“Don’t Say!” at Global Gamecraft 5

boardgame, boardgame prototype, competition, Don't Say, Game Jam

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I went to Global Gamecraft 5 with a few mechanics I wanted to try. I just had to fit them to the theme, right? Wrong. When the theme was revealed (“Party Game”, or a game you could play at a party) I couldn’t use them, so I started from scratch.

It needed to cater to a big number of players (infinite, if possible!), and ideallly it would also be fun to watch. First, I played around with this idea of a game about cupids, and people trying to find their match by asking questions to the group. I liked the concept, but it sounded a bit too easy and fast to play.

I wanted the game to be different from the other games I had made so far, and I wanted people to interact with each other in a genuine way – not because the rules say so. In all the party games I know, the ones that involve drawing are always a special kind of fun. Everyone interprets the drawings in a different way, and often be hilariously wrong.

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So this is what I came up with: a player gets a card with a surreal image and must describe it to the others, who must draw it as best they can before the time runs out. There are two words the player can’t use while describing them, (and they’re pretty obvious!), or he’ll lose points. After the timer ends, players hand their custom notebooks to other players and everyone’s drawings will be rated for accuracy. The one describing is rated too! In the next round, another player will be describing, and everyone else draws.

The best thing is: you don’t need to know how to draw! You get points by having the right elements in the right place, now how they look.

I couldn’t play it myself because I had made the illustrations which were being described, but these playtests were a lot of fun to watch.

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I won’t be developing this one further because it draws a lot from two other games: Identik and Taboo. Still, it was a great experience and the players loved it too.

Thank you all who played it! I look forward to the next 8 hour jam.

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