Skyscrapers

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Under development


This game is currently under development, in the Initial Design stage. Feedback is strongly encouraged! Feel free to give comments on game design or structure on the talk page.

Skyscrapers
Designed by Erik Oosterwal
A free-form action and dexterity game for lively party fun.
Min. Players: 2
Max. Players: 10+
Icehouse stashes: 1+
Treehouse sets: 1+
Other equipment: None
Setup time: 1 minute or less
Min. Playing time: 5 minutes
Max. Playing time: 10 minutes
Rules complexity: Low
Strategy depth: Low
Random chance: Low
Primary Mechanic: Dexterity
Additional Mechanic: Stacking
Theme: Tower Building
BGG Link: none


Contents

Equipment Needed

1+ Treehouse sets
or
2+ Stashes

Basically, any decent number of pyramids in an assortment of colors and sizes. Here 'decent number' means at least 5 times as many pyramids as number of players (the rules require completed towers to have at least 5 pyramids.) This means that a single treehouse set can be used with 2 or 3 players.


Setup

Dump all the pyramids into the center of the playing area so that all players have equal access to them. No sorting, stacking, or nested is required (or necessarily desired.)


Overview and Objective

The object of Skyscapers is to build tall towers of pyramids with high asthetic appeal.

Players make a grab for the building materials needed to build their tall towers then race to see who can assemble all their building material into tall towers. To be considered a tower the structure must have at least 5 pyramids. To be considered complete the top-most pyramid in the structure must be a 1-pip pyramid. To be considered safe, the structure can have no nested pyramids (larger pyramid placed on top of a smaller pyramid.)


Rules

Each round of the game consists of 3 parts:

  1. Grabbing
  2. Building
  3. Scoring

Grabbing

During each round one player is selected to give the command to start--shortest player, youngest player, player with the lowest running score, etc. That player yells "Go!" and all players start grabbing pyramids from the center of the playing area to form their own individual piles of 'tower building materials'. It is expected that this grab for choice building materials will be a big free-for-all, not unlike the ruckus that happens when many contractors bid for construction jobs and supplies.

The only restriction during this phase is that players may only use one hand to grab pyramids from the central pile. This should suppress some players' need to grab all the pyramids by scooping them with both arms.

Building

Once all the pyramids have been pulled from the central pile into the players' individual building material piles the previously selected player once again yells "Go!" and each player builds as many tall towers as they can from their supply of building materials. The first player to use up all their pyramids yells "Done!" and all players stop to score their completed towers.

As a handicap for more dexterous players add the requirement that only one hand be used to construct towers.

Scoring

To be eligible for scoring as a tower each structure must be at least 5 pyramids tall and the top-most pyramid must be a 1-pip pyramid. Structures with 4, or fewer, pyramids are not considered to be towers. Structures that do not have a 1-pip pyramid cap are considered incomplete.

Any structure that has a larger pyramid above a smaller pyramid (nesting) is considered unsafe and will reduce that player's score.

The value of each completed structure is tallied individually starting from the bottom-most pyramid and ending with the top-most pyramid. Individual 3-pip pyramids are worth 1 point each, individual 2-pip pyramids are worth 2 points each, and individual 3-pip pyramids are worth 3-points each. The value of each subsequent pyramid in a run of the same color and size is increased:

The first 3-pip pyramid in a run is worth 1 point, the second pyramid in the same run is worth 2 points (1 point more than the one below), the third pyramid in the same run is worth 3 points, etc.
The first 2-pip pyramid in a run is worth 2 points, the second 2-pip pyramid in the same run is worth 4 points (2 points more than the one below), etc.
The first 1-pip pyramid in a run is worth 3 points, the second is worth 6 points, the third is worth 9 points, etc.


Total Points per Run
Size of Run 3-Pip 2-Pip 1-Pip
1   1 point     2 points    3 points 
2   3 points    6 points    9 points 
3   6 points   12 points   18 points 
4  10 points   20 points   30 points 
... ... ... ...



The sum of each run in a tower is then multiplied by the total number of colors used in that tower.

* * * ? - Is this scoring too complicated?

Unsafe towers are deconstructed into sections at the points of each offending nesting condition. These individual sections are then scored as described above and the total is subtracted from that player's score.

Examples

(Reading as if left→right is the same as bottom→top...)

  1. r3-r3-b3-y3-b3-y2-y2-r1
    1. The first run of 2 red 3-pip pyramids is worth 3 points
    2. The next run of 1 blue 3-pip pyramid is worth 1 point
    3. The next run of 1 yellow 3-pip pyramid is worth 1 point
    4. The next run of 1 blue 3-pip pyramid is worth 1 point
    5. The run of 2 yellow 2-pip pyramids is worth 6 points
    6. The final run of 1 red 1-pip pyramid is worth 3 points
      The total score for this tower is sum of run values (15) times the total number of colors (3) = 45 points.
  2. y3-y3-y2-r3-b1 (unsafe)
    1. After deconstruction this tower turns into two structures: y3-y3-y2 and r3-b1
    2. The first run of 2 yellow 3-pip pyramids is worth 3 points
    3. The next run of 1 yellow 2-pip pyramid is worth 2 points
      The total score of this structure is 5 (sum of 5 times 1 color)
    4. The first run of 1 3-pip red pyramid is worth 1 point
    5. The final run of 1 1-pip blue pyramid is worth 3 points
      The total score of this structure is 8 (sum of 4 times 2 colors)
      The total number of points to be subtracted from the player's score is 13 points.
  3. b2-b2-y2-b2-y2-y1-y1-y1
    1. The first run of 2 blue 2-pip pyramids is worth 6 points
    2. The next run of 1 yellow 2-pip pyramid is worth 2 points
    3. The next run of 1 blue 2-pip pyramid is worth 2 points
    4. The next run of 1 yellow 2-pip pyramids is worth 2 points
    5. The final run of 3 yellow 1-pip pyramids is worth 18 points
      The total score for this tower is the sum of the run values (30) times the total number of colors (2) = 60 points.


Winning

Because this game is intended to be used as a vehicle for having lively interaction with party-minded friends there is no single winning condition attached to this game. There are, however, a number of different ways to appease those players who have to have a goal:

  1. Set a total play time (1/2 hour, 2 hours, until it's time to cut the cake,...) and declare the person with the most points at that time as the winner.
  2. Set a target goal of some value (100 points, 333 points,...) and the first person to meet or beat that goal is the winner.
  3. Set a target goal of some value and the first person to exactly hit that mark, without going over, is the winner.
  4. Set a threshold for the tower scores (25 points, 50 points,...) Under this condition, the winner is the first person to build some number of towers that exceed that point value.



License

88x31.png
This work is distributed by Erik Oosterwal under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

Facts about SkyscrapersRDF feed
Additional Mechanic Stacking  +
BGG Link None  +
Description A free-form action and dexterity game for lively party fun.
Designer Designed by Erik Oosterwal  +
Max. Players 10 +  +
Max. Playing Time 10 minutes  +
Min. Players 2  +
Min. Playing Time 5 minutes  +
Name Skyscrapers  +
Other Equipment None  +
Primary Mechanic Dexterity  +
Primary Theme Tower Building  +
Random Chance Low  +
Rules Complexity Low  +
Sets 1 +  +
Setup Time 1 minute or less  +
Stashes 1 +  +
Strategy Depth Low  +
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