A game where players sit in a circle facing inwards. Another smaller group of players are selected as “ghosts” who will mark players in the circle for death. The only way for players to not die is if another player in the circle is looking at them. The ghosts win if they kill all the players in the circle, and the players in the circle win if they survive x amount of turns.
Create a game that could evoke suspense and horror that also requires some strategy.
Mechanics and Play Design Elements
Look at other player
Pick Target (for Ghosts)
Villagers stand in circle and put heads down at the start
Ghost picks a villager to kill
Villagers will point to another villager before the round is over
If a villager who is marked for death is pointed at, they survive
When there are only two villagers left, the dead villagers must point before the end of the round who they want to save. Majority saves.
I know I wanted to create a game that was a little creepy, and evoked a sense of horror and unease. From some research that I did into horror games and the little experience I have with them, I found that horror came mostly from the absence of sight, and was elevated with audio. So I tried to find a game where the players had to close their eyes. I thought of & Up and played with the idea of the seven who were chosen being “ghosts”. I had the idea of remixing 7 Up until I found out about a game called Medusa. Medusa was added to (I think) balance the game a little more
Prototyping and Internal Playtest
I wasn’t able to playtest this before bringing it to class since I wasn’t able to gather enough people. As for prototyping, I thought of games like Mafia, Town of Salem, 7- Up and Werewolf and tried to make my game play similar to those.
Class Playtest and Observed Dynamics
During the playtest, both games that were played, were won by the ghost. I also observed that during the first few rounds after explanations, the players would look at the player that was directly across from them. However after they understood the game more, they began looking at less predictable players. One other interesting thing that happened during the second game was that the dead players started walking around with the Ghost when it was their turn. This was a nice surprise for me because I could see how it made the players that were already dead feel included still, while making it harder for the remaining players to guess where the Ghost is and predict who was killed.
Aesthetic and Feedback
I was aiming for the sense of horror and unease. Because I wasn’t able to do any internal playtests, I also saw an aspect of the game I overlooked. When there are only two villagers remaining with one ghost, the villagers will never die since they can pick each other. Thankfully, the players also gave me some input and we were able to create a mechanic that made it a little more fair. After the playtests, I heard the following: