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Subject: Dice game redux rss

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Hal Jay
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We’re baaack…

Hi everybody!

If you recall, a few months ago we sponsored a contest wherein we offered a $500 prize for a simple dice game that turned out to be not so simple.

We did get a good game (and a winner) out of it and all those who entered will still be getting a free copy, but now the product has changed somewhat and we need a new game.

Capitalizing off our last experience, we would like to propose different terms, to wit: we are no longer asking participants to design a complete game on spec and this is no longer a contest.

Instead, we would like people to submit IDEAS for a game which we will evaluate. The submission can be as simple or elaborate as you like. If we like your idea, then we will HIRE you to develop the game for a one-time fee of $500, but…and this is a BIG but…if we end up using your game we’ll also pay you a royalty of 1% of domestic wholesale on first-year sales (and list your name as designer on the packaging). To answer the question that just appeared in your mind: Yes, we may hire more than one designer if we like more than one idea. WE WILL NOT USE IDEAS THAT WE DO NOT PURCHASE. Because the product will NOT be marketed as a “game” (it is a collectible, which can, if desired, be used to play a game) we are not in a position to offer standard game design rates.

The rules of the game are as follows:

1. The game uses two dice whose sides contain facial expressions that display the following emotions: Happy, Sad, Calm, Angry, Goofy, and Afraid.
2. The sides also contain numeric pips from 1-6. Every emotion on every die is the same and the same numeric value is always assigned to the same emotion, but you are free to pair them up any way you like (1-Happy, 2-Sad, etc.)
3. The game should include betting with generic chits (pieces of candy, pebbles, pennies, whatever) and can include bluffing, roleplaying, concealment, subterfuge, or other creative game-playing mechanism.
4. The game should be multi-player for 2+ for age 8+ but our target is nerdy teens & young adults.
4. You may include readily available accessories (like a coin for flips or a pen and paper to keep score) but you may NOT include a proprietary game board or any other item that would have to be manufactured and packaged along with the dice.
5. Finally, these dice will marketed in pairs of OPPOSING characters (like good and evil). So think: a cat and a dog or an angel and a devil.

We realize you are all serious game designers who, under normal circumstances, do not work with restrictions, but since this is a commercial product and not a “game” we need to work around marketing and manufacturing limitations.

If this project is of interest to you, please get back to us with any comments, questions or feedback you may have.

And thanks again,

THE COUNCIL OF ELDERS
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Steven Tu
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Wow these are pretty tight restrictions, it's like you guys already have the dice and are looking for a game to go with it... Though not sure how that would be the case if the designer can pair emotes against the numbers... Unless the numbers aren't actually printed on the dice.

Interesting, will give it some thought
 
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Hal Jay
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Tuism wrote:
...it's like you guys already have the dice and are looking for a game to go with it...though not sure how that would be the case if the designer can pair emotes against the numbers...unless the numbers aren't actually printed on the dice.


Numbers will be printed on the dice but the molds have not been cast yet so minor changes (like pairing emotes with numbers) can still be made.

Thanks for your interest!
 
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Clark Kingston
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Were these the prototype dice from before or are they unrelated?

 
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Sturv Tafvherd
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Headz wrote:
We’re baaack…

Hi everybody!

If you recall, a few months ago we sponsored a contest wherein we offered a $500 prize for a simple dice game that turned out to be not so simple.

We did get a good game (and a winner) out of it and all those who entered will still be getting a free copy, but now the product has changed somewhat and we need a new game.

Capitalizing off our last experience, we would like to propose different terms, to wit: we are no longer asking participants to design a complete game on spec and this is no longer a contest.

Instead, we would like people to submit IDEAS for a game which we will evaluate. The submission can be as simple or elaborate as you like. If we like your idea, then we will HIRE you to develop the game for a one-time fee of $500, but…and this is a BIG but…if we end up using your game we’ll also pay you a royalty of 1% of domestic wholesale on first-year sales (and list your name as designer on the packaging). To answer the question that just appeared in your mind: Yes, we may hire more than one designer if we like more than one idea. WE WILL NOT USE IDEAS THAT WE DO NOT PURCHASE. Because the product will NOT be marketed as a “game” (it is a collectible, which can, if desired, be used to play a game) we are not in a position to offer standard game design rates.

