segunda-feira, 18 de abril de 2022

Using “telepathy” as a game design component

In this post, I’ll talk about two of my favorite tabletop games: THE MIND and WAVELENGTH. The first one was designed by Wolfgang Warsch, the second was created by the same author in partnership with Alex Hague and Justin Vickers. Both titles are very casual and excellent party games - the big feature of both is the telepathic component.

Sounds strange at first moment, but that’s the point of these games. In THE MIND, players have cards with numbers in hand. The gaming objective is to "read” the mind of the other players, organizing cards from the lowest number to the highest. No mimic, no talking allowed, just feeling the energy in the air. It’s a cooperative game that uses only cards with numbers. The video below presents a better notion and a good explaining of the rules:

WAVELENGTH is my latest acquisition to my ludic archive. This one is played in two teams and it’ a competitive game. A player from one team must withdraw a card with two opposites (cold/hot, good actor/bad actor, heavy/light etc.). He looks at the card, rolls a circular device with number marks, checks where the numbers are, closes the device’s screen and shows the card to his team. People must position a pointer more to the left or more to the right trying to enter a telepathic wavelength with the other player. In the video below we can check the simple rules for this game:

In my point of view, these examples are very interesting to understand some game designing processes. Telepathy isn’t a gaming mechanic. In fact it is more like a kind of mutant power. But, with the right set of rules, good components, a bit of creativity and a logical sequence, this can be converted into a true feature for a game.

This is the kind of game that I search today for my collection and research: elegant components with fast rules and a high level of replayability.