A downloadable game
This simple game was thought up over a few days in August of 2023 for the Portland Indie Game Squad (PIGSquad) August Summer Slow Jam. The technical theme was "crafting" and the creative theme was "D-I-Why".
Due to being unexpectedly ill for half of the jam period, I was unable to devote time and energy toward working on my originally intended idea. I ended up binge watching a handful of shows to get me through the worst periods of discomfort. One of those shows was the series Documental, which pits professional comedians in a secluded contest of making each other laugh without laughing themselves. While watching the raw absurdity of the show play out, my mind kept wandering toward the concept of applying such simple rules to a friendly drinking game.
Imagine a night out at a bar with a handful of friends. Same basic contest: try to make the others laugh without laughing yourself. If a person laughs they become designated to buy the group's next round of drinks -- to extend the game out over the course of the evening, and to allow space for normal conversation, it is recommended that play be paused once the buyer for the next round has been determined and only resume once that round of drinks has hit the table. Any players who have been penalized into buying a round remain in the game but can not be penalized into buying any subsequent rounds; instead, if they laugh again before the next buyer is determined, they are on the hook to pay for their own drink within the group's next round of drink orders. Play continues until all but one player has bought a round, and that player is considered the winner having hopefully had an enjoyable evening on everyone else's dime and laughter.
When thinking on the themes of the jam, and even though PIGSquad is very accommodating (and even encouraging) to veering off-theme, I can still justify how they might apply:
Crafting in that the players, if entering into the evening aware that the game will be played, would almost certainly preemptively devise their own bits of prepared comedy.
D-I-Why -- which for those who don't know is a play on DIY (Do It Yourself) in that it asks, generally with humor, did this creation really need to exist? -- so, for me, D-I-Why as in why do drinking games exist at all? The purpose of most drinking games seems to be to either drink as much alcohol as quickly as possible, which can be terribly dangerous, or to avoid drinking any alcohol for as long as possible, which is just dull if the purpose of the evening was to enjoy some drinks to begin with. I wanted to remove the emphasis on the alcohol and place it on the players and their interactions instead. This game assumes a small group of friends, approximately 4, for the game to be paced out of the course of an evening, averaging 1 drink every 30-60 minutes, and for the players to be able to choose their own beverage, it doesn't even need to be alcoholic. Tweak this simple game to whatever works for you and your particular group of friends. Just have fun, be safe, and try not to laugh -- it's harder than you'd think!
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