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Subject: WIP: TV Tropes: The Party Game rss

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TV Tropes: The Party Game

Introduction: Named after the TV Tropes website (http://tvtropes.org/), and stealing mechanics from What Were You Thinking and Apples to Apples, TV Tropes: The Party Game asks you and your friends, "Can you find the tropes" from your favorite (or maybe not-so-favorite) television show.

Yes, I'm submitting this game for the PnP contest thingie.

Components:
* A television show with commercial breaks.
* Index cards for each player
* Pens for each player.
* Scoring chips
* Randomizer (dice, iPhone apps, huge boulders, whatever)

Trope definition:
Per the TV Tropes website, "Merriam-Webster gives a definition of "trope" as a "figure of speech." In storytelling, a trope is just that -- a conceptual figure of speech, a storytelling shorthand for a concept that the audience will recognize and understand instantly. Above all, a trope is a convention. It can be a plot trick, a setup, a narrative structure, a character type, a linguistic idiom... you know it when you see it. Tropes are not inherently disruptive to a story; however, when the trope itself becomes intrusive, distracting the viewer rather than serving as shorthand, it has become a cliché. Bad screenwriter. No biscuit for you!"

Play during the Show:
1. Gather your friends to watch a half-hour comedy show, or one-hour drama. Give each player some index cards and a pen.
2. Explain what a trope is. You may wish to name the tropes associated with the show you will be watching. See the TV Tropes website and search for the name of the show.
3. During the show, each player writes down the name (and optionally description) of the tropes he or she sees during the show, one trope per card. The name should be clear, concise, and clever. If you think it might be a trope, it probably is!
4. At the commercial break, turn down the volume and score the tropes!

Score during the Commercials:
1. The player with lowest score is the Judge. In case of a tie, select randomly.
2. As soon as the commercial starts, the Judge selects and reveals one of his tropes.
3. Everyone who identified the trope plays their card which matches, or is similar to, the trope. If no player matches, the Judge's trope card is removed from the game and play passes to the next Judge (who may be the same player).
4. Each player who was able to play a card, including the Judge, scores a point.
5. The player with the lowest score is now the Judge. Again, in case of a tie, select randomly.
6. Of the played cards, the Judge selects the card with the best name for the trope. That player (even if it the Judge) scores a point. On the offchance two or more players have written the same or similar names, they each score a point. (If the Judge selects his own card, the other players may mock him. Besides, he had the fewest points, anyway.)
7. Remove the played cards from the game.
8. Repeat these steps until the commercial break is over. Play as quickly as you can! When show starts again, go back to identifying those tropes!
9. Strategy: As the Judge, play your more obscure tropes towards the beginning of the commercial break.

Final Scoring:
1. Continue the scoring after the show ends.
2. End the scoring once the Judge selects and reveals a trope, but no other person plays a card matching his definition.

The Subverted Variant (for those who know the reference)
1. Play the game during the commercials.
2. Score the game during the show!

Bonus Game: Spot the Trope!
1. If you're playing this game while watching a particular television series, and have a stack of trope cards, keep them for the next time you watch an episode from this series! You can also visit the TV Tropes website and write down each trope for whatever television series you will be watching for your game.
2. Instead of the main game, shuffle the trope cards and lay them out on the table.
3. If you see the trope on the television, grab the corresponding trope card! Replenish the trope cards during the commercial break.
4. When the credits roll, the player with the most trope cards wins!

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Sturv Tafvherd
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I like the way that you can only score points if someone else spotted the same trope. Was that borrowed from another game? It's a great mechanic!

The main critique I have for this game is that you don't necessarily need the cards. You can play the game with a pad of paper, and cross-out or mark a score as necessary ... much like you would in a game of Boggle.


Now ... here's an oddity: I don't see a rule about not repeating the tropes that were already played. In other words, a trope may have been "taken out of play" in an earlier commercial break, but there's no rule against identifying that trope again -- especially if the trope is actually reused in the later segments of the show.

That might actually be a valid strategy -- allow that smart I-know-all-the-show's-tropes to spout out all the show's tropes during that first commercial break, and everyone just decides not to have anything written down. On the following segment of the show, everyone is now armed with those tropes identified, and scoring them later on will be much easier.


One more question: do you have a good rule for using this game during movies viewed at home? I'd welcome an excuse to pause the movie and take a much needed break; but I'd like a suggestion as to how to best structure those pauses.
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Isaiah Tanenbaum
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Movies are also structured in acts (either 3 or 5, modeled after theatrical convention). You can usually spot the divisions between these in a fade to black or white rather than a straight cross-cut. Not every movie uses that visual technique, but a large number of them do -- more than you probably realize if you're not consciously looking for that subtle black or white frame.