The rules of the game are as follows:

1. The game uses two dice whose sides contain facial expressions that display the following emotions: Happy, Sad, Calm, Angry, Goofy, and Afraid.
2. The sides also contain numeric pips from 1-6. Every emotion on every die is the same and the same numeric value is always assigned to the same emotion, but you are free to pair them up any way you like (1-Happy, 2-Sad, etc.)
3. The game should include betting with generic chits (pieces of candy, pebbles, pennies, whatever) and can include bluffing, roleplaying, concealment, subterfuge, or other creative game-playing mechanism.
4. The game should be multi-player for 2+ for age 8+ but our target is nerdy teens & young adults.
4. You may include readily available accessories (like a coin for flips or a pen and paper to keep score) but you may NOT include a proprietary game board or any other item that would have to be manufactured and packaged along with the dice.
5. Finally, these dice will marketed in pairs of OPPOSING characters (like good and evil). So think: a cat and a dog or an angel and a devil.

We realize you are all serious game designers who, under normal circumstances, do not work with restrictions, but since this is a commercial product and not a “game” we need to work around marketing and manufacturing limitations.

If this project is of interest to you, please get back to us with any comments, questions or feedback you may have.

And thanks again,

THE COUNCIL OF ELDERS



here's a link to the old thread with the old contest
Game design competition!
There were some pretty good discussions there, some of which might still apply to this new effort.

the rules were
Headz wrote:

The game we seek must be played in accordance with the following rules:

1. The rules should be relatively simple, using two identical dice per player whose sides contain icons representing the following emotions: sad, happy, angry, neutral, crazy, and mellow. There are no numbers or pips on the dice, so the game should be scored some way other than numerically.

2. There should be no limit to the number of simultaneous players, and the only other materials required to play the game should be generic chips (it should be a betting game).

3. The game should begin with each player having the same pot (number of chips) with each chip having a unit value of one (these are not casino chips with multiple denominations).

4. The game should involve betting and strategy, with successive elimination rounds such that when you're out of chips you're out of the game.



so the changes seem to be:
-- slightly different set of emotions
-- numbered/pipped faces
-- the 2 dice per package are "opposing" characters
-- a clarification that readily available accessories may be used (anything that doesn't need to be specially manufactured for the game)



I just have one question at the moment: is there a way of having the two opposing characters be easily associated into two "factions". For example, if the pairs were:
-- Cat, Dog
-- Good, Evil
-- Devil, Angel
-- Plant, Zombie
-- Martian, Human

The factions could be...
... dice with white background: Dog, Good, Angel, Plant, Human
... dice with black background: Cat, Evil, Devil, Zombie, Martian


Thanks, Headz! This is pretty interesting design space.
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Drew NA
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Should the dice have pips or numbers? In the original post it said pips but your response said numbers. Thank you.
-Drew

EDIT: Oops. I just found my mistake. It's all cleared up.
 
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Brian Fong
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hmmm... competitive dice rolling

Q: can we use copyrighted material? I don't want to have to deal with legal.

Note #1: personally, I think that goofy-afraid are not under the same dichotomy as happy-sad and calm-angry, but anyways.

A story telling game - an idea off the top of my head

6 - Happy
5 - Goofy
4 - Calm
3 - Angry
2 - Afraid
1 - Sad

Team pairing:
guys and girls

The color of the die determines the gender of the characters in the story. The number determines how the story must end for that character. Red dice are female; blue dice are male.

Rules:
1. All players must roll the same number of dice. They also start with 5 points/chips.

Turn order: The person with the highest GPA/paying job is the starting player.
Step 1: All players roll their die/dice.
Step 2: The starting player starts telling the story. Every time a major story event occurs, you must pass the story to an opponent. If a player cannot continue the story, they give an opponent a chip and the next player continues the story. If a character leaves the story feeling the emotion rolled on the die, you take a chip from an opponent.
Step 3: when the last character completes his story, the round ends. The player who states the last sentence is the new starting player.

The winner is the player/team who takes all of the opponents chips.

