Monthly Archives: September 2022

Ultimate Werewolf Reflection

In class we played the game Ultimate Werewolf, and my role was as a villager. I really liked this game for a few reasons. One of them was because even when you got out of the game it was still very engaging. This is because once you were out, you got to keep your eyes open the entire time. This allowed for you to observe what was going on during the night phase of the game and got to see how actions other players made affected the game. Additionally, I liked how for the first class it involved the whole class in one game. This made it easier to meet people in the class. I that this would be a good game to play with tweens and teens in a camp setting. I think they would enjoy it more than mafia, which is a popular camp game because there are more roles, and it is more complex.

I would say the hardest part of the game for me was understanding all the different roles and remembering them all. I had only played Ultimate Werewolf once before this class. It was with a very big group at a League of Geeks event and since I did not know what I was doing and I was a villager, I did not participate very much. However, in class I felt more inclined to participate since it was a smaller group. That meant I really needed to understand the roles in the game.

One of the ties this game had to leadership was through the leadership principle of enabling others to act. During the day phase in Ultimate Werewolf, the village votes on one person who they think might be a werewolf. If someone strongly suspects a person to be a werewolf, they must get the majority of players to also vote on this person. This means that they must foster collaboration and build trust with the other players to convince them that they are not a werewolf.

Interview with Carter Blalack

I had the pleasure of interviewing Carter Blalack, a technical artist at High Moon Studios, who develop the yearly Call of Duty titles. We discussed his role as a technical artist, leadership, the importance of good communication, and advice for aspiring game dev students. He had a lot of interesting insights, especially if you’re looking to get into the industry, so I highly recommend giving the interview a listen!

You can listen to it here:

Mysterium Game Reflection

This past week we played Mysterium in class. In my opinion the hardest part of the game was deciphering the ghosts clues as they were very abstract. This pertains to leadership as we had to go outside of our own minds and imagine what someone else may be thinking. The first thing I would notice about a card was not the first thing my teammates would notice.

I think anyone who enjoys playing clue would enjoy Mysterium. They are very similar games but Mysterium is more detailed and the abstract cards are such a fun addition. This game also adds the element of teamwork which isn’t present in clue. Instead of working against each other to solve the murder and its details you are working against the clock.

The first play session my teammate and I didn’t choose the same answer as we interpreted the abstract cards differently. This caused us to lose the game. The second round I was the ghost, I consistently abstract cards that went with the color scheme or had a similar object as the other card. My teammates were able to figure out how I was thinking and what I was noticing about the cards. We won the second game and shared what we first noticed about each card. We quickly realized our eyes always went to very different aspects of the card.

Game of the Week: Forbidden Island

For this week’s game we had two options Pandemic or Forbidden Island. My group chose to play Forbidden Island. In my opinion, the hardest part about this game was strategizing as a team. Everyone in my group had different methods of strategizing so when it came time to make plan we all had very different ideas. We ended up having to share ideas to figure out the best way to beat the game; this is how it ties to leadership. Leadership is not about being the only one to make decisions but rather being open to hearing other opinions and working together.

I would recommend this game to anyone who wants to improve their teamwork skills. Forbidden Island forces you to communicate with your teammates or it is impossible to defeat the game. At first, my team and I kept losing very early on in the game because we were not discussing strategy. Once we started talking we were able to beat the game pretty quickly. Instead of leaving everyone to decide what to do with their own turns we began discussing how the turns could be used to benefit the good of the team.

I have never been the biggest fan of games where you have to work together to defeat the game itself. Being pretty shy, it is hard for me to talk to others if I don’t know them well. Communicating is probably the most integral part of Forbidden Island. That being said it was a great way for me to become more comfortable communicating with people I am unfamiliar with. I really loved the concept of the game and had a great time playing it.

