A context-dependent game

I created a pretty interesting little game yesterday. It’s called Missä miehet ratsastaa, which already tells to my Finnish readership what it’s about: the Finnish power metal band Teräsbetoni is going to the Eurovision Song Contest, and this is a game about that. The motivation for the game was actually in one of those small, curious design competitions we see at the Forge from time to time; this one was about double dice, started by the esteemed Michael Adams, and slated to end today.

This kind of game is not really intented to be played right out of the web page, I should say, in case somebody can’t wait to take off their shirt and start swinging their sword-microphone at the audience: not only are these competition games stitched together fast, in my case it was even faster; after spending the last week thinking up and discarding three separate game ideas for the contest, I ended up with Teräsbetoni on the very last night. Consequently the game might be rather difficult to parse out of my night-time rambling.

The interesting part of the game, though, is that it’s pretty much as close to rpg-as-journalism as one might reasonably get:  I wrote and published it only hours after the Finnish ESC candidate was chosen, and the game itself is deeply embedded in its time: I doubt a bit that anybody would find it pertinent to play after May, as then we’ll know how Teräsbetoni does in the competition for real! So it’s a very temporary piece in many respects.

Regardless, I’m pretty happy with the ideas of the game and will probably reuse them for something else at some point down the line. Using the calendar for scene framing has been on my mind for a while, but there are other interesting bits to the design as well. Perhaps I’ll play this at Maracon next weekend. Have to find some double dice for that, though…


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