  • Scala - race game where one has to keep all pieces connected.
  • Seejah
  • Shacru - territory game; the simplest out of Shacru/Azacru/Pacru and most elegant.
  • Siegestones
      • This is a commercial game with freely downloadable rules. Not sure about the legality of a web implementation.
  • Simultaneous Connect Four - Another neat attempt at "fixing" C4.
  • Slides of Action This was not (originally) a piecepack game, but rather a modification of a sliding 15-puzzle with stickers. The idea is to get your 5 pieces into a single connected group, as in Lines of Action. ––– CDRodeffer
  • Slime Trail (and variants)
  • Slither is a connection game with a clever set of simple mechanics that solves the dreaded square-grid deadlock problem perfectly.
  • Sowing
  • Space Walk The multi-player game isn't bad, but the two player version suffers from the mirror-draw strategy for the second player. If you implement it, I recommend starting with a three move pie-rule for the two-player game (one player makes one move for player one, a move for player two, and a second move for player one, then player two decides which side to play).
  • Spectral Reapers This was an exercise in design of a multi-player mancala. It plays best with 3 to 5 (easier with fewer players, more chaotic with more players), but is also playable with 2 or 6. It uses distinguishable pieces and has a massive move tree, but is somewhat easier than, for example, The Glass Bead Game (Freeling). ––– CDRodeffer
  • Spellcycles
      • Need some more spells.
  • Spike
  • *Star
      • This is a deep, new connections game, invented a few years ago and now produced by Kadon. I'd love to see an implementation that allows at least a small version, and maybe even a full-size version; and if the implementation could show the current score after each turn, that would be ideal.
      • This is an interesting game, but extremely complex to code (at least at first look). The issues I first see are:
          • divising an algorithm to locate a given cell on the grid (or pre-generate by hand a list of cell->(x,y) coordinates)
          • developing an interface: Ideally some sort of image-map-click-on-a-cell method would be best, but that then neccessitates an algorithmic way of determing cell id from (x,y) values as it would be way too onerous to manually compile an exhaustive cell->(x,y) list.
          • Well then I just need to wrap my head around the scoring. That's doable though :-)
      • That said, the game is still interesting to me, and one of the reasons I do this is for the coding challenge. I will contact Kadon first for permission to even think about it and second for any board generation algorithms they may already have on hand. Thank you for the submission!
      • I agree that *Star is a great game, and is the deepest non-capturing connection game that I've seen so far, although Havannah and Unlur (both already implemented on Richard's PBeM) are also very good. ––– CDRodeffer
      • Regarding some of these issues: "that then neccessitates an algorithmic way of determing cell id from (x,y) values": A few years ago I created a set of BMP images of *Star boards using a Basic computer program, not especially elegantly coded. The program found the points that would have to be connected to do the outlines of each cell, and then drew lines between those points. The list of these points is outputted to a txt file automatically, and it might be usable to you for creating clickable polygons.
      • Also, "divising an algorithm to locate a given cell on the grid": I assume this is so the system can drop the stones into the appropriate place, once it knows what the move is? I used my BMP's to set up a ZRF (Zillions Rule File, for use with Zillions of Games software) which allows two users to play the game on computer (or you could play against Zillions, but it plays at random, having NO understanding of what the game is about ––– zero, nada, bupkis, I didn't even try to tell it what the object was). In putting that together, I made my programs output a list of the cells' locations within the BMP's drawn, so that it would know where to drop the stones. So you might be able to use some of the stuff I've already created there too. Again, please let me know if interested. markthom
      • Thank you, Mark. *Star isn't currently on my short-range radar, but if you would be willing to email me those text files, that would be great! I will certainly be in contact once this game comes back around. –––- Aaron 17 Oct 2005 00:02
      • I would also love to see *Star on the server. - unic
  • Star - *Star's predecessor; might be easier to code due to the more regularly shaped board.
  • Step by Step
  • Synapse-Ice
  • Table Top Cribbage
      • This has a lot of the draws of Cribbage, with enough of a twist to be considered esoteric. It'd only be a two-player game, though.
  • Taiji
      • Beautiful, easy to learn, hard to master. Free Windows PC version available for download.
      • The game is too similar to Tonga to warrant a complete re-implementation. Other than scoring, the only meaningful difference is the restriction against diagonal movement. I will instead add a "Taiji" variant to Tonga which will effect the movement and scoring changes. –––- Aaron 2008/08/21 11:49
          • Taiji is better than Tonga. I would like to play the Taiji variant. ––– Elektrodo
  • Tai Chi
      • Never played it, but it sounds like halfway between Elasta and Pulling Strings. The designer would be very easy to contact, and would likely be eager to implement it. ~ Cerulean, 05 April 2006
  • Teleporters
      • A game I've been curious about for some time now. -rdreilly
  • Three Musketeers
  • Tigo
  • Trice
  • Tricky Tricky is a trick-taking dice game played over a series of hands. It has gone over well with several groups, but due to the large number of polyhedral dice required to play, is economically unpublishable as a boxed game. ––– CDRodeffer
  • Truchet
  • Un (and variants)
  • Waving Hands
      • It would be nice to have a fully implemented ruleset. Ravenblack doesn't implement Raise Dead… You can probably start with the firetop mountain source code.
      • This is one of my favourite games and given the time, I would be playing constantly at Ravenblack. Before SDG I made 2 serious attempts at my own implementation of Waving Hands. It is extremely complex. Spell interactions are very error-prone. With almost 60 SDG games now under my belt, I'm feeling confident (over-confident?) that I am now capable of tackling this project, but with Ravenblack doing such a good job, it seems like alot of work for little benefit. I wish I could be more encouraging, but this will have to remain a lower priority. –––- Aaron 04 Jan 2007 09:00
  • Xochintlan
  • Xodd - A simple and innovative connection game without draws. Players can place stones of both colors. Whoever has the fewest groups at the end of the game wins.
  • Yinsh
  • Zagami
  • Zarcana - This is the original Gnostica, its horribly unbalanced and would prolly piss some people off.
  • Zaroc - threedimensional race game.
  • Zenix - quick build a line of pieces game. There exists a Zillions implementation, though not available from ZoG's webpage. (WAG)
  • Zig Zag This is an introductory semi-multi-lap mancala, the tactics of which new players will probably find easier to understand than many of the more difficult mancala games already implemented here. ––– CDRodeffer

The No-List

The designers of the following games have either denied permission, or have yet to respond to a request for permission, to place the game on SDG. Listing them here is simply to avoid duplicates and not to stir any proverbial pots.

  • Creeper (still awaiting permission)
  • Oling (request received but not yet responded to)
  • Gretrix (The inventor and copyright holder of this game denies permission to duplicate and / or distribute any part of the game any form or to otherwise violate the intellectual property rights of the game. I further state that the rules listed at Gretrix contain numerous errors, or are completely wrong, despite repeated ignored requests to correct or remove the content from the above page.)

Other On-Hold Games

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