Alluring Eyes, Low Social Boundaries
I got so many games at GenCon that I’m resorting to an inbox/outbox system to make sure I read them all and don’t lose track of any in the shuffle.
I’ve barely made a dent in the pile, but the one I’m most interested in so far is Sign in Stranger by Emily Care Boss. I haven’t even gotten to read it yet because some people yanked it out of my hands as soon as I bought it, but the demo was really fun. To create the alien world you take turns answering set questions like “what makes the aliens distrubing to humans” but you don’t show your answers to the other players and see how they interact until the end. The results are cool and surprising. Our aliens had the attractive trait “alluring eyes” but the disturbing trait “low social boundaries”, leading to a lot of jokes about leaning in way to close and muttering “heywatchadoing?” We’re already scheduling a regular group to play it.
The ashcan of Mars Colony, a two-player game by Tim Koppang also looks quite interesting. When I first starting reading it I thought “hmm, okay, fine, work to save the colony, sure I get it” and then I hit page 23, Deception, and had my “A ha!” moment (it’s only 32 pages, so this is pretty far in). Maybe you enact effective policies, or maybe you just lie about all the good things your policies are doing and hope no one figures it out. Now I’m jazzed to try it. Advice to game designers everywhere: don’t bury the lead!
Lots more demos at the Forge booth, and I also got to talk to Chris Engle, maker of Engle Matrix Games. I’ve walked by his booth in years past back when I had no idea about the concept of Matrix games. Now I’ve got one in my hands to try out.
There was also substantial looting of the dealer booths for old school games. Another score, although technically just before GenCon, was the Prince Valiant Storytelling Game. Yeah, that’s right, from 1989. Don’t get me started about all the games I ignored because they were based on licensed media (like Star Wars d6) but which turned out to be ground-breaking…