Protester Charades

Developed by Dylan Cheng

Protester Charades is a political game designed to comment on the recent events on the DePaul campus involving Milo Yiannopoulos and protestors.

There are 4 players, 1 speaker, 1 audience member, and 2 protesters. The speaker is trying to get a message across (of their choosing) to the audience member using any method, though they cannot directly say what their message is, they need to ways to get the audience to guess it. The 2 protestors are trying to disrupt the speaker and audience so that the message doesn’t come across by any means necessary. After a couple minutes, I stop the protest and ask if the audience member can understand what the speaker was trying to get across.

The results ended up with protesters concluding that whoever yells the loudest wins and drowned out the speaker with baseless claims and insults. Protesters blocked the view of the audience to further confuse and overwhelm their senses, erased anything the speaker tried drawing on the board, and moved the audience away from the speaker. None of the speakers ever succeeded in conveying their message. The speakers and audience were usually left feeling disoriented and confused by the end of the game.

Unfortunately, I’m not able to post a video of the game because the file corrupted somewhere along the way to my computer.

A few changes from the playtests I did:

  • Added a period for the speaker and protesters to plan out how they will go about getting their goals.
  • Reduced the audience to just 1 player from 2 to make it harder for the speaker.
  • Open up the game to allow the speaker any method to convey the message, not just through speaking.
  • Set the definite time limit to 2 minutes.
  • Let the players decide what role they want to be instead of it being random.

Dylan Cheng’s 10 Final Game Ideas

Totally forgot to hit publish on this last week! Sorry!

  1. Maintain Contact – Players need to maintain eye contact with each other while completing tasks such as drawing pictures or having a conversation with the game moderator, first person who breaks eye contact loses. Challenges players to stay focused on looking in one place while splitting attention to another.
  2. Picture Wars – Players draw pictures on the same piece of paper trying to “attack” the other player. Players react to the attacking pictures by drawing up with creative ways to block each attack.
  3. DRON – Players are drawing a line on the same piece of paper without picking their pen up. The game ends when a player runs over either their line or the enemy’s line.
  4. Calling the Bluff – Trick-based card game that is played with each player getting one card per round. They bet on whether their card will be the highest value card out of any of the other players, if they predict they win correctly they gain a point, but if they predict they win when they actually lose, they lose a point. Players can try to convince other players to back down on their bet.
  5. Why Censor? – One player draws innocent pictures, once they are done, another player blacks the picture out and comes up with a reason why it can be considered offensive. Comments on media censorship.
  6. Eventuality – Card and dice game, cards act as “lives”, the value of the card determines the number of dice. Players lower their value of card if they get the smallest dice roll. Game continues until only one person is left.
  7. Death Trap – Text-adventure style game where every mistake requires the group of players to sacrifice one person. Players need to peer pressure people into either sacrificing themselves or convincing the others to murder them.
  8. Protester Charades – Political game, one person acts as a speaker trying to get their message across to the audience, but there are other players acting a protesters trying to disrupt the speaker and block the message. Comments on the recent events involving Milo Yiannopoulos and some protests as a whole.
  9. Kanji Quiz – A game inspired by my experience trying to learn Japanese. Players are told the meaning of multiple Japanese Kanji characters and are asked to guess the meaning of a character that is formed by combining a couple of those characters. Meant to highlight the ridiculousness of how some Kanji have wildly different meanings from the characters that it’s made of.
  10. Tied to the Past – A single rope is held by two people standing on two cliffs of opposite sides. The player has the ability to cut the rope at any time and the rope becomes more and more ripped and ragged as time goes on, as well as the scene getting foggier so the person on the other side of the cliff can’t be seen. When the player cuts the rope, the fog disappears along with the other person. Represents the feeling of trying to keep friends close when you are living far away from each other.


Game developed by Dylan Cheng

For this game, I took inspiration from MMORPG Looking For Group systems and gameplay with the spontaneity of players forming groups, completing a task together, and parting ways.

