Nice Games Jam: “The Blizzard of Whatever Year That Was”

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This week on the program we attempt another Nice Games Jam, where we are given a prompt from Martha’s boyfriend (and Evil Games Club co-host) Dylan, which we have to use to create a playable game by the end of the episode.

The prompt was “Cold,” owing to the extreme winter temperatures we were facing in Minnesota at the time of this recording.

We’re hoping to do even more of these going forward, so let us know what you think of this episode format on the feedback from!

Rules for “The Blizzard of Whatever Year That Was”

Goal

The goal of the game is to leave your house and run a quick errand during the worst blizzard of your lifetime.

Board

Martha took a photo of what we were using to play the game during the recording of the episode:

And here’s a rough mockup Mark made while editing this episode:

Play

  • The board is split into 4 stages. On your turn, you roll a 4-sided die to determine your movement. When you reach the first square of the next stage (even if you are in the middle of your movement), you draw from a deck of “events/challenges” giving you an situation to deal with. After resolving the challenge, complete your movement (modified according to the result of the challenge, if any).
  • The game begins by having every player draw an event for the first stage (see below for event desciptions).
  • Play order is determined in descending order by who spent the most time outside during the Halloween Blizzard of 1991. If you are unable to determine play order using this method, figure something else out, I guess.
  • After every player draws an event for the first stage, all players will get dressed for their adventure by distributing winter gear stats…

Stats

  • Players get 9 points to distribute on winter gear. Points you don’t “spend” here are saved and can be used later at certain opportunities. Each player puts 0-4 points in each of three categories:
    • Shoes (to aid in snow-based challenges):
      • 0 points is gym socks and flip-flops.
      • 4 points is pac boots plus snowshoes.
    • Coat (to aid in wind-based challenges):
      • 0 points means just a T-shirt.
      • 4 points is a sweater under a hoodie under a heavy parka under a pea coat.
    • Gloves and Stuff (to aid in interaction-based challenges):
      • 0 points is bare hands/head
      • 4 points is wool-lined mittens with a pocket for your hand-warmers, an inch-thick balaclava, and an 8-foot tartan scarf.
  • Players also begin the game with 0 Cold Enough For Ya? points, and 3 Minnesota Nice points. Events in the game can add or subtract these points:
    • If you accumulate 3 Cold Enough For Ya? points, you lose the game by giving up and going home to bury yourself under 100 fleece blankets (role-play optional).
    • If you drop to 0 Minnesota Nice points, you may complete your errand, but you lose your Minnesota spirit (and also the game).

Challenges/Events

  • For the purposes of this prototype, rather than draw from a deck, roll a 4-sided die and use the challenges listed below.
  • 1st stage: “Getting out of the house”
    • 1 – Furnace out: +1 Cold Enough For Ya?
    • 2 – You’re snowed in: If you do not obtain a 3 or better in Shoes, you must end your turn when you reach your front door, no matter what your die roll is.
    • 3 – You slept in: Lose a turn.
    • 4: Whoops! Two errands: You must take “the long way” in the 3rd stage.
  • 2nd stage: “Getting to your car”
    • 1 – Car covered in snow: If you have 3 or greater in Gloves and Stuff, ignore this, otherwise, chose from these options:
      • Get rid of snow: +1 Cold Enough For Ya?
      • Don’t get rid of snow, -1 to all die rolls in the 3rd stage.
    • 2 – Neighbor needs help shoveling: If you have any stat points saved over, you can spend one point to help your neighbor. If you do not have any points or don’t want to spend one, -1 Minnesota Nice. If you do spend a point, roll a 4-sided die:
      • 1 – “Thanks! I owe you one” You get nothing.
      • 2 – “Rough out there. I’ve got an extra coat if you want it” +2 to Coat.
      • 3 – +2 to Shoes.
      • 4 – +2 to Gloves and Stuff.
    • 3 – Slip on your sidewalk: Lose a turn as you lay embarrassed on the cold ground.
    • 4 – Freezing wind: If you have a 3 or greater in Coat, ignore this, otherwise, chose from these options:
      • Power though it: +1 Cold Enough For Ya?
      • Move carefully: During this stage, you may only move one space per turn (if you have any movement left on this turn, you can move forward one space).
  • 3rd stage: “Making it to the store”
    • 1 – Car won’t start: Lose a turn while your neighbor helps you.
    • 2 – The roads are not plowed: If you have a 4 or greater in Shoes (for the purposes of this prototype, Shoes stands in for a Snow Tire stat), ignore this, otherwise, -1 to all die rolls in this stage.
    • 3 – A stranger spun out into a ditch: If you have any stat points saved over, you can spend one point to help the stranger. If you do not have any points or don’t want to spend one, -1 Minnesota Nice. If you do spend a point, roll a 4-sided die:
      • 1 or 2 – “Thanks! I don’t have AAA.” You get nothing.
      • 3 or 4 – “Let me pay you back somehow.” +2 to Any Stat.
    • 4 – Car’s heater is broken: +1 Cold Enough For Ya?
  • 4th stage: “Picking up a half-gallon of milk”
    • 1 – Forgot your grocery list: Lose a turn as you sit and think.
    • 2 – The parking lot is snowed-in: If you have a combined 7 or greater in Shoes + Gloves and Stuff, ignore this, otherwise, -1 to all die rolls in this stage.
    • 3 – Help an old person with groceries: If you have any stat points saved over, you can spend one point to help the person. If you do not have any points or don’t want to spend one, -1 Minnesota Nice. If you do spend a point, roll a 4-sided die:
      • 1 or 2 – “You know, they used to have people for this.” You get nothing.
      • 3 or 4 – “I’m on my way to the Goodwill, do you want anything?” +2 to Any Stat.
    • 4 – There’s a line out the door!: Chose from these options:
      • -1 Minnesota Nice as you shove your way past everyone.
      • +1 Cold Enough For Ya? as you wait patiently.

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