GameFrame is a free, open source MetaGame? system that you can extend yourself. It's a game variant construction kit for people who not only like to play games, but play with them. GameFrame’s? building blocks include Games, Frames, and Powers. Let’s explore these concepts step by step with examples and a running analogy to make them less abstract.
- Games are structured activities you do for fun.
- Examples include any game you can think of, such as Chess, Poker, or commercial games such as Monopoly and Settlers of Catan. You can also write your own games using GameFrame.
- Imagine that some game of Chess is like an apartment in which people live. The people who live there represent the players of the game.
Here are some Games we play in GameFrame.
- Frames are sets of rules that vary the way you play a game, or sometimes multiple games at once. The difference between a frame and a simple game variant is that a frame can apply to many different games.
- To take a simple (and somewhat silly) example, the frame ForfeitsFrame can be applied to many games, so that in addition to Strip Poker there can be Strip Chess, Strip Scrabble, and even Strip Touch Football.
- Extending our apartment analogy, a frame is analogous to improving the infrastructure of the apartment in some way, such as by building in a central entertainment system or fixing the plumbing.
- MultiFrames? are frames that combine multiple games. (The kind already discussed are called UniFrames? in this context.)
- MultiFrames? include frames such as CurrencyExchange, which can be combine virtually any number of games that use money, such as Monopoly, Acquire, or Poker.
- MultiFrames? are analogous to knocking down the walls between individual apartments and connecting the plumbing and wiring so that all of the rooms on one floor become a single apartment.
- Some frames give players Powers that let them break the rules of the games they're playing.
- For example, the GameFrame power Turn, Turn, Turn lets a player either pass her turn, or take an extra turn, in any game that has turns, such as Checkers or Backgammon.
- Powers improve the abilities of individuals rather than whole games, so giving a player a power is like giving one of the inhabitants of the apartment a personal MP3 player instead of installing a central entertainment system, or a bottle of water instead of fixing the plumbing.
Subgames, Supergames, Subframes, Superframes
- SubGames? and SubFrames? call for games within games or even frames within frames, respectively.
- An example of a frame that invokes SubGames? is CodeDuello.
- Keeping to our apartment analogy, a SubGame? or SubFrame? is like a dollhouse within the apartment. [TK: Expand]
- SuperFrames improve other frames in the way that regular frames improve regular games. Many SuperFrames combine other frames in interesting ways.
- For example, a SuperFrame might combine the frames CurrencyExchange and PowerBuyer, enabling players to convert their winnings in Poker into powers that let them affect the game.
- SuperFrames might best be thought of as improvements at the level of the whole apartment building, such as an elevator, or at the level of the neighborhood or city, such as a new road.
And where are you in all this, dear player? You might think of yourself as a civic-minded apartment superintendent whose toolbox includes such handy devices as an invisibility belt, an arc welder sixty stories tall, and a time machine – GameFrame.
Please contribute your own new frames and powers to this wiki.
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