Tag Archives: GOTW

GOTW #6 Reflection: Voices in My Head

In week 6 we played the game Voices in My Head. This is a strategy-based hidden roles game. In this game, you either play as the prosecutor or one of the voices in Guy (the defendant)’s head. The prosecutor is trying to convince the jury that Guy has robbed a bank, whereas the voices in Guy’s head have their own objectives. Some voices want to get a guilty verdict too, while others want Guy to get an innocent verdict. The only issue is – no one knows which is which. There are two acts, each with four rounds. Each round, the prosecutor would reveal a new piece of evidence. Each piece of evidence has two regions of the brain that can influence the card. The players must push their tokens into the different regions, attempting to have the highest score in the region so that they can be the ones to decide how to resolve the card. The game ends after the two acts are completed, and the verdict is determined based on the number of guilty and innocent tiles on the jury.

               I played this game with the same group I played Fiasco with, which was super fun. It seemed we were all a lot more comfortable playing this game, and everyone got a chance to have their own fun. I played the role of prosecutor, which was the role I had hoped to get. I really liked being able to see the evidence and to choose which pieces to throw at the other players. I often found myself picking the funniest options rather than the most optimal choices. It was different from how I find myself usually playing, but I honestly think I had more fun that way. We all had some good laughs and enjoyed the silliness of each new piece of evidence. I did end up losing, but I wasn’t even mad about it. This is definitely a game I would love to play again.

The hardest part about this game for me was trying to figure out what the other players’ goals were. Figuring out the mechanics and how the game was played was more important during the first half. Even when I got it down, my focus was mostly on having fun with the game rather than winning. I didn’t figure out people’s objectives until near the end. I feel like I would have played much differently if it wasn’t my first time playing this game. So, I feel like the hardest part of this game was born from my inexperience. Usually, I play games a bit more strategically, but this time I played it fairly loosely. I just wanted to have a good time, and I did – despite the fact that I lost.

Voices in My Head shows leadership through the role of the prosecutor as well as through who controls the different regions of Guy’s brain. To take control of the situation, and lead the game in a particular direction, players had to place their tokens in specific regions of the brain. Whoever had the most tokens in a region would be able to respond to the prompt given by the prosecutor. I believe this was a form of leadership, as it often took being persuasive and often aggressive in certain ways to take charge of the outcome. I believe the prosecutor also played a leadership role, as they had to guide the other players through each scenario. They act as game master in a way. They put forward the scenarios which the other players had to face. In particular, I also found myself being the one who was asked questions regarding rulings.

I believe my friends Katie and Xavier would like this game. I’ve been playing board games with them more often, and this seems like the goofy game they would enjoy. I think this game really should be played with a light heart and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. I think these two would fit that bill perfectly.

While I feel like I have shared my opinion on this game throughout this post, I think I could elaborate further on what I liked and didn’t like. I liked the goofiness of the cards, the art, and the game mechanics. I also liked how all the different roles interacted, and how a lot of the actions taken during my session were often a mystery until the final reveal at the end. I didn’t have much I disliked. Perhaps it was just a bit difficult to understand at the beginning. However, I feel like that could be a gripe for any game with complex rules. I liked the group I played with, and I had a good time. What more could you ask for?

