Metabox 004 - The Old Guy

"Young people, these days... back in my day, you weren't playing the game right unless you were getting ridiculed for it!"

"Young people, these days... back in my day, you weren't playing the game right unless you were getting ridiculed for it!"

Indeed, I am the 'old-guy' of our crew, so I know what it feels like to be a social misfit for enjoying nerdy things.  It is refreshing to pull together a team of young people to work with that don't have this kind of baggage.

This week we had a real-life, work session in Vancouver.  I was at SIGGRAPH 2018, and two of the project contributors are based in Vancouver, so it was easy to pull over Laura from Edmonton.

Up to this point, we've experimented with many different pieces, largely independently, with weekly conference calls. We have always had the belief that things would magically stitch together, but this round, we  made that concerted effort to make it so. It was going to be our Frankenstein-moment for us to see what sort of monster would emerge when we were all together.

There are so many different types of gameplay we like.  Naturally, we've gravitated towards those that were a little more novel to see if we could find something more unique, but it's hard to know when something is a dead-end, or whether it just needs more time to figure out.  Making those calls are difficult because it is so fun let concepts percolate, but this consumes a great deal of energy and can send you off in strange directions.

I thought  an elevator pitch exercise was a smart way to start the day.  We hadn't circled back the high level view of the game in a while, sucked into the weeds, so jotted a few notes down on the flight in:

Meta Olympia is a fast paced sci-fi board game where players compete to win the most matches and tournaments to dominate the emerging landscape of sports on Mars.  It is a time where humans are awkwardly rediscovering the lost thrill of physical competition after decades of preoccupation with survival and colonization.  Players collect medals by build teams that compete in events and gamble to earn extra resources to gain athletic superiority while simultaneously trying to thwart opponents and undermine their team building strategy.

Intentionally abstract, I just wanted a description that painted a picture while establishing a few of the key characteristics and notes that hope to hit.  I tend to like creating scaffolds that give enough rope for interpretation that allow each person to bring in their strengths, so starting loose and progressively iterating in a common direction is what I like most about collaboration.

I may be the old-guy, but I know a thing or two about building stuff and there's nothing like actually getting together face-to-face in the same time and same space.   

Over the next couple of weeks, Yili and Laura will be refining the details from this fruitful week and we'll  share more specifics on how we see the game being played and some of the key mechanics we are thinking of!  This will get us back on track with eliciting feedback and re-engaging play testing.  There's always the chance that we'll hit a snag and have to go back to the drawing board, but, fingers crossed, this feels like the right direction!

Until next time!