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Over the past few years, I have been working on a strategy game that can be played with LEGOs. The game is called LEGO Terraform, and the documentation is available at the link below:

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=2FF48A3EF93571F9%21359&authkey=%21AMRFD9cQm4nBvYQ

(You'll have to copy and paste it - the forum parser is not being my friend today Wink ).

As a summary: LEGO Terraform is played with a baseplate, a minifigure for each player, two 6-sided dice, and a bucket full of LEGO elements. Apart from there needing to be standard LEGO System bricks, there are no limits or constraints to what items you use. In the game, players move their minifigures around the field while they build it up with the elements in the bucket, trying to trap other players in hopeless labyrinths and monoliths of LEGO structures. The game rules take advantage of the many kinds of LEGO pieces, including rotating parts, Duplo and Quatro blocks, tile pieces, and many others. In addition, for more advanced players, you can define LEGO elements to have special functions, such as Lightsabers that destroy blocks or buses that run routes outside the field.

Feel free to print these rules, playtest them, post suggestions to them here. I will update these rules periodically as I discover more elements.

Edit by Catherine: Fixed your link
I am probably going to read through that again at some point to do it justice, considering how in-depth you went in creating this set of rules, but this sounds like a very fun game. I almost wish I had my massive LEGO collection here with me to try it out, even though I haven't the room to put it. I hope that you're publishing this around on some pure LEGO enthusiast fora as well and will share their feedback with us.
You could probably get this somewhat working in TOB as well, that would be fun since you could play it over the internet with infinite amount of bricks, though cheating might be easier.
It's like a modern "Little Wars". Nice going.

One comment though, a variation is needed for using large monsters in the game(like the troll from the Harry Potter set, the ogre from the Castle sets, the rock monster from the rock raiders sets, or the Rancor from the upcoming Rancor Pit set). They might not work as emissaries, since it would be unfair to have a rancor you can control that simply eats any player it gets within range of. But having a neutral rancor in the center of the map would add an additional layer of strategy, with players trying to trap each other into entering its range.
Lucas: You'd just need to remember your minifig's position when you went to place or remove blocks. I guess you could free-cam, but moving the ghost block all over the place before placing might be tedious. Heck, someone could even build a mod to make the rules for this work in TOB or Freebuild.
KermMartian wrote:
Lucas: You'd just need to remember your minifig's position when you went to place or remove blocks. I guess you could free-cam, but moving the ghost block all over the place before placing might be tedious.


You're not thinking with clonebots.
Quote:

One comment though, a variation is needed for using large monsters in the game(like the troll from the Harry Potter set, the ogre from the Castle sets, the rock monster from the rock raiders sets, or the Rancor from the upcoming Rancor Pit set). They might not work as emissaries, since it would be unfair to have a rancor you can control that simply eats any player it gets within range of. But having a neutral rancor in the center of the map would add an additional layer of strategy, with players trying to trap each other into entering its range.

The cardinal rule of "you can't guarantee your victory or another player's loss as the game now stands" is supposed to prevent unfair items like this - you can't define the rancor like that unless an opponent can feasibly destroy it or steal it from you (e.g. they have a raygun item, or you're going to walk near a kinetic trapdoor). But having neutral monsters is an excellent suggestion, DShiznit! I'd probably add an Automaton category to the definition variations - creatures or minifigures that take their own turns and follow their own rules.
Something that I also realized in thinking about this was that the operation RCX or NXT bricks is a kinetic action (e.g. you can run a program on these bricks without using moves). So, if you took the effort to build and place your robot on the field as a substructure, either with some preloaded programs or writing simple programs on the NXT brick itself, your robot could function as an automaton (a trapdoor triggered by an ultrasonic sensor comes immediately to mind).
Quote:
You could probably get this somewhat working in TOB as well, that would be fun since you could play it over the internet with infinite amount of bricks, though cheating might be easier.

I am to assume that TOB is a Lego building tool (probably called "Ton Of Bricks"). That would be a fun mod to write, although definitions would probably be impossible to code, and it would definitely have to enforce the finite personal stash.

EDIT: Automatons have been added to the Definition Variations section, and programmable bricks have been added to the Gameplay Variations section, under Substructures.
This looks very cool. I'd love to see this implemented as a FreeBuild game mode.


Compynerd: TOB is a mod for the game blockland, based on the older mod TBM. It shares (a limited amount of) genetic material with the game I'm developing, called FreeBuild.
Update! After some actual gameplay and thought experiments, I added some more items to the game rules. They include:
- A universal clarification on the meaning of "destroy" in the rules
- An index at the end for finding particular topics quickly (along with page numbers in the top right corners)
- A variation for multiple games, using special Vehicles that can migrate players between games.

@elfprince: Something that you will have to implement in FreeBuild to get this game to work properly is the idea of piece physics, or that certain piece configurations have more unstable centers of balance that can cause them to fall over when only slight force is applied. This would be useful in a free-play mode as a warning that your structure wouldn't work in real life, but this game would actually use those calculations to dislodge pieces.
It would also be cool to have some smoke/light/explosion animation for dislodgement and destruction, so that it would be satisfying to watch yourself knock over a tower of LEGO bricks or blast away layers of Emissary off your opponent with your shiny new plasma rifle.
And as for definitions, a way we could implement those is with some sort of scripting language, with the ability to specify standards and deviations from those standards, as well as trigger conditions. We would probably have some huge list of sample definitions, complete with comments, that players could use.
T3D has a pretty good physics engine, so that's something that you should have access to. Same with the scripting language and definitions Smile An API for implementing custom game modes is something I've been working on.


I'm glad to hear of the updates! Smile
*bump*

I played the game again a few days ago with my friends, and I got some good pieces of feedback:
- They found the game really fun, but also really cerebral: after finishing a basic game, they didn't want to play again to test definitions because their brains were too tired. Smile
- The game changes significantly depending on what pieces you use: most of my friend's pieces were locked into an airport he built, leaving us with strange pieces that were difficult or impossible to maneuver, creating a game that was far more difficult than one that used mainly standard, rectangular bricks.
- This made me think of a TCG-style system for selecting bricks, in which people bring their own detailed collections to play to their specific strategies.
Thanks for the update Smile Maybe you should record a timelapse of your next playtest.
I might try this if I can set aside some time, any chance you could post a picture of a typical board setup or the game in play?
I think recording a timelapse video of a game is a great idea. I read through the whole document and think I have the general idea of how gameplay goes, but I'm sure there are many people without the patience or time to read it through, or simply can't visualize it.
ElectronicsGeek wrote:
I might try this if I can set aside some time, any chance you could post a picture of a typical board setup or the game in play?

KermMartian wrote:
I think recording a timelapse video of a game is a great idea. I read through the whole document and think I have the general idea of how gameplay goes, but I'm sure there are many people without the patience or time to read it through, or simply can't visualize it.

It will most likely be a while before I get a video up, but I can easily create visuals with LEGO Digital Designer. I'll use that to add figures to the document.
  
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