Tumbleweed - The Rules and Discussion

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Tumbleweed - The Rules and Discussion

Post by tubeguru » 18 Jun 2011, 21:00

OK, I've been thinking about this one for a while now - it's based on a game that exists on a BBS (bulletin board system) I once used, and I have borrowed the rules from that BBS and tweaked them slightly.

Those who have watched Shooting Stars will remember that Vic Reeves used to do a joke just before the Dove From Above round, which would be greeted with dead silence, followed shortly by a tumbleweed rolling across the studio floor and the sound of a distant bell chiming. This is more or less what happens in the thread that gets no posts in it for months and months. You will often see on forums posts such as "a tumbleweed rolls across the forum", to represent a lull in time between posts. This game is based on such time delays.

The idea is that there is a game thread, in which people claim points for spotting tumbleweed "rolling through the thread". They may also claim to hear bells for longer periods of time in which no other posts are made. Each person making a claim for weed or bells has a cumulative score which starts at zero. Negative scores are possible, as you will see if you read the rules. Anyone can play the game, including Tubeguru - being the person in charge of this game holds no advantage.

Players may post anything in the game thread, but some posts will be considered "spoilers" and will be dealt with accordingly. See the rules for details on spoilers.

The rules are presented below, and they are NON-NEGOTIABLE. We're not going to have a huge argument about one small element that someone feels might be improved or altered. Let's just have fun trying to spot tumbleweeds and hear bells in the distance!

This thread is for discussion of the game, and for people to discuss any questions they may have. The actual thread in which the claims will be made (the "game thread") is a separate thread. Claims made in this thread will be ignored, and arguments in the game thread will be counted as spoilers (unless you argue in there all the time, in which case you will be banned from posting in it for a short period of time).

So without further ado, here are the rules (for the purposes of these rules, the term "idle" means time without any post being made):

1. Claiming points

For every five minutes that the game thread is idle, a player may claim a five-point weed.

For every hour that the game thread is idle, 75 points are available in the form of a bell.

EXAMPLES:
If the game starts at 09.00, at 09.32 Player A can claim a 30 point weed. Then, 25 minutes later at 09.57am, player B can claim a 25 point weed.
If the game starts at 09.00, at 10.00 Player A can claim 1 bell (75 points).

Weeds can only be claimed in MULTIPLES OF FIVE. Multiples of all other numbers of weeds (except numbers which themselves are multiples of five) are invalid. Bells can be claimed in any number, so long as one hour of time has passed for each bell claimed.

To claim points, a post must be made to the game thread in this format:

For weed claims: "x point weed", "x weed", "x weeds", "x points";
For bell claims: "x bells". Bells may also be claimed by typing "Clang" once for each bell claimed (so three bells would be claimed by typing "Clang, clang, clang").

x must be a positive integer, and cannot be subsituted as an algebraic expression or other mathematical construct. You may write the number claimed in either numerical or word format.

For clarity, when claiming for weed, the number you claim for is the same as the number of minutes that have passed in the game file, so 35 minutes equals "35 weed".

Note: there is nothing to stop a player from claiming FEWER points than are available based on the amount of time that has passed in the thread - there is no penalty for such a claim, but the smaller claim MUST BE A MULTIPLE OF FIVE if claiming for weed.

2. Invalid claims

If the number of points claimed is not a positive integer, (and/or in the case of weed is NOT a multiple of five) then the claim is invalid and the player will lose the number of points claimed.

If a player claims for MORE points than are available, they lose ALL of the points claimed.

No more than one claim for points in a row can be made by the same player. If the same player makes two or more consecutive claims for points, only the first claim will be valid (assumi

IMPORTANT NOTE: If player A makes a valid claim, followed by another player or players making invalid claims, player A may NOT make a second claim for points until another player has made a valid claim or posted a spoiler.

Combination claims consisting of bells and weeds are invalid. If such claims are made, the player will gain the first portion of the claim, and lose the second portion (assuming the first portion itself is a valid claim - if both are invalid then the player loses both sets of points). For example: a claim of "1 bell and 30 weed" gains 75 and loses 30 points, for a net score of 45 points.

