Tag: idea

  1. Scarcity Game

    This game mechanic represents overfishing.

    So, I actually have two models.


    Stacks of tokens, each of which have a random number of null tokens on the bottom, and full tokens on the top.

    So, you draw from the stack knowing that at some unknown point suddenly that thing will be gone, but people can't predict when.


    In this case you have a bag of tokens that starts with some number of null tokens and some bigger number of live tokens. You shake the whole thing up.

    Now you draw from the bag, removing live tokens, and throwing back null tokens. Every turn you can put some number of tokens back into the bag, but if you spend more than went in, it's unsustainable.

    This one has the advantage of more uncertainty. If you draw 3, and you happen to get 2 nulls, you might be like "Woah, we're running low", but also maybe you were just unlucky. You never know when you reach in if you'll get a bounty, or not.

    At some point people will just realize that bag's not a good gamble any longer.

  2. Gambling Gods

    In this game you have a relatively simple mechanic for tribes that prevale over one another to capture territory or kill each other.

    That's not the game, though.

    The game is that the group of players all randomly creates the initial conditions for the game, with the different tribes all in different places with different resources and stuff.

    Then the gods each place down 2 bets on various outcomes. One might bet that the blue tribe will have the most land, whereas another might bet that pink will.

    One might bet that green will have more farmers than soldiers. Something like that. These bets are placed face-down and locked in.

    Then you play the game, which should hopefully be relatively simple and fast ish. No one player controls a given tribe, everyone controls all of them on their turn.

    At the end, you reveal your bets and the points are tallied up. Things which were picked by other players are worth less points per player, but you had more help trying to get them to succeed. Things which no one else chose are worth the most points, if you can make them come true without other people stopping you.

    Might be better to base the points on numbers, rather than most, so the scaling works. If you want points for each territory blue has control over, and blue has 20, then you get 20 points. But, if 3 other people also wanted that you get 20/4 = 5 points.

    The other player who was alone in being intereted in green's farms only needed 6 farms to beat all of you.

  3. Buckyball Robot

    In this idea we build a bunch of little modules that consist of basically a AA battery, one or two fast linear actuators, a chip, and some sensors.

    Then you can link these all together using dumb hubs between actuators to build a little ball. This could then hopefully move around using the same properties as the collapsing donkey toys.

    When the actuators are fully extended, the linkage between the hub and the module is loose and flexible, but when the actuator retracts the linkage becomes tight and stiff.

    At this point the actuators at the front should be able to loosen, which will cause the front to collapse. Then the ones just under the back, currently against the ground, should be able to tighten which would cause the whole thing to pitch forward a bit.

    If done repeatedly in this way it should be capable of rolling in any direction.

    It's also possible, depending on the strength of the actuators and the weight of the modules that the ball could hop a bit by collapsing all of their nodes in preparation, followed by a cascading tightening causing it to suddenly regain ball shape.

    It would also be able to, I think, remain tight while it's falling, but as it hits the ground collapse the bottom ones, followed by the next up, followed by the next as a way of absorbing impact on landing.

    Rolling up hills might be tricky, dunno yet. If the back sorta hopped a bit and more of the front collapsed maybe it'd work.

    It should also be able to collapse the front as a means of braking.

    As a last thing, if you put a bunch of cameras into the dumb nodes, recessed a bit so the lens didn't take a beating from rolling around, I wonder if you could capture an interesting image with 30 independent cameras...

  4. Canabalistic Healing

    This is a rugged setting that could either be original or post-apocalypse. In this setting a disease breaks out, and the only known cure is eating the flesh of a healthy human.

    It was once the case that eating other people was a bad idea for spread of disease, but now it's often required.

  5. Promise

    In this one people have a small hand of cards that say things like "I support you" and "I stab you in the back" and stuff.

    Then, the rest of the game is social. You give your promises to other players, but they don't know what you actually gave them.

    So, you can do things like tell one player you're going to back them, and give them a card. Then you can tell another player that you actually stabbed that player in the back, and you're giving them your actual support.

    I don't yet know how the game actually plays.

    Maybe you can / must also reveal one of your cards every turn. So I can reveal my "back stab" card to convince people I haven't used it on them.

    Maybe one card is a "+1" and whoever has the most +1s at the end gets 2 points, and whoever gave them a +1 gets 1.

    That way you really want people to pool their resources with you, but failing that you want to back the right other player.

    Then another card is -1, which subtracts.

    Maybe every round players are required to give two of their cards to someone else, reveal one, and keep one. The cards are +1, -1, 0, and 0.

    I'm thinking the round could go "give one, reveal one, give another, keep and tally"

  6. TDD Game

    Game secretly about TDD. You start with a empty space with all sorts of things on it and it looks really confusing, but the text bubble says "Woah hang on, that's a lot of stuff. Let's start slow and ignore all of this", and he gives you a single requirement that goods go from source A to sink A. Just a nice straight line of pieces.

    You run it, and it works. At that point, unlike other games where we clear it and go to the next puzzle, everything stays where it is, and the next challenge gets added to the bottom. Things should go from source B to sink B. Things still need to go from source A to sink A, though. You just have two tests now.

    Then things can ramp up, like "Source C has a lot of weird stuff in it. Some of it should go to A, and some of it should go to B". Again, though, A still goes to A and B still goes to B.

    By the end you've built up a large complicated thing by going through the steps.

    I'm thinking the name should be something like Tango Delta Distribution or something to make TDD...

    Other things that might happen:

    • Some things need to be held so they can go together because sink D needs A B A B A or something.
    • Maybe some things need to be packed and repacked (kinda like spacechem here, but that's likely alright)
    • Later, things change and A is now not only providing A, so you have to filter that too.

    I like the constant growing system, and the concept of giving people all the tools at the start and telling them "Just ignore these for now..."

  7. Evolving Card Game

    In this game everyone has all the same cards, and they list on them a power that takes effect in the first round of the game, one that takes effect in the second, and one in the third.

    Each one gets better the longer you keep it, but you can only play each card once, and you always have to play a card.

    Or something like that. Maybe it's rounds "1,2,3", "4,5,6", "7,8,9" or something.

    Either way, it's a tradeoff between immediate effects and later effects.

  8. Abstract Diplomacy

    In this concept there are N different shapes, where N is the number of players. Each round one of each shape is laid out, and at the end of that round everyone must get one of them, and so every one must go to someone.

    That's it. The shapes don't mean anything beyond that, and there's no reason to get one over another.

    The trick is that everyone has some secret goal. Someone's trying to get 5 squares, someone else is trying to get 3 circles and 2 squares, etc. The first person, or people, to get above their goals win.

    So, the game is just an arbitrary choice of "fine, I'll take the circle then so we can just get on with this turn", followed by the mistrust of "wait wait wait, didn't you get a circle last turn too?", answered by "well, yeah, but that's because no one wanted it last turn as well so I took it", "but why would you take something you didn't want two turns in a row? I'll take the circle", "Ok, fine, I'll take the square then", "Damnit. Someone else take the square and give him the triangle!"

  9. Anti Drafting

    In this mechanic players draw resources which they are forced to give to other players.

    It goes roughly as follows:

    1. Each player draws a card from the pool
    2. Each player, in turn, chooses another player to give their card to
    3. That player then must then choose someone else to give the card they had to, but that player can't have already recieved a card this turn (no loops)
    4. That goes around until, through some chain of some length, the original player gets a card

    This could be, in an N player game, up to N trades, but it can't be more, because of the no-loops, and can be 1, if the player who recieved the first card chooses to give their card to the original player, making it a swap.

    Play goes around until each player has had a turn starting the giving. At this point, every player keeps the card they have, and they begin again.

    The gist, in general, is to try and give your card to the player it will disadvantage the most, so far as you know.

  10. Balance

    The idea with this one is that each player has a stack of chips of red and black colour. The red ones go on the right, and the black ones go on the left.

    Then, each turn, the player has to take 2 of any colour from the centre, and add it to their pools. Then they get to take any number of one color tile from their pool and pass it around mancala style, one to the next player, one to the one after that, onward.

    Then they get points based on how balanced their pools are.

    Maybe you get scored before doing the mancala. Dunno.

    Might suck.

    Also potential wrench, is that each turn players alternate between being themselves black and red by passing tokens around each turn, and so you get more points if you're out of balance with your colour. Dunno.

  11. Expanding Area Game

    In this one there's a grid that's all forest or something, and each player has a hand of tiles and a starting location.

    Then on their turn they play a tile so that it's adjacent to other tiles. This represents that tribe exploring the forest and finding something.

    Some may be good, and some may be useless.

    So, the gist is that if you had a gold mine, you should play it near your guy, and if you had a mud-pit then you should play it in someone else's camp.

    Then, once the tribes areas meet, there is some mechanic of capturing territory from someone else, or something.

    Other Approach

    In this one there are a few different tribes, but they're not owned by any player. Gold may be selected on one person's turn, but that means they also didn't get points for expanding. If they'd chosen to expand, that would have left to gold for the next player.

  12. Cumulative Set Game

    In this game every player has a hand of cards of a few different colours and values. Then each player discusses their next play, and then plays two cards from their hand together in secret.

    After that, the total for each colour is added up and the points are evenly distributed amongst the people who contributed to that colour.

    So, it's not trick taking. If you play a 1 of red, and someone else plays a 5 and 8 of red, and that's all of the red, then you each get 7 points. That's not great for the guy playing the 5 and 8, but awesome for the person playing a 1, since if they'd played that on their own they only would have gotten 1 point.

    If, though, two people played an 8 of red, then they both get 8 points.

    So, the gist is that you make alliances and agree on what you will play to get the most value out of your cards, but then you play them and see who stabbed you in the back.

    I'm thinking there's also one or two cards that are "take-alls" where that player gets all of the points for the colour their other card that turn is.

    Maybe one cards that's a shield that protects from take-alls.

    I'm thinking each player has their own identical draw-deck, so every player got an even chance at every card. Then it's play-2-draw-2.

  13. Bloom Filter Game

    This one is basically a mechanic of using hash collisions in a bloom filter. Every turn there's some sort of "hash function" like "Grain goes into slots 1,4,6"

    Something changes that.

    Then, you can also use that to test for existence of something:

    • So, let's say in the six slots you've got [0,1,0,2,0,4]
    • Then, you trade in one of your grain with the above example hash to make the breakdown into [1,1,0,3,0,5]
    • Now gold this turn is "1,2,4", which means I can extract one gold from my magic bag, and leave myself with [0,0,0,2,0,5]

    So, basically, I'm using a magic hash function and my magic bloom-filter-bag-of-holding to transmute materials from one type to another.

    Maybe there's a deck of hashes, and you draw into a queue of 3, and relace at the end of the queue. That way you can play wheat now knowing that two turns from now you can exchange it for gold.

  14. Assembly Line

    This is a co-operative game where each player represents a forman of a particular part of a factory floor.

    Materials are produced by workers in an area, subject to forces, from inputs, and produce outputs.

    Those outputs are in turn inputs to the next player.

    Each turn is a day, and the players decide how many workers they want at each station. Then, through some sort of randomness, some of them just don't show up.

    Those that do are allocated to each place, and there they work on the inputs of the line and pass outputs to the next guy.

    You can maybe pass people from one station to the next up or down, but only sometimes or something.

    The score at the end is just how many pieces go out the last step.


    So, this could be called an uncooperative game. The motif could either be a factory floor, or perhaps divisions of a big company.

    The gist is that each division is out for themselves, but unfortunately have to work together just enough to keep the show running.

    Each player represents one part of an assembly line, or one division in a company. I think I'm going to stick with the Factory flavour for now.

    So, at the beginning of each turn each player looks at the inputs they have piled up, and perhaps any cards or modifiers they have in their hand, and commits to a production goal for this turn. This is your quota. These are kept in secret, and then everyone reveals them at the same time.

    Now, the floor starts for the day. Chips with random numbers of workers on it are shuffled and turned over. Now, players in an order to be discussed later pick which pools they want. This is a topic of much discussion and bickering, because the number of workers you get controls your throughput.

    Throughput, though, is also limited by inputs and outputs. If you don't have anything coming in to work on, then your workers will be idle.

    So, at the end of your turn, you get a number of points equal to the number of items you produce. Then you get penalized if you are under-quota by varying amounts. Now, the order for the next day's draft is assigned by the people who were most under-quota to the people who were most over quota. Those who guessed low, but scored really high, get last pick of workers next time.

    The last thing is that, depsite all this bickering and sabotaging, the factory needs to produce items. If at any point the output of the whole chain is under a certain amount, everyone gets penalized in some fair way. That way the people who crushed other people underfoot to get more points are hit harder when the whole thing comes down.


    I think different stations have different traits, and each turn people rotate through each station.

    - Shipping: This has random and fixed input of different types, and multiple outputs. You decide how many of each input goes to each output subject to your workers. - Assembly: These are straighforward. You draw from the input pile, apply your workers, to move things to the output pile. - Consolidation: These take inputs from multiple sources, and produce outputs that combine them. Each output is worth more points, but requires more inputs to produce.

    Different numbers of players have different layouts of floor. In a three person game it might just be:

    shipping -> assembly -> assembly.

    In a five person game is might be:

    shipping -> assembly -------------==> consolidation
            \-> assembly -> assembly /


    So, the gist is that each department wants to get the most people to produce the most items to look the best, but they have to work together enough to make sure that the factory still produces enough items to look reasonable on the outside.

  15. Zen Social Network

    In this one you have a profile, and follow your friends. You can't post anything, though. On your main page, you just see who else is online.

    It'd just be a white screen with avatars on them that pop in or out.

    Maybe, if we go one step further, which I'm not sure about, then there could be a speech bubble you can type into. Then, it pops up a speech bubble on your avatar for a while, then goes away again, and the only people who see it are the people who were looking at you while you were there.

  16. Garden Game

    This game uses the Weather Mechanic to model a growing season of some length, and the goal of the game is to produce a useful and prosperous collection of plants.

    Every "day" the day's weather is flipped over and every player has to deal with the weather of that day. I'm thinking that, like Dominion, every person has the same roster of plants they can purchase and plant, and they all deal with the same weather, so it's not an unfair game. Everyone has all the same conditions, but their choices affect their success.

    So, every turn people may buy plants, and plant them into their garden, which is their playing board. Every person has their own garden. Plants are placed facedown, which is a sprout, for a number of turns, and then are turned faceup and are now a plant.

    Plants have certain requirements, like some only grow if they maintain a certain amount of sunlight, and others only grow if they don't get over a certain amount of sunlight. All need a certain amount of water, but different ones need different amounts.

    Then, some plants have bonuses they give to other plants. Sod is more hardy when adjacent to more sod.

    Trees shade the adjacent spaces.

    Moss, maybe, provides moisture to adjacent spaces, or something like that.

    That way you can use some lower value plants to help protect your higher values plants. For example, the tree would make it so that a sunny day didn't fry all of your shade plants.

