Game Design: Folk Game Rules


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(Folk Games are Fun)

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So to those reading this, this was an exercise for my game design class in which we are required to write rules to a folk game we played as a kid. Folk games by definition are Children's traditional games and they are those that are passed from child to child, generation to generation, informally by word of mouth. Some of these are “The Floor is Lava” Catch, Tag, Dodgeball, duck duck goose and a lot more.

So for this, I needed to Imagine a Martian landed on Earth and asked me to teach it the game. The Martian understands what a human being is and can do, how physics on Earth work, and basic human social norms. The Martian knows nothing about games. I must explain the game so that the Martian could play the game on its own without any further instruction from me.

For this game, I would choose the Floor is Lava, why? I gave the example in class and it’s one of my all time favorite folk games mainly because it fulfilled some childhood fantasy of Indiana Jones.

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The Floor is Lava

Hello Martian, so this game is made up of 3 players or more and can be played anywhere, as long as there is constant gravity and a surfaces with various heights that one can climb up or reach. Among the roles of the player there is an individual who controls the state of the game, this is determined by random chance or vote within the players.

The game is divided into two states, the floor is lava and the floor is not lava.

When the floor is lava, players must not stand on the ground and must stand on a surface higher than the ground. When the floor is not lava, players can now stand and run around on the ground. If you’re on the floor when the floor is lava you are immediately out of the game. However you may throw objects on the lava which you can stand on, to move from one place to the next.

The goal of the game is to tap as many people as you can, at the same time, be the last person standing.

So let me recap this:

Players: 3 or more (One is in control of the state of the game)

Location: Anywhere with gravity and surfaces of various heights

Rules: 1. Do not stand on the ground when the game state changer says the floor is laval 2. When the floor is lava you can walk on top of objects higher than the ground

Goal: You must tap on all your team mates or be the last one standing to win the game

Any questions?

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