Note: In the event of a multiple claim, if the FIRST part of the claim is invalid, the clock WILL BE RESET from the time of the claim. See rule 7.

If a player claims a negative number of weed or bells, their score will be reduced by that number of positive points (so a claim of -100 weed will lose +100 points. A claim of -2 bells will lose 150 points and so on).

3. Spoilers

Spoilers are posts made to the game thread that do not explicitly specify a claim for points. Spoilers "reset the clock", so if a spoiler was made at 09.00, the clock would be reset from 09.00, and the next available claim would be at 09.05 for a five-point weed.

If a player makes two or more spoiler posts in a row, then only the first spoiler will reset the clock. All consecutive spoilers by that player will be ignored and have no effect on the clock.

Invalid points claims are NOT counted as spoilers. Typos made when claiming for weeds or bells are counted as spoilers, so "40 weef", or "2 bellsd" are SPOILERS, and not invalid claims. Note that a "typo" refers to the mis-spelling of the non-numeric part of a claim. If a player accidentally types "30 weed" instead of "20 weed" when only 20 weed are available then it will be counted as an invalid claim.

A player may NOT post a spoiler and then make a subsequent claim for points without another player having posted something between the two. The claim will be invalid, and the points claimed will be deducted. The "game clock" will run from the time of the spoiler post.

4. Multiple claims at the same time

If two or more claims are made at the same time (that is, they have the same timestamp on them), the first valid claim will get the points claimed. The remaining claims will simply be ignored and the clock will be reset as usual. If the first claim in post order is invalid, then that player will have points deducted, and the next valid claim in post order will get the points, and so on.

5. Consecutive posts in the game thread by the same player

Players making consecutive posts in the game thread (with no other player posting valid claims or spoilers in between) will be dealt with depending on the actions they have taken:

- Two or more successive claims for points (see rule 2)
- Two or more successive spoilers (see rule 3)
- A claim for points followed by one or more spoilers:

If the points claim is valid, the points are scored. The spoiler(s) will be ignored and the "game clock" will run from time of the points claim.
If the points claim is invalid, both the invalid claim and the spoiler(s) are ignored and the "game clock" will run from the time of the last post for a valid claim for points, or a spoiler, by another player.

- A spoiler followed by a claim for points:

The points claim is invalid, and the points will be deducted. The "game clock" will be reset to the time of the spoiler.

6. Misuse of spoilers

It is accepted that there may be game tactics that involve the use of occasional intentional invalid claims or spoilers, which are allowed. However, where it is felt that such posts are "spam" (such as a number of posts made in quick succession, or a person deliberately trying to ruin the thread by arguing or being generally annoying), such posts may be removed and the user banned from posting in the game thread.

7. The "game clock" (for clarification):

The "game clock" will be reset:

When a player makes a valid claim for points;
When a player make a multiple claim for points and the FIRST portion of the claim is valid;
When a player posts a spoiler.

The "game clock" will NOT be reset:

When a player makes an invalid claim for points;
When a player make a multiple claim for points and the ENTIRE claim in invalid;
When a player makes two successive posts to the game thread (be they claims for points or spoilers or a combination of the two) with no other player posting something in between them. See rule 5.
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Re: Tumbleweed - The Rules and Discussion

Post by tubeguru » 18 Jun 2011, 21:00

Whaddya reckon?
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Re: Tumbleweed - The Rules and Discussion

Post by jamesthegill » 18 Jun 2011, 21:12

It's far too simple.
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Re: Tumbleweed - The Rules and Discussion

Post by tubeguru » 18 Jun 2011, 21:12

One thing I've just realised regarding forum time.

I'm guessing we don't all have the same timezone set in our personal settings, but it shouldn't affect anything should it? After all, so long as no one changes it during the game we should all be OK relative to each other.

Not sure about what happens when the clocks go back in October, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
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Re: Tumbleweed - The Rules and Discussion

Post by tubeguru » 18 Jun 2011, 21:13

jamesthegill wrote:It's far too simple.
It is actually really simple - you claim for units of time that have passed since the last post. Ta da.
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Re: Tumbleweed - The Rules and Discussion

Post by tubeguru » 18 Jun 2011, 21:17

As I would keep the scores, most of the above needn't worry anyone when playing - you only need to claim points or time that's passed.

