I spoke to Brendan at UK Games Expo this past week, and I was almost embarrassingly gushing over his design process and his thematic prowess. He told me that he loved designing games that didn't just end with a crescendo, but were entirely a crescendo. I mean, it makes sense. Instead of just building up to the best bit, why not make all of it the best bit?
However, if we take a look at something other than the theme, such as the resource system in Hit the Silk!, we can see why it’s not just how the game looks, or how the components are presented, that gets you all hot under the collar from as soon as you start the game. Hit the Silk purposefully gives you less than what you need, that thing being parachutes to safely escape the crashing plane. On top of that, there is another goal of getting enough money together to complete the heist, which isn’t easy. That coupled with the inherent bluffing and deception mechanics really make for a constantly tense scenario.
One of the potential problems with the game could have been that it could get too shouty between all, say, four or five players playing the game. Games like Secret Hitler do a good job at isolating arguments by having interactions always focused on two players, the president and the chancellor. Hit the Silk does a similar thing with handcuffs. It thematically, and mechanically, tethers two players together, altering the dynamics of the game from more wide, to very narrow in terms of essential communication and actions that affect other players. I really like this about the game as well.
I’d definitely pick up at least Hit the Silk if you plan on designing deception and bluffing games yourself. Especially if you need to communicate the theme of your game properly to your artist, as you can show an example of how it’s been done right. If you don’t fancy picking it up, watch some how to play videos or at the very least their incredible trailer for the game. If you somehow don’t get enthralled by that, then I don’t know what to say.
Thanks for reading this short blog,
Niall from Crab Studios
Hello, my name is Niall Crabtree, and this is my comprehensive blog showcasing all of my game development endeavors and successes, as well as essays on game design.
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