Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Placebo: The Game! (That I Designed!)

Readers of this blog, as well as people who know me personally, people who know me casually, and others who may have taken a casual glance at me all know that I. love. games. I've been playing them obsessively pretty much my entire life, and a while ago I decided that designing from scratch was going to be one of of my bucket list goals. One morning earlier this year I woke and, out of ideas for any stories/blog posts I wanted to write, I decided to try to come up with an idea for game. I knew it wouldn't be a video game, only because I wanted it to be sometime I could make from scratch and have it be playable in a matter of days as opposed to months, or years (also something I could make on my own, and despite my frankly weak efforts, I am no programmer). So I decided on some kind of board or card game. Then, in traditional improv fashion, I sat down, gave myself a random word as suggestion, and began writing. That word?

PLACEBO!

I've always loved this word. I actually give it as a suggestion to others during improv shows all the time. I love the way it sounds, I love the actual definition/amazing mind manipulating science behind the word, and of course, it reminds me of one of my favorite Simpsons moments of all time. So when I gave myself the word "Placebo" as a starting-off point, I found myself plotting the idea for a game almost immediately. A half hour later, I had the outline for a card based game involving a deadly virus, a team of shitty scientists, and of course, lots of delightfully deceptive placebos. Here's a small sampling of what the game looks like:

And you thought I was just wasting my life on stupid things like this blog!
Pretty cool, huh? Now, I can't reveal every detail of the game here today, since in case I actually try to make it I don't want the concept stolen before I get it off the ground. BUT - the reason I'm announcing it today is that, after a few trial runs with close friends, and about three major overhauls, I think the game is in good enough shape that I'd like to start testing it on a larger scale.

So - if you live in the New York City area and love games, give me a shout (comment in this blog, or message me on Twitter) and I'll make a master list and start getting games together. I'm looking for feedback of any kind, and of course, watching every playtesting session carefully to look for exploits and other forms of game-breaking behavior.

For the rest of you who can't play it right now, don't fret. For all you know, this time next year, Placebo: The Game! could be on sale on Amazon or your local nerd shop for all to purchase and play (what a dream!)

Help me make this as awesome as possible and don't worry - unlike this game's namesake, the joyous sensation you're going to feel after playing it will be the result of 100% real gaming goodness!

-Matt

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