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Courier

Courier

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Courier
Fire hazard logo.png
Designer: Gwyn Morfey
Players: 1+
Stuff required: Mobile phones. The game software running on a server. Probably some bicycles.
Crew required: One server admin / scorer.
Preparation: 10 minutes.
Time required: 60+ minutes.
Place required: A city.
Activities: Running/cycling, planning, map-reading.
Discuss this game
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This is an untested game. Its rules are written, but it hasn't been tested out yet.
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This game is made available under an Attribution-Noncommercial Creative Commons licence. (What does this mean?)

Setup

Setup all players so that they get real-time updates from the twitter account used by the game server (eg @firehazarddash). Twitter seems to do free SMS updates, although smartphones can also get the update via the data connection.

Stretch, put on helmets, etc. Non-cycling players may find the Barclays Bikes useful.

Boot the software.

Play

Every few minutes the server will send out a message like

"PICKUP: Marylebone Mag Crt 185 Marylebone Rd NW1 5QB DROPOFF: Zelin&Zelin Coooper House 82 Shaftesbury W1D 6NG EXPIRES: 11:38"

The players' job is to reach the Pickup point after the message arrives, and reach the Dropoff point after the Pickup point but before the Expiry time.

Nothing is actually picked up or dropped off (to minimise crew requirements). In public games, players should take photos (or use gps-tracking, or something) to prove they were there.

The initial build of the software uses around 30 law firms inside Zone 1.

Scoring

At the end of the game players return to base for scoring and receive one point per successful job.

More advanced scoring would impose a penalty for jobs where the player reached the Pickup but not the Dropoff points.

There should probably be a costume bonus. I'd like to do a Mad Max theme.

Jobs that require longer distances do not score more. Part of the game is to select the best jobs, and perhaps to do them out of order (players can "carry" more than one invisible package at a time) to maximise score.

Future Development

Right now players are completely independent and won't see each other except at the scoring phase. It might be nice to have each job available only to the first person who picks it up, so there will be competition for the best jobs, and players are likely to cluster around certain points (and therefore interact more).

It'd be nice to remove the awkward "take a photo to prove you were there" mechanic. But it'd also be nice to have a wide range of destinations and not have to individually brief all of them. Perhaps some locations are small stores (Tescos etc) and the players need to buy something (eg a 20p sweet) and use the receipt?

Having to go inside and perform a transaction would be a better simulation of the courier experience in any case, and it would make life harder for cyclists (who have to lock up), possibly giving runners and skaters a chance.

This could be turned into a team game with two competing courier companies. Advanced teams would probably nominate a full-time Dispatcher.

Some people choose to play this game for money.

Honour

Don't hurt yourself.

Don't hurt anyone else.

Don't cause anyone to take evasive action.


In any public game, there'd need to be some way to enforce this.