Managing The Mysteries of Mysterium

This week we played the game Mysterium and generally, I really enjoyed this game. Two of my favorite games are Codenames and Clue, so I love how similar this game relates to both. The only thing I would change about this game to match those of the others is the cooperative aspect. I like that there’s collaborative elements about the game, like there is in Codenames, but I wish there were teams against each other in Mysterium, rather than everyone collectively winning or losing. I am not sure how this game could be switched out of being collaborative, but I would be interested to see someone try. I also disliked how some of the cards are extremely unrelated or up for too much interpretation, because it feels like you’re wasting a ton of time discussing a card that really doesn’t relate to anything, or relates to too many things to the point where you have to just take a wild guess.
The first time I played this game I thought it was a bit complicated to figure out because of all the pieces and things happening each turn, but it was extremely easy to figure out the second time around, I hardly had to pay attention to the instruction videos. Because I felt like I had more of a clue what was happening than my group members, I had anticipated that I would probably be the ghost in the game, since that’s such an important role that can’t be messed up. However, when I got to class someone else had already decided to be the ghost, but I think it worked out for the best. Because the ghost can’t talk, I think it was beneficial for me to be in a role that can actually help and guide my team members so they could understand the game better. Despite being brand new at the game, I think our ghost did well with the clues.
Some of my favorite things about the game are the artwork, and the guessing interpretation. l the artwork on the cards is very beautiful and it creates a dynamic where every game is not going to turn out the same each time. I like all the different options and possibilities. I also really enjoy the theme of the game, since I’ve always been into mysteries. I felt as if we were really a part of a novel or mystery movie, and I like the immersion effect. I also enjoy guessing and trying to analyze the cards, as well as trying to think like the ghost would. Playing with people who are 1. Experienced in playing this game and 2. Know each other very well, would totally change the dynamic of the game, and I think that would be fun to experience.
I think my friend Annie from back home would really enjoy this game. Growing up, we always played Clue together, specifically the Harry Potter version and we also watched the movie Clue every Halloween. We both really enjoy mysteries and spooky feeling things, so she would enjoy that aspect of this game. However, it would be hard to play with her though because we would basically have to have a decent sized group to play with, which I guess could be another negative to this game.
As for how this game relates to leadership, I feel like the ghost is somewhat the leader because they are guiding the rest of the team. The people who are doing well and are advancing to the next levels also somewhat act as leaders because they have figured out the ghosts way of giving clues and are mostly good at interpreting them, so they can help others interpret. Because of the element of agreeing or disagreeing with other people, it could possibly create conflict between group members, which also is an important part of leadership, since we won’t always agree with leaders or teams that we work with in general. It’s important to learn how to manage this conflict in a constructive way, and to not take things too personally, because at the end of the day, it’s just a game. This game has a lot of team building elements because we need to work together and are trying to help each other through the puzzle. I feel closer to the students that I played this game with, as a result of this activity. We all either were going to win together or lose together, and even though we lost, it was still very fun. I would love the opportunity to play this game again.

Figuring Out Forbidden Island

This week we played forbidden island and it was a pretty fun game. From watching the introductory video I didn’t think it would be very fun. It seemed confusing and not really my type of game but it was actually pretty fun. I really like games where you feel immersed in another world and I like that there’s a lot of places to go, like the dunes of deception, cave of embers, crimson forest, howling garden, lost lagoon…etc. I think it’s fun that you can go to these places, but I also feel like it would be a fun element to the game to have to do a different type of task for different places in order to unflood it. Despite the fact these are different places, it’s the same process to unflood them, and I think it gets a bit repetitive after a while. I also think it would be fun if they implemented other ways that the places would be unreachable to go to other than flooding. I don’t really understand the concept of all of these places being continuously flooded and unflooded. It would be neat if there were more objects to obtain while playing because once you get the blue chalice, drawing the blue chalice cards is a bit inconvenient and pointless.
Once you understand the main concepts of the game I feel like it would be really fun and easy to play with kids. The rules are so simple that if you play more than twice at a time I feel like it would get boring, but kids around the age of 10-12 might enjoy the simplicity of the game, and the adventure aspect it has. However, kids like to win and I think having a collaborative win or loss might not be as entertaining for kids that like having the satisfaction or instant gratification of a designated winner or loser. My mom and I babysit sometimes, and I think the 7 year old that we watch would really enjoy this game, especially because of the intense element of having a timer/ flood level that you’re trying to beat. However, in order to win, there needs to be somewhat of a strategy, and she might struggle trying to come up with a plan that works.
Our group had enough time to play the game twice. The first time we won and the second time we lost pretty badly, the water levels rose too high and we did not escape in time. The first game we came really close to losing but were able to save ourselves at the last minute. To be honest, I feel like we knew what to expect better the second time we played, and were able to strategize, so having such a short game and losing rather quickly was not what I anticipated.

