After much formatting, the bookform of Save the Date is done! (First draft) In the delirium of writing 36 endings in 24 hours, the game took a much sillier tone than I had first imagined. I think this ends up supporting the extreme wedding crises that the game is exaggerating and making fun of. I also rolled up a beginner’s game ready to go for players to try.
From here the next steps are testing, tuning, and adding additional NPCs and guides on how to make them. I’d also like to revisit some of the imagery and add illustrations to the bookform.
Each Wedding Guest has a description, 6 skill thresholds (Charm, Intimidation, Logic, Light Touch, Perception, and Distraction), a motivation, five pieces of evidence to support that motivation, a successful ending, and a failed ending. Each motivation had to fit either the Fall Wedding or Spring Wedding difficultly/inciting incident and had to have enough evidence to scale between 2 to 4 players (6 to 10 NPCs). I ended up having to cut the 5 player option (12 NPCs) for balancing players ability to remember NPC and clues.
For a wedding themed game, I wanted everything feel like wedding stationary. I also think the clean black and white is a good contrast to the silly humor of the game. Here are the cover,the character creation template, and a sample NPC listing.
You are cordially invited to attend a wedding at Peachwater Plantation. You arrive ready to celebrate, but just an hour before the wedding, the bride calls you and her other most trusted friends and family to her dressing room in a panic. Something has gone terribly wrong, as she needs you to fix the problem while she manages the rest of the wedding. It’s up to you to save the date.
Save the Date is a table-top RPG-esque game for 2 to 5 players + a Game Master (called The Wedding Planner.) Each game is designed to take between 1 and 3 hours to play depending on the number of players. Each game is a self-contained session, though there are tips for reusing established characters is subsequent games in the manual. To play the game, players will need at least one set of game dice (20-sided, 12-sided, 10-sided, 8-sided, 6-sided, and 4-sided). Wedding Planners should set up each game in advance.
Save the Date is a social game exploring conversation and observation tactics as play. Performative play, costumes, and dramatic acting will add to the experience. Players must talk and investigate their way around the wedding (this is a combat-free experience.)
Player Experience Goals:
- Collaborative Triumph: Each player should feel that they contributed to the team.
- Discovery: Players should feel as though they are driving the investigation and making connections to push the narrative forward.
- Conversation skills: Players should analyze NPCs and situations to determine how best to approach a conversation.
- Investigation skills: Players should want to work together as a team, and the benefits of works together should encourage this.