Play-testing with folks on the floor. Click for a larger view.
Our first group assignment in Game Design was to create a board game. Frank gave us constraints to help spur the creative process: ours were dice and secret teams. We came up with a game we're calling The Grind. Loosely based on The Wire, The Grind is (to take an excerpt from the rules)...
a tabletop game about hidden identities, taking risks, and dealing drugs. Players act out an urban cat-and-mouse game between drug dealers and undercover police—and the snitch, who seeks to exploit them both. Will you grind, or will you be ground? Roll your own destiny in this exciting strategy game!
The central idea of the game is that all four players have different "roles," each of which potentially has different win conditions. At the beginning of the game, however, no one knows who has been assigned which role (hence "secret teams").
The fun of the game lies in trying to figure out what role the other players are playing, based on their behavior. The game's tension lies in deciding when to stop behaving ambiguously and reveal your identity. This can make you vulnerable, but it's often the only path to victory.
Download the game's rules in PDF format here.
If you want to try playing the game on your own (with three friends, naturally), you can download the game's map as a PDF here. This PDF has the obverse sides of the game's role cards; you'll need to cut them out and write one of each of the following on the blank side: cop, snitch, dealer, and dealer. (See the rules for more specific information.)
The Grind was designed by Neilson Abeel, Charles Amis, Shlomit Lehavi, and myself.
Pictures of our process after the jump.
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