Board Gaming, Game Design

Game Design Dreams: Not for Casual Gamers

Game Time

I had a game design dream last night. It was for a party game. I thought about it all the way into work this morning.

I haven’t worked the bugs out in my head, and it appeals to a VERY niche audience, but I liked the idea enough to share.

The best way I can describe it is the sticky mess left in the wake of a menage-a-trois involving Balderdash, Scene It and Name That Tune.

In the dream, a song was played, followed by a brief session where players wrote a brief description of a movie scene where the song would be playing in the background, then one person would read the anonymous entries and players would vote for their favorite.

In the dream, I couldn’t recall if there was a “real” listing or not, for people to compare to. Personally, I don’t think that particular mechanic would work, because some songs are tied to movie scenes so strongly that it would inhibit creative expansion on the idea.

Who among us can hear “Stuck in the Middle” without thinking of the torture scene in Reservoir Dogs? Or hearing “Don’t You Forget About Me” without thinking of The Breakfast Club?

Also, this is not a game for the casual gamer. It asks a lot of a player to briefly describe a movie scene where the song is appropriate. Balderdash barely gets away with it by pre-loading the puzzle.

This idea just takes a lot more imagination if you are hoping to score any points with convincing writing.

I don’t know that this game is remotely publishable for any number of reasons. Difficulty of play, assembly of music (and accompanying royalties), length of play (music listening PLUS scene-writing) just to name a few.

I think that for the right group it would make a great party game. I would love to play a party game like this.

Humorously enough, in the dream, the song was “Go Home, Get Down” by DFA1979 and I couldn’t for the life of me come up with a good scene for it.


2 thoughts on “Game Design Dreams: Not for Casual Gamers

  1. I like the idea… but maybe you can add in an Apples to Apples type mechanism to put people on the spot a bit less? Cards with different elements on it, and they can choose one or more. Hm, more than one could be messy, how to keep it anonymous? Or, maybe more than one deck, one for characters and one for action; each player gets a duofold wallet with clear windows; put the character in the left and the action in the right.

    1. Those are very interesting ideas. Maybe this game could exist in some “real” capacity after all. Or at the very least, it could be played among groups in the know without any officially published material. I think given the stickiness with song use that’s probably for the best anyway.

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