designing products, and playing games

My faith in Inconsiderate Climbers comes and goes, but recently I had the chance to play it with some cool friends who renewed my faith that the heart of the game is legitimately good. In some ways I still have this lingering sense that local multiplayer game design is "cheating" - that it merely taps into something that's already good (a positive dynamic between friends and good acquaintances). We played several games, and I saw both the shortcomings of and the great parts of what IC is today.

Playing it with friends is a really excellent way to enjoy the game. It's weird that I've never done it -- I've only showed it at shows, struggling to recapture the magic of what it was at No Quarter. Somehow I never really thought that four friends sitting on a couch would be able to have a good time with it. I was wrong.

Anyway now I'm legitimately considering pursuing the game as a longer-term project. Not a huge one, but looking into making it a valuable "product" by polishing up some of the rough corners that, while when played in person with me aren't a big deal (because I can teach you the rules!), are kind of gamebreaking when played straight out of the box*.

* It's a digital game. There is no box, but it's a good broken metaphor here.

And in general, thinking a lot about good local multiplayer experiences. Tiger is other people.

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