Monday, June 10, 2013

Announcing Powerhouse

Most Dangerous Game Design is thrilled to announce the first print and play prototype of our new game PowerhousePowerhouse is unique because it's a deckbuilding card game that uses only 26 cards.  Intrigued?  Learn more about the design process and try out the game!

Nobody will contest the assertion that great games can be made with simple components.  Why, then, do so many hobbyist boardgames these days come in $60 boxes with oodles of pieces?  Inspired by successes of "microgames" like Love Letter, we set out to make an ultra-affordable game with deep gameplay that (as a bonus) can fit in your pocket. The result is our latest project: Powerhouse.

In Powerhouse players play captains of industry investing in innovative mechanisms to revolutionize their enterprise, streamline production, and become a titan of industry. Mechanically speaking, Powerhouse is a deckbuilder without the deck—players add purchased cards to their “assembly line,” a face-up queue of purchased cards. When they “draw,” they take cards from the front of the queue and and when they purchase them, they add them to the back, so the player is able to plan out the actions they will take over the course of play. But the thing that’s really unique about Powerhouse is that although it’s a strategic experience that lasts 30-60 minutes, the entire game is contained in only 26 cards.

We want to let the game mostly speak for itself, but here are a few of its cooler features:

• The game’s flavor is tied to gameplay through the engine building dynamics and a unique “assembly line” mechanic.
• It’s a deckbuilder without a deck; players always know what they’re about to draw.
• It’s pocket-sized, but has serious gameplay! The entire game is contained in 26 cards.
• It’s cheap—when we print it we plan to hit a $10 price point
• It combines the ease of setup of single-buy-deck deckbuilders like Ascension, with the decreased role of chance you see in constant supply deckbuilders like Dominion.
• It has a unique mechanic in which players play with both sides of cards and have to decide when to spend resources to “flip” between them

While rough, this prototype has met with some pretty positive feedback so far, and we'd love to get your thoughts!

You can download the Powerhouse print and play here. (Pro tip: We used Daniel Solis's great post on using InDesign's datamerge feature to layout the prototype)

You can view the instructions here.

You can send us feedback or questions here