The game is played with 9 players, 3 groups of 3. The groups all have to complete 3 different tasks, in my final version I had drawing a big picture on the whiteboard, making a story cycling through players contributing word by word, and drawing a picture connecting on 3 different pieces of paper. Every 2 minutes, 2 players from each group leave to go to each of the other groups, this repeats until each player has participated in each group which signals the end of the game.

I basically completely changed my game idea since my last playtest, so I’ll just list some main gameplay changes.


  • Changed to be groups of 3 instead of single players looking to help others.
  • Changed tasks to be creative tasks in groups instead of cooperative tasks with people outside of the game.
  • Have players cycle through all the groups instead of leaving them to find people to help.




Liberty For Security

Card game created by Dylan Cheng

5 players: 1 government, 1 terrorist, 3 citizens. The government needs to find out who the terrorist is by spying on the other players cards, the rest of the players need to make sets of 3 cards of the same suit to complete their individual objectives.

Here’s an awful, short video of gameplay

Liberty For Security Playtest Results

The game balance didn’t feel right and it also didn’t get the political point across in the way I wanted it to, so I almost completely remade the game, only keeping a few core mechanics. I’ll list some of the main changes.

  1. Government player stands up and can physically look over players shoulders.
  2. Government player is the one to hand out cards, they are able to see what they are handing out. However, they cannot see what the player whose turn it is currently is doing with their hand.
  3. Added one more player to the game, for a total of 1 government player, 1 terrorist, and 3 citizens in game.
  4. Diamonds are useless for citizens and hearts are useless for terrorists. Once a set of 3 cards of the same suit is played, they are face down on the table for the rest of the game and the government cannot see them.
  5. Citizens that successfully make 2 sets of hearts and 2 sets of either spades or clubs “win” and are able to leave the game. This creates a win condition for citizens and may give them more of a goal.

Dylan Cheng’s Political Game Ideas

  1. Liberty For Security – Card game where one player is the government and one is a terrorist with the rest being normal citizens. The government can intrude and spy on each players cards while trying to determine who the terrorist is. Meant to represent government surveillance on the general public.
  2. Black Friday – You are a shopper on Black Friday, you’re goal is to get as many deals as possible. Do this through any means necessary, including trampling and killing other shoppers. Meant to represent the insanity of Black Friday and consumerism as a whole.
  3. They Get Richer – Card game where a random player is decided to be king. The king gets to decide who gets what cards as well as always being in the lead in the game. Meant to represent the “rich get richer” tendency and the control of the 1%.
  4. Take It to the Court – You are a trouble-making restaurant goer trying to sue a restaurant. Making accusations and failing to successfully sue them will lose you money, but you will always get the money back for a profit once you successfully sue them. Meant to represent the ridiculousness some people in modern America can get away with suing for.
  5. Justice Being Served – Players are the police in a peaceful town of innocents. They must find someone guilty of any crime they can think of. Meant to represent how some police will arrest people for the most inane reasons.
  6. The Minimum – You are working a minimum wage job trying to save up to buy things that you want. Work hard and only come up with a few dollars after every day, just to spend those dollars on the essentials to live. Meant to represent the struggles of people that have to work off of minimum wage and the futility of it.
  7. Tower of Babel – Wade through online journalism articles that are all composed of nonsense and lies. The player’s job is to figure out if anything in the articles is actually true. Meant to represent how online journalism a lot of the time is made just for views and not for actual reporting.
  8. Mutual Cooperation – The player is in control of a country competing against many other countries and everyone is at war in the beginning. The player needs to gradually form alliances with everyone and bring about world peace, as well as increasing global efficiency and prosperity while doing so. Meant to represent an ideal where if everyone works together, everyone will prosper more than if they were working alone.
  9. Outcasts – You are a war refugee seeking somewhere to settle down after being kicked out of your country. Aimlessly walk through the desert only to be rejected by most other countries and end up dying without finding somewhere to live. Meant to represent the harshness of countries rejecting refugees.
  10. Zero Tolerance – You are a high school student trying to go about your day without being bullied. Avoid doing anything that would outcast you from the norm, but end up getting in a fight with a bully anyway- leading to both of you being suspended. Meant to represent the current situation of bullying in high school and challenge to zero tolerance policy.

