Game Design Workshop


Eitan Glinert, Fire Hose Games. Dan Roy, MIT Education Arcade.

Session Notes

Dean O'Donnell's Notes

(from his blog)

in which we took familiar board games and discarded the rules and made new ones. We grabbed Scrabble and, after some farting around, Devin Griffiths (who said he wasn't a designer. "Feh," I say to you, "Feh.") came up with Scrabble Hold 'Em which put three common tiles in the middle of play and gives each player four tiles to make words with. The first player to finish gets 5 extra points, the player with the longest word gets 2 extra points. We were trying to make a very short game, and we were trying to eliminate the downtime in Scrabble where you're sitting there as the other person stares at their tiles. Even then, we wanted to solve another problem of Scrabble, that players don't interact, so we came up with Scrabble Stealing in which each player gets 7 tiles and starts to make words, but at any time another player can offer a tile and "steal" a random tile from you. Tiles already in complete words were "safe." When the first person uses up all their their tiles, the game is over, and you only get scored on tiles in words. This again kept it short, gave a "screw you" element to the game, and rewarded people for coming up with the first word they saw instead of staring at their tiles forever. This hour probably went by the fastest of the day.

Alicia Verlager's Notes

inspiration: exploit talent break out and think about another game concept different from what they're working on

constraint: take a game that was a fav growing up but takes forever how can you take a long form and turn it into something short during a coffee break at work?

simplicity being able to learn quickly and stripping out lots of rules

Winner: 2 variants of Scrabble
1. scrabble hold 'em

get rid of board and get dealt common letters then pick more

first person gets five pts on top of score

longest word gets 2 pts

this would make a better computer game because no one likes adding scores

2. stealing scrabble

second game everyone takes seven tiles

you can steal tiles from ppl that are too slow

monopoly ditch the board but put two monopoly sets together


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