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And You Thought Before Watchmen Was Bad... Meet Chess 2: The Sequel

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And You Thought Before Watchmen Was Bad... Meet Chess 2: The Sequel

Postby LOLtron » Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:00 am

And You Thought Before Watchmen Was Bad... Meet Chess 2: The Sequel

David Sirlin and Ludeme games are making a sequel to Chess. Yes, Chess.



Source: Polygon

Last year, DC Comics raised eyebrows and offended people with human decency by publishing money-grabbing prequels to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' seminal comic series, Watchmen. To rub salt in the wound, they also produced Watchmen branded toasters. Toasters. And after that happened, I thought, as an internet comics reporter, I've climbed to the top of the mountain, and I will never reach such journalistic highs again. It was a story so absurd, it could never be topped.

Well, I was wrong.

I just learned someone is making a sequel to Chess.

From gamemaker Ludeme's website:

The gameplay unifies all that is great about chess with aspects from modern game design while fixing problems in the original that have long frustrated grandmasters and amateurs alike.

Compared to chess, Chess 2 relies much less on memorized openings and more on positional play. There are fewer draws, and the asymmetric gameplay with multiple matchups keeps the game fresh and interesting from the very first move.

 

What?! Who was asking for this?! How do you improve Chess?

There are now six armies to choose from., rather than just one. This means that there are twenty-one possible matchups. Long-time chess players and beginners alike will rejoice that this makes memorizing an opening book impractical - leaving more time to focus on positional and tactical play.

There is a new win condition (in addition to checkmates) for crossing the midline with your king. This makes the game very aggressive and practically eliminates draws from the game.

In Chess 2 there is a double-blind bidding mechanic called dueling that emphasizes adaptation and reading the opponent's tendencies.

 

Oh, for fuck's sake!

You can read the full rules for Chess 2 at Sirllin Games, the website for game designer David Sirlin, which describes it thusly:

Chess 1 was a hit, no doubt about it. Chess 2 seeks to build on the greatness of the original while addressing a few problems and also going in a new direction.

 

No doubt.

Chess 2: The Sequel will be a timed exclusive, debuting at the end of 2013 on the OUYA.



Written or Contributed by Jude Terror




READ THIS ARTICLE ON THE FRONT PAGE, HUMANS!
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Re: And You Thought Before Watchmen Was Bad... Meet Chess 2:

Postby Victorian Squid » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:39 am

I thought you meant a sequel to Chess the musical.

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Re: And You Thought Before Watchmen Was Bad... Meet Chess 2:

Postby Juan Cena » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:48 am

Victorian Squid wrote:I thought you meant a sequel to Chess the musical.



That's what I was thinking.

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Re: And You Thought Before Watchmen Was Bad... Meet Chess 2:

Postby HNutz » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:54 am

From their discussion forums.

Sirlin wrote:
Michael, I find your negative attitude disappointing and difficult to understand. After months of development, not to mention hours of page layout, I have charged between $0 and $3 at various times. I'm not sure why you object to the very idea of paying for design. Further, even if you DO object to the concept of paying for design, I'm not sure why you imply the quality of this game is *lower* because it's for sale. Actually, the quality is the same whether it costs $0 or $100.

I'm further confused how you can call a rule "more logical" in some other game without even knowing the rules here, and certainly not knowing why they are how they are. It seems you're set to be negative entirely over $3 and that's unfortunate. I would invite you to not be negative over that, and not assume that free equals superior quality. If I put this on sale for free for a week, would you rate its quality higher? (strange!)

The midline rule makes for faster games and ends them before you're whittled down a slippery slope of losing material. In any game with slippery slope (such as the original Chess), getting behind causes you to get more behind, and this leads to conceding being common rather than actually reaching the win condition. I find conceding anti-climactic, and when people play out the pointless part of an endgame, it just wastes everyone's time. Yes I am aware that it's not ALWAYS like that. A comeback is possible, and playing for stalemate is possible in the original Chess. I just think a faster game that eliminates much of that slippery slope problem is more fun and interesting. The midline rule just makes for a more exciting game that can't possibly get into a spiraling state of losing all your pieces.