[Working Title]

Game Name: [Working Title]

Developer: Dylan Cheng

A game about the players making their own rules, for better or worse.

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Here’s the video, with a few of my friends playing. Sorry about the video quality! Also, excuse my awful laugh, my voice is shot from being sick.

Things changed from playtests:

  1. Added a middle path through the board.
  2. Added a bunch of weird symbol spaces for more variety.
  3. Added “New Rule!” spaces in the corners of the board.
  4. Players decide a bunch of things before the game starts- Win condition, what they will use to determine movement, and one player gets to make the first rule.
  5. Swapped out terrible placeholder player pieces to give the ability for players to make their own piece.

[Working Title] Dylan Cheng’s Playtest Results

[Working Title] is the title of the game I’m thinking of finalizing.

After making a very basic Monopoly-esque board with each space cycling through 4 colors, I went to pitch and play the idea with some friends. For this prototype, I kept to the idea of having no formal rules and having them all made up on the spot whenever we decide we should. As expected, it was very unorganized and not really fun until we got a fair amount of rules set up- once that happened, we all really enjoyed ourselves with the ridiculous rules we made up with various ways of screwing with other players using “trap” playing cards or boost spaces and other silly things.

After calling it quits after a while, I had a lot of ideas on how to improve the simple idea. First, even though the idea of the game is that there aren’t formal rules, I think it requires some for the game to progress smoothly through the beginning where nobody knows what to do and nothing is exciting. So, I think I’ll need to test having all of the players determining a win condition right at the beginning before any rules are made, then maybe test having all players make up a rule before starting so that there are some rules in effect before play begins to give a little more structure to the beginning. Then I’ll put specific spots on the board where if a player lands on it, they can make a new rule. I might give the ability for players to switch the colors of spaces on the fly if they want to allow for more freedom in the play space. Also, I think instead of a standard deck of cards, I’ll use Uno cards to match with the colors on the board for more uniformity.

Dylan Cheng’s 10 Game Ideas

  1. [Working Title] – Board game focused on making a game. The game has no formal rules and the players must make their own rules with a multicolored Monopoly-esque board, a deck of cards, and dice.
  2. The Depth – 2D game set underwater based around Thalassophobia. The player can move deeper into the water, but as they do, the visuals become darker and creepier the further they go down. When they get to the bottom they find a colorful reef as a reward for getting past the horrifying dark.
  3. No-Platform-er – 2D side scroller with no platforms. You keep walking and different things happen in the background that you can interact with by jumping.
  4. Waste – A game where you try to stop a bowl of fruit by being eaten by fruit flies. The player will find that this task is futile because there isn’t an actual way to stop the flies from getting the fruit.
  5. Deprivation – A game about getting as far as you can without falling asleep. The more you explore the world, the more tired you get until eventually you fall asleep. The goal is to wander around and find places to sleep so that you can continue exploring the world.
  6. An Easy Solution – A game where there is a simple problem that can be solved in one step. However, the player is pushed towards another solution that is extremely complex and a lot of thought from the player to successfully complete. A game of willpower.
  7. Conspiracy – You are a lizard person, but nobody knows that. The goal of the game is not to hide, but to try to tell people that you are, in fact, a lizard person. Attempt many strange things in fruitless attempts to convince humans.
  8. Consequence – You are the Grim Reaper. Humans can’t see you, but you are able to kill them just by walking over them. You can choose to kill good, normal people or criminals and affect situations in a positive or negative way.
  9. Corruption – You are a human trying to get to the goal that is out of reach beyond deadly hazards and impossible hurdles. However, there are also ways to alter your body to get past these obstacles, at the cost of your humanity. Try to reach the goal with your human body as intact as possible.
  10. Run Away – A 2D side scroller where the player is constantly running away from a monster trying to get to the safe house. The player can slow the monster down by leading it through rough terrain and other obstacles. However, unknown to the player, getting caught is actually the win condition and getting to the safe house is the lose condition. Hints in the environment lead the player to believe that even though they automatically think the monster is the enemy, the real enemy is in the safe house and the monster is just trying to save you.