# Search for game idea with challenging requirements

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I'm searching for a game that matches a couple of criteria. To fulfill each of those criteria alone wouldn't be a problem, but the combination of all of them turned out to be quite tricky. My intention is to use the game to determine the winner in an online community game. Those are the criteria the game has to match (I tried to order them by descending importance): • The game must not be based on luck. Therefore it has to be based on the skill of the players. E.g. all kinds of lotteries and sport bets aren't possible because they are based on luck. • The game must determine a unique winner (no tie). If the game doesn't fulfill this criteria the probability of a tie game should be marginal (< 1:10.000) • The game must not be manipulable for the players. Since the game is browser based, there are risks of manipulation on the client or in the network traffic. E.g. if the game's goal is to score as many points as possible, it is only a question of effort to submit "faked" results to the server. The ideal solution would be if the players wouldn't know, at the time of playing, which result of the game would lead to winning. Therefore there would be no intention to manipulate the game. E.g. if the game would be a lottery (which contradicts requirement 1) there would be no interest in manipulating your tips (numbers) sent to the server, because no one knows the winning numbers yet. • The game should be shorter than 30 seconds. (the shorter the better) • Almost everybody should be able to play the game with even chances. E.g. imagine you are playing an ego shooter against your parents. I know I stated it should be a skill game, but it should be based on a skill most people have more or less equally. • The game must be suitable for 2 and up to 10.000 or more players. The game should at least serve a wide variety in the number of players. If there is a reason, why at least 10 players have to participate, I'm also fine with it. • The players should be able to play at different points in time. It is not feasible to bring all players online at the same time to participate at the game. Therefore each player should play the game on his own and the "results" are compared when all participants have played. • A minimum of effort should be required by the organizer to run the game. The game should not require a lot of effort to neither start it nor to finish it. E.g. the determination of the winner should be automatable. • The game should not be manipulable by the organizer, or at least the players should have the impression that everything runs fair. E.g. when you lose a sport bet, no one will ever blame the bookmaker for manipulating the soccer game. If anyone has an idea for a game, that fulfills at least the first 3 and most of the other requirements, please don't hesitate to post each suggestion. I'm really stuck and need help.

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I think you need to hire a game designer.

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 Original post by Tom SloperI think you need to hire a game designer.

Maybe you are right. But at the moment I'm still hoping that such a game (or at least a quite similar) already exists and somebody out there already played it or has some kind of idea he/she would share with me.

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You might want to look into the old "winter games" for Amiga or C64 or games like it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_Games

Its comprised out of severals small games that are mostly skill based and depend on something simple anyone can do like moving a joystick left and right and pressing a button at a certain time or things like that. I think it should fit most of your requirements and be pretty easy to make too...

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 Original post by hpz• The game must not be based on luck. Therefore it has to be based on the skill of the players.• Almost everybody should be able to play the game with even chances.E.g. imagine you are playing an ego shooter against your parents. I know I stated it should be a skill game, but it should be based on a skill most people have more or less equally.

Paradox. If almost everyone have equal skills (or even chances) in the game, winning the game is based purely on luck (and possibility of win increases with number of tries). Besides, I can't think of any meaningful skill that everyone has equally...

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 Original post by teebeeParadox. If almost everyone have equal skills (or even chances) in the game, winning the game is based purely on luck (and possibility of win increases with number of tries). Besides, I can't think of any meaningful skill that everyone has equally...

Concerning the skill vs. luck topic. The real requirement (I guess I forgot to make that clear) is, that the game has to be a game of skill in a legal sense. I personally would prefer a simple lottery with random selection of the winner. But the fact is that this isn’t allowed by low (gambling regulations).That’s why we have to introduce this factor of skill, or at least we must have some points for reasoning that the game is based on skill.

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You have other almost contradictory requirements: "The ideal solution would be if the players wouldn't know, at the time of playing, which result of the game would lead to winning", vs. "The game should not be manipulable by the organizer, or at least the players should have the impression that everything runs fair". As I see it, the only way you can meet these requirements simultaneously is to base the results on an independent 3rd party. But that tends to take you back into games of chance, not games of skill.

