17 Responses

  1. dmwcarol
    dmwcarol May 7, 2009 at 12:26 pm |

    I think it sounds playable and just the sort of game I’d enjoy playing.

    1. undying-admin
      undying-admin May 7, 2009 at 1:34 pm |

      great! — I’ll send you a set, if I ever get around to making it up (which is not hugely likely, on past form 😉

  2. bateleur
    bateleur May 7, 2009 at 12:34 pm |

    It makes good sense.

    I don’t much like the rule: “you have to include your codephrase (exactly as written)” for two reasons.

    * First, it eliminates much of the strategy from the game as both ally and enemy will manage a near 100% detection rate with only false positives from other players providing scoring variation.
    * The scoring system you have strongly motivates each player to favour secrecy over clarity. This being the case, the rule is going to need actual enforcing, which is awkward unless you videotape everything (and even then, that’s too formal for a fun game).

    I think that rule wants removing.

    I’d also be inclined to up the scoring for being identified by your ally to +2, then add an additional +1 bonus for each player who wrongly identifies you as an ally (in-game rationale: they might pass you juicy secrets!). This encourages people to use their exact codephrase voluntarily, but also encourages them to introduce all kinds of wild elaboration into their stories in an effort to try to gather bonus points!

    Another problem you may well not care about it that I think this game would replay quite badly. Knowing the other code phrases in the deck would basically spoil the gameplay.

    These concerns aside it does sound like it would be fun!

    1. secondhand_rick
      secondhand_rick May 7, 2009 at 1:20 pm |

      Good analysis from .

      With regards the last problem, I think multiple sealed packs of true identities would be the only way to ship this game.

      But yes, it sounds good to me.

      1. undying-admin
        undying-admin May 7, 2009 at 1:31 pm |

        multiple sealed packs of true identities would be

        … highly collectible?

        But yes, it makes the packaging a bit dearer unfortunately.

        1. secondhand_rick
          secondhand_rick May 7, 2009 at 1:45 pm |

          Hmm… even more expensive now I give it further thought.

          You’d only be interesting in acquiring a new, sealed pack if you knew it was one you’d not seen before. So either every single pack has to be unique, or you’d need an external signifier to differentiate one sealed packet from another.

          1. undying-admin
            undying-admin May 7, 2009 at 1:51 pm |

            Mm. Maybe it would be better to just trust people not to peek through the deck. After all, if they do so, they’ll have trouble finding people who will play their beloved game with them more than once. “You’re only spoiling it for yourself”, as my mum used to say.

    2. undying-admin
      undying-admin May 7, 2009 at 1:30 pm |

      My hope is that your ally and enemy will also be experiencing false positives when listening to the other players. So you include your codephrase as above, but if what your ally knows about your codephrase is that “it’s about fish”, then any other player’s story which also happens to mention fish will cause doubt. So I see the identification process as being along the lines of “Hmm, well, players A and B both talked about fish so might be my ally, but both A and C could be said to have been ‘using wild exaggeration’ so one of them must be my enemy…”

      What I want to aim for is an approx 70% detection rate from your ally, and approx 30% from your enemy. Of course this will depend on how well chosen the theme / subject clues are, and on how elaborated the stories tend to be. From that point of view I like your +2 / +1 for false identification as ally, that’s great!

      People might cheat by not using the phrase properly, true, but I tend not to consider that when I’m designing games to play with friends. It would be different if it was for the general public… Even so though I guess it would need a brave cheat to persistently claim to have included the phrase exactly, when the others all fail to remember you doing so.

      Mm, there is no replay value. I think you’d have to get a supplementary deck once you’d been through it once. Money-spinning opportunity!

      1. bateleur
        bateleur May 7, 2009 at 1:34 pm |

        I understand your explanation, but can you provide a concrete argument for forcing use of the exact code phrase. Why is this good for gameplay?

        1. undying-admin
          undying-admin May 7, 2009 at 1:47 pm |

          Because that seemed to me the only way of guaranteeing that it included both the correct subject and the correct theme as expected on the ally / enemy cards.

          I thought that allowing the speaker to improvise around it would open up accusations like “my card said it would be about an ironic disappointment, but what you said wasn’t like that at all…”

          I might have misjudged this, though, so I’m certainly not ruling out your suggestion of ditching the reqt. I suspect playtesting will tell.

          1. bateleur
            bateleur May 7, 2009 at 1:53 pm |

            It’s not that I think you’ve misjudged it, I’m just trying to get a feel for the mechanic.

            The balance seems to be between excessive flexibility leaving nobody able to pick up anything and excessive restriction leaving nobody missing anything.

          2. undying-admin
            undying-admin May 7, 2009 at 1:58 pm |

            Mm, that’s right — my hope is that careful choice of wording on the cards will help strike the right point of that balance.

            But it may be that it’s very sensitive to types of player… which would be harder to deal with.

  3. queenortart
    queenortart May 7, 2009 at 1:33 pm |

    Yep I’d be prepared to give it a go

    1. undying-admin
      undying-admin May 7, 2009 at 1:48 pm |

      Hooray! I’ll keep you posted if anything comes of it.

  4. theoclarke
    theoclarke May 7, 2009 at 7:21 pm |

    *steps forward with outstretched hand*

    1. undying-admin
      undying-admin May 8, 2009 at 1:36 pm |

      I might be able do some work on pulling it together when I’m on hol in a few weeks. We shall see!

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