Re: Ultimate Goals in Olympia

Scott Turner (
22 Jan 1995 21:13:39 GMT (David desJardins) writes:
>I can't think of any way in which playing Olympia purely solitaire is
>as interesting as any of dozens of computer games that you can pick
>up at the corner store.

For this reason, I'd like to see Oly avoid evolving into a solitaire
game, which is where I'm afraid that "you can't lose" rule changes
(like "wimpy nobles") invariably lead. But I'm interested in hearing
the suggestions and thinking about them.

>In Olympia, cooperation turns out to be fairly uninteresting, for a
>couple of reasons. One is that a single player can basically do
>everything there is to do (except fight other players, which we've
>ruled out), so there's not much reason to cooperate.

Exactly. This is why I suggested something like "NPs" that limits the
different *roles* you can play in the game, rather than the number of
units you can command. If you're limited to being "priests or
shipbuilders", then you're necessarily going to have to cooperate with
other players in (I think) some more interesting ways.

>If there aren't any unpredictable (i.e., potentially hostile) players
>around, then the game is almost totally deterministic, so you already
>know what's going to happen.

John Sloan (I think) and others argue for determinism in Olympia, but
I think that's a bad thing for the game. It not only kills the
mystery of the game, but it leads to a big advantage to "rules lawyer"
players who invest a lot of time into understanding and analyzing the
system. Such players will always have an advantage, but having a
little luck in the game can balance that out to a certain extent.

-- Scott T.