I’m aware that the information that I’ve put out about the artiste game has been somewhat disjointed, so this week’s people’s project post will bring everything that’s happened over the past month and a half together to give a coherent account of what the game is, where it’s at and where it’s going. If you’ve been following the project closely then skip the second paragraph after the second image to get into things that are not being discussed for a second time.
After another couple of playtesting it’s become apparent that the artiste game is the strongest by an order of magnitude. Whether I’m testing with gamers, musicians or just people who want an excuse to do something other than continue with their regular work for twenty minutes it’s consistently come out on top. We’re going to commit to making that game, so now I’m tasked with developing and balancing it as well as looking at ways to expand it, so I’d like to spend this weeks post talking about expansions.
My parents were both gamers, pretty much as soon as we were able to handle it me and my sister were stripped of our copy of Monopoly (which I guess must still be gathering dust somewhere) and put on to gamers games. I remember getting blacklisted by a childminder’s service because we asked the minder if she wanted to play a game and devastated her with some 80s bookcase game with a million components, a 6 hour playtime and a rulebook sufficient to club a rhinoceros to death with.
In game design I often make concious efforts to avoid the use of stereotypes. Games are a form of media and a lot of harm is done in the world because various forms of media use their influence to reinforce stereotypes that cause people to treat each other badly. In theory they can be an excellent tool. People can learn rules more easily when they key into things that they already know. Also theme (the part of a game that describes what it represents in story terms rather than the mechanics and mathematics that determine how to play and win) is much stronger when it can anchor itself in familiar things within a players thoughts or memories. It has been my opinion that these advantages are nowhere near desirable enough to outweigh contributing to supporting the beliefs of individuals that condone pain, suffering and death on the grounds of gender, orientation or race. However today I’m working on a game that keys heavily into a very specific set of stereotypes and it is glorious.
After the first week of playtesting it appears that the social deduction game is the runaway success. Every playtest group that’s played the three games has preferred it by a wide margin and it’s produced by far the most visceral results in terms of players laughing, joking and generally having a good time.
There are 3 games in development for TPO and they’re all undergoing testing to determine which will new card game will be produced. They’ve each had only a handful of playtests and so are still very alpha, one may be replaced entirely even before the final decision of which to keep, but I’ll introduce them here regardless so that you have some clue what I’m talking about when I refer to them in future weeks. So, contestant #1…