“I would want to make a simple game, like a card game. Games like Fluxx, Set, Apples to Apples, and Cards Against Humanity are all super fun and pretty simple to learn,” I mused.
“A card game wouldn’t be hard to manufacture,” suggested Benn.
“I also love drawing and art games like Pictionary, Telestrations, and Draw Something.”
“It’s true, you do love those.”
“Maybe I could combine them!”
I remembered an idea generating activity I had done once in college where the class illustrated phrases composed of random words. Specifically I remembered my phrase and the picture I drew of “a hungry penguin-ocelot flying grumpily.”
“What if we made a game where people picked random words and made a phrase out of them and then had to illustrate that phrase? What if it was structured adjective – noun – noun – verb ending in ing – adverb?”
“Sounds like fun. Would there be an objective? Could you ‘win’ this game?” asked Benn.
“What if you didn’t tell people what your phrase was and the other people you were playing with had to try and guess your phrase based on the drawing?”
And the game design continued from there. We play tested with our friends. In the beginning, each player would get scraps of paper and write down words matching the desired parts of speech, throw the papers into different bowls, mix up the papers and then draw words from the bowls. We drew some very silly pictures and had a really great time! But, we always ran into the problem, “I know that’s supposed to be a tree-frog because I wrote down tree-frog as one of my nouns, that has to be spelunking because I wrote down spelunking... do I say it or keep my mouth shut?” Or worse, people would mix up their parts of speech and put adjectives in the verb bowl. Or write down proper nouns that were almost impossible to draw.
So the next logical step was to print cards with words on them, so all you had to do was shuffle a deck of adjectives and pick one. Then do the same with nouns, verbs, and adverbs. Unintentional-accidental cheating eliminated!
Somewhere along the line the game was named Düdle. Ever since we have been working on designing the cards, play testing the game, researching printers and looking for funding sources. We’ve learned a lot along the way! So hopefully you enjoyed this little origin story and will stay tuned for entries about parts of the game design process.