Wednesday, April 17, 2013

GDC2013 - Game Design Challenge: Humanity's Last Game

I only caught the last two of six game design pitches.
  • Jason Rohrer designed A Game For Someone.
    • He was inspired by cathedrals that were built over the course of 500 years. They were not built for the builders; they were building these structures for the future. Likewise, Jason wanted to make a game to be played 2000 years from now.
    • Digital technology would become outdated really fast, so only a board game would survive 2000 years.
    • He designed a 2-player board game, but he had to make sure nobody now can play the game, not even himself. Instead, he built a simulator that would run his game and find strategic flaws, to which he would respond with design changes. He ran his game through the simulator thousands of times and now has a game nobody has ever played.
    • He needed a material that would last 2000 years, so he built a board and pieces out of titanium metal. The board itself is a storage space for the pieces. The pieces can be inserted into the board like a screw.
    • Instructions were written on acid-free paper, placed in a sturdy glass tube, and further encased in a titanium tube to make sure it would itself last 2000 years. The rules were written using symbols and images to be completely independent of language.
    • Jason picked out a million random coordinates in the Nevada desert, drove to one of them, and buried the game. Then he walked away and deleted the coordinates from his GPS so that he himself cannot find it.
    • All 1,017,000 coordinates were printed on hundreds of pieces of paper and distributed to attendees of this talk at GDC. Only one of the coordinates is the right one. If someone searched through the coordinates once per day, it would take approximately 2786 years to find this board game.
  • Richard Lemarchand designed Ludo Sapiens: The Wise Game.
    • According to the the doctrine of the 5 percenters, 5% of people know the hidden truth to humanity, that we're all the same because we're different. Every last person is deserving of respect.
    • This game divides all players into three categories: 85% of them are Team Sleepy (unaware of the truth), 10% are Team Selfish (they know the truth, but exploit it), and 5% are Team Wise (uses the truth for good).
    • It's a mobile app where players post deeds that they have done. Other players can browse deeds and judge them, which in turn places the deed-doer into one of the team. Judging will also move a player towards a team.
    • After a while, players are sorted into one of the three teams, each with a different special power.
    • The game is meant to affect the real world in legal, economic, political, and social manners.
  • The 3rd place winner of the Game Design Challenge received a copy of Cards Against Humanties, 2nd place received possibly the first board game Senet, and the 1st place became the owner of one acre on the moon.

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