Perhaps you could use some sort of puzzle based around numeracy and literacy skills. Pretty much the entire population has this across most age ranges, and it's definitely not a luck game legally speaking.

Or maybe it could be a spatial 'shuffle-the-pieces' game. The server could shuffle the pieces differently for every contestant, and send the configuration to the client. The client has to respond with the order of steps taken to un-shuffle the pieces, and the server can verify that this matches up with what it sent, and calculate how long it took the player to do it.

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 Original post by KylotanYou have other almost contradictory requirements: "The ideal solution would be if the players wouldn't know, at the time of playing, which result of the game would lead to winning", vs. "The game should not be manipulable by the organizer, or at least the players should have the impression that everything runs fair". As I see it, the only way you can meet these requirements simultaneously is to base the results on an independent 3rd party. But that tends to take you back into games of chance, not games of skill.

One idea we had, which would meet both requirements would be some kind of economic (stock based) “simulation”. All players get the same amount of “game money” and have to buy multiple stocks and after a period of time their winnings/losses decide the winner.
This has something to do with skill (at least you could argue that way), at the time of choosing their stocks they don’t know which will perform well (they can’t manipulate something) and the winner is determined by the world economy which is out of the scope of our manipulation.

But we had to reject this idea, because a lot of people aren’t familiar with stocks and would have the feeling to be disadvantaged. But basically the idea of determining the winner by a third party could be one factor for the success of the game.

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Maybe the ESP game?
http://www.gwap.com/gwap/gamesPreview/espgame/

It's described in this video: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8246463980976635143 11 minutes 45 second into the video it is explained.

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You could do a simple news-guessing game. Present players with a set of 20-30 yes/no questions, like "Will Germany win the European Football Championship?," "Will the US Supreme Court rule that the Navy is not doing enough to protect whales from the effects of sonar testing?" and so on. The player with most correct predictions wins.

[Edited by - Wiggin on June 26, 2008 2:17:01 PM]

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As mentioned before, many 'luck' games (in my country) are combined with trivial questions everybody knows to get around gambling regulations.

The idea of letting the players determine the winner could have some potential.
Letting every player submit a number and determining the winner based on the combination of these numbers is in the most technical sense NOT random, because all players fully determine the outcome of the game collectively. Although there is no skill involved, but I don't know how your countries regulations are formulated exactly.

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 Original post by oneofthoseMaybe the ESP game?http://www.gwap.com/gwap/gamesPreview/espgame/It's described in this video: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8246463980976635143 11 minutes 45 second into the video it is explained.

Thanks for your input. I will have a look at the video tomorrow morning. It looks very promising.
It’s already late in Europe and the semi finals of the European soccer championships on tv. I will post my opinion to the game/video tomorrow, thanks for your input.

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Quote:
 Original post by WigginYou could do a simple news-guessing game. Present players with a set of 20-30 yes/no questions, like "Will Germany win the European Football Championship?," "Will the US Supreme Court rule that the Navy is not doing enough to protect whales from the effects of sonar testing?" and so on. The player with most correct predictions wins.

Thanks for your suggestion. But unfortunately I see at least two contradictions with the requirements. First it is quite a lot of editorial effort to collect the questions and answers for each game. The second problem is, that you need a “trustable” source for those news. When you make a cooperation with a newspaper people just have to take a look at the newspapers homepage to gather all the answers.

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 Original post by dietepietAs mentioned before, many 'luck' games (in my country) are combined with trivial questions everybody knows to get around gambling regulations. The idea of letting the players determine the winner could have some potential.Letting every player submit a number and determining the winner based on the combination of these numbers is in the most technical sense NOT random, because all players fully determine the outcome of the game collectively. Although there is no skill involved, but I don't know how your countries regulations are formulated exactly.

Letting the players themselves determine the winner is a quite good idea. At least I thought this myself.
For example there is a special kind of auction based on this system. The winner is the participant which makes the lowest bet, which is just bid once. For example 2 players bid 1 €/$and only 1 player bids 2 €/, the player with 2 €/$ wins.
We presented this idea to our lawyer, but he rejected it immediately, because you have almost no possibility to argue, that there is a factor of skill. In his opinion it’s only a game of luck.

But when you have another idea similar to this, I would be very thankful.

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