This year's theme: BOOKS DO NOT EXIST
Board role-playing games for a long time were limited to one format - the format of the book of rules. But in recent years, this standard has begun to change: there are more short games; games built on card mechanics or on the basis of small brochures. This year, as part of Game Chef, we suggest you develop this trend. What if the game has no uniform rules, no single base text? How then does the player learn the rules of the game? Is it possible to create a board game without a single set of rules? Maybe the game will take on new forms? Or maybe there will be new solutions to old problems?
Get inspired by this theme, let it change your game in the process. Interpret it in any way possible. It is likely that your vision will differ significantly from the options offered by other participants. We gave the topic some explanation, but you are free to interpret it in your own way.
Four ingredients this year: absorb, wild, shine, sickle
The action takes place in the apartment Aivazovsky.
Spacious room, clean dining table, on which lie two reproductions and a handful of coins. Near two leather chairs and three stools.
There are two in the room, one in the chair, the other is at the table. Flash frames on the included television panel. In the windows - sunset.
Aivazovsky, Salvador (talking).
Salvador. How can you even watch it? I do not understand.
Aivazovsky (thoughtfully). Normal same movie.
Salvador. Then you look, one. (Takes a couple of steps.) When will the rest be?
Aivazovsky. Already have to. I'll call now.
Salvador. So wait. You tell me the rules yet.
Aivazovsky (reluctantly turns off the TV). Yes there are no rules. (Gazing at Salvador’s.) Imagine there are no rules at all! (Makes a hand gesture.) Quite!
Salvador. Are you kidding me now, huh? How to play something?
Aivazovsky. You will see.
Clicks the lock. Liza and Arkhip Ivanovich appear in the doorway.
Salvador. Here you go. Less than a year, as Arkhip Ivanovich complained!
Arkhip Ivanovich (grumblingly). I am the same Ivanovich, as you - Salvador. (Sighs. He greets Salvador. He makes a reproachful look.) So while waiting, we could brew tea.
Salvador (deadpan). Nothing, you have time with your tea. (Aivazovsky.) Well, that's all, everything? And Shishkin?
Arkhip Ivanovich. Shishkin will not.
Liza. How it will not Shishkin? (Nods to the crowd.) Hi.
Aivazovsky (looks at his watch). Yes, he will. Later. (Turning to the new arrivals.) Pictures brought?
Arkhip Ivanovich. Yes. Here it is. (Pulls out a reproduction, puts it on the table.)
Aivazovsky (looking at Lisa). Are you?
Arkhip Ivanovich. And she is. Well, it's Lisa!
Liza. Wait a minute. Arkhip Ivanovich said that I did not need.
Aivazovsky. Ah, yes, I forgot completely.
Salvador. I do not understand something, that is, can I play without a picture?
Arkhip Ivanovich. No, we are just Gatekeepers, and Liza is like a guest in our worlds.
Lisa (thoughtfully). Are they Gatekeepers or Gatekeepers?
Salvador. Is the Gatekeeper not comfortable with you?
Liza. We must call you somehow.
Arkhip Ivanovich. Lizok, do not be stupid. I am Arkhip Ivanovich. (He points to Aivazovsky.) This is Aivazovsky. (Looks at Salvador’s, remembering something.) Well, yes, I don’t know. You better not go to his world at all. (Smiles.) And then the clock will melt or some other trouble. In short, the chores are continuous.
Lisa (displeased). It is now. This could be the picture without authors.
Arkhip Ivanovich. There are no pictures without the author.
Salvador (Arkhip Ivanovich). Do you have something against the world of soft watches?
Lisa (enthusiastically). Oh my God, the World of Soft Watches?
Aivazovsky. Yes! Watch it. (He takes one of the reproductions in his hands, showing it to Lisa.)
Lisa (looking at the picture). Oh, right. I remember.
Arkhip Ivanovich. Everyone saw it, nothing interesting. Here I have the World of Lunar Night!