    Also, some plants will be perenial, which means that they yeild, then get flipped over into sprouts again, and continue. The annuals, though, yield and then are discarded.

    Status of a plant is kept as counters on the plant tile. Any rainy day a blue square is put on the tile, any dry day one is removed, etc. Same goes for yellow circles for sun exposure.

    Then if a plant gets too much sun, it dies, or if it gets too little, or whatever.

    So, plants cost some money to buy and plant, and they yield some value when they mature. They can be sold at a lesser cost before that. Dead plants loose all of their value.

    I'm thinking that annuals are worth more per yeild, whereas perennials are worth more over time because they yield more than once. They continue to occupy garden space, though, and must survive, whereas annuals yeild and then free up the space.

    You can also, I'm thinking, pay money on a turn to temporarily shield some of your plants from the sun or rain, or water them, or whatever. Or you can spend more money to get irrigation so you can water a whole area for less cost, etc.

    The game, then, comes down to managing space, and trying to plan to place your plants in an efficient way, while keeping them alive, and hedging the weather.

    For balance, and keeping people in the game, I'm thinking that one choice you can always take is hobby farm, which lets you put a tile on your land that yeilds a small but consistent amount of money per turn. That way you can always do something to dig yourself out of a bad investment. Or something.

    You'd have to balance it out so that filling your land with hobby farms isn't the winning choice.

  17. Blind Cooperative Game

    The idea is to have a co-operative game where the players all either win together or all lose, but they can't communicate with each other, except through the board.

    So, on their turn a player will choose some tile from their hand and lay it down on the grid somewhere in a way that would seem, to them, to make the most sense and be the most valuable.

    That may, though, screw over another player's actions.

    I'm thinking that the theme be something like spies trying to sabotage something, or infiltrate something, in a Loose Lips Sink Ships scenario. Any player who leaks information, even by just going "Rrr, damn" when someone puts something down, costs the team points due to a raid.

    So, the game should roughly end up like carcassone poker, where everyone wants to play together but can't co-ordinate.

    There would perhaps also be "intention" tiles which can be played instead of normal tiles. They cost you a turn, but they might have a little red X or an arrow or something on them to signify "Please don't put things here" or something. That has to go on the board, though, and costs a turn.

    Then, later, tiles can replace those ones.

    If you wanted to get crazy, you could even have a mechanic where the board is setup with a spinning shade around it, and players don't see the board until it's their turn. Then they don't even know who did what, they just know how the board was when they last touched it, and how it is now.


    Maybe it's something like a machine or factory where some parts take inputs and produce outputs. We're all trying to take resource A and get to resource B, but I don't know that other people have better cards than me, I just have to go forward assuming I'm the best, or something. Dunno.

  18. Two GMs

    This is a concept where a group of people are playing together in a fairly typical RP way, but at some point day turns to night or something and suddenly one of the players becomes the GM, and the GM becomes a player.

    Or maybe instead it could be a game about exploring other people's dreams or something and each player GMs their own dreams while the other players are in it.

    Or something.

  19. Occasional Power

    In this world there are those who have great power; to be stronger, faster, and basically invulnerable to damage by anyone but each other. The trick is, though, that they cannot remain in this state for a great deal of time, and must spend the vast majority of their time in mortal form. So, most of the time they are just as vulnerable and weak as the rest of us, but then they can switch for a short while into being superhuman.

    The mechanics would likely involve two sets of character sheets. One in which they're mostly average at everything, and another where they're crazy powerful and have stunts and the like.

    I'm thinking that stress would not carry between states, but consequences would.

    Then, when they've been in super form for a period of time, they begin to take stress to represent the toll it's taking on them.

    Maybe it'd be the case where every turn they make a roll to overcome "Stability" or something, and if they fail they take stress, and the longer it's been, the harder the difficulty to overcome.

  20. Teleport Partner Game

    In this game you and your partner are trying to achieve some goal, and the only way to get through the trials is to, roughly, fire each other out of your guns. So, my gun fires my partner, and their gun fires me.

    The original idea had some sense of "Maybe I'll purposefully dump you in the spikes so I get all the points to myself", or "Ok buddy, I pulled the lever and this place is sinking into the lava, get me out of here" "Nah..."

    But I'm not quite sure how to work it so that both players aren't just trying to race to kill each other at the end.

  21. Stars of our Lords

    This is a roughly fantasy setting that involves interplanetary travel. The vessels that travel between planets is powered and piloted by very powerful wizards who use the "Room of Runes" to channel their power and move the ship.


    Magic is obviously a large part of this setting.

    In the early days there were Gods who were very powerful beings who first brought magic to the various peoples of the One World.

    No one doubts the existence or power of these gods, as the history of one peoples always includes the descriptions of the other tribes they encountered. The histories of the One World match up with one another, besides the occasional bias, so there is no reason to doubt their accounts.

    Different Gods taught different approaches to magic, though. Some taught languages of words that could be spoken together to create power, others taught various runes which could be used to insrcribe objects and use their power, while others still taught that gestures would could be strung together to yield an effect.

    These various approaches fought amongst themselves and each other for many many generations. At various points the Gods disappeared, but history doesn't know why, or where they went.

    Generations later, after the people began to study and perfect the magic for themselves, they learned new techniques which allowed them to leave the One World, and explore and colonize more distant worlds. This lead to a great expansion, as well as, eventually, a mixing of the peoples now freed from their territorial roots.

    In the past few generations a renaissance of sorts has occured in certain enlightened sects of wizarding that different magical techniques are applicable to different scenarios, and so a well-rounded magic-user would learn vocal, gestural, and runic magic.

    • Runic magic is more stable. Once one is sufficiently practised, one can often execute a spell consistently. They take a long time to write, and there isn't a lot of room for improvisation, but they get the job done.
    • Gestural Magic is unstable. It can be powerful and fast, but also easy to get wrong and produce an unexpected or uncontrollable result.
    • Spoken Magic is the middle ground. It can be done somewhat reliably, somewhat consistently, and somewhat quickly, while still having room to adapt it to the situation at hand

    Also, a certain crystal was found on one of the planets in the area that can be used to further stabalize magic, called a Crystal Well. It allows one to pool their magic into it, and in transfering it outside of one's self, it can be more easily manipulated and built up.


    This all lead to the current, golden age, of magic and star travel. While there are still hold-outs to the old ways, and the old methods, most modern people travel by a vessel piloted by a wizard from the Room of Runes.

    This is a circular room with one or two wizards in it, where the walls are covered with runes, and in the centre is a large Crystal Well. The wizard, or group of wizards on longer journeys, use the runes to generate magic, which they pool into the Crystal Well and draw out of it again to move the ship.

    This provides a reliable and consistent journey.

    There are still those who pilot vessels with raw runes, voice, or even gestures, but they're considered reckless by modern people. It seems every time a ship bursts into flames or crashes into a sun or planet, it was some Gesture Wizard being foolhardy.


    There are a number of magical guilds and orgnization that have various opinions about magic and its uses. Due to the imporance of magic to interplanetary travel and communication, these organizations tend to have quite a bit of sway on things.

    Besides that, there are 2 major guilds dedicated to flight. Because these guilds compete, they are functionally useless as a union, but the things they agree on are basically just the way it is.

    There is also a third organization gaining ground as a guild demonizing the Crystal Well and its use in flight. There are those who refuse to travel without a pilot with such affiliation. Most people consider that crazy, but more and more people are joining that minority.

    Travel is infrequent enough that there is no "Alliance" or "Empire" to speak of. Every planet is basically on its own, and in general that's fine. The guilds have some power, just because they have a wide reach of powerful casters, but even they aren't everywhere.

    In general, nice planets are numerous and people are few, and no one is everywhere. There are too many small planets with ony a few people, and communication is so limited, it just isn't doable.

    There are a few mercenary organizations with various beliefs. There are those who believe in justice and act sort of like a judicial group people bring problems to, and they try to find the "truth" and handle it their way. There are many of these, and their beliefs on justice very greatly.

    Others, though, just provide muscle, and don't care why.

    Many many more thugs, and detectives, and assassins, for hire exist that are unaffiliated with any of the above.


    Besides magic, there is very little science or technology. Non-casters still wear armour and carry swords and crossbows, and clubs, etc.

    While the glue for this universe is that magic allows you to go wherever, casting is not super common, and neither is space flight. People aren't constantly zipping around shooting lightning at each other. Most people are simple folk who rarely encounter magic.


    The most important planet is the "One World". This is the planet from which all known life came. It's still the most widely populated, and basically any organization that exists in more than a small pocket exists here.

    There are some planets that are mostly underground, as the surface is just crust.

    There is the twin system, which are two somewhat highly populated planets. They are always near one another, so trade between them is frequent.

    Up until recently there was only one planet which had Crystal Wells, and they were all mined there. This took a once simple mining community and suddenly threw a lot of money and focus on it. This has had reprecussions.

    In the last few years, though, a new source of Crystal Wells was found on a distant world, which has started a sort of Gold Rush to this roughly unoccupied world.

    Types of Magic Mechanics

    Runic Magic

    This magic is reliable and low-risk, but inflexible. It's used in places where failure can't be an option, but the requirements need only a few reproducable effects from the spells.

    Protective spells used in prisons impressive enough to use magic, or walls or gates similarly impressive use it because the wall is always done exactly the same way, and it cannot fail. It also doesn't need to be cast at a monent's notice, and some time can be spent preparing the spell.

    Space travel is also done in this way. Wrap this ship in a protective field. Make this ship go up. Make this ship go down. These must work, but aren't unforseen.

    Mechanically, the difficulty is these spells is low, but they must produce a result, verbatim, every time it is cast. That result must be agreed upon beforehand.

    You cannot build a spell and cast it on the same turn. Those are two different actions.

    Say you had a fireball spell written on your staff. You would spend a turn focusing on the runes, taking in their shape, and passing your hand over them to help you form the spell. You do this for enough turns so that you can get enough shifts to cast the spell, with the difficulty of each roll being relatively low (due to the runes). Then, once you've built it up you can use it. This might be a "Careful" roll to actually aim the thing. Even if you got enough shifts in one turn to form the ball, you'd have to wait until the next turn to throw it.

    In order to perform Runic Magic you must have be able to see or feel the runes you intend to cast, for the entire duration of the casting.

    Verbal Magic

    This magic is medium-risk, but flexible. It's used for most day to day activities where normal people use magic.

    In this mechanic the difficulty is a little higher than it would be if you were using runes, but you can do whatever you think of. You still need to spend turns getting shifts, but they can adapt to how the spell is going so far, and what you need at that moment. Then, when you have enough to cause the effect you want, you can unleash it in another turn, like Runic magic.

    In order to perform Verbal Magic you must be able to speak aloud for the entire duration of the casting.

    Gestural Magic

    This magic tends to be risky, but is flexible and spontaneous. It's often used for combat magic, and in any cases where loosing something powerful in haste is needed.

    In this mechanic the difficulty is maybe higher than verbal magic, but maybe not. The real advantage and risk is that you can make two related rolls per turn.

    So, you can spend a turn and either raise shifts twice, or raise shifts while casting. This is because gestural magic is much more smooth and flowing, and one form can easily become another, or one hand may be casting one form while another casts another.

    This allows you to saturate an effect in one turn, while also unleashing that effect, responding quickly to a threat. For example, if someone bursts through a door and starts charging at you, you can charge up and deploy a shield in one turn, whereas a verbal magic person would take two. Or if you had the time, you could make two rolls in this turn to power up the spell, and next turn take another one before deploying it, making a large and powerful effect in a short amount of time.

    The problem is that while it allows you two chances to generate power in a turn, it also allows you two options to fail. Both rolls must be declared before a roll is made, and both rolls must succeed, or the whole thing fails. It allows you to create a lot of shifts to use in a short amount of time, but it can also create a lot of shifts to have fail in that same amount of time.

    In order to perform Gestural Magic you must be able to move freely for the entire duration of the casting.


    Magic, in general, is performed as roughly a personal contest of sorts. Every turn you make rolls to try and build up a number of shifts, trying to get to your goal. When you fail a roll, though, you can loose control over the whole thing, and that energy you built up has to go somewhere.

    If you want to be safe you can, instead of making overcome rolls, make "Create Advantage" rolls to represent you putting up magical boundaries. Then, you can invoke those advantages when trying to make up for a bad roll, to get things back into the realm of control, representing you taxing those boundaries with a particularly sloppy evocation.

    Some magic that is particularly important uses a Crystal Well. Casting with one of these is almost always safe because every turn can be spent making a Create Advantage roll, and pooling it into the well. Only on the last turn do you bring the magic out of the well, with all of its shifts, in one big moment.

    When you fail a roll by quite a bit, though, and can't make up for it with aspects, then you've lost control of the magic. The negative shifts (How far you were from making it) are added to your total before dealing with them. Then all bundled up shifts need to be allocated to something, either doing damage to surrounding people, friend and foe alike, or yourself, or causing strange effects to occur in the area, etc.

    If you only spent one turn building up a shield, and it goes badly, it might just blow you back instead, causing only minor damage.

    If, though, you've spent 3 turns building up a huge wall of fire, and get hit with an arrow and can't recover, then this fire is going to go everywhere, and maybe blow out some structures and everyone near you.

    I'm thinking area effects in the area could be like consequences are on a person. Minor consequences soak up two shifts and are strange. "Rippling Air", "Whistling Noise". Moderate Consequences would be four shifts and more like. "Blindingly Bright" or "Cracking Along the Walls". Severe Consequences might be "Everything is Burning" or "This building is coming down". I may want to dial that out a little more.

    Gestural Magic gets two rolls per turn. As mentioned in that section, both rolls must be made, regardless of the results of either. This means that if you're trying to build and cast a quick shield spell to cover yourself, you'd make one roll to generate the shield and another to deploy it in the same roll. If you just fail your first roll but get 3 shifts on your second, then you have failed the entire roll and have 3 shifts to deal with from one turn alone.

    Also, you cannot adapt one roll to the other, since they're both happening simultaneously. If you fail your first roll, you fail the whole roll. You can't make up for it with the second. You could spend one of your two rolls creating an advantage to protect yourself, as you might with other magics, but at that point you could just use Verbal Magic and be more sure.

    The tradeoff with Gestural Magic is that you can generate a lot of power quickly, but that can quickly blow back in your face, as it's not stable. If you fail both rolls on a turn, by 2 and 3 respectively, then in one turn you've built up a 5 shift spell you have no control over.

  22. Sacrifice

    A game where every play you make helps something, or a few things, but always hurts something else.

    It'd basically be a game where you always have a few objectives going at once, and you can help some while hurting others of yours.

    I'm thinking perhaps you have two red tokens and two green tokens.

    Then, there is a shared board with types of materials and amounts. Each player puts one token down each turn onto an unoccupied space. One of each colour goes on an amount, and one goes on a material. Once every player has played all of their tokens, the green item goes up by the green amount, and the red item goes down by the red amount.

