Pick A Card – Any Card

Well here we are at the point of no return! It is time to formalise the mechanics of our game That’s Bullshit. It is beyond the scope of this article to describe the mechanics of the game in its entirety, so I will focus on one part which is the use of cards (inspired directly by the 1981 version of Trivial Pursuit) and how they produce the movement in the game. Everyone who has played Trivial Pursuit will remember that the cards are the most important part of play i.e. without the cards there is no game.

Screenshot -www.zibbet.com

The cards are the storehouse of knowledge of a very specific nature. In 2010 when co-creator Chris Haney died, Bryan Curtis wrote an essay questioning the survival of Trivial Pursuit in the Google age citing himself from 2005 stating the game ‘was once “a great repository of middlebrow culture“’. He goes on to say: 

The game concerns itself with useless information, yes, but useless information of a very specific sort: detritus from the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s, which flattered the baby boomer by making his golden years seem vital, even historic.

That’s Bullshit follows through with the notion of ‘useless information’ but with the added twist that it is based around lying. The original knowledge categories as conceived by Chris Haney and Scott Abbott have been kept in play albeit slightly updated i.e.  “Geography” (blue), “Pop Culture” (pink), “History” (yellow), “Science and Nature” (green), “Sports and Leisure” (orange) and sadly, for all those literature gurus, “Arts and Literature” (brown) has been replaced by a “Random” category. As previously described, the player whose turn it is, is the only player who doesn’t know the answer to the question on the card. The correct answer to the question, which is located on the back of the question card, is revealed to all the other players who have in turn drawn another card from a ‘truth or lie’ deck (there is only 1 truth card in the deck). It is their task to put forward a plausible claim to make the card holder believe that their answer is correct. Arguments abound, however the card holder must eventually choose the player they believe is telling the truth. Points are awarded to the player who is most convincing in their lie, or at telling the truth and is chosen as the one who is telling the truth.

I image the audience will be made up of millenials and Trivial Pursuit hanger-ons. It is interesting to note that Curtis comments on the new Trivial Pursuit audience and says:

Gone is the proud generalist of the original Trivial Pursuit, who knew the most common Russian surname (Ivanov) and the international radio code word for the letter O (Oscar). In his place is the specialist, who knows every inch of Return of the Jedi.

Regarding the cost of production, I did some research which was fairly disheartening and I’m glad that we are only taking this project to prototype stage. You can read more about production costs at Plankton Games Journal specifically, Indie game publishing costs, or the grim reality of game economics, and Game Printing Costs.

Also see

Making A Game Part 2: Arguing As A Rule

Group Project: Trivial Bullshit, Mechanics

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