‘Who Left the Windows Open?!’ for Iron Game Designer

A cooperative game where you are kids in a house where the windows have been left open and pests have swarmed in. You have 3 actions per turn, moves, opening and closing doors. You’re running around trying to channel the pests (wasps, snakes, spiders, ants & mosquitos) towards each other as predators attack each other. The threat level rises each turn (nests, swarms, etc).

Colleague Ralf Muhlberger and I teamed up to participate in the 2015 IRON GAME DESIGNER Challenge run by Steve Dee, where participants have two hours to make a board game.  Problems in our competition strategy include going with the idea we were excited by rather than the idea we could produce, test, and then play in the short judging time. So we didn’t win, but we have a game that has legs!

Description of the game on the competition site:

Taking the theme as their title this was another very literal reading. Kids left at home were battling growing threats (in the case of the first and so far only deck, creepy crawlies like snakes and spiders), with the enemies being generated with constant turning decks of cards that get progressively worse. In a lovely twist, however, the kids can’t fight the threat, but only contain it or direct it. Only able to move slowly and open and close doors they need to work together to drive monsters towards each other – and figure out which will cancel out and which will get worse. This is determined by a five-way scissor-paper-rock system which judges feared might be too complicated to solve especially for the family audience the theme suggested. Like Home Intrusion, the designers felt they may have lost too much time to the tyranny of cutting and pasting, but also like Home Intrustion, the literal, immediate and relatable interpretation won points and captured imaginations.

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