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Talk:Mr. Smith

Talk:Mr. Smith

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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 made one minor, dramatic improvisation, while being Smith at the Soho Sandpit, which might be worth working into future iterations of the game - the ability to remove (and re-wear) your mask at will, during your slot, provided that nobody sees you doing it. There were a couple of times when a large group of pursuers were about to catch me; the first time I just ended up giving all my ribbons out at once, but the second time I saw it about to happen, I ducked around a corner and removed my mask, so that I could "teleport" to a safer location a few streets away. Warning players that large crowds will spook Mr Smith might be a good way to break up the snowballing groups, if the actor feels that players aren't having enough fun as a mob.

It was great to play it again in March, and the Barbican was pretty much the ideal venue for it, with its unreachable walkways and dead ends. The addition of the "Bad Smith" seemed to sharpen the game up nicely - in the first playtest we had to double-up the actors, and had a few players optimistically trailing people to see if they'd change back into Smith. Which was funny, but a bit frustrating. The threat of that actor maybe turning into Bad Smith seemed to be enough to stop this. --Kevan (talk) 2009-04-16 21:15:01

Indeed. I'll give that a go during the next one.

I also think that Mr. Smith being able to turn bad from good during his turn would make people more cautious. Although depending on how many ribbons they have they might be willing to risk them for potentially more ribbons. Or we could reward more for different types of Mr.Smiths. --Yao (talk) 2009-04-25 16:54:10

The effect of Mr Smith 'teleporting' could be enhanced using a mobile social network service which allows you to share your location (like Google Latitude or Brightkite). Every Smith could have access to a common Smith account, and the new Smith would sign in when his/her shift started. This would need a bigger playing area.

A low-tech alternative would be for the Voice of Smith (a non-Smith volunteer who knows where each Smith will start their shift) to call the players with a clue to the new location after each teleport... Ideally, at one point, a new Smith would appear on a balcony visible to the players, holding a phone to his ear, to reinforce the illusion that the calls are coming from whoever is embodying Smith. --benhenley (talk) 2009-05-11 10:05:07

For me, the beauty of this game is its low-tech simplicity - that you can simulate the sci-fi concept of teleportation with the cheap mechanic of a few actors checking their watches. GPS or player-phoning would help to keep things moving, but I think you can by and large rely on players to provide that communication themselves (primarily by shouting "there he is!", but, at a greater distance, by phoning their friends after they'd caught Smith - this was certainly happening in the first playtest). --Kevan (talk) 2009-06-01 12:02:46

That's true - I think the benefit of adding in the mobile technology so the players can see where Mr Smith teleports to (possibly with an expanding circle after each teleport, tracking where he could have got to assuming typical foot speed) would be to radically increase the potential playing area (removing the need to mark an official boundary), make the game more tactical (in that players would need to coordinate themselves to cordon off all the streets Smith might be running along), and allow better planning of cool moments (e.g. have Smith appear on a balcony just after he has 'teleported', so he is instantly visible to players).

Ideally the current Smith could also use a mobile device to control the exact moment of the teleport, so s/he could pick a time when s/he was not being observed by any players, further enhancing the illusion. --benhenley (talk) 2009-06-01 23:16:00

Great game at Royal Festival Hall on Saturday. It's still fantastic how players can look straight through you once you've slipped out of the mask. I had a group split in half when they piled into a lift to catch me - when we all stepped out at the next floor, I wasn't wearing the mask, and the players who'd taken the stairs were genuinely baffled as to where Smith might have gone. And I did a nice spot of Bad Smithing by keeping pace with two players on the other side of the road, and slipping the mask on when a parked van came between us.

Hope to see this running again soon. --Kevan (talk) 2009-08-03 22:28:49

Obscure Games Pittsburgh are running a game of Mr Smith in a couple of months.

Perhaps we need an International Smith Day where he flips around the globe in a game that lasts for hours and hours... --Kevan (talk) 2013-06-08 19:46:35

I also think that Mr. Smith being able to turn bad from good during his turn would make people more cautious. Although depending on how many ribbons they have they might be willing to risk them for potentially more ribbons. Or we could reward more for different types of Mr.Smiths.Omega --szhwatch (talk) 2014-07-12 08:50:43