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 to earn more reputation. Players can pick their jobs and whom they’d like to work with while trying to sabotage their co-workers without being sabotaged themselves.
The Game Core
Deception within cooperation: Your enemies are your allies and the enemy. The only way to win is to find a delicate balance between the two.
Pillar 1: Forced Cooperation
It’s a small restaurant, so if just by necessity, even the most uncooperative will have to work with others to get their job done occasionally.
Pillar 2: Sabotage
Assuming you can get away with it, there’s no better way to move up the ladder than to take someone else down.
Pillar 3: Visual Victory
The tokens and deck are set up intentionally, so the players are always aware of how much time is left and how far behind they are.
My main role on this project was as a game designer though being a project with only three others; I assisted with construction and art. My largest contribution to the game was helping to establish the core gameplay loop of co-workers forced to cooperate and sabotage each other to get ahead. I also worked on refining how the game would be played with cards that can affect different workstations and cars that can be used to disrupt those at first.
The cards are the main driving force of the game, determining when the game ends and what moves players can make. Most of the cards are broken into three categories: sabotage, assist, and shield. These categories allow the players to help, hurt, or defend the different workstations at which they or others might be working. Each of these cards has varying values making working with others without getting sabotaged a constant gamble the player is making to win. What adds to this tension is the ability for players to play a snitch card with which they can accuse someone of sabotaging them or someone else. If right, they gain seven reputation tokens from the accused, though the accused gains seven from them if wrong. This creates an added intensity and level of deceit to every turn of the game, as these cards can be played at any point. The game ends when the deck runs out, and the player with the most reputation tokens wins.