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The player of games

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hi all, First to say that "The Player of Games" is a science fiction novel by Scottish writer Iain M. Banks. the plot is around a great player who plays a very complex game,called Azad, originated from other civilization's culture. game could be described as follows:
Quote:
Original post by Wikipedia Azad is a game played in the Empire of Azad. In the language of the fictional Empire, the word "Azad" translates to mean "machine" or "system", but is applied to any complex entities such as animals, plants or artificial machines. Although the actual rules are not given in the book, the game is primarily tactical and played on three-dimensional boards of various shapes and sizes. Typically the boards are large enough for players to walk around inside them to move or interact with their pieces. The number of players differs from game to game and also influences the tactics, as players can choose to cooperate or compete with one another. As well as skill and tactics, random events may influence gameplay (often as card or other games of chance), and sometimes may change the outcome critically. Game elements The game consists of a number of rounds, such as card games and elemental die matching, which allow the players to build up their forces for use on the game's three giant boards (in order; the Board of Origin, the Board of Form, and finally the Board of Becoming) and a number of minor boards. The game uses a variety of pieces to represent a player's units (military, resource or even philosophical premises). Some of the pieces are genetically engineered constructs, which may change form during the game according to their use and environment. These respond to their handling by a player and appear difficult to understand - at one point in the book Gurgeh is encouraged to sleep while holding some of the more important pieces so he can better understand them in play.
as you can read, the rules are not given in the book so it is left for the reader to image it. and my question is towards ppl who have read the book, how do you image this game? my idea is to come up with some rules who can be applied to 3d board game. of course the realization of the idea would be on a pc, not real board :) best, y.

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Something like 3d chess, but with the cards + counters affecting how the 'in play' pieces act.

Possibly something like Risk too, with frontage and territory playing a big part in strategy.

Visually, the 'stacks of hexes' approach used in this game seems similar - IIRC the Azad boards are 3d and have terrain features, but still have regular spaces for the pieces.

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I imagined it more as a giant role playing/negotiation game, more like Diplomacy

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any other ideas ? so we could come up with some specific rules of the game?

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