Today will be a bit of a brief idea, as I’ve been busy all day with the first day of the conference I am attending here in Montreal (and jetlag isn’t the best thing to be trying to write a post late at night with). The game is inspired by the topic of the conference, that of crystallography and diffraction, and trying to make patterns consisting of lines with different spacings across a shared board.

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Day 37: Diffraction Games

The game would probably be for 2-4 players, and be an abstract game. There is a common square board, divided into a number of different spaces, and each player has a number of pieces in their colour. At the start of the game, each player is also dealt a number of cards, each describing a different pattern that their pieces need to make on the board for them to score the card. For example, they might have to make 2 diagonal lines across the board, or occupy 4 of the special spaces marked on the board. Each goal is worth a number of points which are scored if the goal is achieved, or lost if the goal is failed.

On a player’s turn, they can either add a piece to an empty space, move one of their pieces by playing one of their movement cards, or drawing additional goals. The movement cards are related to the symmtry elements of crystallography. For example, one card would be a mirror plane, where a player can move their piece as if it were reflected by a mirror down the centre of the board, and another card would be a rotation axis where a player could move their piece to an equivalent position 90 degrees clockwise or anticlockwise. Whenever a player scores a goal, they remove all the pieces they used for the goal from the game, with the game ending once a player has placed all their pieces on the board (after having one additional turn).

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The tactics of the game would probably revolve around the players recognising the kinds of patterns their opponents were trying to make, and for players to also realise how they could quickly change their plans using their movement cards. Possibly the cards need to move more pieces at once so there is a possibility for large mass movements of pieces and surprise scorings, which would give the players a nice feeling of being able to pull off such powerful moves. I know the game needs a bit more than what I’ve written here, but my sleepy brain can’t quite think of anything more – do you have anything that could make the game better?