MicroKernal? Rules Architecture

I recently realized that games like CosmicEncounters? aren't so much about "rule-breaking," or "rule-expanding," (like Nomic), or anything particularly revolutionary about rules.

Rather, they represent a new architecture for communicating rules.

And, further, the new architecture parallels movements in the software world. Even the problems with the new architecture are the same in both Computer Programming and in rules development. (Namely, compatability between new elements.)

Games Software
Cosmic Encounters Core Rules WikiPedia:MicroKernal?
Alien Powers Services attached to the MicroKernal?
Lists of incompatible Alien Powers Lists of incompatible services

What kinds of games fit the category?


Let's zoom in on Flux for a moment. Flux, if you play it 2-3 times, is a FiniteGame? (rather than a TransFiniteGame?, or an InfiniteGame?.) So, is it just like every other game?

Close, but not quite. Because it has a MicroKernal? rules architecture..!

You just learn some very simple rules, and you can immediately start playing. You learn the rest of the rules as you play.

You could take the rules of flux, and write them all into one big manual, and just have the cards without the explanations of how you used them. But the MicroKernal? architecture works, and it's nice to get started right away.

Cosmic Encounters, CCGs

Cosmic Encounters and CCGs are like Flux, but far more complicated.

The CCGs are a little different, too, in that they actually load and unload modules into the game system.


Now lets go way out there, to a TransFiniteGame?: Nomic. (Nomic Wiki)

Nomic also has a MicroKernal? architecture - it has the core rules set.

But it is not like Flux, in that the rules can fundamentally change. Flux must always be static.

Tangential note: I do think Nomic can "get with the program," so to speak, by establishing standard Nomic loadable modules, like software code. It may turn out that Nomic becomes one of the most popular game in the future, with hoards of well-known, standardized modules, that players vote to adopt into their Micro-Kernal implementation.


I think we should recognize the architecture of the rules system, and the way rules are communicated. We should identify Monolithic vs. Micro-Kernal games as such.

I think we should have a theory, if there isn't already one, of the rules communication and "activation" (turning a rule "on") architecture.

I think we should identify the basic pattern between software architecture, and rules system architecture, so that we can learn from the others, and understand ourselves in the larger context.




(none yet!)