Reading Post #2

Choose a simple game (not found in the reading) and describe its Constitutive Rules, Operational Rules, and (at least 3…) Implicit Rules.

Catastrophantastic is a simple asymmetric 3 player game

Operational Rules –

There are 12 rounds to the game. Following the action taken by each player in his/her turn that player passes the Next Player Token to the next player. When all 3 have taken a turn the Round indicator is advanced on the round.

Round one – Each player selects one tile, flips it and places player token on it. No other actions can be taken.

Round two – each player has a unique goal and actions available

Locked tiles – tiles with player tokens on them are locked and cannot be swapped, rotated or moved to by another player. Player 1 can also lock tiles by creating complete paths.

Player 1 –

Win Condition – player 1 wins if a path of each color (blue, green, orange) has been created. A path may be as small as just two tiles with end points joined together or many tiles.

Actions available

1. while there are still unrevealed tiles, one tile may be revealed and the player 1 token placed on it, locking the tile.


2. Swap an unlocked revealed tile with any other tile (revealed or unrevealed) then move the player 1 token to either of the swapped tiles.


3. Rotate any unlocked revealed tile then place the player 1 token on it.

If a complete path has been created place markers between the involved tiles to indicate that they are now locked.

Player 2 –

Win Condition – player 2 wins if the game lasts through the twelfth round.

Actions available

1. while there are still unrevealed tiles, one tile may be revealed and the player 2  token placed on it, locking the tile.


2. Rotate any unlocked revealed tile and place player 2 token on it.

Player 3 –

Win Condition – visit and place markers on 8 tiles

Actions available

1. while there are still unrevealed tiles, one tile adjacent to player 3 in the cardinal directions may be revealed and the player 3 token moved to it, locking the tile. (No marker is placed if player 3 reveals a new tile and moves to it.


2. Move player 3 token to an adjacent revealed tile and leave marker on the tile player 3 previously occupied.


3. Swap the currently occupied tile with any unlocked revealed tile. Player 3 token remains on the the same tile it occupied as it is swapped to the new board position.

Constitutive rules –

I haven’t worked this out yet and am not sure where to start.

Implicit rules –

There are too many to list. Each player can see everything which has been revealed. Each player sees and understands the other players options each turn. Etc.,

In your opinion what does the element of randomness contribute to making a game more compelling?

Randomness, when used well, adds variance to gameplay and keeps it from becoming too formulaic or spoiled by memorized patterns or reliance upon overly dominant strategies. It also can level the playing field between experienced and novice players and bring psychological excitement to a game.

Pick one of the games we played in class that involves randomness  and describe how you feel personally about the role randomness plays in the game experience?  (BackgammonCitadelsCatan, or other)  (Please incorporate concepts from the reading in your answer)

Citadels incorporates randomness with the property cards that you draw which may help to determine your goals for each turn. One of the player role cards is also randomly removed from each round which causes players to guess and take risks that they might not otherwise take. The randomness feels like a small part of the game because there are so many decisions to make based on deduction but the random elements contribute greatly.

Describe examples (from any of the games we have played in class or another game you have played) of these key cybernetics concepts : a positive feedback loop and a negative feedback loop. ( This question is not so easy

Citadels uses tokens to represent money that are not hidden during play. This open information is useful for other players who can select the role of the thief to try to target the player with the most money. This is a clever negative feedback mechanism that can keep a player who has successfully gained money from dominating the game and pulling further ahead.

A positive feedback loop in Citadels is seen in the way that particular property cards can provide bonuses which accelerate the acquisition of money.

In your own words explain these concepts from the field of Game Theory :

1Saddle Point

A saddle point is an optimal strategy that becomes dominant and removes motivation to use alternate strategies causing the game to become dull.

2Prisoners Dilemma

This game theory problem illustrates how two rational players might use mixed strategy to think about a non zero-sum problem

3Zero Sum Game

This term is used for games where 1 player wins and 1 player loses, there cannot be a tie, 2 winners or 2 losers.