    So, you can pick an amount first, but you might not be able to get the material you want. You can pick the material you want, but you might not be able to pick the amount you need.

    Then, you can pick the one to go up first, but then get jammed into the one you don't want going down, or vice versa.

    I'm thinking each player has some total amount of points, and also has goals.

    • Simple goals are "Element A: 20-30 points"
    • More complicated goals are "Element B: 24 points"
    • Even harder are "Element C: 20-25 points, Element D: 18-20 points"

    The harder goals are worth more at the end.

    You can satisfy multiple goals on a turn. Your goals are secret until you finish them. So, you're all trying to adjust your totals around so that you can fill your goals. But, because of scarsity, you can end up with your totals going way off if you're not careful. You might focus on getting A to 25, but that accidentally drops your B to 3 because you had to sacrifice it and take a bad value.

    I'm thinking there should also be a yellow token and player order slots. On one of your turns you also need to claim a position in the turn order.

    That means that someone can sacrifice one of their turns early to make sure they get the first turn next time. If you instead grab materials or values first, then your turn order is mostly decided by others.

    I feel like it's very important for there to be scarcity. The last person to choose something should have basically no choice.

    I'm thinking that each player always has some number of active goals, like 3, and when one is completed they get two more and can choose to keep one and must discard the other. More generally, if a player finishes N on a turn, they draw 2N and discard N. So, if you finish 1 on this turn, you get 2 and discard the one you don't want. If you finish all 3 in one turn, though, you can draw 6 and keep any 3 you like, and discard any 3 you don't. That is superior, as it gives you more choice.

    The game ends when someone completes some number of goals.

    Scaling the game involves more amounts and material cards.

  23. Aging Magic

    Written: http://psycoti.ca/0/main/aging_magic.html

    General image of a person staring in awe as a wizard or something stands before a huge cloud of fire, redirecting it, and generally doing awesome battle.

    Cut to same kid, older, with aging old frail and crazy person.

    The guy is looking after his old mentor and generally frustrated at his inability. As the guy is leaving, the old one says something like "Remember that time with the fire" and the guy says, tiredly, "Yes, I remember", but then, as he's leaving, more sincerly, "I'll always remember"

    I like the juxtaposition of the power of a person in their prime, with the inevitibility of weakening later.

  24. War of Angels

    History is told by the victor. The gist is a retelling of the rise of God.

    The gist is that there are a bunch of creatures who are Angels, who are all relatively equal. One of them, though, begins telling others that he is the creator of all things, using mostly social tactics and stage magic to appear to be more powerful than the others.

    Another, Lucifer, fights back by trying to convince people that it's not true.

    At some point Lucifer kicks in and has Yaweh down, and says something like "I don't want to kill. I just needed to show that you were not all powerful" Then Yaweh says something along the lines of "See, I didn't want to kill him, I just convinced him that he didn't want to blacken his soul" or something like that.

  25. Motive Paranoia

    Game where there are a few different items, and each person has some motive.

    Like, they want to get the "Hairbrush" into the "Lobby" or they want to give their "Ring" to the "Jock" or something. Maybe they have a few different things they need to do.

    These motives are all secret, though. And, every person needs someone else to do stuff. Like, you all start with something, but you can only hold one thing at a time, or something like that.

    So, everyone needs to sneak and bargain their own things in, but everyone's paranoid because everyone's out to get their own thing done and even if someone is offering to help, you know it has to be for their own interests. There should be some sort of collaboration that must be kept, to keep forcing people to rely on each other while trying to backstab them.

  26. Sabotage Game

    Kinda like Resistence, but more goal oriented. Essentially, everyone picks up cards that let them do damage, or something, and every turn they must play a card, give a card to another player, and discard a card.

    The magic is that some players are trying to win, and help others win, and others are trying to cause people to lose.

    So, a player on the winning side would attempt to discard low cards, and either use high cards for themselves, or send high cards to their teammates to help them fight things that are coming up.

    A player on the losing side, though, would attempt to discard high cards, and play low cards, or fill his teammates' hands with useless cards. They have to be careful, though, because if they are obviously only ever playing low cards, people might get suspicious.

    So, they have to be, roughly, apologetic when they give someone a bad card, without being obvious.

    So, I think that players will have trials they go through, which is what the cards are for. So, perhaps, someone has a strength trial coming up, people can give him strength cards, but someone sabotages the deck with a weak strength card, so he doesn't make it back from the trap.

    Ok, new plan. Each player has a pile of cards, that are hidden to him. Every player gives in one or so cards, and then the pile is consulted and the lowest card is used, or something, so people don't know who did what, but they can see that it didn't go well. Work in progress.

    I'm also thinking that perhaps, instead of a trial, a player can choose to duel another player. (Which is a sort of trial)

    The player who loses leaves the game and must remain silent.

    The gist, then, is that the winning team must suss out and destroy the enemy, while the enemy must trick the good guys into failing and being killed, or defeat them outright without becoming obvious. Roughly.

    So, sorta Werewolf Resistence.

  27. Wheel Mechanic

    Each action is on a wheel, and the wheel has a marker at one position.

    You can take the action that is at that position for free, the one next to it for one point, the next for 2, etc. One of the things in the game moves the wheel, allowing a different price for each action.

    This seems like it'd be a neat way to strategize and screw over your fellow players.

  28. Pilgrim Game

    This is a cooperative game that uses the Weather Mechanic to model the year.

    Roughly, you're a group of pilgrims in an isolated area, looking to survive together. This involves hunting for food, growing crops, raising animals, making clothing, etc.

    Each player has a hand of cards that allows the village to do something. One might be "blacksmith crafts better axe, +2 to lumber" or something.

    Roughly, you as a group need to balance doing things to survive today, while also perparing for the future. In the summer you want to produce food, but also preserve some for the winter.

    You need to put some work into your shelter, and your clothes, and your farms, etc.

    I'm thinking as players play cards, they get "better" at them. So, there's an advantage to getting your blacksmith cards to player 2, because he's played 2 already, so he could get more value out of this card. There should, therefore, be a restriction on trading cards on your turn, to make it more tricky.

    Possible mechanic is a "trading-post" card or two, that you never spend, but always goes with a trade. So, if you wanted to give a card to another player, you must first have the trading-post card. Then, you give the trading-post card along with the card you want to trade to another player. Then, you no longer have a trading-post card. They do. You can never give the trading post card on its own. Only with a card.

    So, the balance is between having specialized people, but having to do more trading, or having generalists who don't get as much value out of each card.

  29. Weather Mechanic

    This idea is about modelling weather for a game.

    It could be anything that is periodic, but random.

    There are, say, 24 different groups and each group has 10 cards in it. These groups are kept separately, but shuffled individually.

    Then each card in that group has weather conditions or something on it. So, this one might be 10°C and sunny, and the one under it might be 5°C and cloudy. In each part of the year you don't know what the next card will be, but you can know roughly what it will be.

    If you're in the springtime you don't know whether it'll be rainy or whatever, but you do know it won't be 35°C and bone dry. That can happen in the Summer, but you know it can't happen in the winter.

    This allows a random, but reliable, season mechanic.

    Each group is just crafted so that any one of the cards in that group is plausible for that time of year.

    At the end of each year you could either play with the second card from each group if you're fine with each group being different from last year, or you can reshuffle each group at the beginning of the year to allow each year to be completely independent.

  30. Potentionaut

    The gist of this story is that we confirm that at every decision, called a branch, a new reality is created for each posibility, where they were the choice given. That's the layman's explaination, though. In reality for every quantum event instead of coming up one way it comes up another, which means there are functionally infinite different realities.

    This is discovered when a breakthrough technology allows two things. First, it bends the Uncertainty Principal by allows us to observe phenomena without affecting them.

    Roughly, while there is randomness from our perspective, because we're never sure which path "we" are going down next, because all of them are described in their own branch there's no randomness down a branch. This technology allows us to, roughly, inspect the structure of the branches. This means that while we cannot predict which branch we'll end up on, we can witness the possible reactions as though we could.

    The scientific community goes crazy, most people talk about stuff, but it doesn't affect normal life. They were mostly excited about the Uncertainty Principal, and didn't look further yet.

    Then, relatively soon after another group discovers that using that same technology, with some tweaks they provide, you can also look at other, more distant sibling branches, along with future and past branches. All of time our timeline roughly becomes a huge set of branches, and there are also infinitely more of them, and all can be inspected. This one is the one that's huge, and people remember forever, as this was the begining. Suddenly we knew that there were other parallel universes, and we knew because we could peer into them.

    Now, at this level it was all quantum events. It was this spin going this way vs that way, so there wasn't a lot of practical use to it, but we could do it.

    Things moved relatively quickly after that. Within the year researchers had machines that would, given todays exact time, find the set of branches of another time relative to now.

    Quickly, lab work changes drastically. Universities all over are clambouring to get a hold of these machines, so that experiments could be performed, and then inspected with infinite detail after the fact. An experiment only needed to be done once, and then all outcomes could be explored with no equipment or operator error. The structure of everything could be witnessed, and essentially multiple experiments were performed all at once because all outcomes were present. Particle physics obviously went first, then chemical physics, etc. Many laws of nature were discovered or refined, as our lenses were suddenly far more clear and mathematical.

    Then, in a landmark paper, one researcher doesn't run an experiment, but observes it anyway. They think about the pattern they would expect to see from the experiment, and instead of doing the experiment to find it, they instead navigate the sibling branches looking for the pattern, eventually finding the branch where they had performed the experiment instead, and just observe that. The concept finding an observing the outcome of something you chose not to do is exciting to scientists, but even more so to the public.

    That researcher, seeing both the public and scientific implications of their work begins to attempt to refine that process. It mostly involves computer algorithms and filtering to attempt to automate what took years of manual work for their team before, which is finding important and relevant branch points for higher level interest.

    At some point one author describes the new team as Potentionauts, and the term sticks.

    The research team at a computer graphics company produces, after years of work, a rough image of an arbitrary time and place on earth, based off the data observed from the structure. This is obviously huge news for science, but also for people.

    At this point we have a window into the past, and present, and no one can ever see it. It's roughly magic, and privacy concerns and all sorts of issues come up. The only saving grace is that it's expensive to render, so no one's going to use it to spy on normal people.

    A company, based off that research group, begins selling 3D snapshots of objects at exact times or places. Each snapshot takes about a month for each cubic meter of area, but the demand quickly outpaces them despite the high price. The 3D snapshots are then given to render farms which immediately spring up all over to try and compete to get you images from those snapshots.

    As more and more of the underlying physics is understood, the resolution of the images, and the speed of getting those images, improves dramatically. Color is eventually figured out, and original lighting as well.

    An archeology department finally manages to snapshot some dinosaurs from the far past.

    At one point a rich man records the time and place when his young secretary is in the washroom and hires a potentionaut to find him the image of her using the toilet. When workers at the render farm discover what they're rendering, the whole thing blows wide open and the privacy implications come up yet again.

    The potentionauts, as their tools and knowledge increase, become more and more adept at finding moments and choices, and possibilities. As they become better, more and more people begin using them to make decisions. CEOs of large corporations hire potentionauts as consultants to try and discover what far-reaching implications there may be for a merger or acquisition.

    Some of them are roughly con-men, promising to look ahead and give the answer they want, but others are more skilled and are actually adept at navigating the possibilities.

    A wealthy couple makes the first 3D movie by recording the time where they were performing a sexual act, and requesting 10 frames, one per second, of that span. The result is rough, but is released and sparks a wildstorm.

    A less scrupulous caste of potentionauts emerges that prey on people's regret. They are hired to answer the question "What would have happened if I hadn't done X"

    I'm thinking that the best way to write this might be to pickup a number of keypoints in each era, and have an entirely different character and maybe even literary style for each one. So, one would be a researcher hearing about the first bit, the next might be 10 years later, and it's a random guy hearing about the news of something else. I'm thinking each one would be a relatively normal person who is only peripherally related to the growth.

    I think.

  31. Stock Market Game

    So, this is just an idea. The idea is that you've got a typical scoring track, like a normal game, and the player that has the most points at the end of the game wins.

    The problem is that points are also the currency of the game.

    So, on your turn one of your potential actions is to take some points from your pool, and convert it into movement on the track, but if you put all your points into that, then you can't buy stuff. If you never put points into there, then you can never win because you have no points at the end of the game.

    Also, certain events in the game will refer to placement, like "The first player moves back 2 points" or something. I'm thinking also that you can turn position back into points, but as a loss. That way, if you suddenly need some money for something you can lose points, but it's not as good as if you just kept the points around.

    Actually, I'm thinking this could be a not bad Economics game. Your scoring points would be capital, and your useful points would be liquidity.

    So, if the game ends and you have 0 capital, then you lose, but if you never have any liquidity then you can't buy new assets because all of your money is tied up.

    I've sorta wanted to make a market game anyway, this could be part of that... Anyway, cool.

    Also, I'm thinking, that play order goes in reverse capital order, so the player with the most capital goes last. But, obviously, if the game were to end, then they'd win.

    Working on the stock market concept, I think I'd want to do commodity stuff. And then some combination of cards and prisoner's dilema stuff would dictate the market. So, maybe everyone keeps their stocks secret, and the price goes up over time. When someone sells something, though, then the price goes down.

    So, if everyone has corn, they don't know that everyone else has corn. The price of corn goes up every turn, but as soon as the first person puts down corn, they get the money, and the price drops for everyone else. So, that way if everyone holds out things go up, but like a dutch auction, the first person to break gets the payout.

    Then, random stuff can come up on the cards like "Warm Summer, Corn and Wheat +2.5, Stone -0.9" or something. One is probably market crash, which is "Everything down to 1.0" or something. There could be a bunch of cards, like, 300, but each game is only played until the deck is empty, so a normal game might be 70 cards. That way you never know which ones are in your little period, and you can play for as long or short as you like.

    Then there might be other stuff. There might be special Insider Trading cards you can buy. They give you the ability to hold them in your hand and play them when it's most advantageous to you. So, if you're holding a card that says "Corn -3.4", then you can hold on to it, cash out on corn, then play that card to further damage the price. Or, if it said "Corn +2.7", you can play that, then cash out on your turn.

    Maybe one of the cards is "audit" or something, and anyone who has an insider trading card when that comes up has to pay a fine with their liquidity. Maybe one for each card they have. Or, it could be a counter card, and you play audit against them. So, they play their card and you say "Actually, audit", which causes them a fine and loses them their turn. Or something.

    Anyway. Just for kicks, I think I'd put in bonds, which you can buy and aren't affected by anyone else, and do go up in value, but do tie up your stuff. And maybe shorts, because they're cool. That'd make it profitable to know have the "Corn -3.4" directly, and to hope that someone else will drop corn. I don't really know the best way to do that though...

