So, turns out I’m going to be doing some games design type stuff at Geek; the Games Festival in Margate running next week (20th – 22nd February). I initially asked to be involved in anything that involved getting the public involved in actually making stuff. There were already a team doing things like Scratch. This left me with analogue games which, while not really my area as a hobbyist designer, interests me because, let’s face it, if you give a kid game-making software on a computer for an hour
or two, what they tend to learn is how to use the software. Cards and dice etc. let you get straight into designing mechanics. Anyway, here are the activities I’ve got planned:
- “Morphopoly”. I’ll be taking a normal Monopoly set and hopefully running a game where custom house rules are introduced by players at specific junctures (not sure if it will be on every pass of Go, or on something rarer like landing on “free parking”). The idea is to introduce people to rulecraft using a familiar game, and as a kind of silly experiment to see how far people push it or if they’re less inclined to break the game entirely.
- A number of sets of traditional 52-card decks for people to try to invent their own card games from scratch, either using a set brief from below or on their own terms. Hopefully we’ll end up with a laminated book of new (probably mostly broken) games, but process trumps outcome here. Example ideas can be things like:
- a card game about two duelling wizards: one Red and one Black.
- a card game about robbing a bank
- (please feel free to offer any briefs you think might be interesting)
- And the back-up plan if all else fails: Margate-based zombie survival table-top RPG using local maps and a stripped down version of the D6 Adventure system. I designed this a while ago to play with friends. It’s deliberately skewed toward creating a Romero-esque air of distrust. Players get given character cards with a role-play motivation and a trail or skill of some sort, which they may choose to keep secret from the others.
(NB I hate Monopoly: it’s a pretty good case study in how to make a game that is painfully slow to lose and hard to turn around; things which make it a personal bugbear. Maybe some kid will fix it for me. Monopoly Empire is a pretty good fix though IMO)