IGDC Judge Comments
The best setup strategy was obvious even before playing the game. The rules left a hole or two that had to be worked out before play. After a game or two, most of the gameplay principles were worked out. The random nature of piece placement offers the only motivation for replayability. A mechanism for stealing pieces from other players would add a great deal of enjoyment.
Diamond Mine is another fun game that still needs work. N.B. I only got to try the 2-player version (I used 5 rainbow treehouse sets and a gray stash: what I lacked was more players). We played twice, and both games ran about the same. Setup took almost half as long as game play, both times. Also, the two player game for us was strongly isolationist. Each player mined closest to home first, usually only having to watch how many mines were exhausted and who had a higher current score. When pawns were near enough to each other that move order was important, it was difficult to recall what the current order was supposed to be. I will definitely replay this game if a three or four player opportunity arises, but another two player game is less likely. I think the setup time to play time ratio is too high for me to promote Diamond Mine actively as it stands. This was also weaker for the game design competition restriction: it uses diamond and high (score) but I cannot see how to justify asteroid, wreckage, team or park. This is currently a good game built on a great idea. I would be thrilled if this were developed into the game the idea deserves. - DennisDuquette
Diamond Mine: We got through a game but no one really enjoyed it much. I wanted to be able to attack other players and grab their diamonds.
Diamond mine was a good start at a game, but needs gameplay tweaks to increase competition. It seemed clear that, as written now, everyone would grab and stash exactly two mines worth of diamonds, and it was just chance as to whether you managed to get some diamonds of your preferred color to boost your score to a win.
The two-player game seemed rather pointless. There was the obvious strategy of placing the veins as close to you as possible, then go to each vein, take the two pieces under it, and return to your base. It would all come down to luck. Maybe the 4-player version would be slightly more interesting, but not by much. The amount of setup time for what basically turned out to be a luck-based game made this not worth playing. There's probably an interesting game somewhere in there, but this wasn't it.
Diamond Mine sounded promising, but fell totally flat with two players. There didn't seem to be any reason not to place the mines on the squares closest to your quadrant, nor any reason not to take both diamonds from each mine you visit even if they weren't your color. Which means it degenerated to pure luck, the winner being the one who happened to randomly placed more of their own color. I would have liked to play this with 4 players, but I didn't get a chance; I can see how it might be better, since every placement would be in someone's quadrant, and there would be more bumping other players during the movement, but I can also see how it might still be too random to be worthwhile. Sorry for not making more of an effort to find opponents.