Thoughts? I know it doesn't have the betting mechanic you were looking for, but it's hard to be a collectible game and have a betting mechanic.
 
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Sturv Tafvherd
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EBWonder wrote:


Q: can we use copyrighted material?


I'd guess not! Unless you're considering adapting mechanics from another dice game. In the last contest, I re-tooled a mechanic from Liar's Dice, which is pretty much public domain.
 
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Brian Fong
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Stormtower wrote:
EBWonder wrote:


Q: can we use copyrighted material?


I'd guess not! Unless you're considering adapting mechanics from another dice game. In the last contest, I re-tooled a mechanic from Liar's Dice, which is pretty much public domain.


Well, you know what the Romans said, "Ignorantia juris non excusat."
 
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Koen Hendrix
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So are you looking for a game with one pair of dice PER PLAYER? Or one pair of dice IN TOTAL? (Or are both types of game acceptable?)
 
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Hal Jay
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Stormtower wrote:

I just have one question at the moment: is there a way of having the two opposing characters be easily associated into two "factions". For example, if the pairs were:
-- Cat, Dog
-- Good, Evil
-- Devil, Angel
-- Plant, Zombie
-- Martian, Human

The factions could be...
... dice with white background: Dog, Good, Angel, Plant, Human
... dice with black background: Cat, Evil, Devil, Zombie, Martian


Yes, further dividing sets of dice into factions is an acceptable idea (and pretty cool).

Thanks.
 
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Hal Jay
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GrumpyWookiee wrote:
Were these the prototype dice from before or are they unrelated?



These are them.
 
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Hal Jay
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EBWonder wrote:
hmmm... competitive dice rolling

Q: can we use copyrighted material? I don't want to have to deal with legal.

Note #1: personally, I think that goofy-afraid are not under the same dichotomy as happy-sad and calm-angry, but anyways.

A story telling game - an idea off the top of my head

6 - Happy
5 - Goofy
4 - Calm
3 - Angry
2 - Afraid
1 - Sad

Team pairing:
guys and girls

The color of the die determines the gender of the characters in the story. The number determines how the story must end for that character. Red dice are female; blue dice are male.

Rules:
1. All players must roll the same number of dice. They also start with 5 points/chips.

Turn order: The person with the highest GPA/paying job is the starting player.
Step 1: All players roll their die/dice.
Step 2: The starting player starts telling the story. Every time a major story event occurs, you must pass the story to an opponent. If a player cannot continue the story, they give an opponent a chip and the next player continues the story. If a character leaves the story feeling the emotion rolled on the die, you take a chip from an opponent.
Step 3: when the last character completes his story, the round ends. The player who states the last sentence is the new starting player.

The winner is the player/team who takes all of the opponents chips.

Thoughts? I know it doesn't have the betting mechanic you were looking for, but it's hard to be a collectible game and have a betting mechanic.


Haha, this is hysterical! In terms of creativity and humor, this is definitely the right direction. As you noted, the game mechanics don't really lend themselves to wagering and scoring, and there doesn't seem to be any definitive way to win. But high-fives for player involvement, social interaction, and fun.
 
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Hal Jay
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khendrix wrote:
So are you looking for a game with one pair of dice PER PLAYER? Or one pair of dice IN TOTAL? (Or are both types of game acceptable?)


Both are acceptable.
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Brian Fong
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Headz wrote:
EBWonder wrote:
hmmm... competitive dice rolling

Q: can we use copyrighted material? I don't want to have to deal with legal.

Note #1: personally, I think that goofy-afraid are not under the same dichotomy as happy-sad and calm-angry, but anyways.

A story telling game - an idea off the top of my head

6 - Happy
5 - Goofy
4 - Calm
3 - Angry
2 - Afraid
1 - Sad

Team pairing:
guys and girls

The color of the die determines the gender of the characters in the story. The number determines how the story must end for that character. Red dice are female; blue dice are male.

Rules:
1. All players must roll the same number of dice. They also start with 5 points/chips.

