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[GDS] October 2012 "Intellectual Property" - Critiques

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sedjtroll
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Use this thread to post constructive critiques of the entries to the October 2012 challenge in the Game Design Showdown, entitled "Intellectual Property".

-Seth

bike
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My thoughts

Hello everyone,

Thanks for putting it together Seth! I liked this months theme. Nice to see that most themes lead to some inspiration. (Anyone for the Siberians?)
I was missing the names of the contestants at the scorelist. Can be added? Mine was the Cisco "route me please". Thanks for the votes!

My votes went to:

Gold - Shrek 2: Race to Midnight
Nothing to add actually. Great idea, fits the theme. Some work left in making the cards nice and balanced.

Silver - The Hangover Game
Again, great idea. Fits the theme. I have some second thoughts about a game which encourages drinking. But you did not hear me say that beer and chips should not be combined with gaming.

Bronze - Match.com's Magical Moment
Easy mechanism. Seems to be the most fun with more people.

The others:
- Match.com The Game
Seems to be this game: http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/4143/guess-who. In which case I would have presented it like: "Get rights from Guess-who and release a Match.com version". Nothing wrong with that.

- Wu-Tang Rhymes
Nice twist of the Dictionary game: http://library.thinkquest.org/J001156/games/sl_dictionary.htm. A group of enthousiast writers needed here. After putting down two or three verses I am ready for something else.

- UNESCO World Heritage Sites: World Tour
I have two problems with this very easy to learn game (which is good). Biggest one is that I could not see 160 different activities (family game, no?). Second one is that World Heritage, to me, is something serious. Of course one can make a funny game about that, but I wonder if they would do so themselves.

- Match.com matchmaker game
Good idea. Slightly more complicated than Match.com's Magical Moment. This meant I picked that one over this one.

Regards, Bert.

richdurham
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Review comments

I liked the tone of this month's competition - creating a simple game went hand in hand with the general GDS restriction to "loose" game rules and word limit.

My personal criteria for voting this month was:

  • How easily would the rules be explained on the back of the box with 5 or less bullet points?
  • Is there a large market for this game (if not the theme, then the style of game?)
  • How fun would it be for a group of people that don't buy their games in a hobby store?
  • How much design was there as opposed to every designer's worst nightmare of "slap some pictures on a game we already have?"

Here's how that turned out for the submissions:

Match.com The Game - Obviously there is a market for such a simple game; kids play this already as Guess Who? As a licensed version of Guess Who the target market (18 years old and up) for this game I think was totally off. Guess Who isn't much fun over the age of 12, and 12-13 year old girls would be a lot more interested in giggling over "who's your match? Oh THAT one? EWWWW!"

Since it's just a slap on of different "descriptions" (how would you show salary, political preference, and sexual orientation on the picture? Or is this just a text solution? Seems like a waste to put it in text…) on an existing title and is aimed at too old a market I couldn't vote for this.

Wu-Tang Rymes - Really simple game. People do this without cards of any kind, and that is one of the features of a lot of mass market games - something they are familiar with already so they don't feel awkward or confused. I think this would also sell pretty well to rap-busting fans, but they might also wonder why they need it at all. This got a medal from me.

Shrek 2: Race to Midnight - I wanted to know more about this entry. What kinds of "abilities" are on the cards? Are they icons that you combine, or full on Magic the Gathering abilities? I think there just isn't enough content here to say that it's anything other than "a game where you get to the end, and face obstacles along the way, and beat these obstacles with your abilities." For a game design contest I was hoping for a bit more on the game design - including a feel of who it is marketed to (since this is a mass market game contest). Without knowing more about the game, I can only assume it's for little kids along the lines of the old Fantasy Forest board game.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: World Tour - So Apples to Apples, world tour style. Okay; it's a REALLY popular game. And people old enough to care about the World Heritage Sites might get a kick out of it. It's almost a shame that each player is pairing from their own cards instead of just playing on the one card the judge has (again, like Apples to Apples) so there is some feel of playing against each other. However, because of it being slightly different from Apples to Apples and probably appealing to the right age group and mass market, I gave this a medal, too.

Route me Please - The questions I have for this game are about the tiles: Are they like Tsuro tiles, or Pipe Works tiles? I would like to see this game in a different setting…like a theme that doesn't make it seem like a corporate "bad idea." Maybe it's just a case of removing the branding on this one. Completely irrational, I know, given the competition, but this one (and the Revlon theme) felt like shilling. While the game might just be fine, it doesn't seem to be mass-market enough (social enough, really) to get my vote.

The Hangover Game - Thanks for the votes; this one is mine. Obviously this is geared toward the 21+ crowd like the movie. I hoped to combine a light mechanical game with a strong social atmosphere (playing with your memory, which everyone can do without learning new rules) and alcohol. Doesn't NEED to be played with the drinking….but it's The Hangover…it's just appropriate. There are some things I would change about the rules now, like making the scoring progression faster to get more cards out of the deck. I'd also like to play it just to see how hard it is.

Match.com's Magical Moment - This got a medal from me because of potential. I think that if the players themselves could pick their "desires" and "turn offs" and you play cards to match up dates with each other rather than abstracted people on cards.

Match.com Matchmaker game - I think the dice and adventure ratings and all that really don't need to be in a mass market game about match making. This is abstracted to the point of not actually having any semblance to really pairing people up. I couldn't vote for this one.

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