Author Archives: benaghjm

Free Play 2

For our last week of class, we had a free play week. We used this free play session to play Among Us, which went okay. This game is accessible on Steam and on smart phones. We had four people from class in our session, and we played a few games with just us four.  After a while, we moved towards a session that included more players, but the players were not from our class. The game is essentially about crewmates on a ship trying to find imposters within the crew and ejecting them from the ship while the imposters kill crewmates. We were pretty good at running through the sessions, and everybody understood how the game worked.

                My personal opinion is that the game is really fun. However, if you have to play with people you are not familiar with it is not quite as fun. When we played with players not from our class it sometimes resulted in conversations through text with players who may be throwing insults around or being pretty rude. Sometimes it is funny and other times it is a bit unnecessary. With a full group of people you are familiar with the game is really fun because everybody is able to talk to each other and it is easier to get cohesion going between the people in the game.

                I think Among Us is a good game for talking about leadership. Players need to be able to take charge in conversations to try and cooperate with people they believe to be crewmates to try and figure out who is an imposter. This means absorbing a lot of information and dissecting it to figure out what is true and who is lying in the group. Being able to lead in these situations can result in a lot of success.

Ladies And Gentlemen

In this week of class, we played Ladies and Gentlemen in Tabletop Simulator. Setting up the game was a bit hard because the rules were a bit confusing. We spent quite a bit of time going through the rules and understanding how to play the game. We did manage to get through one game, but we kind of cut the game short because we were running low on time. I got to play on the side of the gentleman but did not get to play the other side of the game. I was still a bit confused by the end on how the game worked, and I think we skipped through some of the rules, but we did manage to get through.

                Personally, I think I would like the game a lot more if we were doing it in person and if I had a better understanding of how the game worked. I do like the mechanics of the game because the game basically has two different games within it depending on which side you play. The gentlemen spend the game accumulating money for the ladies and helping them buy a bunch of clothes. The ladies are trying to get a bunch of different clothing pieces that their gentleman can buy and try to win off how many points their clothes are worth.

                The game’s theme is worth talking about in regard to roles and portraying people to fit certain things. The game is set in an older time where it portrays the men as the people who have to make all of the money, and all of the money ends up going towards clothes for the women. The women are portrayed as simply only seeking clothes and fulfilling a theme of beauty. Gender roles have become less generalized today as women are not given the role of housewife as they get older and have become breadwinners in today’s age. We continue to move towards a more diverse world where everybody gains more equality regardless of sex and race.

D&D Week 3

For our ninth week of class, we finished up our D&D game. The session brought us to the end of the cave and got us to what was essentially was the final boss. We got into combat with the character and eventually killed him along with others in the cave. We lost one of our companions run by the DM and left the cave with what we had set out to find. The end of the session was open-ended for our characters, so there is more left to their stories.

                To sum up my entire experience throughout the three sessions, I would say I had a lot of fun. All of the interactions were very unique in that people would say stuff that just bring us in a completely different direction that others may go in when conversing with the characters run by the DM. I felt like every character had a role within the party, and everybody had something to bring to the game. I think the DM did a great job bringing the characters to life and describing the scenarios to us.

                I would recommend this game to a lot of my friends. I feel like this game is a lot more fun to run through if you know the people you are playing with more. This allows for people to have better chemistry when bouncing off each other in conversations and adds to the fun in the game. It may be harder to set up a game with my friends, however, because nobody really has any experience with DMing.

D&D Week 2

For this week, we continued our session of D&D. The session was less of introducing our characters like last week and more about continuing our previously established story. The game session consisted of us coming up with ways to sneak into a cave and make progress through the cave. We had a battle and a couple fun interactions occur. Overall, it went very smooth and we made decent progress in our story.

                Personally, I had a lot of fun in the interactions in this segment. We spent a lot of time talking with other characters inside the cave, and while some of the interactions did not necessarily help us advance through the cave, they were still fun to do. The interactions we had are what kind of make me feel like D&D is unique in its experience.

                For leadership, I would say this segment harps some of the same things from last week. I had some trouble adapting to some conversations in the game as my character, but others did a great job thinking up great things for their character. Playing as your character is a very unique experience that some may be better than others at.

D&D Week 1

For this week, we did our first session of Dungeons & Dragons. I have past experience with the game, but it had been a while since I last played it, so I was excited for this game coming up. Our session started off by introducing everybody and their characters and getting a good understanding of how the game works and what to expect. We then got into game and got some interactions and did a combat scenario. Overall, we got a good start to the session.

                Personally, I like D&D a lot, but have not played it as much as I would like to. My personal favorite things about the game are that you are only really limited by your imagination as you can create your own character and background for that character. All of the interactions are off script for the players, and it allows for great moments to happen.

                For leadership, I would say this game relates to that because you sort of fulfill a role in the game. You do not typically operate as you would in real life and have to play out scenarios like you believe your character would. You also need to be able to lead through conversations and decision making in the game. Being able to think of ways to use your character’s skills efficiently is very helpful for everybody in the party.

Free Play 1

For our free play week, we decided to play Incan Gold to make up for the previous week where we did not get to play it. We played the game in Tabletop Simulator, and the session went pretty smooth. We were able to set up the game pretty quickly, and we were able to play the game with no issues. The game is essentially about collecting gold by going through a temple. Sometimes as you advance through the temple you face a hazard, and if you face enough of that hazard you are forced to leave without any gold. We played for about an hour and a half and results for everybody were pretty all over the place. Personally, I would win some games by quite a bit and other games just have no gold. There were some games where we would immediately start runs with hazards and have to leave at the start.