    Maybe the best thing to do is to have it, and bonds, just in the face down pile in the middle that you can purchase from. Then each player looks at the pile, but they don't know what was there before, and picks something to maybe buy. If they buy something, they blindly replenish it.

    So, you buy it, and park your points in there. So, the card might say "Up to 7 shares, at 10/share, in Corn". Then you put it face down in your collection, with 60 points on it.

    Later, you can reveal it and say "A ha! The price is currently 14/share, which means I get these 60 points back, and another 24!" So, since in my model the purchase price is always on the card, but the sell price is set by the market, sometimes it might be useful to just see a great deal and turn it around immediately. That's like Arbitration.

    Bounds you park money in, and they last a certain length of time, but then they pay out obviously. Like, 4/share. In 2 turns, sell for 8/share.

    Shorts are things that, rather than saying "Up to 7 shares, at 10/share, in Corn" say "Up to 7 shares, at market value in two turns, in Corn. Sell at 10/share" So, in that case you hope that the price of corn will drop in the next two turns, to be below 10, so when it matures, you can make the difference.

    I'm not sure how secret to be. I need to stop people from cheating, at least a little bit.

    So, shorts and bonds mature. So, I'm thinking there'd be markers for that, so when you put the card into your portfolio, you would place two markers on it. Then, every turn, you remove markers from it until it matures, when you must play it.

    Stocks, you play them, and put your money into them. Then, you may play them at any time, and when you do the money goes to the bank, and you get back the value. So, for example, if you buy at 10/stock, and want 4 shares, then you put the card facedown in your portfolio and put 40 points on top of it. Then, when you want to sell, you turn the card faceup to show everyone and show everyone that you had 40 points at 10/stock, so you have 4. Then you compute the current value, so if the current value is at 12, then you get back your original 40, plus an additional 8. If, though, you're forced to liquidate, and the price is only at 8, then you only get back 32, and 8 of your payment returns to the bank.

    Bonds mature, but you put money on them, so they are stocks that mature.

    Shorts mature, but you don't put money on them.

    I'm not sure I want people knowing what you've got, though.

    Also, the game might quickly turn into "Wait until you find low hanging fruit, then take it". Maybe stocks also mature. And all longs can be shorts. So, the card might say "Up to 8 shares, Corn, matures in 3 turns, 10/share" Then you can either put money on it, making it a long, or not, making it a short. That way no one knows which card you picked, they just know that you'd shorting something. Bonds, then, look just like longs, they're just not in a commodity.

    Then there's the question of whether or not stocks should go up over time alone, or just in response to cards. Then the cards could be made to, across the whole deck, average out. On any individual game, built out of a shorter subset of the cards, individual stuff could go way up or way down. It's random, though, so mostly gambling. Is this game too random? Also, when people drop their thing, the price goes down, but if it's just static, then the game can't know that, and it'll never really recover. It'll just drift downwards.

    I think I've now boiled it down to the point where there's no real strategy, and no market, and it's just gambling on cards. Fuck.

    I'll rethink this.

    What It's Become

    I've been thinking about it. It's very different now.

    In this game there are N players. Each player has a hand of instruments, which are stocks, bonds, and assets. They also have a hand of trends. On the board is a chart of value for each of 6 companies on the market, each set at some starting value.

    At the beginning, each player is given some number of points as their initial liquidity. This is a pool they may use to buy instruments, which should make them more money.

    The first stage of each turn is to distribute trends. From the deck of trends, 2*N cards are drawn off the top. Each player, in turn, from lowest liquidity to highest, picks one card to put in their hand, and one to discard. Then they pass it to the next player, along with another card from the top of the deck.

    This means that, for 5 players, the first player has 10 to choose from, the next has 9, the next has 8, and the last has 5, but the each player has the possiblility to stop the next player from getting something good. Maybe something good replaced it from the top of the deck, maybe not. Now each player has a new trend in their hand.

    Next, the same thing is done with the instruments deck, this time from lowest cumulative asset value to highest. Each player should have a new instrument in their hand.

    In the next phase, each player may buy instruments from their hand, and put them into their portfolio (on the table).

    • Assets are the point value of the game. They do not generate profit, but at the end of the game the player with the highest cumulative asset value wins. Also, every turn, the turn order for instruments is defined by this asset value Obviously, when in your portfolio, these are face up, and the value of each is a well known figure.
    • Stocks are valued based on the price of a company. They are placed facedown with some number of points on the back of them, and a number of maturity tokens as indicated on the card.
      • They may be placed "long", which is that some number of shares, up to the value written on the card, may be purchased at the current price. The money for that many shares is taken out of your liquidity pool and placed on the back of the stock, and a marker for the current turn is placed on the stock to help remember what the price was when that was purchased. When the stock matures, you are given as many points as that number of shares is now worth. In this case, you're hoping for the value to have gone up.
      • They may also be placed "short", which is that some number of shares, up to the value written on the card, may be sold at the current price, in the future. The money for that many shares is taken from the bank and placed on the back of the card. When the stock matures, the points are added from the card to your pool, then a number of tokens must be paid out from your liquidity pool at the current price. In this case, you're hoping for the value to have gone down.
    • Bonds are instruments which yield predictable, but modest, profits, and have nothing to do with the value of any company on the market. They may be purchased for the value on the card when played, and a number of maturity tokens are placed on the card as indicated by the card. The points to purchase them are removed from your pool, and placed on the back of the card. When the bond matures, you reclaim your points, and recieve the extra points from the bank as indicated on the card. Bonds are also placed facedown, and are indistinguishable to the other players from stocks.

    Unlike assets, while the amount of money you have tied up in the active stocks and bonds in your portfolio are public, as is the timing of when your stocks will mature, etc, the actual terms of those instruments are not. Other players cannot tell if a given facedown instrument is a stock or a bond, and if it's a stock they can't tell for sure which company it's in.

    Players may, on their turn, pruchase as many stocks or bonds as they can afford, but may only purchase one asset per turn.

    In the next phase, the market moves. Each player chooses, in secret, one of their trends from their hand. They each put their facedown trend in the middle, and when everyone has chosen, they are all turned faceup and go into effect. Example trends:

    • Company A, -4 for 2 turns.
    • Company D, +6 for 1 turn.
    • Company B, +2 for 5 turns.
    • Company B, -4 for 2 turns.

    Trends are given maturity tokens based on the number of turns they take effect for, and are placed into the active market area with the other trends. Now each trend is taken into consideration and the net change for each company is instituted. If those examples were the only examples, then this turn A's value is decreased by 4, B goes down by 2, C is unchanged, and D goes up by 6. Every trend has one maturity token removed from it, and any that are out of tokens are discarded.

    Next, each player's instruments have a maturity token removed from it. Any that come mature are dealt with, then discarded.

    At this point the next turn begins.

    I say that if a stock's value drops to, or below, 0, then there's a reissue. In this case all trends on that stock are discarded, and each player must discard any stocks associated with that company from their active portfolio. Any value locked up in those stocks are lost.

    If two or more stocks are reissued on the same turn, then there's a market crash. All stocks are reissued.

    The last bit is loans. They're mostly a mechanic to allow players to get through some tough times. A player may, at any point, liquidate one of their assets by discarding it and getting back 90% of its value. (It might actually be easier to give them back 100%, and having to lose it from your hand and lose the time you spent building it might be enough to stop people thrashing it) If that's insufficient, though, to make a payment, then there are also loans.

    These are like the opposite of a bond. They are not in the instruments pile, and they don't need to be played from the hand. Any player may take a loan at any time.

    The loan just says "Collect 200 points from the bank. Matures in 3 turns. Pay back 250 points." or something. So, if you need a little more liquidity now, but you're pretty sure you'll have enough to pay it back in 3 turns, you can take the loan. It goes faceup in your portfolio and has the right number of maturity tokens on it. When it matures, like any other instrument, you pay back the number of points it says on the card.

    I think that a player can never fully lose, because they can always take a loan to pay off another loan, but at some point they get in way over their head. The games probably aren't long enough for that to matter, though.

    The game ends after a set number of turns, and the players are ranked buy the total value of their assets alone. At the end of the game, none of your stocks or liquidity are important.

  32. Magic Story

    In this story magic is a real thing, but it's rare, and random. Children will spring up -- not all the time, but occasionally -- with strong magical abilities.

    Sometimes, if remote enough, these people will be shamans or scions or something to their town or villiage. Anywhere closer to the major centres, though, and someone with power will take notice. Most typically, that will involve an established magical warlord in the area showing up to snuff out the child, in order to retain control over the population.

    Occasionally someone will go undetected and go off into the wilds to study in peace, sometimes they'll learn to control their magic just enough to blend in. Occasionally someone stands up to challenge the current warlord and there's a change in power.

    Other potential ideas

    This is all going on in the middle areas, that are populated but not strongly so. In the next province over, they embrace magic. Mages are a trade, and they have a guild, and apprentice, and all that stuff.

    Someone in the area who has strong magic, but was remote enough to escape notice, wants to try and start a guild (if that last idea is off the ground, it's possible they're instead someone from that province coming over). So, they go around to the children that would normally be killed by the warlords, but he gets there first and takes the kid.

  33. Teleportation Game

    Use a system to allow a relatively few number of keystrokes to do two angles and a distance This, then, allows your person to teleport to that position.

    Because of the way precision works for angles, this means that you are less precise the further you're going.

    There will likely be a button that while you're holding it down allows you to enter a destination and then when you release it goes there. At the beginning, I'm thinking this button will also freeze time and give you a nice readout so you can get a feel. In medium mode time will slow, but not stop. In hard mode time keeps going.

    The idea is that as you practise, you can actually get good enough, and get enough of an intrinsic sense for it, that you can just take under a second to dump where you want to go, without thinking too hard about it.

    Which'd be cool.

    Actual Game Bits

    I don't know what I want the game to really be. I just want the mechanic.

    So, one easy use is just a multiplayer tag game. You give people a cool environment, and they play a game of tag between people who can run, jump, and teleport.

    A combat game would be cool, but more work.

    A whole FPS style game with story and stuff would potentially also be very cool, but even more work.

    I think tag, for a tech demo, would be fine.

  34. Perspective

    Since it'd be messing with perspective, it's automatically similar to Echochrome The idea with this one is that you can grab stuff which prevents it from changing with perspective.

    So, you can walk really far away from something, lock it, then walk close again and now it's small.


    I've done some thinking on this.

    I think there'd be a few different locks. Shape lock would be essentially like picking an item up. It maintains its perspective by moving with you when you move, appearing constant to you but moving relative to the other objects.

    Position lock would be the interesting one. In this case you move around, and it appears the same. This is not because it's changing position, though, but rather becaue it's changing shape and size to appear the same despite the change in perspective.

    One obvious use of this is to look at an item and and walking away from it or towards it, like above, which would make it smaller or large relative to the other objects.

    Another one, though, is finding some really weird long pointy shape, but finding that when it's viewed from on point it looks kinda a like a cube. Now when you lock it there and move down the shape it becomes a neat little box.

    With position lock you can obviously do some motions which would make it impossible for the object to shape itself to still look the same. This is true also if you're just carrying an item around, though, and walk into a wall.

    So, at some point if you've got an object position locked an moving in some way would cause the object to be impossiblly positioned or shaped, then you just hit a wall, same as if you were carrying something through a wall.


    I don't know what kind of game I want to make. It could be an FPS game where you have the ability to do this.

    It could be a First Person Puzzle Game where the goal is to get shape A into position B.

    It could also be an Abstract Puzzle Game where you're just a disembodied force in a zone of floating shapes. The goals here would be the same as the above, where you have to get the shapes from some initial configuration into some target configuration.

  35. Castle Siege

    Tower defense and resource allocation game. Rather than having just one tower, you have a castle. It has gates and walls and towers.

    Then, you have a certain number of things inside the wall, and people attack the castle from all around. It's your job to get wood to the fletchers, arrows to the archers, soldiers to the gates, masons to the walls, etc.

    Perhaps from time to time you'll run out of wood so you'll need to send lumberjacks out to the woods with some number of soldiers, and they'll need to fight their way out and back.

    And not just distribution, but redistribution.

    Sometimes the siege will start from the front, but then more people will come from another side and you'll have to choose to split your forces or take care of the front first, or whatever.

    Sometimes you just can't hold the outer walls any longer, and you'll have to retreat back to the inner walls. It'd be good, in that case, to try to get as many of your resources back out of the depot there and into the back before retreating.

    Sometimes the soldiers need to defend a broken gate until the builders can get the gate fixed, then they'll need to rush over to the east wall where the archers have been doing well, but not well enough to stop the siege ladders from going up. In that case you'll want to pull your archers out, since they'll get slaughtered up there, and get your soldiers over to kill the people rushing up the walls and destroy the ladder.

    That kind of thing.


    Ok, so, have a series of things, like towers and walls, and gates.

    Each one has some number of slots, and each slot has a unit type.

    So, for example, a tower might have 4 archer slots. A wall might have 6 archer or tar slots, and 6 soldier slots. A gate might have 2 archer or tar slots, and 4 soldier slots.

    So, unit types:

    • Archers shoot arrows at long and medium range.
      • They can hit close range, but they're less effective there.
    • Soldiers attack enemies they are next to.
    • Tarslingers attack enemies at close range for great damage.
    • Workers can fill any slot and while there they repair whichever structure they're attached to

    Then, the way the game works is that there are locations and you move units from location to location. Resources work almost the same way, but we'll get to that in a bit.

    So, the first location is the pool. This is where all the untrained labour sits.

    Then there is the archery range. It has a certain number of slots, that when filled by someone they become an archer, after a brief time.

    So, say it has 8 slots. That means that there can be 8 archers either in training, or trained and unassigned. To train more, you grab 8 units from the pool, and move them into the archery range. They sit there for a bit as unassigned, but after a while they become archers, still in the slot. Then, you can move 4 archers from the range out to the Western Wall. They first reserve the slots on the wall, then vacate the slots in the range, then walk to the wall.

    There'd also be a place to create soldiers and tarslingers.

    Any unit can be moved back to the pool to be stripped of their training and become another unit waiting for further instruction.

    Training a unit consumes time, but also some amount of resources. For example, training an archer might cost a bit of wood, whereas training a soldier might take a bit of iron.

    Other potential units:

    • Wizard:
      • Wherever the wizard is stationed is considered to have inifinite resource.
      • You can put them wherever you need them the most.
      • If they're placed on the wood pile, then you have infinite wood.
      • If they're placed on the wall, then you have infinite arrows, tar, stone, food, whatever.
      • On the wall, they consume a slot.
      • The wood pile doesn't have slots, though, so they just hang out there.
    • Medic:
      • The medic consumes a slot, but heals the other units in that location.


    I'm thinking that one unit is "mover" or something. They have a wheelbarrow. So, each resource has its own stockpile. Each consuming area also has one. So, if one takes a wheelbarrow unit and moves him to one stock pile he will load up on that resource, then you tell him where to put it.

