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Carlton Noles
A Real Estate Development Game
:Players Players:
:Time Length: unknown
:Complexity Complexity: Medium
Pyramid trios:
Monochr. stashes: 1 per player
Five-color sets:
- - - - - - Other equipment - - - - - -
A board ( a Chessboard Bandanna works nicely ), some markers
Setup time: Mere minutes
Playing time:
Strategy depth: Medium
Random chance: None
Game mechanics:
Theme: Real Estate
BGG Link:
Status: complete? (v1.0), Year released: 2987

The Background

You are a real estate developer competing with others to develop a new subdivision. Where you build is somewhat restricted and what gets built next to you affects your value. Bring down your competitors value while maximizing your own.


Using a Chessboard Bandanna (or a chess board or other board as appropriate) lay out the following number of squares for players:

Players Size Parks (Blocked Spaces)
2 6 x 6 6
3 7 x 7 4
4 8 x 8 4

You may have noticed there is a column up there for Parks (blocked spaces). on each board there should only be as many spaces as there are pyramids to be played. Use some markers (coins, Zendo Stones, etc) to block extra spaces in any pattern you see fit. Personally I tend to be a bit symmetrical about this by starting with the corners, but it is up to the players.

This is the same info but adjusted for a ThreeHouse Set:

Players Size Parks (Blocked Spaces)
2 5 x 5 7
3 6 x 6 9
4 6 x 6 0


For the purposes of placement and scoring use the following definitions-

Adjacent orthogonally or diagonally.
Adjacent Orthogonally.
A collection of Neighboring pyramids of the same color.

Note that a pyramid Neighboring another pyramid is also Near it but the reverse is not necessarily true.

The Pieces

Luxury High Rise 
This is represented by a 3-pip pyramid. You can't build your Luxury High Rises too close to each other.
Single Family Block Home 
This is represented by a 2-pip pyramid. You can build these anywhere.
Manufactured Home Communities 
These glorified trailer parks can only be built next to a Luxury High Rise (preferably your opponents') or another Manufactured Home Community.


Choose who goes first in the manner you wish (fisticuffs is generally frowned upon but is valid). The players then, in turn, place a pyramid on any unoccupied space with the following restrictions:

  • A 3-pip pyramid may not be placed Near another 3-pip pyramid of the same color.
  • A 1-pip pyramid must be placed Near a 1-pip pyramid of a different color or a 3-pip pyramid of a different color.

Keys to Successful Community Planning

Well, keys to your success anyway....

Stick Together: It is better for you to keep your buildings in one contiguous group whenever possible. This keeps your obviously superior structures separate from those of other (and therefore lesser) builders. Each group incurs a -1 point penalty. The fewer groups you have the more points you get in the final tally.

Keep Out The Riff Raff: Having too many Manufactured Home Communities near your Luxury High Rises brings down the value of the Luxury High Rises. Keep them away whenever possible.

Stick It to the Competition: Whenever possible, force your opponents to isolate their pieces or break up their Groups. Use the placement rules and parks to your advantage. If you can't build a Manufactured Home Community next to their Luxury High Rise then force them to build a Luxury High Rise next to your Manufactured Home Communities. Use the parks to your advantage as well.


Once all pyramids have been played score the board. Points are accumulated for each player in the following manner:

  1. Total the pip values of all of the pyramids played that player.
  2. Subtract 1 point from that total for each Group.
  3. Subtract 1 point from that total for each 1-pip pyramid, after the first, of any color Near one of that player's 3-pip pyramids (up to a maximum of 3 points per 3-pip pyramid; a 3-pip is never worth less than 0 points).

The highest possible score is 29 points: 30 points worth of pyramids in 1 group (-1) with no deductions on any of its 3-pip pyramids (-0).

The player with the highest totals wins.

Some Examples:

(Images provided by SDG.)

3-Pip Scoring Example

In the above example, the 3-pip at A2 would be worth 3 points, because it has only a single 1-pip Near it. This would also be its value if there were no 1-pips near it.

The blue 3-pip at C2 is worth nothing because it has four 1-pips Near it and thus is worth -1 point for each after the first with a minimum of 0 points (a 3-pip can not have a negative value).

The 3-pip at F2 is worth 2 because there are two 1-pips near it.

Group Scoring

In the above example, there is one red group and two blue groups. The blue pieces shown start out worth the total number of pips -2 (-1 for each group). The red pieces start out worth the total number of pips -1 (for one group).

Complete Games

The Score of this game is:

Red: 24 = 30 - 4 (for four groups)
- 1 (3-pip @ F2 with two 1-pips Near it)
- 1 (3-pip @ E4 with two 1-pips Near it)
Blue: 23 = 30 - 3 (for three groups)
- 3 (3-pip @ C2 with five 1-pips Near it; maximum deduction is 3 points)
- 1 (3-pip @ B4 with two 1-pips Near it)

The Score of this game is:

Red: 20 = 30 - 6 (for six groups)
- 1 (3-pip @ D4 with two 1-pips Near it)
- 1 (3-pip @ B7 with two 1-pips Near it)
- 2 (3-pip @ C2 with three 1-pips Near it)
Blue: 17 = 30 - 7 (for seven groups)
- 3 (3-pip @ E6 with four 1-pips Near it)
- 1 (3-pip @ G6 with two 1-pips Near it)
- 1 (3-pip @ D3 with two 1-pips Near it)
- 1 (3-pip @ D1 with two 1-pips Near it)
Green: 14 = 30 - 6 (for six groups)
- 3 (3-pip @ E2 with four 1-pips Near it)
- 3 (3-pip @ E4 with four 1-pips Near it)
- 2 (3-pip @ A2 with three 1-pips Near it)
- 1 (3-pip @ E7 with two 1-pips Near it)
- 1 (3-pip @ B6 with two 1-pips Near it)


Park Place-ment 
The players take turns placing the parks on the board before the game starts.
Private Parks 
If a group occupies ALL of the squares near a park, it has exclusive access to that park and scores an additional 3 points.

To Do

That is the game in a nutshell.

  1. Get feedback from players.

External Links

This game is licensed under a Creative_Commons License and is copyrighted © 2006 by me, Carlton Noles

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Entered in the Icehouse Game Design Competition, Summer 2007
Winner: Pylon 2nd: Subdivision 3rd: Zamboni Wars 4th: Geomancy
5th: Penguin Soccer 6th: Moon Shot 7th: Martian Coaster Chaturanga 8th: Trip Away