Game Reflection: Ultimate Werewolf

The first game we played in class is called the Ultimate Werewolf. According to the rule, we have to exile 1 person every day by voting. I think the hardest part about this game was figuring out who we should vote out for the first 5 rounds at least, especially for the first round when nobody died. There is not a lot of information to be analyzed and to figure out by logic who we should vote for. This game is tied to leadership because at least one person had to start the conversation so that other people would all share their thoughts. Moreover, people don’t know who should be exiled in the first couple of rounds, therefore, some people usually stepped up and said who they think is on the evil team. These people were leading the group and helping the game to continue. However, these people were usually questioned by others, especially in the first couple of rounds. 

I think my friend Kath would enjoy playing this game because of two reasons. She is the leader in all her classes throughout her college career, so I think she would be happy to lead the group when they are struggling with who they should vote out. Secondly, she is in the team for the Debate Competition. I think she would be able to practice some skills that she could use in her competitions. 

First, everyone got a role at the start of the game and after God explained all the roles, we started our first night. During the first night, all the people who had roles opened their eyes to do their jobs. Then all of us opened our eyes to see if anyone died during the night and figured out who we should vote out for today by having a discussion. According to the game rule, one person had to be exiled by having the highest votes, and the people who were exiled had to reveal their roles. The part I liked was when people tried to persuade others to vote out another person, they were more likely to be voted out in our session. Especially during the first couple of rounds, most people did not have enough information to figure out who were the werewolves so they found people who accused the others to be suspected. The part that I didn’t like was people who were killed at night needed to leave the group immediately when all people opened their eyes without saying any last word. These last words can sometimes provide a good amount of information for people who are still playing the game. 

I think the session went well because the royal team was able to figure out who was on the evil team and eventually voted all of them out. The risk of playing this game is finding the right amount of words to say. Sometimes people who don’t talk during the game are more likely to receive higher votes because they are not helping the royal team to find the bad people by providing their thoughts. However, people who speak more sometimes may expose themselves by saying too many things. I don’t like to take risks, especially in a game like this, so I didn’t talk a lot during the first couple of rounds. I started to talk more when someone accused me of being on the evil team. I didn’t want to take the risk of saying too many things and exposing my role to other people because I wasn’t sure if they were on the good or bad side. By the time I started to say more things was when I had some ideas about who was on the evil team. 

Game of the Week Reflection: Mysterium

Mysterium is my favorite cooperative game that I’ve played so far in this class.  After messing around with Ultimate Werewolf the first week and Pandemic the next one, there’s something different about mysterium, and the uniqueness is capitalized in the cooperative experience.  Players aren’t forced to communicate which is something I felt when playing Ultimate Werewolf because everyone is trying to help out each other so you yourself can win the game.  The themes and creativeness in the cards engages you to think critically about what the ghost is trying to tell you.  Everyone is playing against the actual board game itself which causes tight-knit discussions and communal problem-solving.  This is something I personally didn’t feel myself in the past few weeks and I’m grateful that I found “my” game.

The most difficult or hardest part of this game for me really boiled down to something as simple as correctly predicting who got their guesses right or wrong.  I enjoyed this one so much that the fundamental rules weren’t hard to follow or difficult to play with.  The way to play this game kept me occupied and immersed in the Mysterium and that’s exactly what I look for in tabletop games as well as videogames.  I enjoy the fact that it relies heavily on the player’s interpretation and imagination to keep things new and fresh.  With the introduction of extensions and add-ons to this board game, I want to experiment with this board game again. 