    For example, each wall or tower or gate with archers needs arrows. You need to tell the wheelbarrow guys to fetch arrows from the fletcher and move them to the walls. The fletcher, though, needs wood to make arrows. You need to then also fetch wood from the wood pile and drop it off at the fletcher.

    Depending on how I wanted to do it, I could also require all units to be fed, and have food as a resource.

    Tar is itself a resource, and without it Tarslingers can't fire, just like archers.

    Soldiers don't need anything, I don't think.

    Builders may or may not need stone...

    At the beginning of the game, while I'm easing people into it, I'm thinking that resources will be infinite. Then, one by one, as they progress I will make things harder by making them have to do more.

    So, in the beginning, each archer will have an infinite number of arrows and everything will be fine. Later, though, they'll have to move arrows from the fletcher to the wall, but the fletcher will have infinite arrows. Later still they'll have to move wood to the fletcher to get arrows, which they then have to move to the wall. But there will be infinite wood. For a while...

    Gathering Resources

    At some point they'll need to gather wood, and will run out of wood inside the castle. They'll have to venture outside the castle walls to the forests out there.

    While you can set your mover to take his wheelbarrow out to the woods, and he'll run through the gate and grab wood and come back to put it in the wood pile, that's not a great idea. The movers are not combat unit, and chances are if you need wood it's because things are not safe outside the castle walls.

    So, sometimes it might be the case that you're being sieged from the west and there's a forest to the east, and you can just have your movers fetch it safely. Othertimes, though, it might not be so easy.

    In those cases you can build a caravan which has slots. Then you can fill the caravan's slots with some movers, some archers, and some soldiers, for example.

    The more military units you put into a caravan, the safer it will be. It will not carry as many resources, though, as one that had more movers and fewer guards. That's the tradeoff. So, once the caravan is loaded to your satisfaction, you can send it like it was a mover. It's much harder to attack, though.

    I'm thinking later in the game you might have two castles under siege, one that has all of some resource, and another that has another. Then you need to use caravans to move resources between the two castles in order to keep up both of their defenses.

    Damage and Enemy Units

    The enemy has a lot of units you don't, and vice-versa.

    They have soldiers and archers, like you do, but they also have siege machines like trebuchets, and battering rams.

    • An archer's job is to take enemy units off the walls, like archers and tarslingers.
    • A soldier's job is to attack any units they encounter beyond the wall, to attack the gate to try to break it down.
      • If there are any siege ladders active, they will try to climb up them.
    • A catapult is used to attack gates, towers, and walls
      • I'm not really sure how to defend against these.
      • I'm thinking we could build trebuchets inside the castle to take these out...
      • Or maybe we can't defend against those, it just makes the level harder because you have to do whatever while still repairing the walls
    • A battering ram's job is to breach the gates
    • A siege ladder is run to the wall, and if it makes it then it's set up
      • Once it's set up, enemy soldiers may pass through the wall as if it had been destroyed
      • Enemy soldiers on the wall will be stopped by your own soldiers posted to the wall so long as there are some
      • Your soldiers and tarslingers, and to a lesser extent archers, will destroy any ladders on the wall they're stationed at

    The way the enemy wins is to get their soldiers into your castle.

    Any entrance (walls with ladders, destroyed walls, open gates, destroyed gates) is a way a soldier can get into your castle. Any time a soldier gets to your pool they kill some number of members of it. When you run out of units, you loose, so that's bad since it's much easier for soldiers to kill untrained peasants than soldiers or whatever.

    The enemies at an entrance must fight any units at that entrance before they can enter the castle. So, as long as there's some soldiers there, it's not truely open. That can sometimes give you just enough time to get a builder out to repair the gate, or give your soldiers time to destroy the ladders.

    I think each unit has a preference for who they try to kill first.

    • Archers first try to kill other Archers, then Tarslingers, then Soldiers
    • Soldiers first try to kill other Soldiers, then Tarslingers, then Archers
    • Tarslingers first try to kill Soliers, then other Tarslingers, then Archers.

    This means that if your wall has 3 Soldiers and 6 Archers and enemy Soldiers are coming up the ladder, they will not attack the Archers until you don't have any more Soldiers.

    This will also need to extend to all enemy units. For example, the Tarslingers should be much more interested in destroying the Battering Ram than the Soldier attacking the gate.


  36. Voting System

    So, I want a voting system with the following properties:

    • I can see all the ballots, count them myself, and verify that each one is valid
      • Valid in this case means that each person got one ballot, and each ballot was used only once
    • I can determine that my ballot is in the pool of ballots, and has the proper value
    • No one except me can know which ballot is mine

    I'm not yet convinced that such a system is possible.

    So, the easiest way to do a lot of it is have the government give out secret keys. You sign you ballot, cast it. Every ballot is trusted by the government's key, you can check that they're valid and trusted, and I can see my own.

    The issue here is that the government has the ability to log which citizen got which key.

    So, my current idea involves getting some sort of nonce, potentially a key, from the government, and using that to build a key such that one can verify that it's legitimate without being able to figure out who got each one. It's impossible to both be able to check which nonce generated a key, and not be able to check which nonce generated a key.

    But, I don't really need that. All I need is to be able to check that no two keys came from the same nonce, and that it was generated from a sanctioned nonce. That's it.

    If I can get that part, then I'm good. The government authenticates people, and hands out nonces. Then, those nonces are used to build keys such that people can tell that this ballot is unique, but not which nonce created it. Unique and authentic. Then, even if the government did log which nonces went to which people, or made that information public, you still couldn't figure out which ballot was which, just that they were all equally appropriate, and mutually exclusive.

    It's possible that's also impossible, though.

    I've looked into Zero Knowledge Proofs of Knowledge some, and they seem to have potential. Specifically, the non-interactive ones. All that needs to be proven is "This ballot was cast using an official nonce" without revealing the nonce. And "This ballot was cast using a different nonce than that ballot" without revealing either nonce.

    I haven't done enough reading to know if either is possible or not.

  37. Paralysis

    The gist here is a film with a single unbroken shot of just someone's face who has just become paralyzed. A narrator goes over his final thoughts, while his face and eyes react somewhat.

    I don't know how long it can go on. I'm thinking of bluring reality, and saying that everything neck down shut down, but the heart keeps beating for a while, and the lungs keep breathing. Actually, from my reading of Wikipedia, it seems like an injury at C4 would cause paralysis at the biceps, but breathing will not be impared. Then, without treatment inflamation can cause pressure to cut off the further up portions which would cause death after some time. I think it could work.

    So, it starts off with him being upset that he's finally done it, since he had been doing something stupid a second before and had thought "I hope I don't break my neck"

    Then it goes into calm, then sadness that this is it, then wonder at how long it'll take for someone to find me, then concern about being eaten by ants, then sadness about the sadness his family and friends will feel, then maybe some random thoughts, trying to focus himself into regaining control, then nothing, then getting light-headded, then realizing he's stopped breathing, then blacking out. Then dead.

  38. The Record

    This one's pretty new and very hand-wavy.

    People build a machine to solve the universal system of equations. Essentially, the gist is that it derives a set of equations to describe every action in the universe, and then it collects enough information to solve out the constants, and therefore predict all of the past and future.

    It does this, I see, by solving some parts of it, and using the information it gains from this to construct new components which will solve more, until it has everything. Kinda bullshit, but meh. Could happen...

    So, we end up with a record, but since the machine can't predict paradoxes, it requires a fixed-point where no one takes actions based on the record, and thus no one may read it. Basically, if the record says "You will sit down" and you decide to not, then the record will say "You don't sit down", so you do, so it says "You will sit down" so you don't, etc.

    I'm not really sure what happens after here... It's possible the work is just a description leading up until the machine gets to sufficient complexity to say "I know what will happen, but you cannot."

    Or, the machine decides that if it only outputs the complete record of what happened after it has happened, that will be fine. In this case it operates as a universal log of all that's happened, down to infinite detail.

    Or, it finds a fixed point involving an almost complete record of the future. A "keeper" is given an incomplete copy of the record that is everyone's path, with all of the keeper's actions omitted along with anything that is computed to get close enough as to influence the keeper. It omits just enough to know that the keeper won't know enough to screw with the system.

    Oh, screw that, call the "keeper" "the fixed-point", which is the person who is allowed to read the record and direct people based on it, answer queries etc.

    Really, The Fixed Point is allowed to know certain things about their own life, so long as the computer know that they will do as the record says rather than deviating, and the computer is definitely capable of knowing that.

    I'm not really sure where I want to go after this. I think it's more of an exploration than any real plot.

  39. Hijack

    This is somewhat similar to my Hacker Game idea which I haven't written up yet, so I can't link to it right now. This, though, is a tabletop game.

    So, we have a gameboard with a grid, and it's got some stuff randomly on it. One gets points in the game from collecting items off the grid and putting them into your target zone. When an item is put into a player's target zone, it is removed from the board and put into the player's stash.

    The way you play, though, is with robots that are also on the grid. Each robot, for each turn, can do some number of actions (let's say 4). The types of actions are "pick up item, drop item, move left, move right, move up, move down". The move commands all have some number attached to them, so "Move 3 squares up", for example.

    These actions are on cards and are played into slots 1-4 of a robot in the Players part of the round. Then, in the Robots part of the round each robot does each action, as described by the cards, one after another. So, the action in slot 1 is taken first, then the action in slot 2, etc. If at any point it can't complete an instruction, the robot ends its turn. So, if instruction 1 is "Move 4 sqaures up", but there is a box 3 squares above it, then it instead moves 3 squares, until it hits the wall, then it stops. It doesn't run instructions 2 through 4, since 1 failed to complete.

    I think players take turns going around laying one card in an open slot until all slots are full, or each player passes. Oh, or, there can be an unlimited number of NoOp cards that a player can always play. So, a player may play a card from their hand, or a NoOp, but they must play a card. That way there are always 4 * (number of robots) turns, and stuff.

    So, that's the basic game. Control bots to move to resources, grab them, then move them to your target zone, all without other people screwing you over.

    Then there are special cards:

    • Firewall N: If you play this card, it gives you N firewall cards of your colour you can immediately play into slots. Other players cannot play cards into those slots, but you can.
    • Off By One: You can play this card to modify an existing movement card to make it either one more or one less than it was.
    • Glitch: You can play this card to turn an existing card into a NoOp
    • Bug: You can play this card to make an existing card do the opposite of what it normally would. Pickup becomes Drop, Up becomes Down, Left becomes Right
    • Shift: You can play this card to open up an earlier space, shifting all previous instructions down.
      • So, if we're on the 3rd card, and you play this you could move what's previously in 1 and 2 down to be 2 and 3, opening up 1
    • Insert: Same as shift, but allows you to play a card into this newly opened slot immediately
      • Possibly Insert is Insert X, where X is the explicit instruction you can insert into.
      • Like, Insert 2 would only allow you to put an instruction in 2, no matter what stage we're at
    • Dual-Core: Allows you to play two more cards this turn.
      • Playing (Dual-Core + Shift + Any Card) is the same as playing (Insert + Any Card)
      • Playing (Dual-Core + Dual-Core) is allowed if you have two in your hand, etc
    • Flush: Take all cards from either a given robot, or maybe the whole board, and discard all of them
      • I don't know if I want to allow those slots to come up for grabs again, or if I want them all to become NoOps
    • Abort: Like Glitch, this makes an instruction be performed, but no instructions after it are run
      • It's possible I don't want this, and instead want a clever use of Insert and a bogus Instruction instead.

    The robots have to have some assigned order, but I don't know if they perform all of their operations before moving on to the next robot, or if they each perform instruction 1, then each perform instruction 2. It only really matters when the robots interfere with one another. Do they interfere from stage 1 to stage 1, or from stage 4 to stage 1. I'll say the robots have a defined order, and they run stepwise. Stage 1 Robot 1, Stage 1 Robot 2, Stage 1 Robot 3, Stage 1 Robot 4, Stage 2 Robot 1, etc.

    Robot Rules:

    • A robot cannot move into a space occupied by a stationary barrier, or another robot. If an instruction would move it there, it will move as far as it can, then abort.
    • A robot may move into or out of a space containing an item.
    • If a robot is instructed to Pickup while in a space that doesn't contain an item, it will abort.
    • If a robot is instructed to Drop while it isn't holding an item, it will abort.

    And really, I don't even know about those last two. On one hand, that's an easy way to abort things. On the other hand, if you have a whole chain setup, and someone throws down an Off By One, then it make it move, then miss the item you thought, then pickup nothing, then move around with nothing, and will be more disasterous than if it just moved to right beside the item and then stopped. Yeah, I think I want to get rid of those last two as abort cases.

    I'm also not sure how I feel about having the robot carry more than one item, or having more than one item on a space. I think it'd be fine. A robot would have to issue one Pickup instruction for each item, and one Drop for each item to drop, but it should be fine. And again, we're playing these cards from a hand, so you have to have enough Drop instructions, and the more items a robot is carrying, the more valuable it is, and fragile, so yeah. I'd say you can do it if you like, but it's risky. A robot can carry as many items as it wants, but must Drop each of them separately. They Pickup and Drop in a stack. As many items as is desired may be Dropped into a single space.

    I think playing order is that each player draws a card, plays a card, potentially playing a NoOp from the bank. So, when it comes time to fill Stage 2, you draw a new card which you can play, but didn't have when you were filling Stage 1.

    To pick player order for a given round:

    • The player with the fewest cards in their hand goes first, second fewest second, etc.
    • If players have the same number of cards in their hand, the player with the lowest score goes first.
    • If players have the same number of cards and the same score, then the order is determined by shuffling a set of cards set aside for this purpose containing 1 through the number of players.
      • So, if we're tied in all ways for 2-4, then put cards 2, 3, 4 from this tiny deck into a random order by shuffling them, then deal them out to the tied players. This card contains their ordering.
      • At the start of the game, all players will have the same number of cards, if no one discards, and will all have the score of 0. This card method will therefore be used until there is more variation.

    Before player order is chosen in a round, any player may discard any number of cards to achieve better player order.

    I think I like having 4 actions per robot, but that can easily be tweaked to something else. Also, to make it line up more, I think having one robot per player makes sense. Either that or some multiple like 2 robots per player.

    Many tweaks to those number will give the game a different feel. Having 1 robot per player with 4 actions per robot will be normal, having 1 robot per 2 players with 6 actions will allow for more struggle and correction. Having 2 or 3 robots per player with 1 or 2 actions per robot will give a faster more chaotic game.

  40. Torrent Stream

    BitTorrent has made distributing files trivial. That's awesome. Live streaming, though, is still really really hard and takes a lot of money. So, the idea is to adapt BitTorrent to streaming.

    Since torrent files are chunked little bits anyway, this should be "easy". Also, I don't want to have to be ready to start streaming when it first comes on, necessarily, since one of the things I like about downloading things is that I can't "miss" them.