GOTW Reflection #3: Fiasco Week 2

Week four, our class continued playing the gm-less roleplay game Fiasco. For game mechanics, please refer to my previous post. This week, my group finished the first act, weaseled our way through the tilt, soared through act 2, and ended with a blast of an aftermath. The tilt is the turning point of the story, where everything starts to go awry. It is probably here that I should note that one of our players was unfortunately unable to make it to this session. Our team collectively decided that their character had been murdered by Edwardo, who proceeded to gain amnesia about his crimes and build a snowman to replace him. During the tilt, secrets were spilt, and Penny the penguin was saved from the iceberg. During act 2, the three remaining characters (Pierro, George, and Edwardo), tried to figure out what happened to the other player’s character. At the same time, it was revealed that George had stolen Pierro’s “Top Pilot” trophy on the day Pierro graduated from flight school. Not only that, but it was revealed that George had a long lost twin! Slowly making our way through Act 2, we try to put together the pieces to what happened to the absent player’s character. Making our way through several more scenes, we each collect more black and white dice that would end up deciding our fate. Going into the aftermath, I had largely accumulated white dice, having only received one black dice throughout the duration of the game. In the aftermath you roll your small pile of dice to determine what outcome your character faces. I ended up scoring pretty high on my white dice with an 11. Sounds pretty good. However, that score really only left Pierro with a neutral ending. This ended up being fairly good compared to the absent player and Edwardo however. The snowman spontaneously burst into flames, while Edwardo tragically died in a helicopter crash after successfully smuggling the penguins off Ross island. Pierro revealed himself to actually be George’s long lost brother, out to get revenge after George stole his idol’s (the real Pierro) trophy. In the end, the two brothers reconcile and live happily ever after.

I believe I struggled less during this week’s game session. I think this is because we already had gotten comfortable with the game in the last session and had a firmer understanding of the mechanics. I’d say the hardest part was wrapping it up in a way everyone found enjoyable. It was hard to predict how the other two players wanted things to pan out, and with one player absent there were some loose ends. For that reason I felt a little bad for Edwardo’s character, who was more firmly connected to the missing player’s character. As I said last week, I would play this game with my friends Roai and Korben. It just seems like a game they would enjoy. Plus, I feel like the flow would be better with people I know and have roleplayed with before.

When it came to leadership, I mostly saw it in how we wrapped up the scenes. We each started taking a firmer role in how we wanted each scene for our character to go. However, there was also an openness to negotiate which was very nice. At the end though, I feel like we all individually got to lead and determine the outcome for our characters, which was nice. I like this game. I would play it again.

GOTW Reflection #3: Fiasco Week 1

Week three, we began playing the gm-less roleplay game Fiasco. For this game, you have no game board. All you need to play the game Fiasco is the main rulebook, some note cards, some dice, and an imagination. You and your friends (or anyone you decide to play with) will start the game with four six-sided black dice and four six-sided white dice. These dice determine the outcomes of a scene that you create. The goal of the game is to create a story that usually involves some sort of crime or dastardly deeds. With little guidance, the players must establish who they are, what they want, and how each of them is associated with each other. The game is split into two main acts, the tilt events, and the aftermath. By the end of a game of Fiasco, individuals gather eight fateful dice that determine whether they are victorious or if they go out in a burst of flames. 

            Our class played the game Fiasco over the course of two weeks. The first week we played it, we were tasked with attempting to finish the first act. I played in a group of four. At first, it was a struggle to get started. Due to there being few rules for how to start, we needed a bit of guidance. After choosing our setting, The Ice, we began to create our characters. My character was Pierro. He started off as a pilot who had crashed on Ross Island after running out of gas. He was bitter enemies with another character, George. On the other hand, he was indebted to another character, Edwardo, for saving him from the crash. We only made it through four scenes, but they were all quite amusing. Pierro was convinced to help Edwardo and his partner in crime to go save a penguin who had floated off on an iceberg. They help him fix his helicopter, and plan to find the penguin once they can get some gas into it. Little did Pierro know, they only wanted to save the penguin in order to smuggle it off the island. By the end of the class session, we were starting to get the feel of how the game worked. 

            The hardest part of the game was definitely getting started. Getting used to the mechanics was not easy. I am far more used to games with a firmer structure, so this was new. Even so, once we had our characters made, we all seemed to flow easily between each other. I believe we did a pretty good job, and we all had a bit of fun with it. I think I definitely needed to watch myself though, as I did find myself trying to guide people so that the story would make sense cohesively. Considering the lack of rules, it made it hard to know exactly what might happen. That was both thrilling and scary in a way. I think it opened up for a lot of laughs for our group. So far, I definitely think I like this game. Though, I think it would be more enjoyable if I played it with people, I know a bit better. For that reason, I would recommend this game to my friends Roai and Korben. We have all played roleplay games together before and have great chemistry when it comes to those types of games. I will certainly have to try it out with them sometimes. Especially Korben, he would love the chaos this game could foster. 