Aivazovsky. And I just. Ninth World.
Salvador. Ninth world? Somewhere I've heard it before.
Arkhip Ivanovich. And then Shishkin? World of Bears?
20 minutes have passed. Same there.
Aivazovsky. Everything, we play. I am the first.
Arkhip Ivanovich. Go, go. Present already.
Aivazovsky. It means so. (Gathering with thoughts.) This Gate led to the colorful Ninth World, where waves crash against rocks and seagulls circling high in the sunset sky, mourning for the dead ships. The boundless sea keeps the same number of secrets and secrets ...
Lisa (interrupts). And how many ships have already sunk?
Aivazovsky. So far, only one. Last time played.(Thinks for a few moments.) In short, such a little world.
Salvador. Well now I am. Just tell, huh?
Aivazovsky. Wait, I'll create an underwater monster.
Arkhip Ivanovich. Cthulhu?
Aivazovsky. Yes, let it be Cthulhu. (Takes a five-kopeck coin.)
Liza. Cthulhu? Who is this?
Arkhip Ivanovich. No matter, he will still sleep. (To Aivazovsky.) I hope he will sleep?
Salvador (Lisa). Chthonic monster absorbs brains. Have you not read Lovecraft?
Liza. No ... And I'm not going to, it seems.
Aivazovsky. Yes, he will sleep. (Gives them a sly look.) For a while.
Arkhip Ivanovich. Well, thank God. Only you take a ten-kopeck, it's too big for a simple creature.
Aivazovsky (laughs). That is, Cthulhu will take place as a location?
Salvador. What are you doing there?
Aivazovsky (changes coin). Well, five kopecks is a hero, and ten is a place. (Sighs.) Now ten moves will be built.
Liza. And one penny?
Arkhip Ivanovich. For one - the subject.
Liza. A, clear. (Salvador). How is the World of Soft Watches?
Salvador. Now, see Aivazovsky monsters displays.
Aivazovsky. So I'm all.
Salvador. Well listen ...
An hour passed. The same and Shishkin.
Arkhip Ivanovich (Shishkin). And I thought you would not come today.
Shishkin. Well, you must go and see the ghouls. Check out.
Liza. In short, I want a raft!
Aivazovsky. Is it an item or a place?
Arkhip Ivanovich (caustically). Or maybe he is reasonable? Then the creature.
Liza. You're scaring me. Normal raft. (Lost in thought.) Although not, the usual will drown here. Antigravity!
Salvador (puts a penny on the picture of Aivazovsky). You write it down, write it down. Raft.
Aivazovsky. Hey, what are you creating here?
Salvador (Lisa). Look, he doesn't like it. Build your best in my world.
Shishkin (Aivazovsky). What is a raft not comfortable with you?
Aivazovsky (Shishkin). Antigravity!
Liza. And what is not according to the rules?
Arkhip Ivanovich. That's the thing, there are no rules here.
Shishkin. Well, technically they are. Just in free form. There are the conditions themselves: drawings, coins, time of construction. Plus more wild rules.
Arkhip Ivanovich (skeptical). Oh, come on. In fact, there are no rules.
Shishkin. And the wild?
Arkhip Ivanovich. These are not rules.
Salvador (impatiently). Well, you will go there, will you? Lisa ordered a raft.
Arkhip Ivanovich. Pancake. We didn’t do that.
Shishkin (smiling.) What a tea, three in the morning!
Aivazovsky. Actually, half past ten. (Inspects the crowd.) Stop for tea?
Shishkin. Well, come on.
Get up. Go to the kitchen.
Salvador (Shishkinu). And how is your picture called?
Shishkin. World? Uh ... the forest belt!
Arkhip Ivanovich (sarcastically). And not the world of the morning? Isn't Peace Pines?
Lisa (picking up). World of Bears?
Aivazovsky. I know the World of Cones!
Shishkin (rolling his eyes). Damn, how you zadolbali.