Turn order: The person with the highest GPA/paying job is the starting player.
Step 1: All players roll their die/dice.
Step 2: The starting player starts telling the story. Every time a major story event occurs, you must pass the story to an opponent. If a player cannot continue the story, they give an opponent a chip and the next player continues the story. If a character leaves the story feeling the emotion rolled on the die, you take a chip from an opponent.
Step 3: when the last character completes his story, the round ends. The player who states the last sentence is the new starting player.

The winner is the player/team who takes all of the opponents chips.

Thoughts? I know it doesn't have the betting mechanic you were looking for, but it's hard to be a collectible game and have a betting mechanic.


Haha, this is hysterical! In terms of creativity and humor, this is definitely the right direction. As you noted, the game mechanics don't really lend themselves to wagering and scoring, and there doesn't seem to be any definitive way to win. But high-fives for player involvement, social interaction, and fun.


Well...
Quote:
The winner is the player/team who takes all of the opponents chips.


You don't want to take a teammates chip, but I guess if you wanted to do a last man standing, you could. At that point, I'd have each player use one of each type of die and the winner would take away all of their opponent's dice. You'd just use dice as the point markers and eat the chips/cookies/candy/junk food (or just not use anything).
 
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Drew NA
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Woah! We can use as many dice as we want? I was under the impression we had to use only 2 dice. That opens it up.
 
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Sturv Tafvherd
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drew_d2 wrote:
Woah! We can use as many dice as we want? I was under the impression we had to use only 2 dice. That opens it up.



Good question. A literal reading would say that this:
Quote:
1. The game uses two dice ...

means exactly 2 dice total in the game.

The prior contest rules and this response:
Headz wrote:
khendrix wrote:
So are you looking for a game with one pair of dice PER PLAYER? Or one pair of dice IN TOTAL? (Or are both types of game acceptable?)


Both are acceptable.

Would mean that you can have either
-- 2 dice per player (each uses their own set); a 6 player game would have 12 dice
or
-- 2 dice shared by all players; a 6 player game would have 2 dice
...
both are acceptable.


but I haven't heard that you can use 11 dice for a 5 player game (or even a 6 player game).

I think they want the game to be playable if each player buys just one package -- and that's 2 dice per package.


The contest called for "identical pairs" of dice. So the modification of having two different dice in a package expands the design space pretty nicely.

It's still small... but there's a bit more room now.
 
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Hal Jay
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drew_d2 wrote:
Woah! We can use as many dice as we want? I was under the impression we had to use only 2 dice. That opens it up.


Hi Drew,

Sorry, don't know where this miscommunication came from. Each player can only have two dice.
 
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Hal Jay
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Stormtower wrote:
I think they want the game to be playable if each player buys just one package -- and that's 2 dice per package.


The game should be playable if any player has at least one die. Yes, it is our expectation that the game will most likely require each player to have his or her own pair of dice, but that's not an absolute requirement. If someone can come up with a cool game for a group of people wherein they share a single die, that would completely acceptable, as long as that die has to be a Headz.

To re-iterate: We're seeing ideas where the game relies on all chance (some chance is necessary, it's a dice game after all) but moreover, where the fact that the dice are characters with emotions is besides the point. In other words, we're getting some proposals for games that could be played with just any dice, or with dice that could be differentiated arbitrarily, say, by having each side a different color. We'd like to repeat that the "emo factor" is critical. In other words, the game we're looking for couldn't be played with anything but Headz.

Thanks!
 
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Hal Jay
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EBWonder wrote:
Headz wrote:
EBWonder wrote:
hmmm... competitive dice rolling

Q: can we use copyrighted material? I don't want to have to deal with legal.

Note #1: personally, I think that goofy-afraid are not under the same dichotomy as happy-sad and calm-angry, but anyways.

A story telling game - an idea off the top of my head

6 - Happy
5 - Goofy
4 - Calm
3 - Angry
2 - Afraid
1 - Sad

Team pairing:
guys and girls

The color of the die determines the gender of the characters in the story. The number determines how the story must end for that character. Red dice are female; blue dice are male.

Rules:
1. All players must roll the same number of dice. They also start with 5 points/chips.

