If you answered yes to the questions above, then you are qualified to call yourself a Starship Captain, according to the new Starship Captain rules we just made up.
Having recently asked our demo team to hang up their rabbit ears and use the more formal sounding name of Looney Game Technicians, we are now returning to the zany with our new name for pyramid experts. The idea comes from the nickname we've been using previously for fans of the advanced-level pyramid game called Homeworlds. We've had so much fun using this outlandish term to describe ourselves that we've decided to extend the privilege to a broader group of fans, for whom we've been looking to find a cool name.
Why Starship Captains?
Because it's fun. It sounds cool & exciting, it's got primo geek appeal, and best of all, no real Starship Captains are about to show up saying we can't call ourselves that. All we need is a little backstory to hold it all together, so...
A thousand years from now, when starship captains actually exist, there'll also be a thousand other Icehouse games, and they'll have taken root in the culture just as playing cards have today. So, a good Starship Captain will know lots of different Icehouse games to pass away those long hours in space. And while everyone has their favorites, a good Starship Captain can play whatever the competition at hand requires.
The Throwdown & the List of Games
Starship Captains should always be able to produce on demand a list of their preferred games, ranked by preference. This way, when two Captains meet for a "Throwdown" they can compare their lists to quickly determine which game will best accommodate their joint preferences.
You must have at least 10 games on your list in order to officially call yourself a Starship Captain. However, all tests of game knowledge are open-rulebook exams.
When two Starship Captains meet for a single game (say, at a coffeeshop), it's called a Throwdown. When a bunch of Starship Captains meet for a series of Throwdowns (say, at a convention), it's called an Multi-Battle. (Unless we think of something better to call it.) This is a multi-stage tournament consisting of a series of Throwdowns, each against a random sampling of other Captains, with the winner being determined by overall performance.
When a group of Starship Captains gather for an extended Multi-Battle that takes places in a series of different locations scattered around a small region, it's called a Hyper-Multi-Battle. (Again, unless a better name comes along.) While still entirely theoretical, this will be the ultimate contest, adding the excitement of a scavenger hunt to the fun of the multi-game tournament. In a Hyper-Multi-Battle, each Throwdown is held in a randomly-determined location around the campus, town, or city, and part of the challenge includes finding your way from one venue to the next. Players will need to meet up with their opponents at venues that are potentially difficult-to- locate, and of course, failure to arrive in time for the match results in forfeit. Winner of the Hyper-Multi-Battle is called Hero of the Galaxy!
The Icehouse Academy of Starship Captains
Officially registered Starship Captains are automatically considered members of the Icehouse Academy of Starship Captains. Since we just made that up too, it's not clear exactly what that means, but the idea is to create a self-governing group of pyramid fans. As the group takes shape, some members may rise to prominence (for example, if you know 25 games, maybe you become an Admiral, or something) and the group will need to find answers to questions that arise as the community grows.
Obviously, this page contains a lot of new ideas that we're still sorting through. Some things may change, and other details can only be developed over time. But we wanted to let everyone know what we are thinking so far!
-- Andrew Looney, November 8, 2010
PS: Here's my current list... what's on yours?