Arkhip Ivanovich. Yes, we have not even started.
Ten minutes later. After tea drinking. Same there.
Shishkin (ending the description). Actually this is such a fabulous meadow in the forest.
Salvador. With bears!
Liza. And with the bumps!
Shishkin (with irony). Yes, in general! Tin full.
Arkhip Ivanovich (businesslike). What are you building then?
Shishkin. Wings. Bears.
Liza. Why bears with wings?
Shishkin (wearily). Why why. Fly away from you! (Thinks.) But no, we’ll make a better hero, a warlock.
Arkhip Ivanovich. Again warlock? Why in the woods?
Shishkin (Arkhip Ivanovich). Not again, but again. Give me a coin. (Looking at the rest.) Who's there next?
Aivazovsky. I. Then there will be Salvador, then Arkhip Ivanovich.
Liza. Then I.
Shishkin (Liza). What world are you building in?
Liza. Have Aivazovsky for now. Raft, pirate and castle-balloon.
Liza.But there is a restless sea and the pirate wants to dump somewhere.
Arkhip Ivanovich. I create a castle on the bank of the river. Or a pirate ship. Frigate!
Liza. No, you are gloomy. And I wanted to specifically transfer this pirate.
Shishkin. We haven't done it yet, but you yourself can create a Wild Rule.
Liza. So I did not understand how to do them.
Arkhip Ivanovich. Yes, he did not eat, we still have only Sickle Occam and a guest.
Salvador. So, detail this moment.
Shishkin (sighing). Well Serp I added.
Arkhip Ivanovich. Yes, we cut out Cthulhu to them today, by the way. Just in case.
Aivazovsky. Did he bother you?
Salvador. Oh, that was it. Got it.
Arkhip Ivanovich. Yes. (Shishkinu.) How does the rule sound exactly there?
Shishkin (reads). Sickle Occam. Appears in the universe every ten turns, no matter whose, and goes to that ... (Interrupts reading.) In short, who has the first building completed, he gets a Sickle, and can bang something extra to anyone.
Aivazovsky (Arkhip Ivanovich). Here it is just over the course will appear again, and I will cut your tower of black magicians.
Arkhip Ivanovich (in protest). But I need it, it is not superfluous!
Liza. Actually, I will get a Sickle, my castle will be just completed.
Aivazovsky (winking at Salvador). Oh, not a fact.
Liza. Well, no shit, something to do. I was generally against it!
Arkhip Ivanovich (Shishkin). Ah, yes, Aivazovsky, another Wild rule added. You can mess when you have something weighty built.
Aivazovsky. Yeah, then slow down any building for one turn. In short, you hurt so little.
Liza. And the guest is what?
Arkhip Ivanovich. And it's you. I added that the player could not have his own Gate and build where you want.
Liza. Well shine! I was going to take my picture.
Arkhip Ivanovich. Yeah. Do you know what she wanted? Portrait! (Lisa.) How do you imagine this, tell about the world through a portrait?
Liza. Normally imagine, take and describe. (Tired.) Okay. Have driven.
Shishkin. Let's add a rule that it is possible to build portals between the Gateways. If both the Guardians agree.
Arkhip Ivanovich. Stop, you can't add yet. You already have a Sickle.
Shishkin. Yes, I tell Lisa. Well, by the way, I can cancel my own.
Arkhip Ivanovich. Through voting?
Shishkin. Through voting, only new ones, and old ones simply by personal desire.
Liza (looking hard at Aivazovsky). It would be better to cancel the dirty trick.
Salvador. That is, we add with Liza according to the rule and everything?
Arkhip Ivanovich. No, then everyone will have one at a time and you can add new ones.
Aivazovsky. In short, we are returning to the Ninth World. (Lisa.) As your pirate flew the Plywood, the weather changed. Thunderclouds appear on the horizon, a storm is coming. (With pathos.) The Elf King frowns and gives the order to dive, with a wave of his hand. After a minute, the elf submarine closes with flickering power shields and hides under water. Liza. Well, now the storm is coming.
