I don’t know jack about how to create a game. Yet that isn’t stopping me from being impressed with our newest tactic in the Copiosis RBE transition strategy: our board game called The Brink.
Part of our transition strategy is to offer as many ways for people to learn about Copiosis as possible. Our website, demonstration projects, this blog, the Patron Newsletter, our YouTube Channel…we have a lot of ways to communicate to people who want to follow our progress.
Part of our Phase Two strategies includes a “board game” designed to introduce people to Copiosis in a fun and entertaining way. We hoped that the game would primarily be fun to play; full of imagination, creativity, story telling and more.
That’s exactly what the game is turning out to be.
This month the small group of people working with me on the game played two rounds and, boy, I have to say, it sure was fun. I’m biased of course. Anything related to Copiosis is fun to me. But the other two people designing the game – Emilia and Phil – are not as biased as I. Despite themselves, I saw them really get into their game play.
Here’s how the game works:
The story arch of the game is, you have assumed the role of a character living in a small community in an indeterminate Copiosis future. Your background and experience are set up in the “character cards” and you’re required to play the game as the character, not as yourself. So the character’s background and experience should inform your game play. There are enough characters for eight people to play. Those familiar with board role playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons should be familiar with how exciting and creative the game-play can become.
The game begins when the oldest of the characters draws a “disaster” card. Copiosis is not Utopia. There are still disasters in it where people must come together to save their town, and keep it from falling “over the brink”. Individual players win when all players win and “win” looks like not only keeping your town from going over the brink but creating “prosperity for all” measured in the total accumulation of each player’s NBR at the end of each round times a multiple.
Once a disaster card (railroad disaster, oil spill, earthquake, etc.) is drawn, players then
must use their imagination and the characteristics of their character to tell a story about how their character would get involved to help keep their community from going over the brink and make their community more prosperous. After the last player has told their story, all the players become members of the Payer Organization and deliberate as to how much NBR each player receives for their “action” taken during the round.
The round is now over.
Next, the oldest character then calculates the community’s “prosperity” level, by adding all the players’ NBR awards and multiplying by 100. That result is compared to a scale on the game and when the minimum prosperity threshold is met the game is over and everyone wins.
Now, there are wildcards in the game in addition to the disaster cards which players can
draw. Each card has either a beneficial outcome that describes something positive which can be used by the player to increase prosperity and individual NBR, or a non-beneficial outcome which does the opposite. So, if a player has no idea what to do, they can choose a “Life-Line” card and risk, for example, stumbling upon a crate to TVs that were found in an alley, or suffer a major setback, such as introducing an additional disaster in the midst of the current one.
When we played The Brink, it was fun to see how we each used our imagination and creativity to come up with ways our characters got involved in the disaster, doing things that benefitted the community other individuals and the planet and thereby receiving NBR. Participating as Payer Organization members allowed an easy way for us to generally see how the Payer Organization functions. It was cool to see the game come to life after a few weeks of design.
I’m eager to produce versions of the game you can play so we can get additional feedback on how to make it better. But there’s a number of steps before we can get to that point, including refining the materials, creating the instructions, and identifying other elements important to making the game work.
That said, I’m impressed with where we’ve gotten. Particularly since I don’t know jack about how to create a game!