I personally enjoyed the game. It is similar to Can’t Stop in that you have to take risks in your decisions, and you have to form some sort of strategy around the risks you make. Sometimes you might want to play it safe because others would have less gold, so you do not need to try and get a lot of gold. On the other side, players who are very far behind will try to make large risks to try and catch up. The chances are slim, but you want to do it for a chance at winning.

In regard to leadership, it is very similar to what I had to say for Can’t Stop. The theme revolves around risk taking, and when it comes to being a leader you have to take risks sometimes. As a leader, you need to understand what can happen if you take these risks, and if those risks are worth taking. Sometimes the results are good and other times taking that risk can backfire and you have to understand that.

Can’t Stop

For this week of class, we were given two games to play; Can’t Stop and Incan Gold. For our group, we exclusively played Can’t Stop because Incan Gold was apparently not working correctly in board game arena. To summarize this session, there was three of us playing multiple games of Can’t Stop and there was a decent amount of enjoyment throughout. Everybody was able to win at least one game in the session, so it felt like everybody was on an even level.

                I found this game to be very fun, personally. It was a good time sink and very easy to understand the game. Board game arena did make the game a bit easier because you do not have to actually do the math in your head on what your possible choices are. Compare that to playing in a regular setting, I would have to run through all of the possible decisions in my head every time I roll, so while this does make the game a bit easier it does help simplify the game and make it go faster. I think my favorite part about the game is that there is enough random elements in the game to make it so it’s possible for everybody to win, but also allows room for strategy within the randomness.

                This game ties into leadership through the way people account for random elements and how you react to them. Understanding how to deal with situations where you may not be comfortable or completely prepared is important, and sometimes it may backfire against you even if you make a good decision.

Fiasco Week 2

In our fourth week of class, we finished our two-week session of Fiasco. In our session, we started with the tilt, which added interesting complications to our characters’ plots, and then built off these complications to end our plots. For my character specifically, things had been going okay for him as a gambling baseball player in the first act. In the second act, however, he got caught in the act and faced serious consequences toward the end of the game. In the aftermath of the game, my character had ended up being killed by his former teammates. Our session was not too long as we finished the game in about 45 minutes, and we played a different game until the end of class.

                I found this second half of the game to be a lot more interesting than the first half. In the first half, we spent a big chunk of our time creating our characters and getting started on our plots. In the second half, the game really accelerated into all sorts of problems for the characters because of the tilt. The nicest thing about this, though, is that each problem was really developed by the players. We all came up with interesting outcomes for our characters, and I appreciate games that give that sort of freedom. The hardest part of this week was still the online dynamic. I feel like I struggled a bit more with the online story-telling dynamic more this week compared to last week, and had trouble playing off others because I could not really see them and interact face-to-face.

                As far as leadership goes, it is a lot like what I said about the previous week. We all had to adapt to new elements being introduced to the game as the tilt brought different problems for our characters. We developed our characters past the initial establishment of who they are, and we got to decide how we want to act when faced with trouble. We had the freedom of decision-making within the game that correlates directly with the fates of our characters.

Fiasco Week 1

For our third week of class, we played a fun role-playing game called Fiasco. To summarize our session, three of us established our characters, relations, and location through rolling dice, and built a dynamic story completely built by ourselves utilizing our dice rolls. By the end of our session, we had reached the halfway point and had developed conflicts for our characters in their stories. For example, my baseball playing character had been getting away with gambling well but had been getting more complacent with his ability to get away with it.

                I personally enjoyed this game far more than the previous game, Roll Player. The main reason for this is that not only did we get to build characters, but we also got to fulfill the roles of those characters and develop the game past simply making characters. In my opinion, this makes for a more interesting experience for the players. This feels like the kind of game where people can really push their creative boundaries while operating within constraints developed by the game and the player’s ability to tell stories. It really gives the players a lot of freedom in how they tell their stories while also giving them general ideas to build upon. While we did have a lot of freedom, we did establish boundaries we were not comfortable crossing in the game to make the game approachable and more of a comfortable environment. It was a bit harder to play online as I could not really play off other players during the game because I could not see their faces. I kind of expect this to be a theme for multiple board games throughout the semester, but it is what it is.

                I feel like the main elements of leadership in this game were the ability to adapt within the constraints of the game while also identifying on your own who you want to be in the game. The choice is up to the player on how they want to act during the game, but they need to be able to make choices based on relations are established at the start and adapt to the changes in the story as the game develops.

Roll Player

As part of our second week of class, we played Roll Player. This game had a couple of new experiences for me that are interesting to point out that made the experience harder for me than usual games. The first new experience for me was playing within Tabletopia. I had never used Tabletopia before this game session, so I had to kind of learn the software first before getting into the game. The second new experience for me is that I had never really experienced playing board games online, so getting everybody set up for the game from Zoom is kind of a challenge. We did have some difficulties with one of our group members getting into the session, so it did make the session harder to go through.

                In my opinion, I do not really like the game itself. I feel like the concept is very interesting as the game is about building your character and trying to accumulate points through your character sheet. It is like building a D&D character except that is the game. Personally, I feel like I would play this game a couple times but probably not invest any more time in the game as I have more interest in interacting with my character that I have built rather than spending the game building myself up, but never actually using that character.

                You can absolutely see how this game relates to leadership. To me, it means that anybody has their own definition of what it takes to be a leader. Every individual has their own goals and has priorities regarding their characteristics. This mirrors Roll Player, as each player has special skillsets that give them more points than others, and they may want to prioritize that characteristic over others.