Pocket Pyramids

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This is the original email David Artman sent to the Icehouse list:

Hi, all;

This is a call-out to all Icehouse/Treehouse single-stash games designers.

Some time ago, I was given the go-ahead to typeset and deliver as a PDF on Looney Labs' site, a compilation of games for pyramids. I had been pulling easy-to-teach games from the wiki, for my demoing and weekly game nights, and putting them into my own, printed book. As I have a full set of 11 monochrome stashes, I paid little heed to the number of stashes required (or any other elements)--I just picked what looked fun.

Well, we're up to 165 games on the wiki and 95% of them look fun (the other 5% are either confusing to me or WAY too massive for me to attempt in demos or weekly pick-up gaming--*cough*Gnostica*cough*). There's no way I can get them all into a book; how to decide who makes the cut and who doesn't? I decided to step back and reconsider: what would best serve Looney Labs, right now, in addition to my demoing and pick-up needs?

Single-stash games. Games a customer can play with one Treehouse stash, maybe Martian Coasters, and common gaming elements like chessboards or tokens/markers.

Currently, there are 23 on the wiki, but I bet there are several more that don't have the tag to get them to sort out on that category page (ex: I just added single-stash category to Zamboni Wars). Hence my call-out, here.

If you have a single-stash game design that is (mostly) through playtesting and (mostly) ready for prime time, and if you are willing to let me typeset it in a PDF--including (re)making diagrams for it and editing some of the terminology, for consistency across the compilation--please contact me at my e-mail address above with a link to it on the wiki or elsewhere.

Here's the overall plan: TITLE: Pocket Pyramids SUBTITLE: x Games for One Stash of Treehouse Pieces (x = number of games in the final book; minimum of 12, I should think)

General book format to match Playing With Pyramids for fonts, sizes, digest book size, etc.

Illustrations to be redone, in order to make consistent imagery (as in PWP: one artist, several designers). Currently, I will be doing artwork in Visio, saved as EPS, to maintain vector art format, which is highly scalable/zoomable and which prints perfectly, with no dithering. I will choose colors which print well in black & white (possibly Xeno?) and which closely match the actual pieces.

Release will be only as a PDF for download only from Looney Labs' site--but feel free to link to it from your contributing games, of course--see how the Hypothermia and Playing With Pyramids games are handled, for a guideline.

In all likelihood, the whole book will be released under the Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-commercial, Share-Alike) v3.0 License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

I have already discussed releasing this compilation as a printed book or via print-on-demand, and it is my understanding that there is no interest in such a new printed product at Looney Labs. [Aside: I'll admit that I still don't understand why they wouldn't carry it as print-on-demand, for those who were willing to pay: it's basically free money in the mail, for uploading a file to a POD provider like Lulu or Avalon.]

So, in short, it's all free for all, and it will serve as a "loss leader" to help customers discover the wide variety and flexibility the Icehouse system provides with even ONE Treehouse stash. There will be a link to the wiki in the PDF, and I hope that, in short order, folks are buying up sets of five to play all the other 130 games!