Recently I tried a gross simplification on Shenanigans: The Musical (as it’s now titled). I figured that the most interesting bit of a social deduction game is the discussion about who to target so wondered what would happen if I made the discussion encompass the whole game. I developed a version that I felt worked nicely on a mechanical level and did some playtesting, the results were unanimous: The new version is terrible.
Good news everyone, I didn’t die. Thinking no longer feels impeded by a cloud of cotton wool, so I’m in a good state to go through last week’s post and see which of my fever induced notions has any value from a design point of view. As a whole excercise hopefully it’ll do something in terms of giving some insight into how I develop concepts and can offer some hope to people labouring with difficult ideas that even bizaare fever dreams can give rise to something interesting. Let’s begin.
Sad news everyone, I’m dying. Or I have a cold and will get better in a few days. One of those. Probably the second one. I guess I’m still not immortal though, so the first statement is technically true. My point is that today is going to be a little more disjointed than usual, because I feel like I’m thinking through some sort of cloud of cotton wool which is making me somewhat inconsistent. I just saw this art for one of the Artiste cards, isn’t it cute:
Sometimes you’ve got a game that’s a fair way through testing and further refinements aren’t bringing any significant improvement. At this point you may be approaching the best game possible within the limitations set by the major decisions that you’ve made. This is a good place to be, but that doesn’t mean that it’s okay to rest on your laurels – it’s time to slash and burn.
Around mid July I wrote about the Artiste project that I’m undertaking with The People’s Orchestra. It’s been a month and a half so it feels like a good time to offer another update and perhaps tie some of the previous blog posts to their actual impact on game development.