Last year, indie publisher Greater Than Games, published two "meta-games" - by which they mean games that are self-referential and tongue-in-cheek. These were Deck Building: The Deck Building Game (about laying a new deck on the back of your house) and Unpub: The Unpublished Card Game (about making card and board games). The buzz was huge and the Kickstarter project was a sizable success.
This year, Greater Than Games have announced a contest to find the next meta-games to form part of their next Kickstarter project. The details are here, but in a nutshell, designers have been tasked to make a game called [Game Mechanic]: The [Game Mechanic] Game. It's going to be tough to top GTG's own Traitor Mechanic: The Traitor Mechanic Game (about car mechanics that betray one another), but I've been giving it a shot anyway. As I wrote in an earlier post, these kinds of limitations are often the best way to spark creativity. Here are some of the ideas that I've been throwing around, as well as the design I'll be taking forward to submit for the contest.
Paper and Pencil: The Paper and Pencil Game
That is, of course, a game about running a stationary store. Think a little bit like Rolling Japan/America or Quixx. This game has gotten no further than a vague idea, but I totally intend to follow up on it one day.
Spacial Reasoning: The Spatial Reasoning Game
This is a dexterity game, set in space. I started designing one about asteroids, but it developed in another, more interesting direction. It's now a game about drone strikes, weirdly, and it's another idea that I'll come back to one day. Being a dexterity game, it has peculiar component demands and isn't suitable for the contest.
Co-Operatives: The Cooperative Card game
This is a card game, similar to Hanabi and The Game, where players are attempting to arrange cards into specified orders. Thematically, players are undercover operatives, trying to take down a super-villain's empire. It will require too much testing and refining to be done in time for the contest.
Set Collection: The Set Collection Game
This is the game I am most likely going to submit to the contest. I'm not 100% clear on the theme yet, but I believe that players are going to be collectors, gathering artefacts that represent the Egyptian god, Set. Or maybe they are Egyptians gathering things to worship Set. Anyway, Set is the Egyptian god that represents disorder and deception, amongst other things - so this game is going to involve the players deceiving one another and trying to sow disorder, whilst gathering the cards they need. Expect a fuller write-up closer to the date of the contest.