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Zendobun - Queue — LiveJournal
May 4th, 2002
07:26 am

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Zendobun
So I'm going through my web pages right now in preparation for putting up a page about the upcoming Boggle tournament (watch this space for more info!). I noticed my Zendobun page, which I haven't thought about in a while. I know some people had expressed interest in it, so I thought I'd post a link to the page and to the page for signing up for the Zendobun list. If there starts to be some activity on the list again, I may jump in for a game.

Zendobun page - http://www.aq.org/~kevin/zendobun
Zendobun list page - http://www.aq.org/mailman/listinfo/zendobun

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From:mattlistener
Date:May 5th, 2002 12:27 am (UTC)
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I tried to get my brain around the sample game, but found myself overwhelmed by features. It's quite evidently playable, but as a player I'd have trouble limiting my search-space. Potential elements include strokes of letters, letters, syllables, words, phrases, and the whole sentence. Each of these elements has a hefty feature-set (eg for words: length, syllables, position in sentence, part-of-speech, plurality, affixes, meaning(!!)). Then there's all the ways that the various elements could relate to each other (adjacency, containment, reference, many kinds of similarity...)

Zendopyramid has only one element, four features that distinguish elements from each other[1], and six or so familiar ways two elements can relate to each other[2]:

[1] color, size, grounded/ungrounded, standing/flat/weird.
[2] same-color-as, same-size-as, touching, pointing-at, containing, supporting. (There's certainly more, but that probably covers 95% or more of rules used.)

If you run into this problem too, perhaps restrict the game scope some. Zendohaiku? Even Zendoword would have more complexity than Zendopyramid (fewer relationships, but more elements).

Wow, I can get analytical sometimes.
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From:queue
Date:May 5th, 2002 05:01 am (UTC)
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I participated in some games of word Zendo, and they just aren't very satisfying. Yes, they're simpler than Zendobun, but they're just kind of boring. With the pyramids, you get to build stuff with your hands and you get to play with purty colors. In Zendobun, you you can have some fun keeping the sentences to a theme. I started out one game with two sample koans having a Dilbert theme, and people pretty much stuck to the theme. I agree that it's more difficult, but, playing it over email, there is a lot more time to think about it. Also, you pretty much have to trust the master to stick with easier rules, at least until you have a group of very experienced people playing.

Just struck with the thought that it might be possible to play Word Zendo against a computer master. One of the problems with computer Pyramid Zendo is that you can't get precise enough in specifying the koans, because you are delaing with physical pyramids that can be in one of an infinite number of positions relative to the other pyramids. With Word Zendo, hell, even Zendobun, the koans can be stated with exact precision. Hmm, this could be a really interesting project.
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From:mattlistener
Date:May 5th, 2002 01:49 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, that makes sense. Pyramid and sentence Zendoi are a medium for creativity as a sideline to the logical guess-the-rule game. Fun for the whole brain!

I thought up a bunch of good Zendo rules while writing about elements and features last night. :-)
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From:mattlistener
Date:May 5th, 2002 12:30 am (UTC)
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Zendojotto!
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