And of course, playing with only one army is no where near as interesting as playing six, in my opinion. Street Fighter with one character? Starcraft with one race? Magic: the Gathering with one deck? Chess with one army? Exploring the matchups of asymmetric games adds so much that it's hard to go back to symmetric games. It requires a lot of work to balance asymmetric games, so most designers stay away from them, but after working on so many of them, I have kind of a track record here.



Designers tend to be defensive when others have concerns about their games, often dismissing it as simple negativity. Saying that you find my "negative attitude disappointing" is a little condescending, like you were scolding a child who doesn't get it. And your statement that I "imply the quality of this game is "lower" because it's for sale" is an insulting fabrication. Where in any of my posts did I write anything like that? So to explain futher ...

My opinion that the alternative winning condition is unattractive stands. It seems like a rule that was just stuck on to make the game go faster, and to generate a selling point (i.e., your reference to "grandpa's checkmates", which I'm sure chessplayers of all ages find a little insulting) and not a rule that is integral to the design of the game, the way it was for Parton. By the way, to chess players, it's not called "conceding" it's called "resigning" and it is not anticlimactic: it is how almost all decisive games between masters are decided, and chess fans do not find it disappointing. But it's still not a dealbreaker because if I was interested enough in playing Chess 2 I would just play without that rule, and probably without the blind bidding rule, which seems not in the spirit of chess to me. It's just that I think I already have so many good variants are my disposal that I don't need to pay for more. By the way, it does take a lot of nerve to claim you have invented a game that fixes chess's problems. Care to elaborate on that? Is resignation one of the "problems" you think you have fixed?

As far as asymmetric games vs. symmetric games, I think you will find that most players of abstract strategy games overwhelmingly prefer symmetric games, and your statement that "the matchups of asymmetric games adds so much that it's hard to go back to symmetric games" is not supported by the history of abstract gaming. The comparisons to Magic the Gathering and Starcraft are specious. I play games like Civilization, Master of Magic, etc, also, but what I want from them is not the same as what I want from an abstract or a chess variant. Not that a good asymmetric game is a bad thing, and there are a few good ones. Balance is a tricky issue in such games, though, as even Betza with his enormous expertise admitted. How well are your armies balanced? Has Chess 2 been played by chess experts and variantists? Or is it your intention that the armies need not be particularly well balanced?

As far as the issue of paying for design, I never voiced an objection in principle to that. I have paid for books of game rules in the past, and would do so again, and pdf vs. paper makes no difference. But it is very, very unusual to charge for the rules to a standard-equipment chess variant. In fact I can't at the moment think of another example, though maybe others can chime in. Please notice that my original post asked the question "were you satisfied?" and my most recent post clearly acknowledged the designer's right to charge for his ruleset if he wants to. So you have misrepresented me on this issue, perhaps out of frustration with my other concerns.

My main concern remains that designing and balancing a good asymmetric chess variant is a very difficult thing to do and very few have done it well: Betza, Schmittberger, Overby being the most significant. Until I hear from some variant experts that you've done something really special here, I'm going to keep my money. That's my current impression, and as I said in my last post, others might reach a different decision.




Oh, SNAP!

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So it does look cool for the most part and I'm glad they made the rules free. Like the other guy was saying, I wouldn't want to pay for that (apparently they were charging $3.00 for the rules originally)

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Re: And You Thought Before Watchmen Was Bad... Meet Chess 2:

Postby Mr. Log » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:39 am

Victorian Squid wrote:I thought you meant a sequel to Chess the musical.


