‘3 Quarters’ is a warm up game. Various situations need warming up. For example a writing studio or a design studio that is at the ideation stage. What does warming up mean? Warming up means feeling a degree of comfort and ease which permits opening up and interacting with the environment. How does one warm up? One of the ways is to focus on something other than the subject at hand. For example, if it is a writing studio, then thinking about patterns or geometries evokes a part of the brain that is agile and alert. In order to impart an educational experience one needs the students to be agile, alert and receptive.
One is receptive, when one is perceiving risk. In ‘3 Quarters’ we constantly feel risk, The risk of some move we are making being helpful to other players and contributing to their winning the round is something all players are mindful of. One of the ways of winning any game is to prevent other players from winning.
Any player would be alert about what the other player would do based on their move. In ‘3 Quarters’ one has to be alert about what the other players might do based one’s moves or other players moves. This is not particularly unique. What is unique is the way one makes a ‘3 Quarters’ circle with either all same or all different patterns. In the next version the patterns will be replaced by patterns from Islamic architecture.
Another change we will figure out how to do is the scoring in a way that goes with the pattern (it should have some visual relationship — one star is one point, two stars are two points and so on).
Another element that needs to be more thoroughly tested is the winning condition — 25 points is victory. Is 25 too simple a target or is it fine? I had given ‘3 Quarters’ to my students at IIT (Gandhinagar) as a part of a game design course I am currently teaching there. I asked them to mod the game in a way that it takes them as far away as possible from the original game. What they came up with will also be available in this repository eventually. Games are like stories and just like the same story can be told in a multitude of ways so can games be played in numerous ways. All these different ways of playing a game can be thought of like narrative branches of the main game. They are related.
Games have a delicate sense of balance. Tinker around with them too much and they either become too easy or too difficult to play. The former bores the players and the latter frustrates them. Numerous versions of rules should exist. Players can have their own preferences about rulesets they like and the ones they don’t. Also on being tested rigorously the different versions of the game can be rated in terms of which version fulfils the objectives better.
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