    The basic idea is to have a swarm that has chunks and shares them exactly the same way it ever does. Then, though, when the source seeder has encoded a new chunk, they signal to the swarm that a new chunk is ready. In general, this should look very similar to a swarm where nobody has chunk 15, but then someone arrives who does. The only difference is that chunk 15 didn't exist until now, and no one was sure it was going to.

    That's the basic idea. Then, when someone joins the swarm they can choose to download every chunk that's been downloaded so far, thus getting the stream from the beginning, while it's still being laid down, or they can choose to just download the last chunk, and then the new ones as they come in.

    Then, when the stream is over, the source publishes an "end" chunk that is a normal chunk, but signals that the file is over now. The swarm, though, can continue to hang around and seed, since we now have a swarm that's seeding the content already.

    For example, it's an episode of a show. As the show is on, the source is recording it and releasing chunks, and people who join at any time while the show is airing can start downloading the chunks that already exist. If the show starts on boring TV at 19:00, and they show up at 19:23, they can still watch it from the beginning. But, their client is also downloading the new chunks as they come out, so by the time the show is over, they'll have all of it.

    Now, the show is done airing, and it's just a regular torrent. It's got a bunch of regular chunks, and someone who shows up an hour after the show ends might not even know that it used to be dynamic.

    So, the latency will be higher here, but I think that'd be fine. I don't need to be really up-to-date, I just want to start it before it's over. The way it currently is has two options:

    1. Wait for it to finish airing and then be uploaded
    2. Have a (crappy, sketchy) stream, but if you come in 4 minutes late you missed the first 4 minutes like we've learned nothing since antenna TV.

    I like this better. Also, latency and stuff will very quite a bit on chunk size. If the chunk size is the size of roughly 3 minutes worth of video, then a chunk won't be published until at least 3 minutes have passed (since a given chunk is atomic)

    Playing the file is up to the client. This doesn't have any kind of smarts. It just allows one to start downloading a file before the end of it is finalized. The same thing could be used for, like, the output of `tar -cjf blah.tar.bz2 files`, to start allowing people to download the tarball before the end is complete. It's up to the video player to be able to play the start of a file without the end. Certain formats (like mkv and mp4) are better at that than others (like avi), but the protocol doesn't care.

    This is a problem for more constant streams, like webcams or something. It'd be nice to have those, but really I think I'd want different tech for it. To be able to just jump in live, like I said above, by downloading the most recent chunk and then every one after that isn't likely to work with any format that I know of. The headers and stuff need to come down no matter what. One could maybe make a format that works that way, with a headers file and a "raw" stream that you can do... I don't know.

    So, I feel like this is less suited to webcams and more suited to airing programs through torrents as they air. Anything that starts, goes, then ends.

    BitTorrent has something at http://live.bittorrent.com that seems more like the solution to that last problem I was talking about. They mention that it needs H.264 and stuff, which is way more smarts than I want, but I think it's because they're going more for the "jump into the stream" style stuff, which is harder to do dumb. They'll probably also need a special player, etc. I don't want that.

    So, the one issue I can see, is "who gets to publish new chunks". That seems like an obvious attack. So, I'm thinking that as part of the streaming torrent metadata, a public-key is given as well. Then, the "New chunk" message is signed with that key. That way it can be forwarded through the network peer-to-peerfully, but you know that the new chunk your neighbour just told you about actually belongs to this stream.

    It's been a while since I read the actual protocol spec, maybe this is all super dumb and useless. I intend to look into that later, maybe branch off of libtransmission, see if it is a workable idea.

  41. Spy Story

    I want to make a short film that's a kind of spy-thriller style. There's some sort of criminal mastermind who steals a nuclear warhead, and the codes for it, and one spy who's sent to stop him before he can use them to blow up the world.

    So, it goes on in typical style, with fighting and chasing, and whatever. There's banter between the hero and his villain.

    Then, in the climax of the story the hero is chasing the villain through the streets of some major city. At some point, after the chase has been going on for a bit, I want the villain to run out across the street, and the hero to follow, only to get hit by a normal city bus. Like, the hero ran out from between two cars, the bus driver didn't see him, and hit him head-on.

    The hero falls back, and is in some kind of unclear condition. He may be dead, he may just be unconcious, but he's clearly wounded.

    The villain looks back, still all wild-eyed from the chase, when he hears the accident. Close up on his face as he takes in the scene, and his expression drops from crazy excitement to confusion, and concern kind of. This was his nemesis, but it was fun before, and now he's kind of concerned for this person.

    We see the villain unsure, now, what to do. He looks down at the case he's carrying, and up to the hero, and makes a start in the hero's direction, but then rethinks it. He seems torn between going to help the guy, and continuing with his plans.

    Eventually, sadly, he turns and goes in the direction he was running.

    The credits start as the camera floats above the hero's body looking down as people run over to help, and see what happened. People are standing in a circle around him telling each other what they saw.

    They, the medics arrive and are just about to check him out when there's a bright-white flash and everyone looks in the direction the villain ran. Then it fades out.

  42. Spider Aliens

    This story involves being contacted by an alien race. Against all odds, they are similar to us, exploratory, and communicate through roughly the same channels.

    They hover around our planet for a while, and every once in a while make some sort of signal, but it's mostly garbage. Eventually, though, they make an audio transmission in rough, but understandable English. They want to meet, and share their tech with us.

    People rejoice, people are suspicious, etc.

    The day comes when an alien shuttle lands on the planet's surface, and everyone gathers, etc. When the door opens, the aliens walk out, and are these hideous giant arachnid-like things. I want them to be as non-human as I can. I'm thinking 8 legs, like a scorpion, with the mouth on the bottom, but on the tail are the eyes and along the tail are some sort of dextrous hands. The mouth is just gaping and slobbering and disgusting. They are hideous and frightening.

    But, when they speak, through a translator mechanism, they speak of peace, and of brotherhood.

    People, though, flip the hell out. Someone starts shooting at them, and they go back into their ship and leave.

    Diplomacy occurs, and eventually they come back down, and they start trying to share their crazy science with us.

    The issue, though, is that basically everyone, no matter how forward thinking, just can't work with these things. No one ever really trusts to turn their backs on them, because they're clearly monsters. Newborn babies flip out when they come around; it's just ingrained in our animal brains, that these things are bad.

    So, despite them never giving us a reason to distrust them, and attempting to make it work, at some point we try to nuke them because clearly they're trying to do something bad.

    They are saddened that no peace could be made, but bear us no ill will, and depart to leave us to ourselves.


    Nice aliens come down, but they look like bad alien monsters. We cannot overcome our intrinsic fear of them and screw over our chance at an inter-species alliance with very hospitable allies.

  43. Actual Alien Story

    While I wanted to tell the story of how we couldn't overcome our feelings of distrust for ugly aliens, I actually feel like real aliens would be far outside our realm of thinking.

    I think it's very selfish of us to feel like our form is the perfect form, and our interests and motivations are the only ones, and that therefore any alien that comes to visit will be basically like us, just a little strange. Maybe it'll be more angry, or less angry, but it'll still be fine.

    We take for granted that humans of different languages and background can mostly communicate with one anonther, because we have a base of intrinsic human communication. We emote, and those emotions are constant across all languages and cultures. We have some signs, like holding up one's hands, or some form of looking or pointing, that can be understood by basically everyone. Even birds, though, or cats, which we have around us here on this planet, do not share these commonalities. There is no base we can use to communicate with a bird.

    So, in this story I want something to come and visit Earth. We have no idea what it is.

    Eventually it's clear that it's doing something, and some people claim it's life, but science is like "No, we see no signs of life". Then something comes down to kind of roam around a bit, and it gets pretty clear that despite the fact that we have no idea what it is or how it works, it's clearly doing something. All attempts at communication fail, since it's just some sort of blob of stuff. Then it leaves the planet again and we're left all like "What the hell just happened"

    The end.

  44. Parasite Story

    This is a story where, at some time in the nearish future, a group of neuroscientists discover a part of the brain that seems to be critical to conciousness. When this part is destroyed, or removed, the person seems to revert to a more primate form.

    This is covered in the news as a breakthrough, that scientists had found the seat of humanity in the brain. Religions immediately declared that organ the vessel for the soul, biologists claim the evolution of this organ was the leap ahead for early man.

    At some point in this discussion, though, one group makes the shocking discovery that this organ has vastly different DNA than humans do.

    The story progresses for a while trying to keep the media and evangelists and speculators at bay, while trying to sort through this new research area.

    In the end, it's discovered that this organ is, in fact, a parasite on the human host. It lives in the human brain, and controls things from there. This, though, is what we are.

    We are not the primates, they are our vehicle. We are the parasites driving the primates.

    Developmentally, I'd say that there are bits of the human DNA we've injected, such that when the baby is born it is all human, but as the brain "develops", the human body is actually contructing us, the parasite.

    Then, somewhere around 2 the parasite hooks in and takes command. It takes a while for it to fully wrap itself around the various systems, which is why we function before a given age, but can't remember anything from the early days.

    We weren't actually there yet.

    The science in here will get a little dubious, but meh. It's fluffy science fiction, I'm sure it'll be fine...

  45. Command Line Music Mixer

    The idea here is to have a system where you start off with some raw tracks in flac format or something.

    Then, edits to the tracks are described using a textual description language. One can then read the edits, and use them to perform the required changes until you end up with the end result. One edit can base itself off the output of another, so you end up with a dependency tree.

    The advantage here is that once everyone has the raw tracks, every change to it is super light and easy to share, merge, etc. That way people can work on a track together, collaborating, and they don't have to send a bunch of audio files back and forth.

    I have an example on my laptop I haven't copied anywhere else, and it uses redo and sox to compute the end results.

    This works quite well, since if I change one property it only performs the changes on the tracks that depended on it, the rest it can use from last time.

    Now, editing a directory full of files is how I like to work, but a graphical tool could easily be written that just sat on top and made the editing more fancy, still doing directories and stuff in the backend for easy sharing.

  46. Airlock Game

    The idea of this one is that you're in the centre of a bitchin' automated bunker. Then, the zombie apocalyse happens, and there are a bunch of civilians that want into your bunker.

    So, it's a puzzle game that involves getting the civilians in without letting the zombies in. The inside of the bunker will be like a maze of doors, but certain doors are all on the same circuit, so you can only open all of them or none of them. So, you have to work them through the system while keeping the zombies from getting too far.

    Then, there are also defense systems, like rooms that fill with fire, incinerating everything within, or other such things. So, the idea is you can sometimes let the zombies in there without screwing the civilians over, and burn the zombies, allowing the people through.

    Another potential puzzle element would be that perhaps there's a room where people can put on, like, fire-retardent suits, or something, so they can walk through the fire, but the zombies can't, once they've visited there.

    Or, given hooks, they can cling to something, while the zombies are flushed.

  47. De-Mix

    This is an idea to take a mixed music track, and seperate it out into tracks again. I have no idea how effective it may be until I actually try it.

    So, the gist is that we build a spectrogram out of it, using Fourier Transforms, Wavelet Transforms, or maybe some sort of raw Resonator structure. Then, we pass over the spectrogram looking for changes across the spectrum that occur within a relatively short time window. We assume that these are all likely harmonics from the same instrument hitting a note, and extract them.

    Then we end up with a bunch of small snippets consisting of, often, a single note. The hope, though, is that it will be a single complete note from a single instrument, with nothing else.

    Then, we can run a program that looks for similarities between the samples and groups and splices them such that we end up with a complete track that's all the same instrument. Hopefully.

    That's basically it. It'd likely take a really long time to run, but perhaps it could work. Perhaps.

    It's more likely that this technique will work on acoustic music best, since they will have timing imperfections that will be easier to pick up on, since it's unlikely that the snare is truly exactly the same timing as the bass.

    Electronic music, though, can have the snare and the bass begin at exactly the same time. Who knows, maybe people are better than I think and it's always garbage.

  48. Breadth Series

    This one is kind of the opposite of Friendship Series, going for breadth instead of depth.

    It's sort of like Groundhog Day, or certain episodes of How I Met Your Mother.

    The idea is that we have a series of stories, all of which take place on the same day. Every story is taken from the perspective of a different character. Like an ever-branching tree, there are people that character A never encounters, but character B does, and thus they get their own story.

    So, it's obviously most exciting if the there's some sort of localized cataclysm, and then the story recounts how each person reacts to the event.

    When they just have a small part in another person's story, they may seem one way, but when we run through their whole day we come to understand them much better.

    The idea is that, in a normal story, there are the main characters and then a bunch of side characters. In this story, though, I want every character to be a main character by the end.

    Character Ideas

    • One guy who's cheating on his girlfriend, but is killed before he can tell her that he's leaving her.
      • She also gets a whole story, wherein she loves him unconditionally, and is crushed when he dies.
    • A character who encounters another who needs help, but refuses to give it and instead takes something and leaves
      • Turns out he was actually a nice guy, but his child needed the item and made the call.
      • He feels somewhat guilty about it, and doesn't know that the other person ended up making it
      • If I'm feeling really mean, the child is dead by the time he gets back and he's completely ruined by that and the guilt that he took the item for nothing
        • The child, being childish, should be pissed at his dad when he dies for not being back sooner.
    • A character who is trying to get to her mother's house to see if she's alright, but is convinced that the mother was at ground zero, and so she shouldn't waste her time and that the mother is already dead.
      • This is where it gets cruel. The mother is also a protagonist, and the whole story she is alone and trapped.
      • She rotates between hope that her daughter will help her, sadness that her daughter must be dead, gratitude that her daughter escaped, and coming to terms with the fact that she was abandonded, anger that her ungrateful daughter would abandon her despite all she did for her, etc.
    • A girl who has had a huge crush on a guy forever. She sacrifices herself to save him at some point.
      • The guy, in his story, doesn't really ever notice her. When she dies for him he is shocked, confused, and doesn't even know her name.
    • One guy who seems like a jackass in every else's story, and in his story is just a jackass.
  49. Friendship Series

    A fiction series, or maybe a novel.

    Basically, I want it to be a single cohesive unit, like real life. No holes or retconning.

    I want to do that, though, while still referencing the past quite a bit, rather than avoiding it.

    The idea I want is that it starts off with a collection of friends having a reunion of sorts, and talk all about the adventures they'd had before. There are jokes that are made that are clearly inside jokes, but we don't know them. They talk about events we don't know. Etc.

    So, then, the rest of the thing is a series of those stories. They all have a place in time, but the order they're presented in doesn't depend on that. It's neither all backwards, nor forwards. Just a collection of stories that all reference one another.

    The hope, then, is that once I'm done I'll have basically covered every interesting point in their friendship and summed up everything. Every joke and reference will be explained.

    Certain things will be intentionally misremembered, sometimes things might even be argued about how they really happened by the characters. Then, though, the reader will get the objective actual story.