Alternately, you could pause after every chase sequence, after every scene with a long tearful monologue, after every location change, when the players generally agree that this is a good "stopping point," or simply set an egg timer. I think it would depend on the film, and its genre.

Incidentally, most TV shows (especially hour-long dramas) are structured in 5 acts as well, sometimes with an additional "cold open" or "teaser" that happens before the opening credits. The divisions, of course, are easier to spot.

And I think you called the mechanic source correctly: Boggle. Just in reverse.
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Stormtower wrote:
I like the way that you can only score points if someone else spotted the same trope. Was that borrowed from another game? It's a great mechanic!

The main critique I have for this game is that you don't necessarily need the cards. You can play the game with a pad of paper, and cross-out or mark a score as necessary ... much like you would in a game of Boggle.


Thanks for the comments!

I actually wasn't thinking of Boggle, but a pad would be a good idea. I didn't think of that. I stole the "spot the same" mechanic from Richard Garfield's "What Were You Thinking". Excellent party game, but long OOP.


Stormtower wrote:
Now ... here's an oddity: I don't see a rule about not repeating the tropes that were already played. In other words, a trope may have been "taken out of play" in an earlier commercial break, but there's no rule against identifying that trope again -- especially if the trope is actually reused in the later segments of the show.

That might actually be a valid strategy -- allow that smart I-know-all-the-show's-tropes to spout out all the show's tropes during that first commercial break, and everyone just decides not to have anything written down. On the following segment of the show, everyone is now armed with those tropes identified, and scoring them later on will be much easier.


You're smarter than I am. I did keep the rule there so that a trope could be identified again. This allows players who are behind to get *some* points in the game, although the players already winning the game should still be scoring. I certainly know in party games people want to score *some* points, even if they don't win.

As for the meta-game of the "know-it-all", I didn't think of that. It would be interesting to see if it happens. I certainly know that people *will* find a way in a simple game to gang up on Mr. Know It All!


Stormtower wrote:
One more question: do you have a good rule for using this game during movies viewed at home? I'd welcome an excuse to pause the movie and take a much needed break; but I'd like a suggestion as to how to best structure those pauses.


Good question -- I think ilta's suggestions are very good. Much more satisfying than pausing the movie every 15 minutes. You could even have bonus points for spotting the act break. Myself, I rarely watch television with commercials, preferring to watch my stack of DVD's!

Thanks again!
 
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Sturv Tafvherd
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ilta wrote:
Movies are also structured in acts (either 3 or 5, modeled after theatrical convention). You can usually spot the divisions between these in a fade to black or white rather than a straight cross-cut.


Hmmm... if only we could play this in a movie theatre, then we could have the projector operator stop everytime he has to change reels. Wait ... do they still do that these days?


ilta wrote:
Incidentally, most TV shows (especially hour-long dramas) are structured in 5 acts as well, sometimes with an additional "cold open" or "teaser" that happens before the opening credits. The divisions, of course, are easier to spot.


I'm going to have to check that out. The only time I was ever aware of how often and how long a TV show was interrupted by commercials was when we watched "24" (Kiefer Sutherland). That clock they display as they break in and out of the commercial is kinda obvious, eh?
 
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Joe Mucchiello
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Stormtower wrote:
ilta wrote:
Movies are also structured in acts (either 3 or 5, modeled after theatrical convention). You can usually spot the divisions between these in a fade to black or white rather than a straight cross-cut.


Hmmm... if only we could play this in a movie theatre, then we could have the projector operator stop everytime he has to change reels. Wait ... do they still do that these days?

That would be more than 3-5 acts as movie reels are 10 minute increments and happen 8-12 times during a movie.

To determine if they do it still, just watch for the black flashing dot in the upper right corner of the screen every 10 minutes.
 
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Sturv Tafvherd
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Sam and Max wrote:
Stormtower wrote:
...
The main critique I have for this game is that you don't necessarily need the cards. You can play the game with a pad of paper, and cross-out or mark a score as necessary ... much like you would in a game of Boggle.

...
I actually wasn't thinking of Boggle, but a pad would be a good idea. I didn't think of that.


In case anyone out there is actually interested, there's an artscow sale on memo pads:

Artscow 2 pack memo pads $2.99 ($3.99 for large pads) sale
 
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Curt Woodard
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This doesn't meet the contest requirements in my opinion. No PnP cards for us to print out. Using index cards is not following the rules, let alone forcing the players to design the cards for you.
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todd sanders
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agreed. and i am not trying to be mean here nor do i think curt is. whether this is a good game or not, it does not meet the rules of the contest. quite a number of us have spent a great deal of time creating games that meet the requirements of the contest and hours designing artwork.
 
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