Turn order: The person with the highest GPA/paying job is the starting player.
Step 1: All players roll their die/dice.
Step 2: The starting player starts telling the story. Every time a major story event occurs, you must pass the story to an opponent. If a player cannot continue the story, they give an opponent a chip and the next player continues the story. If a character leaves the story feeling the emotion rolled on the die, you take a chip from an opponent.
Step 3: when the last character completes his story, the round ends. The player who states the last sentence is the new starting player.

The winner is the player/team who takes all of the opponents chips.

Thoughts? I know it doesn't have the betting mechanic you were looking for, but it's hard to be a collectible game and have a betting mechanic.


Haha, this is hysterical! In terms of creativity and humor, this is definitely the right direction. As you noted, the game mechanics don't really lend themselves to wagering and scoring, and there doesn't seem to be any definitive way to win. But high-fives for player involvement, social interaction, and fun.


Well...
Quote:
The winner is the player/team who takes all of the opponents chips.


You don't want to take a teammates chip, but I guess if you wanted to do a last man standing, you could. At that point, I'd have each player use one of each type of die and the winner would take away all of their opponent's dice. You'd just use dice as the point markers and eat the chips/cookies/candy/junk food (or just not use anything).


I didn't mean to imply that the game didn't have an end, only that the mechanism by which scoring happens seems a little arbitrary. For instance:

Quote:
If a player cannot continue the story, they give an opponent a chip and the next player continues the story.


It's hard to imagine a game in which a player can "run out of imagination" or is presented with such a difficult plot twist that they just throw up their hands and say, "Pass!" I'm reminded of something Raymond Chandler is alleged to have said, that whenever he runs into a plot dead end he simply has someone run into the room with a gun. Then there's the old Jack Handy trope that says that every story can end, "And then they all got hit by a bus."
 
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Brian Fong
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Headz wrote:

It's hard to imagine a game in which a player can "run out of imagination" or is presented with such a difficult plot twist that they just throw up their hands and say, "Pass!" I'm reminded of something Raymond Chandler is alleged to have said, that whenever he runs into a plot dead end he simply has someone run into the room with a gun. Then there's the old Jack Handy trope that says that every story can end, "And then they all got hit by a bus."


If they all died by bus, then it would be acceptable way to end the round, although it would make it a rather lame ending.

I thought of the lack of ideas, but it didn't want to make something so completely rigid that there was no was for somebody to let play move on if they suffered from an AP moment because the story changed so drastically from the person before's turn. Perhaps the addition of a timing mechanic.

Eventually, people will run out of ideas (look at Hollywood for example). It's not pretty, but I didn't want something so open-ended that one round goes on for 5 hours (unless they really wanted it to).
 
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Wsierra wrote:
How about something like charades? You could have 2-4 players and pair them off into teams (or 1 on 1). You roll the dice and each person would have to convey that emotion from a character, scene or moment from a movie, tv show, book ect. The numbers on each face could coincide with the difficulty in conveying that emotion. Just a quick idea that popped into my head. Seems perfect for a product that's a collectible 1st and a game 2nd.


Headz wrote:
4. The game should be multi-player for 2+ for age 8+ but our target is nerdy teens & young adults.


Most 8-year old kids aren't as versed in representations of emotions as adults. It's like games where you have to act out something and the kid says, "I don't know what that means" or "I don't know who that is."

What matrix would you use for said difficulty? what emotion would be with each number?

is happy harder than sad? or is sad harder than angry?
 
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Koen Hendrix
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Here's my idea:

Impersonationz

A geeky impersonation party game for 3 to (approx) 8 players. Requires at least 1 pair of Headz dice but larger groups would benefit from having more pairs or dice.


=== PREPARATION ===

Give everyone an equal amount of chips/tokens. Use the dice (roll high) to determine a starting player.


=== PLAYING A TURN ===

d10-1 STARTING PLAYER ANNOUNCES CHARACTER.

The starting player pays at least 1 token into the pot, and announces a well-known person or character. Both alive and dead, real and fictional characters are allowed. E.g. "Gandalf", "Sheldon Cooper", "George W Bush", "a Dalek" or even "my mum".


d10-2 OTHERS CHOOSE WHETHER TO PLAY.