    Certain things, I'd like, for neither person to be right, nor wrong. Like, one person remember one set of things and the other person remembers another, but actually both happened.

    Sometimes I'd like one person to recount the story but have it actually be some composition of two events.

    At least one of the inside jokes, potentially one of the most pervasive ones, I want to be really simple.

    Like, when it finally comes time to explain that one it's just like:

    James sat down at the table and looked around. "Hey guys, what's up?" The assembled group struggled to maintain composure. Jill was the first to burst into laughter. "What? Ok, now I'm troubled. What is it?" James looked down; he'd just sat in David's ice-cream.

    Or something. Told like the story, but clear that there's basically nothing to this one, yet it's become something that almost defines James. It comes up at least once everytime he's around in some sort of reference.

    I'm thinking that we learn right in the first bit, the reunion, that James had died.

    Then in basically every other story he's present and this comes up.

    I'm thinking that something like the above, then, be the last chapter. That's all of it. Kind of an anti-climax, just a small nothing to fit that last piece together. In a way it sort of trivializes the whole thing, which I like.

    Writing It

    Because I want everything to be resolve before any part gets written, I'm going to have to build some crazy mind-map. I think I'd make a node for every event that happened in order, with a rough outline, then draw lines between them all being "This one references that one" etc.

    I just have to make sure I have the whole thing in my head before I start so I don't screw something up.

  50. Relationship Series

    3 or 4 stories involving couples at different stages of their lives. Interspersed.

    As it continues, you see that this guy is cheating on this girl, but in this couple he cheated on her for a while, but then got back together and are fine now, etc.

    Then, finally, it starts getting really obvious that they share similarities, it's demonstrated how one couple literally becomes the next.

    So, like, this couple might go through some crisis where they switch back and forth between the two sets of actors for the two couples before finally settling on the second one.

    The next, like, get back together after being seperated some after cheating. After talking through that, they're the next couple.

    The next couple is looking at a house, and when they decide to get it, they can be seen in mirrors and stuff as the next couple. When they finally move in they have a moment where one of them is the last, and one of them is the next. The next one says "Oh my god, we're home owners now" or something, and the other one hugs them, having now begun the next phase.

    If I do children this would be the next phase.


  51. Still Frame

    The gist of this one is simple, but making it live action would be technically hard.

    The idea is that we have a still frame of some sort of action shot, and the camera moves around in this still world exploring the different elements and stuff. The idea is that we build up an idea of what's going on in the scene.

    Then, the scene resumes and we see that we were misled by the snapshot.

    Concrete Example

    The scene is the living room of a house, and we're looking at a guy making some sort of face at his wife, who's falling over backwards. There's a child near the couch up and yelling and looking panicked.

    The idea is that it looks like the husband hit the woman in front of the child.

    When the scene resumes, though, it's clear that she tripped on her own, he was trying to grab her to stop her from falling, and the kid is concerned because she's falling. She hits the ground, and mostly laughs and then everyone laughs and helps her up.


    Two guys in an apartment seem to be fighting. The one has the other by the throat up against the wall, and there's a broken glass on the floor, and it's dark.

    Spoiler: They're gay and making out. The one of them is only somewhat concerned about the glass, but is easy convinced otherwise.

  52. Headspace

    Continuation of my previous idea I called "Concept Shift" or something, but slightly more artsy.

    I see it as an episodic thing, but it could also be a movie.

    The concept is that there's a main character with no name. He wanders through things and we don't see him talk to anyone or do anything. All shots are him at home, or walking down the street, or riding the bus, etc.

    The shots aren't empty, there are other people around, but he has very little interaction with them.

    Then, though, sometimes (frequently) he'll look off camera and the camera will pan in that direction into another scene.

    These scenes occur fully in his imagination, and can range from simple "Approaches the girl and has a conversation with them" to "there's a car accident nearby and the resulting situation" all the way up to "the world is post-apocalyptic and is roamed by zombies" or "he's on a spaceship encountering some situation".

    Obviously it'd be good to keep farther fetched ones less frequent, both because they'd be more expensive, and less relatable. Fun, though, likely.

    So, after some point in the fantasy it pans back in the direction it panned in on and he's still looking in that direction and then looks away. Some amount of time has passed, and it doesn't really matter how much. It varies, I mean.

    Sometimes it might pan back and we've only been gone a second, maybe other times it would have been a whole half-hour.

    Preferably, if it's not a ridiculous scene, it should be made in such a way as to have viewers not notice it's happened until it has.

    So, yeah, the character doesn't avoid speech, or anything, we just never see him talk to anyone or have any kind of contact except in fantasy.

    Maybe, again, he can keep going over some of the same ones over and over again. The same scene with slightly different dialog or outcomes can come up a few time. Maybe sometimes he can be erratic, and he'd do the same scene, like, three times in a row but building off it.

    Other times, I feel, if it were episodic, he could have a recurring theme. Maybe there's a girl he sees on the bus a lot, and there's a building fantasy involving her approaching him or something. It comes up with quite a bit of frequency, but it's always slightly different, or goes differently. One can perhaps get quite a bit of a feeling for his mood based on how the scene goes. Sometimes she might be really receptive, and other times she pulls a knife out and guts him with it.

    Then, perhaps, at the end she actually does approach him (when it's clear we're in the real world), he smiles, inhales, and then it cuts.

    Slightly Different Take

    This one is similar, but much easier to make. Even more artsish.

    I feel it's different enough, though, that both could be made and they'd only be considered similar.

    So, person hanging around home not doing anything. I'm thinking, in this one, we never see him outside the home.

    Every once in a while, though, he stares off into nothing, and a narrator comes on with a narrated story of it. We just see him sitting there, maybe emoting or occasionally enacting somewhat.

    From time to time it'll probably stutter or something, or go back over the same line 4 ways. Maybe sometimes he'll say something, and then be like "Woah, ok, no. That's not what I meant." And then he'll try to justify himself to himself.


    Concepts I'd like to include in this one

    • Looking to the mirror, trying to figure out if he's good looking, or just really familiar with his own face.
      • Also remarks about how it works better from certain angles, but defends back that that's true of everyone. Well, not everyone. Etc.
    • One of the common things that come up is fake conversations about how long it's been since he masterbated
      • At one point he'll be thinking of such a conversation, and it ends up in some ridiculous fantasy involving some girl doing something based on that. Either sexing with him, or masterbating herself, or something. (All narrated, obviously)
      • Then, he'll just get up and walk to the bathroom, time passes in time-lapse, then he walks out and the narrator starts the now familiar conversation start, but with "Well, I masterbated this morning, but before that was Wednesday" or whatever it'd been up until then.
    • Trying to meditate, having three levels of conversation going on.
      • The one in the foreground is saying, like "Breathe In, Breathe Out", then another one thinks about how well this is going, before realizing it's an issue and shutting up, to reveal another one singing a song about breathing or something
    • I would like some kind of full on masterbation scene, seperate from the previous one.
      • In this one the narrator kinda takes over and just tells an erotic story.
      • The only difference, though, is just that it keeps skipping around, changing direction, and resyncing with the main character's own progress.
        • That last one specifically involves getting to the fantasy's characters climaxing long before the real protagonist is done, then having the narrator go "Crap, ok." and switch to go back over an earlier part of the story
      • I'll feel it out at the time whether or not it'll be full-frontal nudity and sexual activity in the actual video, some sort of "waist up" strong implication, or the narrator narrating an empty frame looking at the door to the bathroom.
      • I think it'll come up with him on reddit browsing stuff. Then he clicks a link and an image of a sexual nature comes up and he and the Narrator both just go "Crap" and then he gets up and goes to the bathroom.
    • Character screwing with his appearance in some way, then concluding he doesn't care. Then he comes into frame saying he clearly does, trying something else, then getting fed up and leaving again.
    • Character is browsing reddit on his laptop, but we don't see the screen. He's just sitting behind the laptop, and not moving a lot. Occasionally he'll laugh very slightly, or complain about internet speed.
    • We watch character take a while to get his coat and shoes on and stuff, then he leaves. We watch nothing for a period of time, then he comes back in frustrated. He forgot something. So, he considers taking everything back off, but it took so long to get on he eventually crawls away from the door off screen, we hear sounds from there, then he crawls back into frame with the stuff and back out the door.
    • Character gets ready for bed and eventually turns off the light. We just see darkness, then he just starts laughing.
    • Discussion with False Female about Female Sexuality
    • Character is talking aloud to himself in some sort of voice, realizes it's similar to some other voice, and starts trying to dial in on that. Doesn't.
      • Then, third voice, even worse.
      • (In my head, it's Optimus Prime for the first one, then classic Megatron for the second)
    • Trying to do laundry, or get somewhere on time ordeal
    • Maybe at some point involving swimming on the floor.
    • I think towards the end the character meta-discusses making a film based on his life. Then, at the end he's setting up a camera first-person into what's obviously the first scene of this film. Then he says "Let's begin" and moves into position for the first scene. Then it ends.
  53. Dilution

    I see this as a 2D top down puzzle game.

    The idea is that there's some liquid resource, and you have to move it from one place to another. To do that, there's typically some source, and then you have a bunch of units you can use to carry it.

    The issue, though, is that carrying the resource in a unit, consumes the resource. Units, without the resource, can't do anything.

    So, you can, say, pickup some resource at the source, move it a bit to the next unit, and give half of your reserve to them. But, you have to have enough to get back, since otherwise you can't get to the source again, and are probably screwed. Then, that unit needs to have enough that they can get to the goal without having spent all their cargo in the process so they have enough left to get to the target amount.

    That's the rough concept.

    Other twists:

    • Static Pipelines
      • When the resource is put in one side, it is deposited at the other side, allowing transfer of resource across distances without carrying it.
      • Perhaps these distances are even impassible to the units
    • Cisterns
      • These are static holds for a limited amount of resource
      • One can deposit here to either build up an amount, or as a transfer point between units that don't have to physically meet
      • On some of the harder levels, there might not be an infinite source, but just a cistern. In these you'd have to make it in a certain number of steps so as to not run out.
    • Gates
      • These require some resource to open, so a unit must give some to the gate in order to move beyond it.
  54. Micronatia

    A little like Risk, a little like Transport Tycoon, a little like Catan, mostly a Turn-Based Strategy Game.

    I want to make a game that could be a boardgame, but I'm writing it in the computer instead because that's easier. So, I want it to be tile based, the rules / logic to be relatively simple.

    The Gist

    Game starts, tiles are randomly laid facedown on the playing surface. (Facedown shows only black)

    Next, each player picks, in some sort of order, where they want to start, and then turn that tile faceup and put their starting unit there.

    There are different types of units:

    • Pedestrian
    • Car
    • Train
    • Plane

    Then there are different types of tiles:

    • Grass
    • Mountain
    • Desert

    I want more, but I can't come up with them.

    The gist is that each type of tile has different properties for each unit.

    • Pedestrians can move, say, two tiles on grass, one on mountains and desert.
    • Cars can move 4 tiles on grass, 2 on mountains, 1 on desert
    • Trains can move 5 tiles with a track on it, but tracks are cheap on grass, expensive on mountains, and really expensive in desert.
    • Planes can only go from airport to airport, they can go over any tile, but the flight costs some amount per tile. The plane, for all intents and purposes, is considered to teleport, not truly crossing any intervening tiles. (Do the cost as the number of tiles in the minimum path)

    That's the gist.

    One of the age-old questions regarding different tile-based costs is "Does it cost to enter or exit?". I'm thinking exit. That is, if I'm on a grass tile it costs me to move to any adjacent tile, no matter what it is.

    Oh, crap, duh. Yeah, I can't do what I did above with the "2 on grass, one on mountain" thing, because a given path may be across different tile types. I've got to switch it to a cost based system.

    Also, I'm concerned now, because I wanted to have desserts and mountain ranges and stuff, but it seems now like if I do it randomly I'll just get a grass, with a mountain next to it, and some desert next to that.

    I may have to rethink the world-generation.

    Anyway, so, then people can put stuff on tiles:

    • Airport (Only on grass)
    • Train-track (Anywhere, but costs more depending on tile)
    • Resource Gathering Building:
      • Mine
      • Refinery
      • Etc?
    • Fence
    • Gate

    So, the airport is where planes can go to and from. The train track is what trains move on.

    Resource gathering

    The idea is that different types of resources, to build these things, can be gotten from different tiles. A pedestrian can always, as their turn, extract any valid resource out of a tile they're on. A resource gathering building, though, does that automatically, and allows that to build up. So, while a pedestrian can stand on a mountain tile, and every turn he can add one stone to his load, that seems like a waste. Instead, he can go there and build a resource gathering building, then leave. Now, that building can't move, but on every turn it accumulates a stone. This stone just stockpiles, though, and must be picked up by another unit before it is useful. There are no rules that say that another player's units can't take resources from the stockpile on my building. In general, resource buildings are not owned.


    Since I may want to protect some resource, or establish a border for my micronation, I need to erect fences. Units may pass through a fence, if they could otherwise travel on that space, but it breaks their progress. Specifically, a pedestrian may not move through a fence, they must walk to the fence, then walk away from the fence next turn. A car, I think, can drive to a fence normally, but while on a fence, can only move 1 tile, then may move normally. (Essentially, taking an extra turn) Trains can't go there, since you can't build a track and a fence on the same tile. Planes are unaffected by fences.


    These allow units of the owner's choosing to pass through them normally. Any other units treat it as a fence. This allows one player to put a fence around their area to protect it, but still not disturb their own transit. The part about the owner's choosing is to allow for allegiances involving open borders. Or, alternatively, a player could exact a tax on another player, asking them for some bounty in exchange for free passage on this turn. If the player refuses, then they treat it as a fence.

    Resources and Building

    There are no banks in my system. Resource tiles never enter a players possession, they all stay on the board and are carried about by units.

    A unit may, for free during their turn, place resources they carry onto any adjacent tile, or pickup resources from any adjacent tile.

    To build either a building or a unit, the player uses their units to assemble the necessary cost onto a tile and then an adjacent pedestrian uses its turn to swap those resources for a unit or building. I would say a unit doesn't get any actions on the turn it's created.

    So, potentially tedious, but the gist is that one must, over some series of turns, carry the resources from one place to the target location in order to build there. That seems neat, though.

    If two units are adjacent, they may take resources from, or place resources on, the other unit as part of their turn. This must be consensual, though. So, if the two units are of the same player, it's easy. If, though, two units are from different players, then one unit may not steal from another, or place other items on them unless the other player allows it.


    Because players never truly own resources, all trading occurs in the metagame, which seems cool. If some player wants to trade with another, it involves an entirely non-mechanical agreement that this player will drop a resource somewhere this other player wants it.

    Things like loans, interest, IOUs, etc can all exist just based on players trusting one another, and agreeing on some terms.

    Same is true for gates, tariffs, or tolls. One player could demand that anyone traveling through their gates must be carrying some resource to leave at the gate as a toll.

