Sunday, February 04, 2007

Here are a few game ideas that have been floating about as possible new projects. Some of these are directly inspired by games we saw/played at Dreamation 07. Not sure which might fly...depends on which inspires us most, I suppose.

"Trial by Jury" - Trial where all of the players are jurors. The players would have a dual juror and as a personality in the case (e.g, the victim, suspect, cop, witness, nosy neighbor, etc.). As facts get introduced, the players would step into the roles of the people involved...a flashback to what happened (presumably what the jury heard in the courtroom testimony). At the start, there would be some way of dividing the players into even sides as jurors. Sort of inspired by 12 Angry Men or the countless Law and Order shows. The game unfolds around a murder of some sort. The players have some mechanic (tokens or favorites at the moment) where they reveal a detail of the the murder occurred at such and such a place at 1 am. A separate category could be "evidence" either for the prosecution or defense. The introduction of more evidence would allow everyone to change their sides. The game would end when there was unanimous agreement of guilt or innocence. The GM could be called the Judge or Foreman...however we'd want to put emphasis.

"Mystery Detective Game" - Agatha Christie inspired mystery. One player (maybe the GM?) is a Poirot or Sherlock Holmes type detective character. Everyone else is a person in part of it. The thing is, everyone can be a suspect. This is drawing from that original Technolust idea where someone is the crazy murder. In this case, it's not so horrific...just a high profile murder with numerous suspects. The characters, through role play, build their backgrounds and alibis along the way. But each turn suspicion is arroused for each character. At the end the Detective has to pull it all together...working through the possible story lines that indicate which of the players actually did it. I imagine a Poirot-type pull-everyone-together scene where the scenarios are laid out on the table. A vote or accumulated resources may lead to the outcome and who gets to say which character is guilty. In both this and "Trial by Jury" I'm hoping to avoid the "Clue" type connection...but have a more organic story that fleshes out the connections between the characters. This one is kind of similar to the "Trial by Jury" idea, but I think there are differences.

"Mythos" - I've been reading Neil Gaiman's American Gods and was inspired. Then I played Brett's Capes expansion and worry now that this might be too much like what he's come up with. In this case, I was thinking...what if there were modern Gods? If we had a polytheistic religion rooted in contemporary society...what would it be like? God of the television? Or maybe just electronics? A Loki-type god who is responsible for computer bugs and is worshiped by virus-developers? I like the idea of creating a modern myth system. Then the characters play out the game as agents of the modern gods. Perhaps there's the idea that the characters are discovering the secrets of the modern gods that derive their power from social fads, trends, or developments. This could use a bit more thought, but the basic idea is inventing modern myths. Oh! Maybe they could be tied to Urban Legends? Hmm...have to think on that more.

"Reality Show" - Like Survivor...each player is a "player" on a TV reality show. This is a bit different from PTA as it draws upon the tropes of most reality shows. Players have challenges to work through...and then act out the "private moments" where they reveal a hidden secret about what's going on. It can have backbiting and social much as a show like "Project Runway" or "The Bachelor" might have. I was quite amused by the "Who wants to be a superhero?" show that was on Sci-Fi channel (hosted by Stan Lee). It was really contrived and a bit over-scripted...but nonetheless kitsch-y fun. So the players work towards a genre goal (top model, top chef, top designer, sole survivor, etc.). Players might get voted off each round and then they become part of the creative team that makes the challenges or introduces complications to interfere with the remaining players' success. Steps away from a lot of what we've been talking about, but could be an interesting experiment in collaboration...not to mention silly fun.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Starting Up's the deal. My friend Bill White and I have been talking about games for years. We both love to play RPGs. We were hooked on Magic: The Gathering for a while when we were in grad school together. We also played some D&D and Champions every so often. Now we finally decided to start doing something with our interests. Bill created an awesome game called Ganakagok. I helped him out by play-testing, giving (minor) feedback on rules, and developing the "Nitu Tarot" used to play the Ganakagok game.

In the process, we came up the wacky idea of starting a game "company" of sorts, called Consensus Games. Bill took the blog name, so I added the NJ on the end (I live in NJ, he lives in PA). So, we're continuing to think about and develop some games together...which will someday make us rich and famous. Well...maybe just thought of fondly.

What we have in the hopper:

Technolust: A card based role-playing game that puts players in the position of a citizen in a dark and decaying world where everyone "Mods" their bodies with cybernetics. The more people mod, the more they want to...and the more likely it is for them to start behaving strangely.

Untitled Advertising Game: Bill and I both teach advertising at the undergraduate level. I teach more design type stuff. Bill, I believe teaches more of the social implications of advertising. We're trying to collaborate on a project that will bridge our teaching interests. The game may feature ethical decision making and taking on roles within the advertising. We haven't gotten much beyond that, but we'd like to have some sort of working draft to test out during the Fall 06 semester.