I wanted to create a game with a very simple syntax and rules, yet would promote backstabbing, cooperation, and trickery among all the players. I intend to implement this on a computer. The simplicity was necessary to hide knowledge of who would be human or computer players. Anyway, I wanted to get some feedback on the rules. They are a little abstract at points, but the ideas are easy to see. I have a few ideas about what problems there could be.



A game for N players, each starting with X points. The object of the game is to get Y points (where X < Y <= NX). For instance, if four players start with ten points each the winning point count should be set no higher than forty (10 x 4 = 40 so Y <= 40).

One player (or the computer, if one is involved) is chosen to be the Chairman. The Chairman times various steps in a round and breaks all ties.


A round is composed of four steps. First there is a short period where players are allowed to discuss, argue, comment, and make proposals among each other. Talk in this step may be limited to a preset group of nouns and verbs and modifiers, in order to hide differences between computer and human players, to make programming computer players "easier", and also to provide a bit of purposeful ambiguity. This period should be limited to some short amount of time - ten to fifteen minutes at most. When the time limit is up discussions must end.

Each player then creates three proposals, which can be of the following kinds:

When all proposals are finished, all players vote for/against/abstain each proposal, not knowing what they are yet. The basis for their voting is personal choice and what they discussed among themselves. Therein lies the fun!

Lastly, votes are tallied. If any vote is tied, those who abstained must vote. Any remaining ties are broken by the Chairman. After all proposals are decided, they are reported to the players and all those proposals that succeeded take effect.


I would really like to implement this game, and would appreciate many many many many many many comments and suggestions for these rules.


Game created and rules write up by Matthew David Moss
March 5, 1993

The Game Cabinet - - Ken Tidwell