            As I implied before, I like games with more structure. The lack of rules made me feel a bit more anxious. Even so it did not ruin the experience for me, as I really do love the roleplay aspect of it. I am really excited to see how the story progresses next week. 

            When it came to leadership, I could see it lightly in each scenario. One could choose to set up the scene or give that power to the other players. For those taking on the role of creating the scene, they were taking on a leadership role. They would choose who and what was going on in a scene, like a director would. However, I also saw leadership in other ways. My group would usually vote for how a scene would end. Usually, when one person proposes a certain outcome (decided by giving the directing player a black or white die) the other voting players would agree. For myself, I often found myself leading in small ways, by guiding towards a more cohesive timeline for the story. At times, I felt bad for doing so, as I did not want to limit the other players’ creativity. Though I know this simply comes from my desire to create a storyline that can be followed. I do believe that this personal value of mine had an effect on how the game progressed. I also think it had an effect on how I played my character as well. Overall, it was a good time, and I definitely would like to play it again.

GOTW Reflection #1: Ultimate Werewolf

During the first week, we played a game called Ultimate Werewolf. It is a social deduction-based game where every player is given a hidden role based on the card dealt to them at the beginning. In Ultimate Werewolf, you either play on the side of the werewolves or the side of the townspeople. Many roles have special abilities that can be used throughout the game to gain the upper hand for a player’s given team. The goal of the townspeople is to find and kill all the werewolves. On the other hand, the goal of the werewolves is to kill townspeople until there is an equal amount of townspeople and werewolves. The game moves in a day-and-night cycle, where werewolves as well as certain other roles kill townsfolk at night. It is also during the nighttime that townsfolk with special abilities get to choose how they would like to use those abilities. During the day, all players debate the execution of another player who may or may not be a werewolf. In a usual game of Ultimate Werewolf, there doesn’t necessarily need to be an execution every day. However, for how we played it in class, due to the time restriction this rule was in place.

            The session we played in class was one of the biggest games of Ultimate Werewolf I have ever played. There were three werewolves and a witch. The townspeople were, of course, the vast majority. The role I received for this game session was Cupid. On the first night, I woke up and chose two individuals (or rather victims), to be lovers. The Lovers know who they are, and their fate is tied together. If one of the lovers dies, so does the other as a result of heartbreak. After the first night, I basically became a normal townsperson, who has no special abilities attached. Rather unfortunately, one of the Lovers was chosen to be executed during the first day, resulting in two townsfolk deaths. Following that day, each night the werewolves would choose someone to kill. Each day, we decided who to execute based on a majority vote. Throughout the session, the townsfolk found one werewolf and the witch. Many people were silenced and many people chose to stay silent. In the end, the werewolves won.

            The hardest part of the game was determining who to execute. There wasn’t solid evidence for many of the executions that actually occurred. Until we got closer to the end, many executions were on a whim or simply because we had to choose someone. There were also some individuals who had never played Ultimate Werewolf before, likely taking more passive roles as a result. However, when it came to execution, it often only took one person taking the initiative to make a decision for an execution to occur. Considering we all didn’t really know much about each other, we similarly had very little to go off of to point to one individual over another. Which leads me to how risk was taken during the game.

