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. Here goes!