Friday, November 5, 2010

New Game Idea: Cosplay Assassins

I started this blog with the intent of building up a list for a cosplay scavenger hunt, but I think I found another cosplay game that might also be exciting...Besides, my anime/manga tracking has not caught up with recent trends to pick characters that one would actually find in a large convention. And I was looking forward to finding people cosplaying as Akira Kogami's friends from the Lucky Star manga, Oohara, Nakatani, and Otonashi...

Getting inspired by reading a post for the idea of a LARP (live action role-playing game) at Anime Expo and my experience participating in a game of assassins when I lived in a dorm, I think hosting a cosplay assassins game at an anime convention could work, especially since the time frame to complete the game would be much smaller...

Goal: Tag the most assigned targets within the given time frame (within say 72 hours).

Number of players: maybe 50-60 plus a team of game masters to oversee the game. Ideally, the players would not know each other in advance. Each player should have a cell phone capable of taking pictures and sending and receiving picture messages. Unlike an assassins game you would find on a college campus, you have fewer resources such as a student directory at your disposal, and it is likely that your target would be disguised in cosplay (except for the armband or other player identification that is described below). To make it more difficult, it could be required that the target must be in a specific cosplay when the player tags him/her. Such a rule could lead to cheating, though.

1. Prior to the start of the game, players will meet for a briefing by the game masters about the rules, locations of safe zones, and be assigned their first targets. This will be the only chance that players will get a chance to see who may be their targets or who may be hunting them. Players should take notes about the other players, particularly what cosplays they may be doing, planned activities. If not done before, the game masters should take pictures of the players and get badge information.

2. To ensure that only the participants and not other attendees get bothered by the game, all players will be given armbands that would be surrendered to their assassins when they are tagged. All players must conspicuously display the armband until they are tagged. With only a short amount of time finding someone among a crowd of thousands, the game needs to be a little easier with the armband. The armband doesn't have to be worn on the arm, but it has to be as visible as the convention badge and lanyard.

3. The game master team would designate which areas are safe zones where no one can get tagged (e.g., restrooms, screening/panel rooms, exhibit hall, artist alley, etc...) and hours when the game masters will respond to messages about confirmed tags.

4. About an hour after the briefing has ended, and all the players have scattered about, the game masters send a picture message to each player showing his/her target.

5. When a player has found his target, the player tags his target by saying a designated phrase (like "The happy squirrel likes to ride in itasha...") to the target and taking a cell phone picture with the target to send to the game master. Once the game master confirms the tag, the target surrenders his/her armband and those the target has collected prior to being tagged. The game master will then then send the pic of the next target to the player. The player will receive one point for the tag. A bonus point is awarded if the target was in cosplay when he/she was tagged. If the player tagged the wrong target, he has to surrender his armband to the target along with any of his other victims' armbands.

6. At the end of each night, the players return to the starting point to turn in their victims' armbands. A few of the eliminated players are selected at random to return to the game to take part in a different challenge...These eliminated players would be informed by text message to return at a later time to be given their special armbands.

7. In the morning, the remaining players will receive a bonus assignment in addition to the last assignment received the previous day. The bonus assignment is to tag one of the eliminated players who were selected to return to be bonus targets. If the player is the first to tag the bonus target before a designated time, that player will receive bonus points. The bonus target will have a special armband. If the bonus target is able to avoid being tagged and returns his/her special armband by the designated time, he/she gets a special consolation prize. To add difficulty to this bonus challenge, the bonus assignment will only be identified by their cosplay without a picture.

8. At the end of the last day of the game, all players return to the starting point to turn in their victims' armbands for the final tally. The top scorers will then be awarded their prizes.

Just trying to bring the game of assassins to the next level. I would've suggested some version of The Matrix game, but you can't find pay phones anywhere anymore...

Hmmm...maybe a cosplay scavenger hunt is less complicated...

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