As I’ve clearly stated, this is my favorite game I’ve played in this class so far because of its cooperative or leadership function.  The ghost is without question the leader of everyone else because they are giving out cards to everyone else and trying to stimulate thought-provoking questions and guesses.  This game ties into that leadership because each player is not only trying to get themself to the end but also needs their teammates to reach the end as well.  This causes leaders to emerge and guide everyone else toward their people, locations, and weapons.  I personally liked the subject and theme of the cards because of the fantasy feel which definitely fits how the game is played in my opinion.  I’m confident that my family and friends would love this game and that it would work well with a full amount of people.  Overall, the class session went well and everyone did their part in assisting other players and doing their best to beat an inanimate object.

Mysterium: A Class Reflection

This week in Tabletop Games and Leadership, we played Mysterium. I had never played Mysterium before. However, I found it to remind me of Clue and Dixit. Both of which are games I have played before. I really enjoyed this game and think I will be buying it as a Christmas gift for at least one if not both of my brothers.

I sat down at the start of class at the first spot left of the ghost. At first, I was not doing so well. I was the last to guess my room and make it to the weapons step of the “7 hours” stage. However, we collaborated well and all made it to the end area before the last round. The cards I had were the mechanic person, the blue attic with the dress in the corner, and the hammer.

We discussed living and leading as if it is “Day 1” every day. This was interesting to me because as a Student Orientation Undergraduate Leader (SOUL) this past summer, we worked as if every day was a day one because for the incoming students it was. I also have seen this in my outlook on life. I had written in a gratitude journal every day for about three years, give or take some time. This helped me see the positive in things as I lived my life. I still think I am a positive person and look at more negative events as opportunities to learn and grow.

This came into the game as we had to assist each other in reaching the end before we ran out of “hours” on the clock. For example, it took me three turns to guess the room that I needed to, instead of shutting down and thinking the worst, I learned. I knew which rooms were not mine and I recognized that I would still have enough turns to figure out the weapon as well. This helped me remain calm. 

We discussed how you will not have a good day everyday, but living in this “Day 1” mentality does not mean you will. It is more about how you approach the situation as a whole. This applies to leadership because how you approach the work you do sets a tone for the team and can impact the team for better or worse. Having this specific mentality allows you to maintain a more positive outlook and perspective on whatever you are doing. This can help keep yourself and others motivated even on the hardest days, which is very important.

The hardest part of the in class game was knowing how to interpret the clues given by the ghost. I am sure it was hard from the ghost’s side as well. Because we are all still acquaintances and do not completely understand each other’s personalities or the way we think, it was difficult to always know what we should look at in terms of card details. Once we started getting the hang of how the game worked it went pretty smoothly.

Our group did well communicating and helping each other decipher clues. This helped us overcome the initial struggles with finding the hidden messages within the ghost’s clues. Overall, I would play this game and I would also recommend it to others. I look forward to playing this with my family eventually: I guess I will get a turn as the ghost.

Ultimate Reflection: Werewolf

The game we played in class was called Werewolf. The premise is very similar to Mafia and Town of Salem. There are three werewolves, including a cub, a peer, a bodyguard, and many others. The point of the game is to take out the werewolves unless you are the werewolf then your goal is to survive to the end. The hardest part about this game was deciding how to vote someone out. In the game we played, sometimes those who accused someone were voted out, and other times those who were accused were voted out. Either it was stay quiet and go with the crowd or speak up and risk getting voted.

The leadership was shown through the person who was the bodyguard. He chose to tell us his role and since no one spoke up against him, we all believed him for the most part. Since he was someone the good side could trust, most of the time everyone listened to him. I was one of the werewolves so I just went with whoever they said so they would not suspect me. I thought the werewolves had a good game going until the P.I revealed a werewolf was sitting next to the girl who happened to be next to me. Ironically enough a werewolf was on both sides of her.

Somehow the person who was the witch suspected me as a werewolf and the night we chose to kill him, he used his once a game ability to kill me. After that the werewolves went downhill. One of the two werewolves remaining told everyone to vote him and he got out and the other one forgot the lying game he was playing and switched up what role he was when he was questioned. Personally there wasn’t anything I disliked about the game because it was very well played and went on for quite a while. Some of my friends back home would love this game because we used to play Town of Salem.