The nightmare that was designing PR Nightmare

To begin designing project 2, we needed to come up with a theme, we spent way too much time as a team trying to be funny by copying other people’s jokes and making memes in the game. But they were never that funny the long run. So we took a step back, stripped all the theme off of the game, and decided to come up with an original idea. This new idea was that the town was coming up with what to make their town’s landmark. ‘The Big X”. This came from the idea that almost every small town in rural Australia has some sort of landmark to make it more memorable to the tourists, but our town didn’t have one. But before we came up with this theme, we came up with the mechanics of the game. Our key mechanic was the ability to modify a round in play, similar to how exploding kittens is played. This was an attempt at adding a sense of chaos to the situation, the results would become much more unpredictable as to simulate the environment of a pr team moments before a press conference. We also had a good idea about how the game would play and what the game loop would look like. We knew we wanted to have a limited amount of time to have a round to add pressure on the players, we to have a selected incident card and then have players pitch their responses. When the pitching would happen, we wanted to have a timer that pressured the players to decide quickly, if they didn’t decide a response would be taken from the top of our draw pile. The initial time limit was 20 seconds, but even our first playtest told us that this was way too short. It was resulting in too many undecided rounds, which removed the game part of our game. So we bumped the time limit up to 40 seconds, which was not too short in further playtesting. When we were developing the details to the theme and the incident cards, I decided to take a large amount of inspiration from The citizens of pawnee in parks and rec. The lines that they regularly say was exactly the kind of incidents I felt this game should have. Like people being angry about the landmark causing allergic reactions, or choosing to have a landmark that someone else already has. I really wanted to have the ridiculousness that they have in our game so that people could have fun and laugh at the situations that arise. I also wanted to further this by having two cards that referenced each other. These cards were the ones that referenced the big mango and how it was stolen a while back. I had one that stated the big mango had been stolen and that the town had chosen a big mango as its landmark thanks to a mysterious donator. Then I had another that had the people suggesting the big mango as their landmark but some results would state that Bowen already had that. These cards did not always work and the responses probably could be rewritten for the special circumstances where the other card has been played before, but it was fun being able to create a little joke like that with the incidents and responses. All in all however, the design process of PR Nightmare was a wild and crazy ride, there was a lot of decisions made and they were almost all rash and ridiculous.

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