24 hours of obscurity

I'm really getting into these 24 Hour design contests.  They have been a great catalyst for thinking about new games and an effective incentive to get a game to a playable and shareable state in a very short period of time.  Plus, as an exercise in scope management, they are excellent: I have to be able to envisage a game that can actually be considered finished (in the sense of being a complete, ready to print and play game) in just a few hours.
The different colour cards are pleasing aesthetically, but they should probably all be the same.
The July contest had the requirement, "obscure".  As always, this is not a theme or title, but just something that needs to be in the game in some way.  Of course, interpretation of the requirement varies between people, so while some participants were thinking about fame versus obscurity, or hipsters liking obscure bands, I was among a group who were thinking about using things to physically hide (or obscure) other things by positioning them on top of each other.

For some reason I fancied working with circles, so I used a pile of circular cards (in three sizes) that I had acquired for game experimentation purposes.  I wanted to have some sort of symbols to obscure or reveal on the cards, so I used some rubber stamps depicting playing card suits (spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs) to print these onto the card discs.  This selection of symbols has the advantage that regular playing cards can be used as an additional component; and, in fact, I went with this, using playing cards for providing scoring objectives: if you have, say, 1 club card you score 1 point for each club showing in the pile of discs.

For a while I was thinking about making this a dexterity game, having players tossing their discs onto the table, with rules about what makes a legal play.  This could actually turn out to be a lot more fun than the game I actually produced, but there would be a lot to think about regarding what comprises a visible or obscured symbol, and so on.  Maybe later...

As usual I managed to get a small amount of playtesting done for the game, with Miss B having a go in the afternoon (and giving a general thumbs up), helping me find a few minor changes.  Then, after some feverish activity in the evening creating rules and a print and play file, Miss B played again in the morning with the slightly revised rules, followed by a three-player game including S.  At this point I was starting to think that perhaps the game would be better without the  smallest discs (with one symbol each), but the deadline was fast approaching, so I made a couple of small tweaks, completed writing up the rules and submitted.

This was one of those occasions when I just couldn't think of a decent name for the game, so I just titled it "Obscure".

Download links, in case you are interested:
Rules on Dropbox
Components on Dropbox

As a final note, I'm definitely getting a lot from these contests, as a bit of fun, some focus and discipline, and some exercise in exploring different types of games.  However, this means that I am not concentrating on developing the games I have in progress and want to get to a better state.  In recent weeks I have actually managed to do a little work on both Scurvy Crew and Boogie Knights (itself, of course, the output from a 24 Hour contest), but there are others that are really languishing, in particular Space Station 7 and El Tiddly.  I guess this is all part of the discipline I need to develop.

So here is the plan for the near future...  I want to get a new release of Scurvy Crew completed (this is actually pretty close) as a priority.  Boogie Knights needs more playtesting with the version 0.2 rules/cards before working on another version.  Then I think SS7 goes up the priorities a bit; what I really need to do is find some testers to battle for a while through the incomplete mess I have at the moment.  We'll see how it goes...

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