Talk:Double Agent / Watch Your Back

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I love the idea of a game that explicitly makes people re-examine other people's body language - there's a bit of this sort of thing in many street games, that you need to figure out who the players are and so watch to see whether they're looking shifty (Checkpoint) or aggressive or what, but making it explicit is lovely. With any luck the November Sandpit should be a good time to try this out - the venue for October isn't suitable, I don't think.

I assume players will know who the other players are? Not sure if it's worth marking them out explicitly, if so, so as not to give people with a good memory for faces an advantage. Probably not: obviously after a round or two of stickering it'll be clear anyway, and the idea of it not being immediately obvious to non-players is nice.

How exactly are scores calculated - locks-and-keys minus bullet wounds? --Holly (talk) 15 October 2008

This game ran at the Barbican last night, and was a great success. There were a couple of minor changes - all players had a blank white sticker on their back to show that they were playing the game (Celine used blank, circular CD labels, which had a nice suggestion of a shooting-range-target; most people stuck the bullet/key stickers directly onto the white stickers), and there wasn't a three-minute siren, players were just free to tag at will. The game ended at a specific time, and the teams were told to group themselves together and work out their own scores.

The game was scheduled to take an hour, but players used up all their stickers pretty quickly, and the game was more or less over inside twenty minutes. Part of this was probably due to the player density; most of them stayed around the starting area for the first ten minutes, tagging and being tagged. If you wanted to change this, it might be worth insisting that players "find a good hiding place" to start from, and tell them they aren't allowed to start stickering until they're five minutes into the game.

The game generated a lot of discussion and on-the-fly strategies, and everybody seemed to enjoy it. The only concern I heard raised among the player feedback was that some behaviour actions (such as "cannot move more than five steps at once") made the game inherently tougher for that team. --Kevan (talk) 8 March 2009

Feedback from players suggested it might be good to make some of the moves slightly less subtle. Very few players managed to identify specific behaviours.

Kevan mentioned, and other players also seemed to agree that a couple of rounds might be better since after the first session players began to get the hang of it.

Some of the participants were really getting into their role and even afterwards were still speaking in Russian accents. A couple liked the idea of including accents, speech and codewords into the behaviours. It's something I'd already thought about but hadn't included but I think I will try to in the next version. It would be funny if players were required to speak with a foreign accent for example. It would encourage players to speak to one another in order to identify their team.

There are three things I need to remember for next time: 1. at the beginning don't let players leave until they have stickers, back target and instructions, (perhaps hand out targets first so that if there aren't enough spaces for everyone, no one has to wait too long to be able to find that out). 2. Be very clear about the time that the game finishes and where to congregate. 3. At the end ask teams to count ALL stickers regardless of colour (not just coloured stickers from their own team) -- (talk) 2009-04-16 12:48:25

I'd like to run this game next week in an empty apartment building. I understand the game mechanics pretty well, but I don't understand why players must have two colors of dots.Here's my thought: A dot of your team's color, on your back, is +3 points, and a dot of any other team's color is -1 point. As the game progresses, each player's target is populated with many colors of dots, nullifying the opportunity to look at a players' targets and determine their teams. Players then must continue to rely on body language clues to find team members or rivals.

I'd also like to integrate hidden messages in the rooms, each of which would give the body language signals of one team. Players would explore the space, looking for these messages, and be able to become "double agents" when they find one.

I'd love to get some feedback on these ideas from the designers, or past players. Thanks! --a.tyler.nelson (talk) 2010-07-14 21:24:01