            I saw risk taken in several ways. Firstly, in how we executed people in the game. Every time someone was executed, there was a risk that it was a townsperson. With that risk in mind, no one wanted to point fingers – both because it could make them look guilty, and because no one wants to vote out people they don’t know. For the werewolves, leading the charge would put them at risk of being suspicious to the townspeople, so often they left that risk to them as they had more reason to search for the werewolves. They helped just enough to keep the target off their back while staying quiet enough to not be in the spotlight. One thing that really defined this game in particular, was the domino-effect-like pattern seen in the voting. When more than one individual proposed a vote, it was rarely challenged, and often quickly accepted by the majority. The more people who agreed to a vote, the less risk there was in also choosing that decision. One moment I saw a huge risk taken was when the witch tried to vote out the apprentice seer. By doing so, the witch would complete the task they needed to win. However, they also ended up being executed the following day when the apprentice seer was forced to reveal their role after execution. Those who spoke up often could take the lead in the vote and execute someone within reason. I believe that the ones who started votes were leaders in this situation, starting the chain to lead to an execution. However, without a bit of reason to it, and without followers, the execution would not go through. That being said, it was those who were willing to make a splash that were able to form a ripple.

            I have played many games like Ultimate Werewolf before. This was the first time I played with so many people – especially those whom I didn’t know. For that reason, being on the townspeople’s side, I played pretty aggressively when it came to voicing my opinion on votes. I personally didn’t like taking risks, even if we were inevitably forced to execute every night. Though I understood that it was necessary, I knew that doing an execution everyday cycle without evidence would result in us losing far more townspeople than werewolves statistically. Unfortunately, having the role of Cupid only seemed to make this fact a lot worse for this game in particular. One risk I did take was speaking up as much as I did. From my experience, that can be a double-edged sword in games like Ultimate Werewolf. Speaking up is necessary when not a lot of people are talking. However, talking too much can make you a target for werewolves who want to shut your mouth. On the flip side, townsfolk who see you speaking up and pointing the finger a bunch might think that you are a werewolf attempting to act like a townsperson. This actually did happen near the end of the game. I couldn’t think of a good defense for myself and ended up executed. On reflection, I should have tried revealing my role to defend myself. Either way, it was still a fun game. 

When it came to this game, I took the risk of being outspoken but often played it a bit safer when it came to voting for people. I would say this is fairly on point for how I approach leadership. I don’t like being in the spotlight, but often find myself filling in the gaps when I notice it is necessary. This game didn’t have many active speakers, which resulted in me speaking out more than I normally would in a game like this. At the same time, I wasn’t too keen on voting for someone without any reason behind it and often opposed a vote if I didn’t feel it held enough ground. On that note, I do believe that my friend Arden would enjoy this game. They are a very social person, and I get the feeling they would find the hidden roles fascinating. I’ll definitely have to invite them to play a game of Ultimate Werewolf with me sometime.

Fiasco (Week One) Reflection

In week 4 of class, we played a Role Playing Game (RPG) called Fiasco. This was an entirely novel experience for me as I’ve never played an RPG before. The goal of the game, after selecting your playset and defining relationships between characters, is strictly to come up with the best possible scenes with your group. I really enjoyed working with my team, especially since none of us knew each other. It added a little element of fun with the whole nothing-to-lose aspect. I would say that the session went well. It was full of a lot of hysterical laughs and smiles.

The most difficult part of the game for me was absolutely acting out scenes. I’ve never done much improv before in terms of performances, but I really had to think hard on my feet to avoid any awkwardness, or worse, being the person who the scene went poorly for. I noticed that I got tense at times when I wanted scenes to either continue rolling or go differently, but my improv skills weren’t up to speed to control the scene.

I really think that my younger brothers would enjoy playing this game. They love to come up with whatever they can, and to act out all the time, so I feel Fiasco may be right up their alley.

Ultimate Werewolf Review-EDL290T

A couple weeks ago in class, we played a round of Ultimate Werewolf. This is primarily an asymmetrical hidden role game where each character gets a different team and ability, and the primary objective is either to obfuscate your role and outlast the other team, or find the members of the other team, convince your team they are guilty, and vote them out. The most difficult part of Ultimate Werewolf for me is figuring out who is on which team when I am good. There are not that many information roles, and all the powerful ones will be secretive about their ability, which makes a defined solve very tough to achieve.

