Monday, 17 July 2017

A nice biscuit and a cup of tea.

I once heard a wonderful tactic for delivering a best man's speech. Take a trumpet. Put it very deliberately on the table. Make your speech. Pick up the trumpet. Sit down. The mystery of when you will play it will create tension, humour and delight. So ... will I tell you about the giant biscuit?

The titular cup of coffee refers to a special event that will be held at Meeple Mayhem on 23rd July. I'll be demonstrating Daring Dustbunnies for most of the day so people can get a good taste for it. Talking of good tastes, they serve a delightful burger and an excellent cup of beverage at the cafĂ© there (see, like most of my games, it all makes sense in the end).

(Biscuit? .. not yet). If you've played Daring Dustbunnies before you'll notice it has evolved either a little or a lot depending on when you played it. It is very much similar to the UK Games Expo version but I have been tinkering with the scoring system to bring that up to scratch. I felt that it never quite matched the tension and pleasure of the game play. Hopefully now it complements it in a most satisfying way.

I have a deep rooted belief that if you have a game mechanic that works well, the rest of the game needs to fit with it harmoniously, otherwise you run the risk of letting that good mechanic down. I worked on a wargame for a while that had a lovely battle mechanic which depended on the player working hard to create their army and being so invested in it that they didn't enjoy risking it in battle. The gameplay of each element, the build up and the battle, worked well. What didn't work was how long it took to play it. So that game got put to one side, it was good, but not smooth and elegant.

(Biscuit now? ... nope). So the new scoring system in Daring Dustbunnies will consist of two tracks, one for bravery (how close you get to the Vacuum without being sucked off the carpet) and brains (how often you can cycle through your hand of cards). Players who know the game will have also seen a +1VP on a carpet tile, this will be a universal point that can be applied to either track. The aim of the game will be to score well on both tracks. In other words if you are clever and cowardly or daring but dim you will lose out. In this way I hope to create more tension as players can target opponents to prevent them from crossing that winning line.

BISCUIT! Ok so now you really do get to hear about the biscuit. Each year I drop a donation off at the National Institute for Conductive Education and in June I handed them a cheque made up of the money I made at the UK Games Expo (10p per person who played Daring Dustbunnies) and sales of Niche. This is always a feel good moment for me but it was made doubly so by meeting a new member of the fundraising team who actually already owned some of my games!

The warm and fuzzy feeling was then topped off beautifully when another member of the team enthusiastically offered to wear their brand new mascot outfit. So I had the immense pleasure of handing my cheque to a 6ft tall, 6ft wide, Nice biscuit. The bizarre twists to the day continued as the mascot bearer decided to wear it to transport it from one building to another. This proved to be more complicated than you might imagine as it involved 4 doorways and two lifts. I am not sure I have ever laughed so much because of a biscuit.

So I look forward to seeing anyone who wants to come along to the event at Meeple Mayhem on 23rd July and many, many thanks to everyone who donated to NICE or bought a copy of Niche.

Daring Dustbunnies @Meeple Mayhem -
Conductive Education -

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