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Talk:Clockwork Ghosts

Talk:Clockwork Ghosts

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(The Ludocity website previously had integrated forums, but they fell into spam-covered decline and were shut down in 2015. The comments in this section have been automatically converted from that forum.)

I have just written up a game I am designing for the Hide & Seek day at the Forest Fringe in Edinburgh later this month. It is untested, and I haven't designed a game like this before, so it would be really helpful if anyone has any suggestions / warnings / questions before we give it a go. Things I haven't yet worked out are 1. How players are murdered. 2. Whether 30 minutes on the route is too much or not enough. 3. Whether there could be more characters with different roles (e.g. like in Mafia with its detectives, bouncers, policemen, etc.). Thanks, David --davideo (talk) 2009-08-07 18:19:56

Great name for a game. I really like the direction-as-status mechanic, that you can tell a lot about a fellow player just from the direction they're walking in. Constrained movement is good, too - Iglab's carpark game "Sneaks and Blaggers" makes it illegal to walk down steps or up slopes, which completely changes the environment.

We've actually got an in-progress list of questions worth asking yourself, if you've not seen it - I guess the big ones here are the play area and recognition. What's your plan for the "circular route" - a series of checkpoints that can only be passed in order, or a literal street route that the player's can't deviate from (and can't take even one step backwards along)? And do you think players should be able to recognise each other from a badge or ribbon, or is picking one another out of the crowd by behaviour and conversation part of the game?

I suppose the game duration should depend on the size of the playing circuit. I'd guess you'd want players to be able to complete a circuit in no more than a third of the playing time, so that ghosts don't have to sit around in the graveyard for too long.

And roles might be good if there are some gaps in the game; if it's a bit frustrating to be a ghost (and if an efficient murderer can shut the game down by blocking a point on the route), maybe one player could be a wandering exorcist who can convert them back anywhere along the route. --Kevan (talk) 2009-08-09 09:36:29

Hey, this sounds great - a bit like a slowed down Journey into the Night for non-runners...

How about making the murder non-certain (roll die, draw cards from a deck inititially and ghosts can only kill lower/other cards...)? Something like that might allow for a longer game as fewer deaths would happen but more interractions would occur, making it more interesting for longer for the players. --Apolobamba (talk) 2009-08-10 12:09:33

Very interesting idea. I imagine people playing it in the tunnels under Elephant & Castle (a massive roundabout in London with a baffling set of pedestrian subways, which would support a circular route).

I think you need to consider how information is passed from ghosts to the living. What is to stop ghosts telling the 'living' who the murderer is? Maybe ghosts have limitations on their behaviour - they have to put on a mask and aren't allowed to talk or stop walking?

Presumably the start of the game has to be staggered, otherwise everyone will be walking together in a big group, and the murderers don't get a chance to strike.

How about the players start walking round clockwise in ones and twos? The murderers start on the route, and have to identify players (who wouldn't wear an identifying ribbon or anything) from the fact that they can only walk clockwise (referees could watch players and send anyone who went anti-clockwise back to the start). "Murdering" could just be saying a code phrase - if the person they're trying to murder *is* a player, they say the response phrase and accept a mask, and start walking back to the graveyard.

Other players could get information about where the murderers are from the ghosts (who got murdered, where on the route they got murdered, and whatever mimes the ghosts can manage). --benhenley (talk) 2009-08-13 08:40:04

I am assuming in the above comment that the murderers are recruited separately from the players and haven't seen who's playing. The problem there is that obviously they will recognise their friends who've come to the festival... --benhenley (talk) 2009-08-13 08:47:36

Thanks for all these comments - very helpful I'll think these points through and update the game description soon, then I'll let yous know how it goes when we try it out in Edinburgh --davideo (talk) 2009-08-15 11:47:53

Can the exorcist be killed? --Kevan (talk) 2009-08-17 12:23:26

I think the exorcist should be immortal --davideo (talk) 2009-08-20 16:07:22

Seems fair. There's a big risk to the murderers that once they fail to kill the exorcist, he'll stand around telling everyone to watch out for them, but that should make things interesting. --Kevan (talk) 2009-08-20 16:50:02

I played this at Hide & Seek's Forest Fringe event in Edinburgh. As a citizen I had some fun interactions with a murderer: I tailed him through the streets maintaining a safe (and occasionally mocking) distance. In the end he hared off round the course and lapped me to death.

A couple of thoughts/suggestions:

- It would be good to have clearer victory conditions. My sense was that the citizens win if *any* are alive at the end of the game. Something less drastic (a points scheme?) might encourage more activity. Citizens could still go to ground, but would have a strong incentive to check the graveyard periodically.

- (As you noted, davideo) The exorcist seemed too powerful -- the murderers didn't stand a chance. But without the exorcist it might be necessary to do something to keep the murderers from camping outside the graveyard. Perhaps they get to permanently kill someone on each cycle?

- I think there was some confusion about the route -- specifically which direction was clockwise. Walking it as a group might help.

Minor niggles aside, it was a fun game. Thanks for the opportunity to play! --joe (talk) 2009-08-28 07:05:09