What is it?
Lucky Dragon is a four-player board game about teamwork and deception where restaurant employees sabotage their way to be the top employee by the end of the month and not get fired. Winner of SCAD Entelechy 2018 Best Board Game, the short-term goal of the player is to get through a successful shift without being sabotaged by your coworkers. In a turn, players can pick their jobs and whom they’d like to work with playing sabotage or boost cards into a pile as they do. Reputation tokens are then handed out to players based on how successful their shift was. If a player was sabotaged they can try to snitch and guess who did it betting their reputation on the guess.
What did I do?
My main role on this project was as a game designer even pitching the original idea of employee sabotage. Though after this idea was agreed on my role helped with things like the snitch system and how roles worked. The other designers and I continued to tweak and balance the game throughout the process. Being a small project with only 3 other team members I did also help where I could with construction and art.
How did I do it?
Working on this board game was a unique experience in how quickly the prototyping phase can move and change. Working largely with paper for most of it we were quickly able to adapt to changes in ideas when something wasn’t good. At one point we even went as far as to rip off half of our board in order to test reducing the number of open jobs available. Thus the experience of doing a board game proved to be a unique one as it's ability to rapidly prototype allowed us to balance it far more than most other projects.
Why did I do it?
Being inspired by other deceit-based games we had played we knew we wanted to do something of that nature. So with that in mind, we came up with trying to be the only employee not fired by the end of the month. Our reasoning for this was that along with the deceit we liked the absurdity of people focusing more on sabotage than doing their job well. Along with being able to sabotage each other though we introduced the snitch card. This ways should a player think they know who did it they can risk their reputation on calling them out. We felt that the risk-reward of the snitch card would be a good source of tension breaking up the normal gameplay loop.
Where to Work
In the order of most respect points to least, the players pick the station they'd like to work at discussing and making deals with the other players. They then play their boost or sabotage cards to grant bonuses or penalties to stations.
The players receive or lose reputation based on how successfully they were able to work the station they chose and how much it tampered with building distrust for those they possibly allied with.
Snitches get riches
If a player is equipped with a snitch card they may use it in order to guess who used a specific sabotage card the previous round. Where guessing correct person grants reputation to the guesser but being wrong results in losses.