Shishkin. Nothing, you will take cover in the air castle.
Aivazovsky (businesslike). Well well. The island in three turns will be, an underwater cave in seven. I will replenish the team for now. I'll order an elf in red.
Aivazovsky. Of course!
Salvador. In the meantime, a clockwork dinosaur was added to the Soft Watches, and ... (Looking meaningfully at Aivazovsky.) I get a Sickle!
Arkhip Ivanovich (reproachfully). Rays of hate you get.
Aivazovsky. No, Sickle on the move Liza appears.
Salvador. Oh yes. (Lisa.) Then just lock your brakes ...
Lisa (indignant). Radish!
Every other day. Phone conversation.
Shishkin and Arkhip Ivanovich (discuss the latest events).
Arkhip Ivanovich. You know, I would redo it. I would write normal rules so that I don’t think of it every time. (Pause.) Well, look, you have Sickle Occam - to make about each philosopher for some similar thing.
Shishkin. So again everything was in vain?
Arkhip Ivanovich. Well, not that in vain. The thought itself is good, you just need to arrange the game normally.
Shishkin. Yes, I was thinking about how to do the standard. But. (Pause.) But then Shishkin would not be there. Do you understand? And the point is that everyone thinks out the mechanism himself.
Arkhip Ivanovich. Yes Yes. The concept of a game that does not exist in the form of a set of rules ... it is stoned somehow, difficult. (Pause.) Well, that's okay, in principle. Lisa here you know what offered ...
Review # 1
Very interesting story with entertaining characters, but it is completely incomprehensible how and what they are trying to play. Ingredients are mentioned, although the same Sickle is dragged by the ears to Occam's razor. In general, an interesting essay, but this is not a game. I would love to read this author, but I cannot vote for this work.
Review No. 2
Gatekeepers play review
I must say at once that the form of the presentation of the material in this work is simply beautiful. However, this is not surprising, given that its author is also the creator of the enchanting system and, first of all, a collection of incredible settings - twisted terra. The matter is not even in the unusual presentation of the material, the very idea of acquainting the reader with the necessary factual material, frankly speaking, is not new, but the style of the work brings to mind the fantasy of the times when it was still warm and lamp-filled.
Alas, the form of filing, apparently, was the cause of the weak points of this work. Despite the fact that the characters acting in the work explain to the novice the rules of the game for which everyone has gathered, but the main phrases, apparently, are either spoken off-screen, or are only implied in general.
Given that the game described is more like a board strategy than a classic role-playing strategy, the text does not show the details that are quite important for this class. So, the purpose of the game is casually mentioned - to tell about the world. Based on what is happening in the play, it can be assumed that the story should consist of the creation and buildings in the world of new elements. But it is not indicated either when the game is considered finished, how the winner is determined, or even what to do with the created entities. Coins are used to create and build, which are also the counters of resources and the measure of time needed to create. The decision is so logical and beautiful that after reading about it you are surprised that everyone around does not do that. Alas, this mechanic is also damp - it is not clear where, for what, and in what quantity the players receive coins, can they be exchanged and, conversely, summed up.
If you decide that the game is still role-playing and you don’t have to win it, the picture still turns out to be rather strange. In the text, one of the players proposes to introduce an additional rule, introducing portals connecting the disparate worlds. Perhaps this would really not be superfluous, since it seems that at the time the game described in the play consists of several monologues in which everyone talks about his creation, occasionally harming the rest of the little things. By the way, about additional rules. The core of the rules implies the introduction of additional rules of this game during the game. Again, an excellent solution, and a very ingenious approach to the theme of the competition - the rule book really does not exist, because the game is created anew each time. But in this case, it turns out that most of the gameplay shown to us is a private situation, characteristic of a single party, and not related to the game itself.
