I recently got back from the San Francisco ‘Come Out and Play festival’. We showed Propinquity on both Saturday and Sunday – it was awesome – we had a line up of players on both days. On Sunday we even kept the game running because the festival organizers and a few stragglers, who didn’t have a chance to play, wanted a turn. The game held up amazingly well – yet after a player stepped on a patch and dented an XBee, Marius had to program another one on the fly – thankfully I brought extras and thankfully he had a spare windows machine to do it with. Goes to show – if something can go wrong — it will.
There have been a number of questions voiced during past playtests regarding whether or not Propinquity is done – whether we can improve it – make it more complex. The one thing I have realised is Propinquity is fun – everyone loves it. The game works as it is – it is not a very complex game, but it is enjoyable, and a game that people want to play at parties (we did have one or two repeat players and they loved it the second time too). There might not be much strategy, but there is enough action to keep people engaged, laughing and breathless in the end. At one point some people were convinced that the blue player’s patches weren’t functioning as well as the red player’s patches – because red was always winning. I maintained that it was because the red players were playing better than the blue players. Finally I played the last game – I was blue and another game developer was red. I won – he didn’t score a single point. So I am not so sure.
Beyond that there were so many games both technological and non, with an emphasis on physical games – check them out here. Come Out and Play is a month long festival and this last weekend was focused on the gallery games, which were at two different venues – SOMarts and Gene Friend Recreation Center. As I was busy with Propinquity I was unable to get to the other venue, but at SOMart there were a number of highlights like ->ThirdPerson OutterBody labyrinth, where two players compete to navigate a labyrinth, while wearing goggles that block their vision and show a live feed of a birds eye view of the labyrinth, Doodle Defense, where you interact with a white board using dry erase markers to prevent the bugs from taking over, and one that I didn’t get to play because of the long line-up – The Hearst Collection, where the players had to steal a painting after getting through a laser security system. There were also a lot of citywide games also like Journey to the End of the Night as well as Obtain the Briefcase. On Sunday during a game of Obtain the Briefcase, both the brief case holder and his pursuer got arrested – not sure if they got a fine or if they actually went to jail for the night.
Beyond that we went to visit our friends at Noisebridge to visit their new space, which was huge. We met Miloh – who has created the Type A 3D printer – a cheaper and larger version of the Makerbot (without a super slick user interface) and a friend of Adrian Freed’s at Berkley named Chris Palmer – who is really interested in zonohedron’s and other mathematical structures that you can 3D print.
All in all – it was a good trip. Hope some of these links prove to be interesting.