Hard Takeoff – Devlog #0

About a year ago I started working on a board game (code named “Calvinball” because at first I changed the rules often during the game.) That was an interesting process to go through and one I enjoyed. For the past couple of months I’ve had a new game bouncing around in my head that I’m going to try to make real. This time around I thought I would try to document the process a bit more.

This is the first in what will hopefully become a series of posts on Hard Takeoff, which is the working title for the new game. So far all I have are some vague ideas rattling around in my head:

  • Each player in the game plays a roughly human-equivalent AI.
  • A player wins the game by being the first AI to acquire the resources required to trigger an intelligence explosion.
  • Each player has a slightly different set of requirements to trigger that explosion. Each player also starts with a slightly different set of resources and abilities.
  • The game is about accumulating resources and capabilities as quickly as possible without being so obvious that the pesky humans take notice and try to stop the player.
  • The AIs in question are self-interested, but don’t particularly hate humans. At worst they are indifferent to the goals of humans. (That means they’re more like ELOPe than Skynet.)

In addition to these thematic and gameplay goals, there are also a couple of more practical limitations I’m going to try to impose on the game:

  • The game should be easily portable. I’m going to try to build it with only cards and no other pieces.
  • Game sessions should take about an hour.
  • This should not be a worker placement game because that’s what Calvinball is and I want to try something different.

And with that I’m going to go prototype some cards. ┬áHere goes!

~Joe


4 Responses to “Hard Takeoff – Devlog #0”

  1. Stanley tweedle wrote on :

    The game is about accumulating resources and capabilities as quickly as possible without being so obvious that the pesky humans take notice and try to stop the player.

    Have u seen the movie access code w martin landau and mike ansara? http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qh6pSrbSQ5Y. The ai’s take over the government.

    Joe what about changing this particular game dynamic? Instead of a “greedy” meme about how to take and accumulate – instead how to give and share resources and capabilities so the pesky humans want to help it instead of restrict it?

  2. Joe replied on :

    I’d never heard of Access Code. It reminds me a bit of Eagle Eye: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1059786/

    It’s far too early to tell how this game is going to work out. It could well be that one strategy is to work in plain view with the humans by helping them out.

  3. Stanley tweedle said on :

    Joe another point. I found this link to u here from your twitter feed I follow. I have posted a comment. I see no way to be notified (typically by email) of responses. Someone recently commented at oculusvr they never knew if Abrash had responded to their comment on his blog. Sure we could come back and reload the page or add some RSS type stuff but I would find it highly useful if there was some way to get email notifications of responses. If that is not something u can add here are there programs that will take the RSS comment feed and email us?

  4. Stanley tweedle replied on :

    I just checked out eagle eye. Good movie! I just started watching person of interest too on tv, don’t know how I missed it.

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