Inspired by Pictionary and the American T.V. show Minute to Win It, which turns out was actually adapted into a board game published by Mattel (2011) … I introduce Flip Side.
Primary Game Loop:
Flip Side is 2-6 player game, the play begins with whoever roles the highest number, then play follows to the left. Each player has a different coloured moving piece and everyone begins in Australia (Oceania) and has to gain $200 before flying to the next continent. Beginning a turn, the player must pick up a card from the deck placed on the continent he/she is on and attempt the challenge described in order to gain money. Challenges vary in asking a multitude of expressions and performances from the player; the price earned after completion is also varied depending on the difficulty.
There are three forms of challenge cards throughout the decks:
- Standard Challenge Cards (SCC): Player must complete the card challenge to receive the money.
- Pressure Challenge Cards (PCC): Will give a player extra benefit other than money if the challenge is completed successfully or can delay or temporarily damage game play if you fail.
- Duel Challenge Cards (DCC): Player must invite an opponent to perform the challenge against them. This can be damaging if the player loses because the opponent will gain the benefits on the players turn.
The game concludes with one winner, which is determined by whoever travels around the world and gets back to Australia (Oceania) first.
Three Levels of Design:
META: The theme of the game is traveling the world with the board being a world map. Different playing cards have different travel themes. The content of SCC will be culturally specific to countries within the continent a player is on – to a degree – for example, in Asia you might have an origami challenge or in Africa you might be challenged to make a pyramid out of cards. PCC and DCC will have different travel stories for example, maybe you are two work colleagues fighting it out for the last seat on the plane to get to an interview on time that will lead to a promotion, or you could be a backpacker who loses their passport.
CORE: The genre of the game is aimed to be comedic, with players sometimes asked to do ridiculous challenges under pressure. Rules throughout the game are as follows:
- Whoever roles the highest number goes first, play will continue to the left
- Every player must pick up a card on the continent they are on (everyone beginning on Australia (Oceania)) and attempt a challenge on their go
- If a card cannot be completed successfully then a player can choose to hold onto it and try again next turn or put it at the bottom of the pile and take a new challenge card when it is their turn again
- A player cannot fly to another continent until they have collected the required amount of money which is gained by successfully completing challenge cards
- If a player needs to complete a challenge under a time limit, then the opponents must handle the timer and judge
- All opponents monitor and judge the player during a challenge, if one or more opponents disagree on the player’s success then the majority rules or if the result is 50/50 the player attempts the challenge again until there is a clear pass or fail conclusion by opponents
INNER: The contents of the game includes the board (world map), moving pieces (coloured planes), challenge cards (colour coordinated to each continent), rule book, challenge book, sand timer, paper, 2 pencils, chop sticks, a die, blind fold (some items may be added or removed with progression of game creation and play testing). Continents act as levels throughout the game with challenges getting harder and flights becoming more expensive.
Exploring Through Game Play:
Yet to be decided is how many challenges/money needs to be collected per continent. Taspinar, Scmidt and Schuhbauer (2016) suggest that the number of questions and players involved affects the playing time of the domain. They suggest that to avoid overloading, where a game takes too long and becomes tedious, then 10 questions are considered reasonable. Therefore; in the case of Flip Side I have decided that to begin play testing (with 4 players) it should take roughly one to two cards per continent, per player. This of course will have to be altered and play tested with different amounts of people, decreasing the price/challenges with more players and increasing the price/challenges with less players.
Currently the biggest limitation with Flip Side is the packaging design and product inclusions. In order to have enough challenge cards there needs to be enough challenges and lots of challenges include extra pieces. The more pieces included the more expensive it is to mass produce and the larger the packaging the more expensive it is to ship. During test play one of my focuses will be to find multiple uses for pieces and keep the amount of inclusions/extra pieces to a minimum.
- Taspinar, B, Schmidt, W, & Schuhbauer, H 2016, ‘Gamification in Education: A Board Game Approach to Knowledge Acquisition’, Procedia Computer Science, pp. 101-116
- BoardGameGeek, ‘Minute to Win It’, BoardGame Geek, viewed 27 April 2017, <https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/140664/minute-win-it/versions>