Talk:What Can I Play?

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Listing Your Games On The Article Page

Please think hard about which Number of Treehouse Sets and/or Number of Icehouse Stashes table cell in which your game belongs. Ideally (barring significant gameplay variants—refer to how Martian Chess and Stacktors! are shown) you should be listing in one cell: the one which is the minimum required number. For example:

  • A game which requires one monochrome stash per player should appear in Five Sets, with an "up to 5 players" notation, and in One Stash, with a superscript-1 notation (CODE: <sup>1</sup>).
  • There's now a subheading for "one stash per player", so use that instead. The superscript is unnecessary now. - Cerulean 10:04, 5 March 2008 (EST)
  • A game which requires a Rainbow and a Xeno set should appear in Two Sets, with a superscript-2 notation (CODE: <sup>2</sup>), and in Ten Stashes.
  • A game which scales (like Martian Chess) should be listed at each Stash/Set level which permits another player, with an "up to X players" notation.
  • A game which requires full stashes of four colors (ex: Zendo) should appear in Five Sets and Four Stashes.

Thank you for your diligence—David Artman 11:49, 9 August 2007 (EDT)

Thinning the List

The page was getting long, cluttered, and annoying to use. In anticipation of a flood of new users visiting the wiki when IceDice is published, I have taken the liberty of paring the WCIP list down to games that

  • have been published
  • have won awards or been finalists in contests
  • appear on at least three Starship Captain Lists

Please try to populate WCIP only with known quality games. WCIP is not a place for promoting your game. Your game is welcome here once other people show preference for it. - Cerulean 15:24, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Personally, I think thinning the list has greatly diminished the usefulness of the "What Can I Play?" list. I admit that there were probably a few games that got on the list too soon. I don't see the harm in eliminating a few games that are obviously broken. But a lot of care was taken to make sure that each game was linked up to the correct categories. It was a great place to find out what new games one could play. That's how I've always used the page. It was a page that was useful for novices and experts alike (especially "experts" like me who have only been playing these games for the past 6 months). It was also a great way to encourage users to buy more stashes, letting them make informed decisions on what to get. I'm not sure what the value is of replicating what's already available on the Awards list and elsewhere, and limiting it to the subjectively popular games seems to greatly hinder the purpose of a wiki.
Honestly, if the strength of Looney Pyramids is that players can "discover" many new, fun games for themselves, then it has just become much harder to do so. I believe that users, who decide to find games for themselves can determine which games they might like based on the rule set, reviews online, and the BGG links. As it is now, I'd guess that many great game will simply fall to the side. The only place to find a list of most of the games (including many gems) is to think to browse the "Community Games" section by the designer's name and to then click into each game individually to see if it is something that they can/want to play (not very intuitive). Nihilvor
WCIP isn't there to make games become popular. It is there to help newcomers find good games to play with their Treehouse sets (and IceDice sets, come June). That was one of David Artman's express concerns when he created WCIP in 2007. Existing Games was full of half-developed early pyramid games from 2001-2004 that put newbies off of pyramids. As you pointed out, there are many other places online to better do that, such as the Ning forums, BGG, and gaming blogs. People can still discover good new games through other channels. Since WCIP is the most viewed page on the IceWiki after the Main Page, it is a portal for many people, a majority of whom I assume to be unregistered newbies. For the sake of newbies, I want their first forays into the game system to be positive ones, hence my focus on established games rather than on prototypes in disguise. This is why I focused on contest winners and games that appear on multiple Starship Captain lists. It's a wiki, so if you think a game got cut from WCIP unfairly, make an edit. But let's be careful about which foot we put forward.
If you think a game has been unfairly overlooked, go out there and promote it! "Hey, Starship Captains... you gotta try Aeb!" Once others agree about it's merits, then it's WCIP worthy. If you can't convince other Captains to put it on their list, does it really belong on WCIP? (As an aside, I cut my own designs from WCIP with my edits, since I'm the only one who wanted them there.)
My bullet list of eligibility was meant as a guideline, not a rule. I'm reconsidering letting any published game in WCIP. There are some duds there like Hailstorm, Martian Mud Wrestling, and Gridlock that have no fans or followings. LL published them in Hypothermia... perhaps in retrospect this was a hasty decision on their part.
I think WCIP is long enough right now to give newbies the impression of how comprehensive the pyramid game system is.
Looking for new designs for IceVeterans like yourself to try? There are better sources than WCIP. Take a gander at pages like New in 2010. And don't forget that games are linked up by categories, which are included at the bottom of WCIP. I think more users browsing for a game are doing so by investigating what's available with the components they have. Did you know that there are several pyramid games that use polyhedral dice, for example? - Cerulean 17:02, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
I'll think about what you wrote. However, I don't think of myself as a veteran. One of the reasons that I'm giving my objections here is that I'm not too far off the typical user that Looney Labs will be dealing with in a few months. I only got into the Pyramids during the Fall of 2010. My concern is that the wiki just lost some functionality that I've found invaluable in my experience with the pyramids.
My group used the list to discover new games to play and to see what we could play, based on my ever-expanding set of pyramids.
I believe that users are able to decide for themselves whether a game is broken or not, and most of the games on the WCIP? list were fine. Besides, users could always delete games that were broken from the list. The list also functioned to encourage me to buy more stashes, and helped me to decide on what extra stashes to get. I now have 6 stashes and one complete Treehouse set (along with Piecepack and various markers, dice, etc.). Along the way, we picked games that we wanted to play from the list based on "what we could play." There were BGG lists SC Lists, reviews, etc. that sometimes came in handy. Other times, we picked based on what sounded good to us. I only recently completed my Pyramid stashes, and while many games are now available that weren't, the list really encouraged me to complete the set.
My point is largely that there are other lists on here that function as being an easy list for those who haven't played many games and just want to play an award winning game from day one. The BGG and forums (which users may or may not know about... I certainly didn't know one that you mentioned) are very limited in giving you the type of information this page used to offer. The WCIP? page added a lot of Wiki functionality that is now missing here, and, lets be honest, this is the place that players are most likely to find before any other web source on Icehouse/Looney Pyramids.Nihilvor
I'm somewhat on the other end of things. I've been pushing pyramids around for six years, and I've been watching LL try to sell them for longer than that. One thing that LL was discovered after decades of trying to convince people to buy pyramids is that most people don't grok the game system thing. They have discovered through trial and error that newbies were being scared away with too many options. You seem to be an exception to this, and as a fellow abstract game system enthusiast I think that's cool. But for most people, including the types of casual gamers and non-gamers often drawn to LL products, less is more. This is illustrated in the planned pyramid products for 2011-2012... they're all being marketed as separate games that all happen to use similar components. It was a lesson learned from Treehouse; most people don't buy game systems... they buy games. I myself am a good example of this. I was at an FLGS in Connecticut in 2003, and they had two pyramid products on the shelf, the Icehouse: Martian Chess Set, and some Paper Icehouse sheets. I read the product descriptions and was turned off by the game system thing. I thought, "This purchase doesn't leave me with a game. It'll just lead to more purchases before I can do anything with them." I didn't take a chance on pyramids until I read the rules for Martian Chess and thought, "Gee I gotta try that!" That's how I got where I am today. Who'da thought that in four years I'd go from "icehouse.... what's that?" to being the most active admin for the icehouse community wiki?
As for the way forward with WCIP, do you agree that there is a difference between 'broken' and 'good'? - 17:53, 5 April 2011 (UTC)