From all the above, I would draw the following conclusion: Gatekeepers cannot be played in the form in which it is presented. Actually, the play does not describe the game, but the mechanic set. By the way, the players themselves also understand this, this can be understood from the resonant speech of Arkhip Ivanovich. However, the mechanics used are listed in the same place:
“Shishkin. Well, technically they are. Just in free form. There are the conditions themselves: drawings, coins, time of construction. Plus more wild rules. ”
By the way, from the given constants only pictures came to me as perplexed. It seemed to me a rather strange idea to create the world from an image already created by someone. Undoubtedly, the drawings can help a lot, trigger fantasy, give associations, and finally build a single figurative line. But the loan is limited to one work, and even bring it to the game in advance. Perhaps this detail would make sense to make a random component of the Gatekeeper.
And finally, on the formal side of the issue. As I said, the author dealt with the main theme brilliantly. I also want to be able to. But the ingredients did not receive much development. I could see only the Sickle in the form of one of the optional rules, and the Radiance in the entourage of one of the given worlds. But, again, as already mentioned, the text of the play is written in excellent language, contains a number of allusions and Easter eggs, and is generally pleasant to read. Describing Cthulhu as locations is generally a delight. I really hope one day to see new gatekeepers on a par with murshambola and twisted terra.
Review # 3
Somehow Shishkin, Dali, Aivazovsky, Mona Lisa and Kuinji gathered together, and a conversation came out. The conversation stretched across several pages, it was all spiced up with unsuccessful attempts at joking and strange gestures. "Artistic images, as if alive, stood before my eyes, revealing like the sky over Berlin or the skeletons of the Dresden cathedrals after the bombing." I would like to write such a phrase about this game, but no. Artists gathered, talked about something, about Cthulhu, sickle (it’s not clear where it came from) and so on. Bacchanalia reminded me of the movie “Green Elephant”, and wanted to rush into this meeting and shout: “What are you talking about? What Cthulhu, what pictures ?! What are you, gone? ". Honestly, we did not understand anything from the game. All this looks like an art-house film: too many unnecessary pompous words that are perfectly perceived separately, but do not add up to a single sentence. Verdict: complete zero, we did not even understand how to play it. Keywords are not used properly, but the topic is fully disclosed: there is no book. Nothing at all.
Review # 4
Age markings they rule
The coolest thing about this job is the pitch. Statement of the rules in the form of a game session description seems to me brutally abrupt move. The module as a way to design the game is really great. You can show the author's vision of the relevance of the application and interpretation of the rules, to convey the way the game. Recreating dialogues and questions will fit what is in the air in your company when you develop it.
The good news ends there. For an adult, the proposed design is not a game. It is possible to play this game with pleasure at the age of 4 - 5. An adult can play this game with a child. In childhood, the imagination of something non-existent is a real challenge. The clash of several fantasies creates an amazing adventure. But an adult is not interested. Maybe we are spoiled game developers, but writing rules in a given field does not seem like entertainment to us, and inventing entities without purpose and purpose is an interesting leisure. Due to the absence of suitable age children under another, the playtest did not work, but I remember well how I made up a very similar game somewhere in the older group of kindergarten or maybe in the first grade. It can be fun.
True, I always tried to figure out in advance who would actually win. The criterion of victory, alas, is the same integral part of the game as the rules. For small ones, competition arises in the power of imagination and obviously wins over the one whose imagination will be more flexible to generate useful rules, and richer to respond with new entities to new conditions. Loses one who can not come up with something new in his turn and begins to repeat. Unfortunately, three adult craftsmen can compete in this until copper is green in coins and no one loses. And there is no other criterion.
So, young deities gain strength in the vastness of the primeval continent. They build faith and lead their people into the future. Armed with a hex dice and coins of faith.There were five participants in our test game (this is a game without a lead, so I also acted as a player) and the following deities and races were represented:
Source text: From five cents to the game of deities