The aspects of the game that relate most to leadership include times when you are on the good team and must garner trust among fellow players to prevent yourself from being voted out and vote out those not on your team. When you are on the bad team, you must similarly lead the town, but in the opposite direction, perhaps creating false information that will lead others to your point of view, and into your following. The best ways to do this in both cases will usually be to find sentiments that others are agreeing with that fit your desired world, and agree with these sentiments, taking apparent agency away from yourself and giving it to another, while still controlling the game state.

I think some of my friends from high school would like this style of game; I might introduce them to something similar when I go home for Thanksgiving. During the play session we had, I was the bodyguard, and successfully protected my cupid pair on a night I thought he was likely to be killed. My team did not win the game as we were not able to figure out who all was on the other team. I liked this play session and thought it went well, though whenever I play werewolf I wish there was more information available to solve through. Many risks are taken in Werewolf in when and who you share information with, but I did not take those risks in this particular session. When I am in a leadership position I usually take a more active role than I did in this game, as I didn’t know the people I was playing with too well and did not want to be too aggressive in my playstyle.

Ultimate Werewolf Reflection

In our first week of class, we played a turn-based game called Ultimate Werewolf, where two teams were pitted against each other, the villagers, and you guessed it, the werewolves. Each “night,” the werewolves had a chance to get together and choose a villager to kill. Most times, this would work out, unless there was a specific villager who got to save that specific person. The game was interesting to me, as we got to talk amongst the entire group between night phases to try and figure out who was who.

This brought out the hardest part of the game to me, understanding how much information I could or should give out without identifying my own self. I felt that this directly ties into leadership, at least in examples I’ve seen in my own experience. Sometimes, you will possess information that could be of value to a larger group of people, but it may bring you more personal harm than good to share that information. These are conflicts that we will have to face on a recurring basis throughout the entirety of our careers.

I found myself less-than-likely to take risks in Ultimate Werewolf, I believe mainly out of fear of being “killed,” which is very much not like my genuine approach to leadership. If I believe in something, it is often shared or acted upon without fear of retribution from others.

I can very much see my family at home enjoying this game with some of my Aunts, Uncles, and cousins. With a level of familiarity within the group, I really think we would enjoy playing together.

T.I.M.E Stories Reflection – Week 2

On April 20th our class had a choice to either dive deeper into the adventures of T.I.M.E Stories or to participate in free play. Although my group and I encountered many struggles during our first session the week before, we chose to challenge ourselves and continue playing T.I.M.E Stories. The scenario we played was the Asylum, and at the beginning of the round we had the opportunity to choose which character we would be playing with. None of us were able to see each character’s conditions and characteristics before choosing them, but after failing our mission once we were able to choose a different character to play with if we weren’t satisfied with our current conditions. The characters we used for the second round were: Madeleine – Anxiety attacks (me), Marie – Erotomania, Edith – Cannibalism, and Felix – Paranoia. I found this to be a very good combination of characters, especially during combat. During this game our party explored multiple rooms and fought some monsters while trying to find hints and leads on how to complete our mission. During the second round we only visited the rooms where we knew there would be items and passages that we needed to get in order to access other areas. Since we took a lot of notes on the previous round, this was not an issue. 

The hardest part about playing this game was to use all the information we gathered to solve the pentacles puzzle. Even though we took notes on what we deemed important, our group had a hard time figuring out what was missing. This might have happened because while we took notes on a lot of things, we failed to notice the smaller details that ended up being the key to solving the puzzle. This was definitely the longest and most complex game that we have played so far, however it was also the most fun and challenging. Being able to explore on our own accord and slowly putting the pieces of the story together was great. We had a good dynamic and we had fun trying to take different paths than the ones we had used before. 

This game ties into leadership in ways that the other games we played didn’t as much. Because there are many different mechanics and rules in T.I.M.E stories, we needed everyone to be attentive and for communication to be clear and effective. Because of that, each of us took on a leadership role and made sure that the aspect of the game that we were focusing on was taken care of. Note taking, collecting items, choosing the best paths for our group, strategizing which characters would be better together were some of the aspects that were divided between us, and this helped us work together as a well organized team. After playing this game I believe that my family would enjoy playing together because it takes a while and it is very engaging. I think that it could definitely become a regular part of game nights since there are many different scenarios. 

