Game Chef

Game Chef

So Brent Newhall submitted a video for Game Chef: Uneven Wings. 

Very interesting idea! And I totally cannot learn how to play this RPG from a video. I’ve never tried so I was curious. 

But…yup. Impossible for me. I’m sitting here watching and he’s explaining it so, so clearly. And it’s bouncing off my brain. 

I think there’s some kind of aggression/defense bidding thing that happens. Is there a premise? I don’t…think so. I think it’s an engine. Shit, I’m gonna try again — it’s only 3 and a half minutes long.

The production is nice! There are some simple instructional graphics, a music track for crying out loud, and that weird harsh b/w filter over the whole thing.

Okay, second go. One player picks “a crisis” that motivates your story, fine, okay. Super open-ended but it’s basically storygame 101. Okay, the characters have a “dream” related to the crisis. It never comes up again.

Looks like the other players (one plays “the crisis” and everyone else is characters) divvy up 10 tokens among “aggression” and “defense,” as basically two stats. You’re secretly bidding those tokens. And then if you win you win (do you spend the tokens? I think you must, otherwise you’d just bid ’em all every time, right?), but if you lose you switch sides — aggression tokens go to the defense side, defense tokens vice versa. And one of them gets scraped off into a side pool. No idea what happens to that pool. I guess they’re just gone.

(Side thought: use the Dream to pull those dead tokens back into your economy? Maybe set it up so that every crisis is followed by a Dream phase, just make it very gentle to get the tokens back into circulation?)

So…it looks like a 300-ish word game narrated into 3.5 minutes in a format that I had to write down to get it into my head. But now I’m super interested: can you design an RPG that can explicitly only be taught visually? And more specifically, via video? Interesting challenge. 

Cool idea, Brent Newhall! I’m glad you turned me on to this.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Indie Game Reading Club on Patreon!

0 thoughts on “Game Chef”

  1. One of the entries I judged for Game Chef last year was presented by video (recalling the theme – there is no book, this fits well).

    Video does face the challenge that you mentioned, but it does have the benifit of being able to visually show how some mechanics can work.  It can be accessible to different audiences of course.  It also can be harder to reference in play.

    Yeah, I think it can be done quite effectively (I’m at work, so I can’t comment how Brent Newhall did here, because I can’t watch the video), but it may limit what you can do with the game, and it may open up other options that might not have worked as well in print.

  2. Thanks! Yeah, I am definitely not suggesting that this is the ideal way of presenting game rules! This was part of the “different audience” theme for this year: I wanted to describe a game for an auditory learner.

    Now that I’ve made the video, I have some ideas about how the game could be presented more cleanly. One needs more illustrations, potentially even art, to show game concepts. For example, if I had other people around and could film them trading tokens, or I could show drawings of that, I think the game would’ve made sense.

    Also, of course, my simple drawings aren’t the most engaging. 🙂

Leave a Reply