Space-Cast! #6. Stellar Jamboree

After staring at these cards, Wee Aquinas is now Episcopalian. Bonus space pennies to whomever explains the joke.

Today on the Space-Biff! Space-Cast!, Dan Thurot is joined by TauCeti Deichmann to discuss his confusingly titled real-time asymmetrical science fiction trade game, Faraway Convergence! I mean Constellation Meeting! I mean Sidereal Confluence! There it is. Listen in as we discuss the game’s origins, its intricate negotiations, and how rational actors would easily arrange better trade deals than humans.

Listen over here or download here. Timestamps can be found after the jump.

Timestamps

2:04 — Sidereal Confluence: what is it?
12:09 — origin
20:55 — from friend-game to broader appeal
31:34 — the technology system
39:55 — the mathematics of intricate deals
48:21 — timed games
51:40 — the thematic structure
1:00:25 — TauCeti names his favorite child
1:03:50 — social balance and human rationality
1:09:46 — Sidereal Confluence as two game states

Next time, we’ll be talking with one of the most radically interesting publishers in the entire hobby — and hearing his rebuttal to an earlier episode’s claims…

 

(If what I’m doing at Space-Biff! is valuable to you in some way, please consider dropping by my Patreon campaign or Ko-fi.)

Posted on July 9, 2020, in Podcast and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Máté Horváth

    I’m so interested to hear this interview. Thank you! This game seem fascinating to me, I haven’t played it but I’m positive I’ll buy the remastered edition when it arrives.

  2. I liked hearing how this game evolved

  3. Great interview! I knew a lot about the later development (having been involved while it was happening) but a lot of the earlier chapters in the story were new to me. Your enthusiasm for the game is evident and I thought you asked a lot of good and fun questions that let Tau’s passion for the game shine through. As I’m sure you realized, you barely scratched the surface of the depth of stuff he could tell you about the game!

    • Jeff, I’ll tell you this much: if Tau had wanted to talk for six hours about how each of the factions had developed, I absolutely would have let him. It must have been something watching that development firsthand!

      • It was indeed. If you’ve played many prototypes, you know what they tend to look like, and how designers will have scribbled and crossed out and sharpied all sorts of things onto the components after every iteration. Not Tau. Every time we played (it seemed), he would note the needed changes, which meant back to the spreadsheet to rebalance everything, and then back to the printer to make the proto again, a process that took many hours because there were so many cards. The effort that he put into the game was incredible, but obviously it shows in the final product.

        My daughters, then pre-teens, joined in the testing and what fascinated them most was the rich back-story about each of the races and how it fit into the broader world he had created. So, I’ve heard Tau expound at great length about this subject, but we also insisted it had to happen during pizza breaks or else the girls would keep him engaged with their curiosity and we’d never actually start the game!

        It interests me because obviously you don’t have to know too much about the backstory to enjoy the trading. But I think there’s an analogy with Tolkien here: that you don’t have to know the gory details about Beren and Luthien recovering the silmaril or that there are two different elven languages or any of that stuff; but to /Tolkien/, it was incredibly important that all of that exist and be clear in his mind as the backdrop for his story, and I think Tau’s game functions similarly.

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