‘Big RIP’

What is a Big RIP story though?

This blog post is the recording of my contribution to the BCM300 group project. Here are The other epic memer lads posts Josh and Ben.

For this project my main focus areas are that of the game experience/theme, narrative and story world for our game.

As a group we decided the game would focus mainly on ingame interactions to create the story and have emergent Big RIP moments. These moments are the main catalyst of experience of the theme and narrative that is emergent each time the game is played. Like this video essay explains it doesn’t matter how good your story/idea is if you can engage the players in an interesting game. So that made these Big RIP moments very core to the story of our game. A Big RIP moment is basically any point in time throughout the game where saying BIG RIP would be appropriate/humorous. These include but are not limited to:

  • Your gravestone (card tower) falling down/being knocked over
  • Someone stealing your gravestone
  • Being penalised for being to far in front of your opponents
  • Having the biggest gravestone at the time of death but having the smallest once final karma cards play out
  • Trying to sabotage someone but you end up sabotaging yourself  
  • Fumbling a large lead or giving someone a greater lead but unsuccessfully sabotaging them 

This concept of player added content to the game comes from the idea of co-creation which is “in what manner, and to what extent, is it possible to entice players to add their own content”. (Eladhari, 2018) We really wanted each player to be able to bring their own background and meaning to the game.

To successfully pull this type of game off we really needed to know how and what interwoven game mechanics where to produce this story.

After some reading both me and Josh realised the truth in the fact that “Interwoven mechanics are mechanics that if removed change how the game is played significantly” – Scott Rogers on board game design lab

While the exact experience will be different from game to game the overall story and ways the game have to be consistent throughout every playthrough. We wanted the experience to be focused on making as many of these Big RIP moments each game as possible. This in physicality is shown on Josh’s blog where you can see all the game elements prototyped. 

The biggest piece of narrative material for this game is the round counter which is a representation of the inevitable move towards death which is a 10 round counter. This counter serves the functional purpose of counting the rounds so you don’t have to mentaly try and keep track of the round number. It also drives the inevitability that ‘death’ or in our case the end of the active rounds of the games is inevitable and coming. The only thing you can do after the counter is complete is watch as the karma cards play out and your empire crumbles or lasts the test of time after your death which you no longer have any control over.

Josh then met with an experienced game developer who gave feedback that we could harness the elements of our game which highlight death as an inevitable thing and how we can use this theme and further develop our game before the presentation. He provided both feedback that all three of us will be using but ill let  Josh’s blog tell you about that in detail as he got the feedback for us.

For the presentation i will: 

Create and present for 5 minutes on the story, narrative and theme elements of the game and how we incorporated feedback and research into these decisions to reach our final product.

Also I most likely will be presenting the entire presentation from my computer so we hopefully minimise any technical problems during the presentation.

Academic journal source not linked:

Eladhari, M. P. (2018) The story pile – Representing story in the board game mind shadows. Springer Verlag (Lecture Notes in Computer Science). doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-04028-4_30.