Ladies & Gentlemen Reflection

Last week (March 30th, 2023) our class traveled back in time to the Victorian era with the game Ladies and Gentlemen. There were two roles from which we could pick from – along with an extra role that was only used due to our uneven number of players. The first role was the Gentleman: By playing this role you commit to going to work everyday and making money by fulfilling contracts and selling items. The gentlemen should make as much money as they can to then satisfy their ladies’ wishes at the end of the day. The next role is the Lady: By playing this role you are given a number of shopping choices throughout the day. Your objective is to strategically find the best items and choose the dress and accessories that will make you look the best at the ball (at the end of the game – after six rounds). Once your choices have been made you are to showcase them to your husband (with little to no communication) in the hopes that he will use the money he earned to gift them to you. The extra role is the Courtesan: By playing this role you are a Lady who does not have a husband. Your objective is the same as the other ladies, but you must ask any of the gentlemen for gifts. If you are the best dressed of the ball, the gentleman that gave you the most elegance points (included in the item cards) wins with you. If you are the worst dressed, the gentleman that gave you the least amount of elegance points and his lady lose the game with you. 

The hardest part about playing this game (especially as one of the ladies) was the restriction of communication between partners. Even though the Ladies and the Gentlemen had to work together to win, it was not possible to share our individual strategies, and it seemed like we were playing two completely different games at the same time. In my case, I was looking to buy cheaper items, but to gain elegance points through my servant cards – since I didn’t want to miss the chance of getting items in case my gentleman wasn’t making enough money. Meanwhile, my gentleman was trying to accumulate as much money as he could to spend on the very last round, which I did not know about. Although it was a complex game to play, it was really interesting and fun to figure out. The satirical reference to the Victorian era was clever and done in a way that exposed many gender roles and expectations that have shaped our society. This game can definitely teach some lessons about gender disparity and gender roles, which are important topics to be aware of, especially when it comes to leadership. A good leader can be inclusive and empathetic, and putting yourself in a position that you are normally not in can help you understand someone’s context better. Being able to look at things from different perspectives and adapt accordingly can go a long way. 

In my opinion, I believe that my classmates from WGS courses would enjoy playing this game and discussing its context afterwards. This game can be a good conversation starter about gender roles then and now, and about gender inequality. 

T.I.M.E. Stories Week One: A Reflection

T.I.M.E. Stories is reminiscent of an escape room/choose your own adventure game. It is a collaborative game that practically requires you to take notes. One notable thing about the game is how the artwork contributes to the story. One downside to the game is the difficulty in understanding the game before you play. There is a large learning curve right at the beginning while you are trying to set up and learn how to start. However, once you figure the setup out, it really flows smoothly from there on out.

I think the initial setup and how to start playing was the most difficult part of the game for me. Although, another challenging point was deciding where to travel as a group because we would all have to go to the same room all together. I have enjoyed playing collaborative games like Pandemic, Forbidden Desert, and a variety of escape room games with my family. I believe this makes me really appreciate the collaborative aspects of T.I.M.E. Stories.

My group failed because of running out of time units. After this failure, I decided to play a different role. I had initially been the girl with anxiety which had forced me to always go with a partner to different parts of the rooms we were exploring. When I switched roles, I became the bitter old lady with not a lot of heart but some resilience. I did not have many opportunities to compare the roles, but after the first class time spent playing this game, I think I prefer the girl with anxiety.

I think a lot of the leadership aspects that this game highlights were ones we discussed following the week we played Pandemic or Forbidden Island. This game required collaboration as well as an ability to be accountable as an individual in order to make the collaborative game easier overall.

I am looking forward to playing this game during our second week of designated class time. I also believe that my family would really enjoy playing this game together, so I look forward to introducing them to this game at some point. If you like collaborative games or escape rooms, I would highly recommend trying T.I.M.E. Stories at some point.