Does this game have potential or should I forget about it? (Cry of the Wilders from Game Chef)

Hi Folks, I'd love to get your feedback on the game I wrote for Game Chef 2014. I used the opportunity to explore the use of audio to explain a game. I wanted to emulate what happens in actual face-to-face sessions – usually only one person has read the game’s book, and then they teach it to the other players. So why not skip the book entirely and get to that core stuff? That’s what my humble attempt here was about. It's not polished at all, but I hope I get the ideas across. I'm wondering whether it has potential or if it was just an interesting experiment I should leave behind. Here it is:


  • The technique you're using sounds great, Dreamofpeace. Could you give me a little bit more of a pitch about what the game's about? And how long the audio files are?

    Otherwise, it's probably a bit daunting to dive into the files without knowing what I'm getting into.

    If we were playing a game, how long to you think it would take to set up and play?

    And this will sound weird, given the "There is no book" inspiration for your game, but do you intend to put together written rules for it? Maybe it'd be faster for people to give you feedback if you separate the game out into two separate things:

    - the content of the game
    - the way you're presenting the game.
  • Hi Steve, thanks for your reply! It is a story game designed for one-shots; it's about people who have special powers (thanks to the AIs they've bonded with) rebelling against a tyrannical corporation and its robot enforcers (the "sickles"). Themes include free will vs. predestination and what the nature of humanity is. By the end of the game session you find out whether the corporation is overthrown or if you were never really free in the first place.

    The first audio file is a drama that presents the setting, about 8-10 minutes long. The rule sheet is just two pages; the file that explains the rules is a bit longer, almost 20 minutes but you can fast forward through a lot of it. But if you listen to everything (both files) it'll take about half an hour.

    My guess is it would take a standard 4-hour session to actually play the game to conclusion, perhaps an hour less depending on setup.

    Are you asking if I intend to add additional rules, or more written explanation of them? If enough people think the game has potential yes I would probably do that, also to make it more accessible to the hearing-impaired.
  • Awesome. Thank you :)
  • You know I should probably just playtest this to find out, but would appreciate any pre-test feedback...Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? :-)
  • edited January 2015
    A thousand apologies, I said I'd try to get this playtested following Game Chef last year, and embarrassingly still haven't done so. If it's any consolation, I haven't managed to get my own game playtested either. I'll ask around and see if I can find some willing souls. One thing though: I think the audio sections may a problem. I realise you did that partly because of the Game Chef constraints (There is no book in this case) but folks struggle with multi-sensory games IMO. However, to answer your question: if you have time yes, keep at it. You might in the end have to make it a free download rather than a print product (as I suspect I will with some of my games), but that's better than simply abandoning it.

    Of course, if you have a full-time job (which I don't, so for me this isn't an issue) then continuing to work on this or any game may become problematic, but that's a decision you'll have to make for yourself, obviously. If you're asking whether it's a good enough game, whether it has enough appeal to make it worth carrying on with, again that's largely subjective, and my answer would be that if you think it's good enough then it is. I guess that probably doesn't sound terribly helpful, but turn it round: if other people say it's not worth continuing with, that doesn't mean it's not; after all, who are these people, and what's their basis for saying that? Would they be likely to play that kind of game anyway? If not, then their contribution is valueless and completely ignorable.

    Look at it statistically: there are over 6 billion people in the world, of whom potentially several million are gamers, of whom several hundreds of thousands may well be interested in playing your game, and it then becomes a question of just how to reach those people, again something I'm wrestling with myself.

    So, tl;dr: if you have the time, the energy and the inclination, keep at it!
  • Thanks very much for your reply! Yes if I ever publish it it'll probably be free or pay what you want, or there'll be a pdf of extra goodies one can pay for. I guess I'm going to have to go with my gut on this one, so I'll try to playtest it and see how it goes. I do have a job, plus I'm working on a short story, a novella, and two follow-up novels, so time management is a big issue for me :) Thanks again for your encouragement.
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