One by one (clockwise from starting player) each other player decides whether they want to try and impersonate the announced character or not. If they don't want to, they pay 1 token into the pot. If they do want to play, they pay the same amount of tokens as the starting player paid (if you're short, just pay all you have).


d10-3 DETERMINE PLAYERS AND JUDGE.

If 2 or more players want to give the impersonation a go, they will play against each other with the starting player judging.If more people want to play than there are Headz dice, the starting player chooses who gets to play.

If only 1 other person wants to play, that person will play against the starting player.

If no one wants to play, the turn just ends with the points staying in the pot.


d10-4 ROLL AND IMPERSONATE!

Taking turns (clockwise from starting player), each impersonator rolls their die. They then do their best/funniest impersonation of the character with the rolled emotion. So if they rolled "angry", they would have to impersonate an angry Sheldon Cooper, for example. Remember, all players impersonate the same character but will likely have to portray different emotions.


d10-5 JUDGEMENT.

The judge(s) decide(s) who did the best or funniest or otherwise most praiseworthy impersonation. In case of multiple judges, the judges simultaneously reveal their vote by pointing. In case of a tie, the tied winners roll again and imitate again. If this leads to another tie, no one wins; leave everything in the pot for the next round.


d10-6 WINNER TAKES ALL.

The winner takes all the tokens in the pot. The starting player duty moves to the next player (clockwise).


=== END OF THE GAME ===

When one player is out of tokens at the end of the round, the game ends. That player is the loser, and the player with the most tokens is the winner. Ties are indeed ties. There's really little need for a hard end and victory condition in this game -- the fun comes from watching your friends imitate a sad Robocop



P.S. I imagine young children are not very good (yet) at making funny impersonations using pop culture references. They might play the same game but using simpler characters, like "a lion", "a teacher" or even "a trumpet". One could even leave out the betting element, and just have all children impersonate a sad trumpet, with a token going to the winner.
 
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Brian Fong
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khendrix wrote:


d10-2 OTHERS CHOOSE WHETHER TO PLAY.

One by one (clockwise from starting player) each other player decides whether they want to try and impersonate the announced character or not. If they don't want to, they pay 1 token into the pot. If they do want to play, they pay the same amount of tokens as the starting player paid (if you're short, just pay all you have).

d10-4 ROLL AND IMPERSONATE!

Taking turns (clockwise from starting player), each impersonator rolls their die. They then do their best/funniest impersonation of the character with the rolled emotion. So if they rolled "angry", they would have to impersonate an angry Sheldon Cooper, for example. Remember, all players impersonate the same character but will likely have to portray different emotions.


d10-5 JUDGEMENT.

The judge(s) decide(s) who did the best or funniest or otherwise most praiseworthy impersonation. In case of multiple judges, the judges simultaneously reveal their vote by pointing. In case of a tie, the tied winners roll again and imitate again. If this leads to another tie, no one wins; leave everything in the pot for the next round.


Personally, I like your idea, but I have some questions:
1) can a subsequent player raise the stakes(i.e. raise the minimum bet after the starting player bets)?
2) if everybody who acts is rolling 1 die, why would you need more than one die?
3) you state the judge(s) is/are the "active player(s)." if only one person says they want in, do they just get the pot or do they have to impersonate?
4) also, what do the non-participating players do while the others judge each other?
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Koen Hendrix
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EBWonder wrote:

Personally, I like your idea, but I have some questions:
1) can a subsequent player raise the stakes(i.e. raise the minimum bet after the starting player bets)?
2) if everybody who acts is rolling 1 die, why would you need more than one die?
3) you state the judge(s) is/are the "active player(s)." if only one person says they want in, do they just get the pot or do they have to impersonate?
4) also, what do the non-participating players do while the others judge each other?

Thanks for the quick feedback!

1) I don't know, I left it out because I didn't want the betting to take too long, it's not a very serious game But maybe you could use it to 'force' a play against the starting player or something? I'd have to try it out.
2) I guess that's true! In my head every participating player would take a die in hand during the in/out betting process, so you could see who's in and who's out. But I suppose that's not strictly necessary.
3) Sorry, that should be STARTING player. Will go edit that now.
4) They snigger, hopefully!
 
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