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About SpiritWars What is SpiritWars? Frequently Asked Questions Member Version Free vs. Pay Version Storyline Product Description "Just Like Chess..." Quotes Marketing Information Technology Summary Code of Conduct
Tutorials In-Depth Tutorial Beginner's Guide 1 Beginner's Guide 2 Beginner's Guide 3 Beginner's Guide 4 Tips for Beginners
Online Game Manual About This Manual Introduction to SpiritWars Introduction to Spirits Playing Pieces Spirit Classes Class Relationships Spirit Attributes The Energy Phase Resurrection Population Events Population Event List Player Ratings
Design Philosophy Design Philosophy Intro True Internet Design Level Playing Field No Free Lunch
Reviews: Gamer's Pulse Review gamezone gamgaz
About the Developer Developer Info Credits

"It's just like chess, but..."

During the last three years, I've had to do countless presentations to people who don't understand games, who don't play games, and who really could care less about my philosophy of Internet game design.

For those people, I had to come up with some way of explaining, in ten minutes or less, the fundamental concept of a game that was unlike anything they'd ever seen.

Somewhere along the way, I stumbled onto this, "It's just like chess, but..." approach. Seasoned game players and industry veterans might find it comical; but it has been effective in communicating at least the basic concepts to those non-gaming suits along the way.


"Everyone is familiar with Chess. Even if you've never played the game, you've at least seen other people play the game and are familiar with the basic concept.

SpiritWars™ is just like chess, except that it's a little different.

Chess is played on a game board comprised of 64 squares. These squares are divided into two types: black and white (or light and dark, red and white, etc.).

Each player plays with a set of 16 pieces.

This set of playing components is comprised of six different pieces, each of which has differing movement abilities.

Let's imagine now that we're going to expand the number of playing pieces used by the two players. Just to be creative, let's say that they can each determine how many pieces they want to use. The only requirement is that they select at least 30 pieces.   And instead of choosing a combination of pieces from the limited set of six familiar chess icons, let's give them a library of hundreds of pieces from which to choose.

Following me so far?  Great.

Now before we move on, stop and think about that chess game if you don't know what kind of pieces your opponent is going to be using. And he, of course, has no idea what kind of pieces you'll be using. Suddenly it's a whole different game!

Now let's take a look at the game board itself. Let's enlarge it a little, moving from 64 to 86 playing spaces. (We'll also change the geometry a little, but we won't complicate this discussion by going into that right now.)

Instead of alternating board spaces between the familiar red and black squares, let's create eight different space types on the board, each of which can impact those varying pieces the players have selected to use.

Now consider that neither player knows the definition or nature of the game board until the game begins since the game randomly selects from hundreds of playing boards at the beginning of each new game.

You still with me? 

In chess, you need to capture your opponent's king to win. In SpiritWars you need to find and destroy his castle before he destroys yours.

Oh, I forgot to mention that at the end of each game, the losing player loses some of his playing pieces, and the winner gets new pieces added to his library of pieces that he can use in future games."

SpiritWars™ is a registered trademark of Kellogg Creek Software.