Skip to Content

[GDS] MAY 2016 "Human-scale games" Comments and questions

2 replies [Last post]
richdurham
richdurham's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/26/2009

Use this thread for questions and comments on this month's contest. It might be a good idea to discuss what "human scale" brings to the game experience!

richdurham
richdurham's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/26/2009
Some inspiration

Okay, one of the hardest parts about his month's challenge is going to be shifting the idea of what you expect out of a game experience.

One hurdle to get over is the lock-step nature of many strategy games. They often use discrete chunks of information, movement, and binaries. Choices are influenced by direct economies with visible currencies or clear opportunity costs. In this case, what advantage does "scaling up" bring? You'd be right to say that moving a piece on a board in these cases is equivalent to moving a "person" on a larger scale. The only thing mattering is their position, which can be replicated by the pieces - why use people?

The opposite side of the spectrum are social games. Often involving social deduction. These do involve people directly, as you're often deducing roles based on social cues and behaviours. The materials and mechanics in the game serve as catalysts, inciting the suspicious behaviours. Yet they are still often played sitting around a table or in a circle. In other words, these games are often focusing on small cards or a board still and the interactions that are happening there. What can you do with more space?

One vein of games that ask these questions are mega games (yes like the one Shut Up and Sit Down famously played the last couple years).

I happen to work with a group that makes BIG games for events and festivals. Many of these would fall under "street games" but more and more are large scale, social strategy games. Check out the Wild Streets games list for some inspiration.

ConMan
Offline
Joined: 03/22/2012
One aspect of working at

One aspect of working at human scale is that you also potentially hit human limitations. While maybe you don't want to have something that is a complete dexterity game, you could get some inspiration from the dexterity category. I once read an account of a scaled-up game of Galaxy Trucker, where instead of just grabbing tiles with your hand and putting them on a board, you had to run between the pile of tiles and the board representing the ship, so the speed would have felt very different.

As Rich points out, social games can also make use of having humans as a main "component", and the obvious example there is Two Rooms and a Boom, which really does feel different when you have two separate rooms with a corridor or something between them.

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut