A downloadable game

In this hilarious party game, 4 to 9 players will challenge their personal beliefs and morals as they create a brave new world! 

The players represent essential groups of society as they debate with each other on a given topic. The topics vary from funny to serious and from uncomfortable to cringe-worthy. The rest of the players take sides by voting based on logic, fear, self interest, opinion or other factors. Depending on who wins the debate, an Action card may affect everyone's way of life. 


The video from the judges was very inspiring and helpful. We actually made a game about politics, that "asks questions but doesn't give clear answers". Regarding being on topic, we even have artists playing a big part of the society. Moreover, our game follows faithfully the contradicting black&yellow banners of the event: sometimes you need to lose in order to win or you need to support the opposite view of what you believe to be true and moral.

The feedback we got was very positive. It's an easy game to pick up after just one round and even on controversial debates, everyone was arguing in a civilized manner. The topics can adapt to any grade level or theme such as science, sports and religion. A few examples would be "bring back the school uniforms", "Super Mario is better than Sonic" and "why I think the Earth is flat".

While testing and playing it, we discovered new layers of strategy, a metagame: Some players try to lose the debate in order to win points. But if you are generally good at debating, people may call your bluff and force you to downplay your skills in the future! Others may lose because of their strong opinion on a matter. In many cases, some voted not because they agree with the subject, but because they were scared of losing points or because the debater made them laugh. Whatever the reasons, the players will have to live with the consequences of their vote.

Many external factors can affect the outcome of the game and there is a lot of player psychology involved. The Action cards display who but not how they affect the players, which is like a reverse "veil of ignorance". Losing your points to others can be turned to your advantage, by convincing them that they owe you. There isn't a single dominant strategy and the opposing sides can use multiple strategies to win. The game makes the players think about what their opponent is thinking they are thinking! 

It's a game that allows creativity and personal growth. It's a game that makes you think outside the box and wonder "what if?". Even if you are shy at talking, you can learn to speak your mind and everyone will listen to you. Some people have to justify opinions that go against their core beliefs or get punished by the voters. Not only this game reflects our very society, but it can be a learning experience to us all!

Team Debators

Yiouli Giannacariou
Victor Amanatidis (portfolio)
Nick Lamprou
Nefeli Bountouni
Thrasyvoulos Kanellopoulos
Nick Vlahos
Fotiz Ontas

 - How to play -

Game Contents

  • 9 Character cards: Each player gets one (image 6). It shows the profession and the age group that the character represents.
  • 30+ Debate cards (image 2): They contain subjects for debate.
  • 30 Action cards (image 3): They contain actions that affect the points of all players.
  • 50 Tokens (image 8): They serve as points. Each player gets 5.
  • 9 Chips (image 7): Each side is to vote for player A or B.
  • Spinner (not in the image): It is used to determine at random who the player B is during a round.
  • 2 six-sided dice (image 4): Normally, the die's sides should count up to number 3. But for now we have a normal six-sided die, where sides 1 & 2 is equivalent to one, 3 & 4 equals 2 and 5 & 6 equals 3 reward points.
  • 30'' Hourglass or Stopwatch (image 1): To countdown the debates.

 

Goal of the game
There are several ways to win in this game:

  • The first player to collect 10 reward points, wins.
  • When a player loses all the tokens, he has to discard one of his Action cards to get a token from Outside Sources (a source unrelated to other players). The game ends when a player has no Action cards during any End Turn phase. Then, the players add their points to the number of their Actions cards and the player with the most, wins the game.
  • Sometimes the player with most points can't be established because of a draw. In that case, the player who lost reveals an Action card from the deck, which affects only the players with the most points. He repeats this procedure until someone takes the lead and wins.

 

Setting up the game

  • Each player gets at random a Character card, 3 Action cards, 5 tokens and a voting chip as shown in the image above. The Action cards remain hidden from the rest of the players.
  • The Debate and Actions cards are face-down in the middle of the table along with the spinner and the hourglass.
  • The owner of the game uses the spinner to determine who gets to be the first Active player. Everyone becomes Active in turn, clockwise.

 

Playing the game
The game progresses in rounds. Each round has 5 phases. During a round, the Active player is referred to as Player A and the debate opponent is referred to as Player B.

 

Phases

1) Begin Turn

  • Player A spins the spinner to determine who will be Player B for the round. If the spinner points at an invalid place, Player B becomes the closest player in clockwise order from where the spinner is pointing at.
  • Player A draws a Debate card from the pile and reads it out loud.
  • Player A and B pick one of the Action cards their possession and place it on the table face down, in front of them.
  • Each player rolls a die and without changing the result of the roll, they place the die on their Action card. The dice now show how many points (1, 2 or 3 points) each Action card manipulates after the debate. 

2) Debate

  • Player A has 30'' to support the claim of the Debate card.
  • Player B has also 30'' to support the opposing position. 

3) Voting

  • All the players (except A and B) vote for Players A and B, by placing the voting chips (image 7) on the table while covering them with their hand. Since the chip writes "A" or "B" on each side, the letter that appears face up corresponds to a player's side.
  • All the players reveal their vote at the same time and count them all.
  • The player with the most votes wins the argument and reveals his Action card.
  • In case of a draw, Players A and B are given 15'' each for a rebuttal and a new voting takes place.
  • In case of another draw both Action cards are revealed!   

4) Resolution of the Action cards
The Action cards (image 5) when revealed, force everyone mentioned at the top of the card to give points to anyone mentioned at the bottom of the card. If there are 2 Action cards revealed, this procedure takes place for the card of Player A first, and Player B next.

  • The players who must give away points raise their hands upwards, holding tokens equal to the points they need to give away.
  • Next, the players entitled to points, raise their hands forward to get their reward.
  • All the players, starting from the Player A and moving clockwise, give the required amount of tokens to whoever they prefer, as long as they are entitled to points. They may even split the amount to several entitled players if that is possible.
  • If a player has to pay and receive points simultaneously, he cannot keep the reward, he must pay it to someone else. In return, he may gain points by any player who chooses to pay him as a beneficiary. If there are no players to give points to, that player doesn't lose any points. If there are no players to take points from, that player doesn't gain any points.
  • If a player runs out of tokens, loses one of his Action cards and gets 1 token from Outside Sources which comes at a price. The debt is considered paid but for the rest of the game he has one less action card to choose from. This may happen up to 2 times. If it happens for a third time, then all the Action cards would be gone, making the player unable to continue and the game ends.   

5) End Turn

  • Players A and B discard the Action cards they used in this round and draw new ones.
  • If the Debate card was voted for, remains face up on the table. Otherwise, it gets discarded.
  • The next player in clockwise order becomes Player A and starts a new round.

After the end (optional)
The winner reads aloud the laws that the majority voted for, revealing the truth about the brave new world they just built!



SPECIAL THANKS TO:
Zannis Bafaloukos
Christina Chrysanthopoulou 

This game would have never seen the light without the amazing:
Goethe Institut
ART GAMES
Maschinen-Mensch
TUC TIE LAB 

and the amazing people who hosted the event and supported us all:
Danae Moraiti
Maria Saridaki
Johannes Kristmann
George Kazamias
Nikos Moraitis

Last but not least
A huge hug to all of our friends (old & new) who play-tested our game and supported us with great discussions and valuable feedback.  It would not be the same without you guys! We love you all!


Install instructions

Print the cards, laminate them if you can and cut them accordingly. Read the instructions before you play the game!

Download

Download
Debates (party game) - print and play v0.2.rar 1 MB