Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thank you!

Thanks to the Kickstarter backers who signed along for Shakespeare Deathmatch. It's been quite gratifying for Mary and I to see how many people are enthused for this project. We're going to get going on layout and design work in the next few weeks, and we'll keep people posted on the progress of the game through the KS page and our blogs.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Back It For A Buck Challenge

Today in Board Games hosts a pretty cool Back It For a Buck challenge, whereby they work to increase visibility for a wide range of games from a lot of cool creators. Mary and I are in for the challenge, and we'd encourage you to check out the challenge as well and see what sorts of cool stuff is out there!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Card Designs

Mary and I have roughed out some concepts for the fronts and backs of cards... the idea is that each card will have a quote that ties to the theme of the suit (lovers - hearts - will have quotes about love... you get it)



Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Origins of the Game: Four Archetypes

Mary and I have been studying Shakespeare and his works for over two decades (we both were involved in a production of "Hamlet" while in college, and have taken part in another half-dozen productions of various Shakespeare plays since then), but it was a workshop that a colleague went to that changed our understanding of Shakespeare, and set the foundation for the game system.

Another teacher (hi, Carla!) came back with a simple exercise that would enable students to understand Shakespeare's characters - looking at them as archetypes with a simple physical action to correspond with the character type.
- The 'king' or 'queen' (we're calling this the 'ruler' for gender neutrality) walks around with a crown on his/her head and a figurative pole up the ... other side. The king/queen is distant and aloof.
- The 'warrior' also walks around proudly, but carries a 'sword' (arm held in a chop ready to strike).
- The 'lover' walks around holding his/her hands to his/her chest (see the problem with not having gender neutrality? AWKWARD sentences), and then the love 'bursts out' as the lover walks around (you throw your hands forward dramatically, 'sharing the love' with your friends).
- The 'trickster' (or magician - I like trickster better; even Prospero is a 'trickster' more than a magician in my imagination, as are the three witches in Macbeth, Oberon and Puck - in spite of the fact that all use magic). The trickster goes around all Gollum-style wringing his/her hands in scheming glee.

However, in my endeavor to find a unified theory of "Hamlet" (and therefore a unified theory of Shakespeare's work, since I believe that "Hamlet" is where he perfects his craft, and uses every one of his tools at once - he's juggling every piece of hardware in his playwrighting arsenal at once here), I started to look at how these archetypes are tied to the elements, and began to see how Shakespeare purposefully ties these together. Tricksters use wind. Warriors use fire. Rulers are tied to earth. Lovers connect to water. Don't believe me? Ophelia is the prototypal lover. How does she die? Water. What's she doing all the time? Crying. It gets even cooler. Check out Hamlet's language. When he's talking about air and wind (like with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in Act 2) he's a trickster playing the other tricksters. When he starts talking about earth (in the graveyard - Act 5) he's ready to become a ruler (it's his final step) and he's internalizing all things earth. He talks fire during warrior time, and talks water when he's a lovery.

Check through the play. I dare you.

There's a Doctoral Dissertation in here somewhere, but I don't have the stamina to research and write a 100-page paper on this; I'd rather turn it into a card game! That sounds like more fun.

Hence, Shakespeare Deathmatch was born!

Funded in Fewer Than 12 Hours

We have funded in fewer than 12 hours! "The golden age is before us, not behind us."