I kind of like how this WordPress theme makes the first letter of the page really big. #fancy

What is Chambergon Battle Logic?

It’s a puzzle-solving card game with RPG elements.

Puzzle-solving, eh?

Yep. You have a (metaphorical) starting point and a goal. (See below.) Your job is to figure out how to get to the goal.

A card game, eh?

Each puzzle consists of one or more “given” cards and one “goal” card. Your job is to figure out how to use the given cards to create the goal card (or to create “intermediate” cards that you can then use to create the goal card).

RPG elements, eh?

“RPG” stands for “role playing game.” As you solve puzzles in Chambergon Battle Logic, you level up. When you level up, you gain new powers that allow you to solve new puzzles.

Also, the game involves a lot of crafting — at least in some sense of that word. You have to use the contents of cards already “in play” in order to create the contents of new cards that will help you get to the goal card.

So, powers, leveling, and crafting = RPG elements.

Why “Chambergon”?

The main pieces in the game are polygons, each of which is divided into two chambers. Also, “chambergon” is easier to say than “chambered polygon.”

No, but really: why use chambergons?

Each chambergon represents what logicians call a “connective.” The three main connectives (conjunction, disjunction, conditional) can be transformed into the others. I wanted a way of representing those connectives that would make those transformations intuitive for students.

I also wanted the students to be thinking in terms of shapes — using what we might call “visual reasoning” — rather than in terms of symbols. That way anyone — whether you find symbolic/mathematical reasoning difficult or not — could enjoy symbolic logic.

Why “Battle”?

Because when I was a teen, I heard about a game called Battle Chess. I thought the idea was amusing. I thought the game I was designing was similar. Chess is a very cerebral game, so the idea of the chess pieces bashing each other over the head was incongruous, and thus darkly humorous. Symbolic logic is likewise very cerebral, but Chambergon Battle Logic tries to help players work around that by giving the pieces emotional motivations (and turning negation into a club-like weapon).

Also, I was super impressed with Battletoads as a youngster, so maybe that was a subconscious influence.

Why “Logic”?

Chambergon Battle Logic is symbolic logic. It just uses shapes instead of symbols, pictures instead of letters, colors instead of the alphabet, and so on. Every rule in symbolic logic corresponds to a “power” in Chambergon Battle Logic. Any proof or truth table in (first- or second-order) symbolic logic can be translated into a game of Chambergon Battle Logic, and vice versa.

As players advance, furthermore, they encounter puzzles which require them to translate back and forth between the “language” of Chambergon Battle Logic (its cards, chambergons, colors, etc.) and the “language” of symbolic logic.

No, but really: why logic?

Because I was teaching symbolic logic courses to college students who needed to fill a requirement but were never going to use symbolic logic in their real lives. (Only computer programmers, mathematicians, and linguists do.) Most of them found subjects like symbolic logic and mathematics aggravating, and I didn’t want to aggravate them. I wanted them to be able to enjoy the subject, like I did.

So, I created the “classic” version of Chambergon Battle Logic to use in class. Students did all their “work” (including tests) in the game.