    Another may only ask for a tariff: Any unencumbered unit may pass freely, but any units carrying a load must leave some of it behind.

    Another player may "commission" a second to build things for them. The first player leaves some resources around, and the second player agrees to use their units to build there.

    Either way, anything one can think of, and agree on, goes, since as far as the game is concerned, it's all just units and resources sitting around.

    Unit Cost

    I think I've decided how I want to do things. Each unit starts the turn with some amount of starting "power", and different things have a cost. Different types of landscapes hold different movement costs for one unit type than another.

    Also, each unit type has some load rate of holding. So, a pedestrian may lose 1 power for every two resources it carries. A car may lose 1 power for every 4 resources.

    I'd say that if a unit drops sufficient resources at any point in their turn, they immediately gain that power back and may continue their turn with it. Similarly, if a unit takes on sufficient resources at any point, then they immediately lose power.

    I'll also say that we mark as follows: A pedestrian loses 1 power if it has 1-2 resources, 2 for 3-4, 4 for 5-6, etc. That way there's no question of "If I lose every 2, but I have 3, have I lost 1 or 2?"

    A unit is never allowed to pick up enough resources that they would have less than 0 power.

    Planes, I'd say, start with no power, and gain 1 power for every "fuel" resource they consume from their hold, losing power for every 6 resources they carry, or something. Then, the only valid moves they can make is to immediately be placed on another airport they would have sufficient power to reach. They may, though, pick up and consume more fuel at their destination and then continue their turn.

    Planes may land at an airport only if permitted by the airport's owner.


    Any adjacent chain of units may be considered a group, and may all take a single turn. They must, for the duration of that turn, continue to be adjacent at all times, and through each move.

    Every move made by any unit in the group must be valid, and stay within the group.

    Because of this, groups that are single file must zig-zag, while double file groups may travel in a straight line.

    --    --    --    -0
    0-    0-    00    -0
    0- -> 00 -> -0 -> -0
    0-    --    --    --


    --    -0    -0    -0    00    00    00
    00    0-    00    00    -0    00    00
    00 -> 00 -> 0- -> 00 -> 00 -> -0 -> 00
    00    00    00    0-    0-    0-    --

    Also, because of the above restrictions, a group can not move through a single gate, since that would force them to become single file, and move in a straight line.

    Each unit costs independently for each move they make, and units with cost remaining may continue to take actions so long as the group is maintained.

    Since the units in a group take a single turn, and since there is adjacency by definition, resources may be distributed throughout the group instantly, so long as no individual move would reduce a unit to a below-zero power, even temporarily.


    While a fence slows units down, they can't truly prevent a unit from entering a given area.

    The only way to truly prevent it is with security units.

    If a group of one player's units encounters a group of another player's units (or a single unit), it may add that unit to its group so long as it maintains a majority of units. This unit no longer takes its own turn, it takes a turn with the group, controlled by the group owner, until the group owner chooses to allow the unit to be released.

    No resources may be stolen from this unit, but if the other player is willing, they may be given up.

    This allows one player to capture another player's units, and either keep them where they are, or by escorting them back to a border, etc.

    One can, with sufficient units, make a "prison" that can hold units.

    For example:


    This structure will always have more X units than 0, and can be added to easily as the need arises.

    If a group consisting of 5 units belonging to player A encounters another group consisting of 3 members of player B and 2 members of player A, player A may choose to, on their turn, add the entire other group to their group. This would switch the balance of power form 3B2A to 7A3B, meaning the group is now A's, and the captors have become the captives.

    This feature is not only interesting for hostile purposes. If two players are allied, they can choose to form an allied group that acts on one of their turns, but is otherwise the same as a single-player group.

    While restricted, this is one way that one player can provide units to another player.



    Because one must move resources from one place to build anything, setting up a depot where one stockpiles resources can be effective. This way, when a series of disparate resources are required, a unit can pick them all up from the depot and take them to where they are needed. Similarly, everyone transporting from the resource buildings can centralize at the depot.

    As the airplane can, with sufficient fuel, cross any distance instantly, having different depots next to airports tends to be a good idea. Also, since planes can, with sufficient fuel at each depot, have a very long turn, it allows one to, with a single plane in a single turn, move a bunch of stuff all over.

    Unit Pipelines

    While airplanes are very effective at moving resources from one place to another, they cost resources every time you move. When one wants to move a resource over a distance quickly, one can also consider a unit pipeline.

    The gist is that if one has a remote resource they want to bring in to the depot every turn, they can have a series of cars or pedestrians in a trail from the resource to the depot. At the beginning of their turn, the first unit collects the resource from the source, drives to the next unit, gives the resource to them, then drives back. That next unit then does the same, and on and on it goes until, in one round the resource has moved instantly far for free.

    The issue with this, though, is that while it is free to move resources over any distance once the pipeline exists, it's very expensive to setup. Each unit must be built.

    Then there are tradeoffs, cars are more expensive, but you may need fewer of them because they can travel further on the given terrain. One can build a pipeline with far fewer items if it operates every few rounds rather than every round. For example, if the car didn't have to worry about getting itself back home, it could go almost twice as far, meaning about half as many units in the pipe. But, the second turn for the pipe would then be resetting.



    A tile can hold infinite resources, so the easiest way to make a depot is to simply pile resources on the ground. Any player's units that can make it to the pile can take from it, though. A more secure strategy is to have a unit who stands near the depot and is full of resources. They can't move, and can only hold a limited number of resources, but resources can't be stolen from them either.

    An airplane, at an airport, can hold any number of resources, given sufficient fuel. This means, though, that if one can afford both the cost of constructing an airport and plane, and the per-turn cost to feed the plane, then it can hold many many resources safely with a single unit. As soon as the airplane ceases to be fed, though, it is forced to unload all resources it can no longer hold.

    World Generation

    So, I think hidden random world isn't really going to give me the kind of game I want. So, I'm thinking that either one player builds the map, and everyone agrees to play it, or one can play a world generation game before hand.

    We start with an empty grid.

    Every player's turn works as follows:

    • Pick up a random tile
    • The player places the random tile on the grid
      • If the player places the tile, they get 1 point for every tile of the same type adjacent to the tile they placed, and lose 1 point for every different tile.
      • The points accumulate, so the player can add to a mountain range on this turn, which allows them to end it next turn.
      • A player cannot make a move that would reduce their points to under 0.
      • Since it costs 0 points, a player can always place a tile that isn't adjacent to anything, if there are such places left in the grid.
    • If a player can make a move, they must, and if they cannot then they must take tiles until they can make a move.

    I think this would result in the kind of world I want, large areas of one type of tile, but still with borders and stuff. A mountain range between these grassy areas, and a desert on the other side, etc.

    Play Order

    I'm thinking that there's some order players go in, but each unit takes a turn (with groups counting as a single unit), and that goes around. The round is over when each player's units have gone.

    So, we have 3 players, A, B, and C.

    A picks one of their units and does its turn, then B picks a unit to take its turn, then C does, then back to A if A has units left.

    Game End

    I honestly don't know when I want the game to end.

    I'm thinking one could, like with RTS games, have different kind of games.

    I feel like even just sitting around and playing until one is done playing could be fun, but one could also try some of these:

    • First to some target value works
      • First to 13 units
      • First to 100 oil
    • One could do capture the flag style, stuff
    • Maybe capturing the king, and bringing him back to your base.

    Dunno, not really my interest actually. I just wanted to make the system.

  55. Online Matchmaker

    This site is intended to replace online dating. The idea is that there is no profile, no pictures, nothing. Basically you go in and punch in your name, select the "I am a BLANK looking for a BLANK", the year of your birth, and a range of birthyears you are interested in, and a rough location you're interested in. Then it goes into the system and say "Ok, try this person".

    That's it.

    You arrange a time and place, and show up and talk. All of the "figuring out your compatibility" stuff seems like garbage and work to me.

    Really, it's not a dating site at all, it's more a site that picks a random people that fit your criteria for you to hang out with.


    I'd want to have three streams, to try and keep the different uses for this service separate.

    Friends, Romantic Partners, Casual Sex.

    So, the gist is that by providing the "casual sex" channel, hopefully that would make it so that one person don't show up looking for love, and the other person show up looking for sex. We say "Look, if you want sex, that's fine, so do these people. We'll match you with them."

    Then, the friend one, since we're just a system for saying "Hang out with this person" is basically for just finding people to spend time with. The use case here is more along the lines of "I want someone new to talk to, find me someone".

    Also, I'd like to break the culture of dating, and claim it's more like a mutual audition. Specifically, I feel like Females shouldn't have their food or drinks paid for. This isn't a soup kitchen, and they signed up for the site too. They shouldn't be bribed to be with you, they are with you because they were looking for you. That's just me, though.

    Sexual Identity

    So, this is a mess.

    If I had "I am a (Man, Woman) looking for (a Man, a Woman, Anyone)", I think that would cover most people. The people it didn't cover, though, would be pissed that they don't fit into my little boxes.

    The problem, though, is that there's an explosion of different categories, all with slightly different, sometimes overlapping, concepts.

    If someone says thay're looking for pre-op transexuals, would they be interesting in someone transgender? I don't know, and I don't want to make that call.

    I'm kind of thinking I just leave it as the first thing, for now, and wait and see if it becomes a big enough of an issue to matter.

    As another stop gap, I could even do: "I am a (Man, Woman) (with a Penis, without a Penis), looking for (a Man, a Woman, Anyone) (with a Penis, without a Penis, either with or without a Penis)"

    I feel like that would cover, like, basically everyone.

    Then we start getting into kinks... Like, what if someone wanted to find someone to tie up and drip wax on? That's a totally sensible thing to want, and a good use of this system, but do I add that? I think I'll just leave it for now...

    Colour Scheme

    I'm thinking light green.

    Red is either too romantic, or too prostitutey.

    But I think it should be light and open and fresh.

  56. Donatabase

    The rough concept of this one is a website where one can show up and give some amount of money to a project that interests you.

    On the backend, though, that project has a number of members and sub-projects, and the money automatically trickles through the system, giving everyone their dues.


    I originally wrote this when I was thinking of remix culture. The idea was that if I wrote a song that used samples from a few different sources, then I could make a project representing this song that would list the songs I'd pulled from as sub-projects. That way, when someone gave me money for my song, the other artists also automatically get their share, without me having to collect or distribute anything.

    Then, I thought, one could use this for any back-end payment structure.

    One could make a project for each song on an album, with sub-accounts for each of the people associated with that song. Then, one makes a project for the album that just has each song under it. That way, someone could give you money for a particular song, or the whole collection. Or, the artist could go one higher and make a project for themselves that just lists all the albums, so one could just give money to the artist for existing, and it'd go through the whole system.

    If one were making a movie or, really, any kind of project like that, where everyone agrees to not get paid upfront, but rather they all get some cut of the backend, then all you need to do is put all of the cast and crew into the system under the movie. Then any time someone paid for the film, it'd automatically go out to all stakeholders.

    That got me thinking that one could use it, in general, as really simple payroll structure. Make a project representing the company, put the employees under it, then just put money in the top. Bam, people get paid fairly.

    Open source coding projects are also really suited to it. Not only are certain people core on the project, and could be remunerated when the project receives a donation, but often projects use other open source tools. So, a certain project may be some sort of web app, and it has developers, but it also might rely on RubyOnRails, and MySQL, and other such things. If these projects were also all on the system, then the first project could distribute money to its devs, but then also pass some of that money on to the projects it requires. That way everyone helps each other out, etc.

    One could even use it for personal income management. Make a project for ones-self, then subprojects for "rent", "food", "spending money", and the different buckets fill up as a quick and dirty money-segregation.

    There are probably other uses I haven't thought of.


    I want it to be really really simple and easy to make new projects, because I want people to throw them together like crazy. Also, to make sub-accounts so I can go in and simply divide up the money without each person having to go through a whole process.

    So, I think making a new project would just be "Type in a name, maybe give it an icon, maybe give it a description, maybe give it a link". I want GitHub style user-centric, rather than project-centric, so there can be 50 projects with the same name, because mine is psycotica0/super-project, and I don't care about the others. That means that I don't have to worry too much about telling people "No, that project name is taken, think of a new one"

    Anyway, now there's a new empty project.

    I want to allocate to people based on abstract "points" rather than fractions. In the end there will be fractions, but those can be automated. For example, when I add people to a project, I may add myself with 2 points and someone else with 1, and some technology I use with 1. That means that when money comes in, half of it goes to me, and the other half is divided between the other guy and the tech I use.

    I like that feeling a lot more, where I put people in, and all that really matters is the relative sizes of their contributions. If I add someone with "10" and someone else with "20", I don't really care what the final breakdown is, so long as person two gets twice as much in the end as person 1.

    It also, then, makes adding people much easier, since I don't have to go through and screw with all the fractions to try to squeeze them in, I can just put them in with their amount of points, and the system works out the new breakdown.

    Adding People

    Just like making projects, I want it to be really easy to add people, since those two things are basically the only thing one does with the tool. The easier it is to do these, the more likely people will actually use it.

    So, I think one can easily make a new sub-account just by putting a name in.

    For an even simpler thing, I think one could give a text box, and just have people write in:

    1, John Smith
    5, Super Bob
    3, Todd
    1, Mr Kittens

    And it'll go through and add them all in bulk, creating sub-accounts for people that don't already have one. (Having some sort of a system for "Are you sure you didn't mean..." seems like a good idea, but adds cognitive load)

    This way people can jump in, make a project with just a name, then add people to it in one step. Done.

    Then they can tweak it later, or add other stuff, later. The bulk is done.

    Technical Info

    Money Format

    I want to represent all the money inside the system as fractions with as much precision I can afford.

    That way, even if someone gets 1/375th of a cent for each dollar in, it does still build up, and if the project makes $10 000 000, then they get their $266.66 That's important to me.

    Given transaction costs, it's possible I'd have to say "No, you can't take any money out until you have more than $X", which I hate, but if that's how it has to work, then ok.

    It's possible I can allow smaller payments than that if people coming in have an account with donatabase. That way we can keep a balance with them, and then they can pay out of it, refilling it as required.

    I don't know the best way to allow multiple currencies, etc. I'll have to think about that.

    Computing the Tree

    So, when money comes in to a given project, that project may distribute to projects which distribute to projects, on and on. Sometimes project A may give to project B, which gives back to project A.

    So, it'd be best if I could know upfront where the money is supposed to go, and then just dump it in those boxes.

    Turns out that you can represent each project as an equation, with projects and accounts in it, and coefficients representing the fraction that goes to each project and account. Then, if you put the equations together into a system of equations, you can solve the system and get a full set of all of the endpoints for each project.

    This takes care of long trees, and loops, and other such things and just flattens everything into "this much goes here, this much goes here, this much goes here, then you're done"

    When someone makes a change to their project, the system must be recomputed.


    I started writing a bit of code, and it's here