Role

A storytelling party game

Reviews

Discussion

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Jonathan HowardHiring@staringispolite · Growth engineer & founder
Dang! Came here to post this as well :) Let me see if I can get @ianhirschfeld to come chat about the game's creation. Ian, can you talk about coming up with "Dungeons and Dragons for mobile", and how the development process worked translating a well-established role playing game to a new medium?
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Ian HirschfeldMaker@ianhirschfeld · Co-Founder, The Soap Collective
Well the base rule set for Role was conceptualize by my partner (and the designer/writer) on the project, @logandwight. Whenever we played a tabletop RPG together he was always DM and would modify rules to allow for more freeform play and less stat crunching. In college, we continued to play that way and all of our friends repeatably told us how much fun it was compared to just following the complicated rules that came with D&D or Shadowrun. Originally, we were just going to release the game as a pen and paper product and then decided bringing it to phones and taking advantaged of tech would make the game more streamlined and easier to get into.
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Ian HirschfeldMaker@ianhirschfeld · Co-Founder, The Soap Collective
Translating the game to a new medium was so much fun! Our goal was: can we make a tabletop RPG as easy to pick up and play as Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity. For us, storytelling is always the most fun part of playing a RPG. With that in mind we tried abstracting as much of the dice rolling and number crunching as possible. We also wanted to have systems in place that help with the ideation phase that many tabletop RPGs have. For that we built in a little randomizer that can help players come up with characters to be or adventures to play. Overall, it was a fun challenge to try and figure out how to best use a phone to streamline gameplay and help players out dynamically that can't be done with a paper product.
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Dominik Bleilevens@beleevens · Freelance UX Designer & Voice Enthusiast
Hey @ianhirschfeld & @logandwight! I totally agree with you that social games should be more social again. People should sit together and talk instead of building digital farms, etc. I also love the idea to include digital content into tabletop/party games or to use the benefits of an app for such games. What is your experience with everyone looking at their screens while playing the game? In the video and description it seems you are doing a lot with your phone. Isn't this a little contradictory to sit together and play a social game whilst you need to interact more with your phone instead of interacting with your friends? I'm very curious about your opinion on that!
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Ian HirschfeldMaker@ianhirschfeld · Co-Founder, The Soap Collective
Hey @dbleilevens, that is definitely a concern with any screen based app that is brought into a traditionally analog game. We purposefully designed the mechanics and interactions of Role to be simple and fast for exactly this reason. What we've seen while play-testing with others and through our own sessions, is that most people do not spend a majority of their time looking at the app. Typically, when a person's turn begins and they start storytelling, they put their phone down and don't come back to it until they need to roll. While this is happening we usually see the other players watching who ever is speaking because that person is usually very animated. Hopefully you will see this as well, when you play. Our goal with Role is very much NOT to replace the human interaction part of role playing, but is instead there to help ease the non-storytelling part of RPGs so that the people part is the main focus. :)