Rules 1 to 5 are the main ones - the rest just deal with two consecutive posts by the same person.
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Re: Tumbleweed - The Rules and Discussion

Post by Root » 18 Jun 2011, 21:48

I have two queries (got your PM, by the way, but I saw this thread first so I'll just write my thoughts here):

One, who is responsible for checking the validity of others' scores? If I see a player making an invalid play, should I say so in the thread, or is it down to the gamekeeper? If I write that there has been an invalid play, that is presumably a spoiler, isn't it?

Two, can I make a spoiler after my own valid claim? I see that making two claims in a row is invalid, and that making two spoilers in a row is invalid, but what about one claim and one spoiler?

Apologies if those were already in the rules - I read through them once, and though they do seem quite simple, they are very long...
Last edited by Root on 18 Jun 2011, 21:59, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Tumbleweed - The Rules and Discussion

Post by tubeguru » 18 Jun 2011, 21:56

Root wrote:I have two queries (got your PM, by the way, but I saw this thread first so I'll just write my thoughts here):

One, who is responsible for checking the validity of others' scores? If I see a player making an invalid play, should I say so in the thread, or is it down to the gamekeeper? If I write that there has been an invalid play, that is presumably a spoiler, isn't it?
That would be me. I plan on updating the scores every day or week, or some other period over which it is plausible for me to update them. You can feel free to draw attention to it in the thread, and it will count as a spoiler. It will be picked up by me anyway. Your call.
Root wrote:Two, can I make a spoiler after my own valid claim? I see that making two claims in a row is invalid, and that making two spoilers in a row is invalid, but what about one claim and one spoiler?
Good question. Your first points claim would be valid (so long as it adhered to the rules concerning points claims). The spoiler would then by ignored and the clock would not be reset. There is no mechanism for deducting points for posting a spoiler after a valid points claim, so it will simply be ignored.

The rules are long, simply because I took them verbatim and amended them. But it IS simple once you start playing. :)
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Re: Tumbleweed - The Rules and Discussion

Post by Root » 18 Jun 2011, 21:59

I posted this as an edit at the same time as your reply:
Okay, I see that you will keep the scores from your above post. But considering you're also taking part as a player, someone else will have to check your scores, so I suggest it is everyone's responsibility to check everyone else's.
I don't think the time zones would make a difference - as you said, it's all relative.
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Re: Tumbleweed - The Rules and Discussion

Post by tubeguru » 18 Jun 2011, 22:01

Okay, I see that you will keep the scores from your above post. But considering you're also taking part as a player, someone else will have to check your scores, so I suggest it is everyone's responsibility to check everyone else's.
In that case, there is a simple solution - I don't play.
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Re: Tumbleweed - The Rules and Discussion

Post by tubeguru » 18 Jun 2011, 22:02

tubeguru wrote:
Okay, I see that you will keep the scores from your above post. But considering you're also taking part as a player, someone else will have to check your scores, so I suggest it is everyone's responsibility to check everyone else's.
In that case, there is a simple solution - I don't play. Everyone checking everything is just ridiculously impractical.
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Re: Tumbleweed - The Rules and Discussion

Post by Root » 18 Jun 2011, 22:11

Or, just let one person check your scores, and you'll check everyone else's. I think it's safe to assume you won't be deliberately cheating.
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Re: Tumbleweed - The Rules and Discussion

Post by Starkey7 » 18 Jun 2011, 22:11

This sounds quite fun. When do we start?
The only difficulty that I see is finding a time when we're all available!

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Re: Tumbleweed - The Rules and Discussion

Post by Starkey7 » 18 Jun 2011, 22:12

Actually, if Neil is moderating EVERYTHING, then if he cheats, then he will have to announce his own point deduction immediately, in the interests of consistency.

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Re: Tumbleweed - The Rules and Discussion

Post by tubeguru » 18 Jun 2011, 22:18

Starkey7 wrote:This sounds quite fun. When do we start?
The only difficulty that I see is finding a time when we're all available!
You want a time when NO ONE is available - you want long pauses between posts to maximise your claim!
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