Design a Science Fiction Game

A post about science fiction AND gaming? What a perfect candidate for a cross-post!

Editor Lou Anders and sf author Mike Resnick are throwing down a challenge to gamers and game designers related to Mike Resnick’s Starship: Pirate, the upcoming sequel to Starship: Mutiny. In Starship: Pirate, there is mention of a game called “bilsang” and Anders and Resnick are looking for someone to design a real bilsang game based on these rules described in the book:

  1. Bilsang is ” harder than it looks.”
  2. It’s “simplicity” is what makes it so hard.
  3. Bilsang does not require a board, cards, or a computer.
  4. Anyone can play it, but not anyone can win.
  5. Games last “Anywhere from five minutes to three months.”
  6. Learning the game takes “five minutes for the rules, a lifetime for the subtleties.”
  7. All that is required is “a flat surface, and twenty pieces. Coins will do. Or medals. Or anything that you can fit twenty of on a tabletop.”

The winning game design (and designer) will be mentioned in one of the appendices of Starship: Pirate, get a credit in the book as being a co-created of bilsang alongside Mike Resnick and get a couple of signed copies of the first edition.

5 thoughts on “Design a Science Fiction Game”

  1. I’ve done it! I’ve created the game and it meets every one of the conditions set forth by Mr. Anders…

    To play my version of Bilsang, you simply have to “guess the rules of my game.”

    1. It is ” harder than it looks.” — have you guess it yet??

    2. It does not require a board, cards, or a computer — nope, just your brain.

    3. Anyone can play it, but not anyone can win. — you can’t win if you don’t guess it; but you can surely try!

    4. Games last “Anywhere from five minutes to three months.” — it all comes down to how quickly you can guess the rules.

    5. Learning the game takes “five minutes for the rules, a lifetime for the subtleties.” — You already know how to guess, you just need to learn the nuances of what to guess!

    6. All that is required is “a flat surface, and twenty pieces. Coins will do. Or medals. Or anything that you can fit twenty of on a tabletop.” — You can surely round up 20 pieces of paper, print the words for the rules on it to track your progress. Please be sure to use a flat surface — very difficult to lay out the papers on an uneven surface…

    P.S.:

    When you read “Mr. Anders…” up there, did you, like me, want to say it really s-l-o-w-l-y as like the beginning of “Mis-ter, Anders-son…”

  2. Seeing how the deadline is on April 15th, let’s change game to “Guess how much Peter might get on his tax return.” Notice, how wonderfully my game adapts to this new objective.

    PS: Sorry for this second posting. The powers-that-be have neglected to imbue me with the ability to edit my own comments.

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