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[GDS] MAY 2016 "Human-scale games"

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richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009

Entries are in

This was a tough one! Only a few entries this month, so we're going to actually forgo the standard voting process and just get to the critiques. The entries are still posted below, but let's get on with the critique thread and make your thoughts known!

Take your favourite tabletop game. Now imagine it is MEGA-sized. I'm talking the size of a room, or building. Are the pieces huge? Does it look like a giant Tsuro set?

Now imagine a tabletop game meant to be e played at that scale. How would it be different? What kinds of gameplay could happen at this scale that doesn't at a sit-around-a-table level? Let's call this "human-scale."

Mega-sized versions of tabletop games are one thing, but they have much the same feel, interactions and mechanics as the smaller version. In other words, it doesn't take advantage of being at Human scale.

Your challenge this May is to make a game at human-scale that takes as much advantage of it as possible. In essence, it is a game that could ONLY be played at human-scale.

On to the details!

Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown.

Component restriction: People! The game must be at "human scale" Mechanic restriction: The "human scale" of the game should be a main part of the game, and influence the mechanics used.
Theme restriction: None

Word Limit: Standard 500 word limit. Remember this is a pitch, so focus your thoughts on the task and a summary more than explaining every detail

Voting: Award a Gold, Silver, and Bronze (worth 3,2, and 1 points respectively) Medals to your three favorite entries. Any entrant that does not award all three Medals will receive a Pyrite Medal (that's "Fool's Gold") worth -3 votes!

When submitting your entry: PLEASE USE THE FORM LINKED HERE.

  • Submissions: Sunday the 1st through Sunday the 8th

  • Voting: Through the 15th. Votes will be through a form (link posted after submission period is ended).

  • Voting Format: Each person has 3 Medals (Gold, Silver, and Bronze - with values 3, 2, and 1 vote respectively) to distribute any way they choose among the GDS entries with the following restrictions:

    • Entrants may not assign any Medals to their own entry!

    • Entrants must assign all 3 Medals.

    • An entrant who does not assign all 3 Medals will receive a Pyrite Medal (-3 votes) as a penalty.

  • Comments or Questions: Comments and questions about this Challenge are handled on the Comments Thread

  • CRITIQUES: After voting has closed the entries will be posted for comments and critiques. Post constructive critiques and commentary about the entries to this Challenge in the Critiques Thread.

  • GDS Details: For more details on how these Game Design Showdown Challenges work, visit the GDS Wiki Page.

Enjoy, and good luck!

-Rich and Mindspike

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry 1 - House Detective

House Detective (For 9 players; the rules will change slightly with different numbers of players)

In this game, players are either thieves, civilians or the detective. The civilians try to determine who the thieves are with the help of the detective; the thieves try to avoid detection.

Set up: this game requires a non-player host (This can rotate since the game is short)
The host makes a map of the house. Rooms are numbered 1-11 (Any room in the house with a door that can be closed will do. This includes bathrooms and hall closets). The rooms should be numbered such that a fairly simple path will go from rooms 1-11 and back to 1. The host gives a copy of the map to each player.
The host places 4 “treasures” (playing cards for example) in random rooms. The treasures should be in plain sight in the room but not visible to anybody who is not in the room.

The players randomly chose a character card. There are four thieves, 4 civilians and 1 house detective. The house detective is revealed; the other identities are kept secret.
Each player(besides the house detective) also gets a random starting room # and is given the location of 1 treasure (The host has 2 cards with room numbers for each treasure, these are distributed randomly and kept secret).
Each player than goes to the room that they are originally assigned. A thief may take the treasure, but the civilian may not.

After a short period of time, each player moves to the next room in order (and from 11 to 1).
The civilians must leave the treasures alone. The thieves may choose take the treasures. However, if there are any untaken treasures at the end of the game, the thieves lose.

The players may talk between turns, but it should not be loud enough for the detective to hear. Whether they tell the truth is up to them.
After all of the players have been to every room, the players go to a common area where the detective is waiting. The players will arrange themselves randomly; the detective does not know their numbers. The players will go through 2 rounds of simple statements such as the following:
“I was number 3”
“There was a treasure in room 4”
“There was no treasure in room 4 when I got there”
“I saw Charley go from room 6 to 7.”
“I am not a thief”

There will be 2 rounds of statements and the detective will ask one question to each player.
The thieves may lie at any time. The civilians, obviously should not lie.
The detective may take notes.
At the end, the detective will try to decide who the thieves are. If he guesses 3 correctly, the civilians and the detective wins. Otherwise, the thieves win.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry 2 - Through the Maze

Teams attempt to retrieve a MacGuffin from a maze.
Each team captain has clues to what the MacGuffin is.
The MacGuffin and multiple red herrings are placed in the maze.
Runners are dispatched into the maze to locate additional clues.
The team captain has pencil and paper, but no map.
Runners are given no tools for taking notes.
Each runner is given one minute with the team captain to report findings and receive instructions.
Only one runner may report at a time.
Runners must report in order.

First team to retrieve the correct MacGuffin wins!

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry 3 - Nobel Prize

Multiple laboratories are competing for the next Nobel Prize.
Teams must gather enough resources to make a breakthrough and submit it to the Nobel Committee.
Opposing teams then have 5 minutes to finish their research and submit their breakthrough.
The breakthrough that is worth the most points wins.

Each player is dealt a specialty, which entitles them to a certain number of resources.
The game is played in rounds lasting 5 minutes.
Rounds start when resources are distributed.
At the end of the round, if no breakthroughs are submitted, another round is played.
If a breakthrough is submitted, this is the final round.

During a round of research scientists form teams to work on a breakthrough.
There are no teams at the beginning of the game. All teams will be formed during the game.
Each breakthrough requires a certain combination of specialties and types of resources.
Scientists are admitted to or released from a team by simple majority consensus of existing team members.
If there is a tie on votes to admit or release a scientist, the motion is defeated.
At the end of the round, scientists return all resources except those which they are allowed to keep.

Breakthroughs are worth a set number of points, divided by the number of scientists on the team.
Smaller teams score more points for a breakthrough.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry 4 - Snakes and Spiders

At the start of the game, each person is given either:
Spider Team Card, Snake Team Card, Spider Leader Card, Snake Leader Card. Each person also gets a spider voting card and a snake voting card.
The goal of the game is to find your teammates -OR- to find the opposing team's leader.

At some designated spots, you can attempt missions. Each mission requires a different number of people, and give different rewards. To attempt a mission, gather the correct number of people, and everyone hands in a voting card secretly. Reveal all the cards, and if there are only snakes or spiders, the mission is a success, and the teams gets the reward. No matter if success or fail, all players turn in their voting cards, and are stopped from doing another mission for 1 minute.

Some example missions:
- Surveillance: three people, reward: ID check card: a person must reveal their team
- Assasinate: four people, reward: target anyone, they must say if they are the leader or not. If yes, the other team wins.
- Sabotage: five people, reward: Sabotage card: a person may not go on missions for 1 minute.
- Background check: seven people, reward: seven ID check cards
- ten people, reward: win the game

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