Board Game Design Challenge #2

Often I speak with people about game design. Heck, my newest job hired me on because, if I do game design and I like to think and speak on gamification of education, I must be good at technology. I am not a Luddite, but I am also not a mocking up photoshop images. Definitely a goal I want to achievement unlock for myself winter break, I digress, slightly:

I am not an image whiz. Does that make the ideas for my designs worse? … You judge?

Game Design Challenge #2

http://www.boardgamizer.com is a fancy site where, as soon as you load it, your mind is taken over by the absurdity of some game suggestions. like last time, I will load you a screen shot of the page. I am almost afraid to load the page and share the image…

design 2

I’ve had scarier ones… I will write a game based on the above (Mechanic: simultaneous player action with a legacy environmental player elimination (booo!) victory with fewer than 30 some cards) next week. But first, let us talk about last weeks image I had. You can see it here 

The result from last week was a pattern building/take that mechanic themed with curses and street fighting where in which the player with the most courage points wins with the twist: Everything must be Black and White.

The Journey

When I saw this I immediately thought “Oh! Half circle forward punch! (the street fighting bit)!!! THAT is the pattern building and, duh, take that because I’m totally going to try to stop your pattern and and… I guess it will cause people to swear (curse) a lot? And… hmm….

Instead I settled on a brawl between witches trying to curse one another.

Curses, I’ll have to Toil again

Before play, players decide if they want to be a good witch or a bad witch. Ones ‘deck’ of 24 cards is called their Litany, once their deck is complete a winner will be decided.

Cards are called Verses. Witches are weaving the fate of all other players. Each Verse has two colored symbols on the card, one on the upper left, called the the Verses Passage and one larger and central called its Presence. There are only two colors and two kinds of symbols, Black and White and Circle and Star.

Witches draw two verses into their hand, called Tongue, with which they will play (speak) into a play area near their litany, called their Tapestry. Good witches can speak new verses on their tapestry by playing the same symbol their passage has with an in-play verse’s presence, bad witches have to speak the same color passage as there is their verse’s presence. You can also speak on another witch’s tapestry (and are rewarded doing as such). Good witches must speak a verse with a passage that is a new color on a presence, bad witches a new symbol.

Once you have spoken on another witch’s tapestry that witch is Cursed and now must only speak on their own tapestry, though, once they have done so, can then further speak on other witch’s tapestry.

Further, when a witch curses another, the witch that spoke that curse is to discard a verse from their litany into a separate pile: these verse are called Omen and at the end of the game is the source of victory.

Should a witch not wish to play a card they may think of new verse from their litany (draw a verse). If they should ever have more than 3 verse on their tongue at a time.

Cheaters are to be punished, but they must be called out. A witch may shout “Toil and Trouble!” to freeze the game state, state the cheat, and try to determine if it was cheating or not. If there was cheating return the state of game to a non cheating situation (misspeak results in removing the offending verse or if there are too many verse on a witch’s tongue, the removal of those verse from their tongue), the cheating witch becomes cursed and the witch who shouted gets an omen. As soon as that witch gets an omen, speaking resumes.

The game is won by the player with the most omen, and then with the least verse in their litany, then on their tongue and then by who the good witch is and then by who is female and then by who is older.

Oh wait, did I forget to mention that there are no turns here? Go back and read those rules again. Things can get quite heated as you quickly try to out speak other witches and catch cheaters.

This game degrades into patiently waiting for the other witch to speak a verse on their litany, but often they will be ready to speak a verse on your litany RIGHT after they play on their own, uncursing themselves. Game is clearly better with more than one witch, if it is good at all to be perfectly honest. 🙂

Review

Mechanics: A game that forces you to match certain things with other things (pattern making) and doing so on someone else’s pattern messes them up (take that) where the theme is dueling witches cursing one another (street fight / curses) and where messing someone else up is what gives you the reward (… courage points?) that only has two colors and two symbols in two spots with two decisions to make on whether to play on opponents or on your own pattern (black and white).

Technology

I have not made a mock-up of this game for you to gander at. I have no images, though I did make some cards with microsoft paint :). I figured, it is just as easy to draw these on blank playing cards.

Oftentimes a lot in education can be done WITHOUT technology (ok well without ‘fancy’ technology). This is what gets my goat with gamification: it always presumes that the game is video or some social technology.

Anyhow, you can easily make the above game yourself by purchasing some blank playing cards and using a sharpie! Have fun!

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