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Disconnect Four

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The traditional Connect Four game with a twist. Instead of dropping a disk in the top you can use your turn to drop an entire row by one space instead, either breaking up a potential four-in-a-row or solidifying your own.

Pop-Out https://en.wikipedi...Connect_Four#PopOut
Player can either add another disc from the top, or if one has any discs of their own color on the bottom row, remove (or "pop out") a disc of one's own color from the bottom. [a1, Jun 15 2022]


       So, removing the entire bottom row? Or do you mean "entire column" (which would make more sense & be easier to implement in the real game)?
neutrinos_shadow, Jun 15 2022

       Ah sorry. You'd make an entire column drop down one space and the bottom disk in that column would be put back into play.   

       I'm still not entirely clear on what the game you're proposing is.
Is it a physical tabletop game, or a computer game?

       I think your idea is based on the tabletop game, where players take turns to drop in one disc at a time from the top. You want to run a game like that in reverse, somehow.

       If you want a physical game (as opposed to a computer version), you need to have a reasonably simple physical mechanism to make it dispense one disc from a row reliably.. One way to do this would be to have a set of rotating dials along the bottom of the grid, each similar to the dispensing device on a gumball machine. More complicated than connect four, but not impossibly so.   

       Furthermore, I think you need to define what state the board starts in. Perhaps totally full of player discs, in a random distribution? That can be done trivially, if you trust players to mix the same number of discs of each colour in a bag and insert them fairly (i.e. without looking). A more interesting (complicated and halfbaked) solution would be to include a pachinko-style device above the board.   

       You'd also need a rule about what happens when the starting position didn't have a run of four for either player.   

       Regardless, I suspect it would need some tweaking of the rules to actually make it fun.
Loris, Jun 15 2022

       I think he's proposing an either/or. You either add a disc or drop one out. I'd play it.
RayfordSteele, Jun 15 2022

       Mods required to existing game grid:
A row of holes (a little off-centre, as the discs touch in the centre) between the 1st & 2nd rows, to "hold" whatever discs are above that; & a pin each.
Individual "release" levers (instead of the "all at once" release the game normally has).
To take the "drop" turn: insert pin, release bottom disc, remove pin (to drop remaining discs one row). Done.
A friend & I used to play Connect 4 on paper (high school could get a bit boring...). We developed a bunch of mods, but our favourite was "single anti-gravity"; only one turn per game (per player), a disc could "float" at a particular spot (rather than falling to the disc below). I never got around to modding an actual game grid, but I would have used the same "pin in hole" idea.
[a1], sorry, didn't click your link before typing. I haven't met that version.
neutrinos_shadow, Jun 15 2022

       Cool mod^. Me neither.   

       Nice find [a1]. Guess that make this dead in the water but I still plan to build a large version with the gum-ball column drop [Loris] was talking about.   

       You'd still be starting from scratch and trying to connect four, but by dropping a row it would let you foil potential runs while slipping your colour disk into a slot previously occupied a row above adding a level of complexity to the original game.   

       I never considered removing disks from just anywhere. That might be better.   

       I must contemplate this.   

       You could do it with boring touchscreen electronics pretty easily. A dedicated electronic game board probably doesn’t make sense to manufacture in this day and age, but the analog style would be interesting to work a mechanism for.
RayfordSteele, Jun 15 2022

       I quite like the idea of the pachinko mixing device above the board. If you overfilled it, loaded it randomly and blanked most of it off, maybe you wouldn't have to worry about getting every pin exactly fair. Or maybe it would just clog, I don't know.   

       //A dedicated electronic game board probably doesn’t make sense to manufacture in this day and age//   

       It is however the sort of thing which might make a fun homebrew project. My electronics isn't really there, but with a microcontroller like a Pi Pico you could code it in python.
Loris, Jun 16 2022


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