Concept, graphic design/layout, play testing and flavour text.
Some thoughts & learnings:
Do the mathematics before the play testing. . .
A starting idea that everybody is exited about can take a prototype far.
I prefer complicated games, with simple rules.
Sorry I’m broke is a card game.
The setup is a student/flatmate house meeting where the players take the roles of flatmates, and compete by trying to get the other flatmates to pay the bills. At the end of the game – the player who paid the most bills loose the game.
Very shot each flatmate get a hand of 5 cards, and a stack of BILLMONEY tokens in a colour in a unique colour (each flatmate gets their own colour). this way it is possible to see who contributed with the most money, when there is enough money in the pot to pay the bill.
Then a Bill is drawn and placed face up on the table. The bill states how many BILLMONEY the flatmates have to contribute with each round.
The game plays in rounds where each flatmate draw a card, and play cards to pay the amount stated on the bill.
When each flatmate has played two rounds there is enough money to pay the bill (yes, we did mathematics here) and the flatmate who has most coloured BILLMONEY tokens in the pot looses the round. The flatmate then takes the bill as a trophy of shame (and a way to keep track of who is loosing).
In the bottom of this page there is a print and play version with a longer (complicated) description of the rules, explaining extra rules, examples and so on.
The game consists of 4 card types:
Money cards – the famous currency of BILLMONEY:
I Owe You cards – cards that you can use to get other paying an amount of your part of the bill:
Emotional Blackmail cards – cards you can use to cancel I owe You cards:
Promise cards -special cards that can be used as either emotional blackmail or I Owe You cards:
Furthermore there is a set of special bill cards (4 for this prototype)
We did a lot of play testing to try to balance the economy, and ended up with a not perfect, but reasonable result. We started out by doing the money cards, and then balanced the mathematics while playtesting. Next time I think I will do it the opposite way around, as this ended up feeling like the wrong way to do it.
As a overall comment I think the rules ended up over-complicated, throughout this course I realized that I prefer simplicity when it comes to rules. Complicated games with simple rules, that is actually a nice mantra. But anyway, I also try to be a team player, so I did not want to force my views on the group.