CoronArt: The Social Distancing Game

Since my individual pitch, I have continued playtesting my game, CoronArt, with my sister, who lives eight hours away. I designed CoronArt around the theory that as the pandemic and social distancing continued, cabin fever would become more of an issue. I intended for CoronArt to be a game for people who are currently social distancing and want to have fun and spend time with friends and family who they are unable to meet up with at present.

The game mechanics are relatively simple. Players take turns drawing a picture that they feel is awkward or embarrassing, and then put them up in a public place without getting seen. Each image has to be at least slightly larger than the last one drawn, to add to the challenge. If players get caught putting up a drawing, or if they get cold feet and refuse to complete their turn, they’re disqualified. The last player standing is then declared the winner.

Currently, the game loop works like this:

  1. In order of oldest to youngest, players take individual turns to draw a picture they think is embarrassing.
  2. The player then has to secretly put that picture up in a public place where other people can easily see it. If somebody sees the player putting the picture up, they’re disqualified.
  3. The player then has to send evidence of the drawing to all other players, detailing to size and location of the drawing.
  4. The next player then has to beat the previous picture by making a larger drawing than the previous one drawn. If the player gives up or doesn’t complete the turn, they’re disqualified.
  5. The winner is the last player left to be disqualified.

Through playing with my sister, I’ve found that this game works best when it’s spaced out over several weeks. My sister told me early on that she’s felt pressured to keep the game going at a break-neck speed. This pressure was taking away from her enjoyment of the game. So we decided to play it slowly and keep it on the back burner for when we were particularly bored or wanted to cheer each other up. This appears to have improved her enjoyment in the game.

I had initially also intended for players to keep the fact that they were the ones putting up the pictures completely secret from whoever they are living with or near. While this would be easy for me, my sister is social distancing in a small house with three other people, all of whom know that she’s an artist. So I decided players can tell people about the game, as long as they don’t get caught putting up their drawings.

I feel that this game would be best suited for 2-4 players, as with too many people it could quickly get out of hand and give players cold feet, ending the game prematurely. A concern that I have is that CoronArt relies on an honour system in which players have to admit to getting caught, making it easy to cheat. This breaks the current iteration of the game, and I’m not sure how to fix it, or how to incorporate into the gameplay if that’s possible.

Finally, I’ve decided to keep the name CoronArt. It sounds awful, but I feel that it fits the theme and standard of drawings that my sister and I have made.

One thought on “CoronArt: The Social Distancing Game

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