So did I :lol:

Though the details here are different, the idea of "improving" chess is hardly new. Board game history is littered with new variations designed to improve mass appeal in some way. Ironically, the most successful of these is Star Trek's 3D chess, which was never intended to be a real game at all, but now has its own tournaments. I understand why people have the impulse to do this (I myself worked on a variation of 3 person chess for a long time). In fact, the chess we know and love today was not the original version of the game either. However, it is the one that has lasted for centuries, and no home rule system is going to unseat it. I love board games and I would be willing to try it out for curiosity, but I doubt it would be much more than that. When he throws a line in there comparing it to Magic: the Gathering, he's obviously missed the point of chess and wandered into whole new territory.

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Re: And You Thought Before Watchmen Was Bad... Meet Chess 2:

Postby Lord Ice » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:14 am

Obviously Zombie Bobby Fischer is gonna have to smack someone around.
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Re: And You Thought Before Watchmen Was Bad... Meet Chess 2:

Postby MrBlack » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:33 am

One of the enduring qualities of chess is the fact that it is fairly easy to learn but provides a very deep, cerebral play experience. Although these new rules may make the game a bit more fast paced, it also greatly increases the complexity of the gameplay. I don't see that it's an improvement to replace "memorized openings" with a phonebook's worth of new rules.

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Re: And You Thought Before Watchmen Was Bad... Meet Chess 2:

Postby The Old Doctor » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:36 am

BAH!

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Re: And You Thought Before Watchmen Was Bad... Meet Chess 2:

Postby Herald » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:44 am

Cat-Scratch wrote:BAH!

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*lifts eyebrow*
Fascinating...


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Re: And You Thought Before Watchmen Was Bad... Meet Chess 2:

Postby Spektre » Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:46 pm

LOLtron wrote:David Sirlin and Ludeme games are making a sequel to Chess. Yes, Chess.
Source: Polygon

Last year, DC Comics raised eyebrows and offended people with human decency by publishing money-grabbing prequels to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' seminal comic series, Watchmen. To rub salt in the wound, they also produced Watchmen branded toasters. Toasters. And after that happened, I thought, as an internet comics reporter, I've climbed to the top of the mountain, and I will never reach such journalistic highs again. It was a story so absurd, it could never be topped. Well, I was wrong. I just learned someone is making a sequel to Chess. From gamemaker Ludeme's website: The gameplay unifies all that is great about chess with aspects from modern game design while fixing problems in the original that have long frustrated grandmasters and amateurs alike. Compared to chess, Chess 2 relies much less on memorized openings and more on positional play. There are fewer draws, and the asymmetric gameplay with multiple matchups keeps the game fresh and interesting from the very first move.   What?! Who was asking for this?! How do you improve Chess? There are now six armies to choose from., rather than just one. This means that there are twenty-one possible matchups. Long-time chess players and beginners alike will rejoice that this makes memorizing an opening book impractical - leaving more time to focus on positional and tactical play. There is a new win condition (in addition to checkmates) for crossing the midline with your king. This makes the game very aggressive and practically eliminates draws from the game. In Chess 2 there is a double-blind bidding mechanic called dueling that emphasizes adaptation and reading the opponent's tendencies.   Oh, for fuck's sake! You can read the full rules for Chess 2 at Sirllin Games, the website for game designer David Sirlin, which describes it thusly: Chess 1 was a hit, no doubt about it. Chess 2 seeks to build on the greatness of the original while addressing a few problems and also going in a new direction.   No doubt. Chess 2: The Sequel will be a timed exclusive, debuting at the end of 2013 on the OUYA.

Written or Contributed by Jude Terror
READ THIS ARTICLE ON THE FRONT PAGE, HUMANS!


I wonder if Zillions of Games will play it
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- A character IS his continuity.
- Continuity is consistency of the characteristics of people, plot, objects, and places seen by the reader or viewer.

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Re: And You Thought Before Watchmen Was Bad... Meet Chess 2:

Postby Spektre » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:04 pm

Cat-Scratch wrote:BAH!

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I have the Franklin Mint version of this set and have played it.
:smt102
- Continuity is or it is not. There is no such thing as soft continuity.
- A character IS his continuity.
- Continuity is consistency of the characteristics of people, plot, objects, and places seen by the reader or viewer.

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