Psychic Battlesport in Cyberspace.

Psycheball was the third game I worked on for the #Threeforged design competition in 2015.

It’s a fiasco-like roleplaying game with a team based PVP bluffing mechanic at the centre of the competition elements.

Download: Psycheball PDF

My knee-jerk reaction to the Psycheball game I received to work on for round three was one of distaste. It felt to me like a cheesy cyberpunk presentation on a sports game. Once I dug a little deeper into it and mulled it over I found the bits that really appealed to me. It’s interesting the difference made by my not being able to see the Stage 1 entry Tod Foley submitted because it was a much more intimate and emotionally intense game and I might have gone in a different direction with that as my base. The version I got, however, was one where Nick Wedig had steered it into a structure that looked, to me, a lot more like a traditional D&D encounter structure which didn’t ring with me. It was also based around a token mechanic that didn’t seem to work in my limited playtesting.

What I ended up deciding to do was to try and do a kind of Fiasco/Pro-Wrestling mashup where the outside the ring scenes built up emotions that can be resolved in the ring. I also moved the in match portion into a rotating teams structure and made the core mechanic into a bluffing game to allow for complex PVP without too much crunch. It was a pretty big overhaul and I was worried about upsetting my other collaborators with the amount I changed but I do genuinely believe that what I submitted for Stage 3 was decent quality. Thanks heaps to Tod and Nick for setting me up with something where I had to step outside my comfort zone to make something interesting.



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