Your own story of discovering Icehouse is very interesting. I am aware that LL is trying to draw people in the Pyramids with a less is more campaign of sorts—thus the easy and marketable entry-level games like Treehouse.
That said, “Icehouse” has a reputation as a gaming system, and Looney Pyramids will continue to draw people in for that reason as well. A little about me, I’m not a big gamer (have only a handful of games). I have yet to play many of the other LL games (but I’m open to them now). Thus I am a casual gamer in many senses. I was drawn to the pyramids because of their reputation as an abstract gaming system. I also don’t want to have a lot of games in my family room; I’m not longer a gamer in that sense. Icehouse was an ideal purchase. I’ve actually used the WCIP? page to draw others into the system (simply emailed it to friends). I have to believe that, despite the marketing, many still get into the pyramids because they have friends who have shown them to them.
I think that Looney Pyramids will always have casual customer base who pick IceDice up at a con, etc. However, based simply on the hundreds of games made for the system, there are also many who really enjoy the pyramids as a gaming/design system. As I said, my casual gamming girlfriend demands that we learn a new game with every session. I think that's something that typifies the fun of getting into Icehouse that people either come into it with or sometimes catch over time.
It’s interesting that they’re banking that a good number of purchases will be for a specific game, but that the pyramids thrive (and will still thrive) as a gateway game to a system of games.
My main problem with the new page is that it leaves us with no index or codex to explore much of the wiki. Suppose, for example, I have one IceDice unit. I’m thinking about buying another one and go online to see what new games will be available to me. Under the new WCIP? limitations, I only see two or three games listed for four sets (or two IceDice bags). However, there are games like Moscow Ice (which I don’t think I have to argue is a successful, quality game for four sets) that don’t appear on the page anymore. There is no way to know at a glance that this is available to play if I just buy one more IceDice bag. In fact, someone instituted a XHouse category recently (which I didn’t find as useful), but I’d have to know about that tag. Okay, let’s say I know about that new tag; there is still no link to Moscow Ice from there. Obviously, if you prefer the tags to a more detailed WCIP? page, there’s a lot of work to be done to make that even remotely functional.
As concerns “broken” and “good,” I think that broken games are those where their rules don’t make sense/don’t work, are incomplete, or seem completely futile (this latter one being the most subjective and least useful, but could/should be grounds to eliminate game from the WCIP? list). I assumed that this was how the term was being used for the 2010 Awards. I found a few games on the WCIP? list that fell into the "broken" category (one which I added by mistake), but the majority of games were playable and fun to some subjective extent. Your emphasis on "good" games is valuable. However, what constitutes as"good" games is more subjective. I think the Awards/Published/SC Lists/and, the recently proposed Hall of Fame will do a good enough job of steering users to "good" games that something that functions like a more overarching WCIP? would be a useful supplement. Nihilvor

Are the Legends needed on this page?

The legends informing readers that this game was listed in such-and-such a publication -- is this necessary? Each games' page should tell us them. I move to remove them. Glutnix (talk) 18:04, 8 December 2016 (PST)