# Tri-dimensional board games: How does the additional dimension extend possible player requirements & game structure?

Recently I saw the Star Trek chess game in a serial and looked it up on wikipedia. It exists as a real game, but it seems it's not too popular, too tricky, too unwieldy to carry and play everywhere, and the rules are too complex (?). There seem also to be no world-wide championships or other questions on boardgames.SE ;)

Does anyone know of a good scientific site/report (maybe a topic in neuroscience experiments) describing different rule sets for e.g. 3D-chess which covers a bit the theory how in general 2D games differ from 3D games? Differences might include more possible game moves, the role of spatial perception (afaik men and women have different strong faculties here - so maybe 3D games are not gender-neutral and less popular besides hardly portable/digital playable?), or mappings of well-known game strategies from 2D.

PS: My first question here. I have no idea if this question is too open, so please reformulate if so. I'm more asking for some good links shedding some light on the general differences in game theory/structure between 2D and 3D.

-
The most problems are physical representation of boards, i think. – Zhen Sep 28 '12 at 11:40

While I've not seen serious work on it... I have played trek-style 3d chess

Take the pawn. In 2d, it has one move option. in 3d, given the start locations, it has 2, sometime 3, options Twice that many "covered" squares it can attack to.

The 3D has several effects:

1. increasing piece movement options
2. different board shape reduces flat move options for many pieces
3. perception of good versus bad moves is more difficult
4. occasional adjustment of board results in different dynamic (small boards are mobile)

this al means a direct comparison is difficult as the needed strategies change.

3D tic tac toe, however, merely gets more move options - the same strategies apply. So it varies by how the 3D is done.

-
This answer seems too specific to examples, not the general question. Perhaps the question can be clarified to be one or the other? – Neal Tibrewala Sep 13 '11 at 22:36
The general question is practically unanswerable because it's too general, and not much is really done on it academically. – aramis Sep 14 '11 at 5:58
@aramis thx. What academic branches deal in general with this topic? Psychology, Game Theory...The star trek chess looks also quite unsymmetric :), so you go constantly around the board to view from diff. angles? – Hauser Sep 15 '11 at 8:40
Star Trek chess is actually fairly symmetric along one axis. It just doesn't look it. The few times I've played, we just both sat to the sides; one's playing upwards, the other downwards, but it's easiest to see moves from above and to the sides. – aramis Sep 16 '11 at 18:17