Game Chef 2014 – Update & Big News


I am truly honored to be named a finalist in the Game Chef 2014 competition.

Since I am currently undergoing yet another life-change (hey, if I didn’t like them, I’d stop doing them, right?) and all the stress that such change-ness brings, it was very humbling and encouraging to be considered. The competition looks very tough, but I am very happy to have gotten this far.

Please check out the other nominations HERE.

Looking back, I realize there are quite a few errors that popped up all over the place in my submitted draft, and I’m not sure the mechanics for the story-telling are really firing on all cylinders like they should be. This is definitely version 1.0 and needs some tweaking (and playtesting!) so for that reason I’m doubly appreciative of all my reviewers and genuinely thankful.

Regardless of the outcome, I will be taking a second look at the draft and making updates where appropriate. In the meantime, here’s the original post with a link to the draft for the 1.0 version.

Thanks again!


Game Chef 2014 – The Stuff of Dreams and Nightmares

Screen Shot 2014-05-18 at 6.07.02 PM

The Wildlings have invaded your dream!
Will it make you laugh or make you scream?
The Stuff of Dreams and Nightmares help fight or flight
Until half the Star Maps have tapped their light.
When a “Question” is posed, more Stuff you may win  Or else be lost in dream when your Star goes dim. 

~ . ~

Welcome to The Stuff of Dreams and Nightmares, a free-form, round-robin, story-telling game where you and your friends play both yourselves and the strange creatures called Wildlings. Will the Wildlings use the powers of the stars to absorb all the Stuff of Dreams, or will you be able to take control of the dream, and escape?

GAME CHEF: an annual game design competition. 1 Theme. 4 Ingredients. 9 Days.

This is my entry for 2014.

The theme is “There is no book,” prompting my decision to use elements of board games, plus a special twist– players use Play-Doh (ahem, “modeling compound”) to create their own monsters. Players are both protagonists (as their dream-selves) and antagonists as they tell a collaborative story in order to move the “Stuff” from a reserve into their own personal area. If they can do that successfully, everyone wins! If their area runs out first, however, the story must end in tragedy.

You’ll have to look inside to see how the ingredients are incorporated. Basically, the monsters are the Wildlings, who are powered by the stars, such as the Tiger or Sickle constellations, and the Wildlings may try to absorb all the Stuff of Dreams and Nightmares, which will make the Players’ dream-stars darken from Bright, to Glittering, to Dim… or worse!

Click here for the PDF:
Stuff of Dreams and Nightmares by Danny Wall

Drive-By Stories — a storytelling game for road trips

Time/Life Photo Archives (1942) by J. R. Eyerman

Time/Life Photo Archives (1942) by J. R. Eyerman

Here’s a storytelling game for those long car trips or heavy traffic… or even just simple boredom!

The Goal: Tell the stories of the strangers around you.

Players: Anyone in the car– Two or more people.

Materials: The fingers on one hand and an active imagination

1) Pick a nearby car. It should be a car where you cannot see the other driver/occupants, so it could be the one in front of you or even two lanes away.

2) The Player going first makes a “fact” about the driver, and then offers a question about that fact. The “fact” can be anything that comes to mind, but often matches what would be likely according to the time, location, and type of car that’s the target. Also, you must limit your facts in categories represented by the fingers on one hand:

THUMB: Thumbs are about approval. Your fact is about something he/she likes or dislikes.
INDEX FINGER: Indexes are about instruction. Your fact is about something he/she told someone, or about something he/she was told to do.
MIDDLE FINGER: Middles are about frustrations. Your fact is about something he/she is frustrated about. (For the Rated G version, Middles are the “tallest” and the facts are about a time he/she stood tall.)
RING FINGER: Rings are about relationships. Your fact is about an ongoing, healed, or broken relationship.
PINKY: Pinkies are about “swears.” Your fact is about a promise kept or a secret broken.

Example: After picking the red car ahead on the right, the Player going first makes a fact using his Ring Finger. “The driver is unmarried. How long ago was his last relationship?” or even “The driver has been dating his/her significant other for four years and next week is the anniversary. Why is he/she feeling so bad about celebrating it?”

3) The each Player in the car offers an answer to the question, and everyone in the car must agree whose answer is the most satisfying. Obviously, the best way to do this is to take a look at the driver after the question is given, and perhaps everyone in the car will smile and say “Oh, yeah. For sure!” when the best answer is given. (The First Player can always offer an alternative answer to his own question as the final offer.) The player who gives the most satisfying answer is awarded points equal to the first numeral on the license plate of car in question.

Example: The First Player offered a fact and a question. “The driver is unmarried. How long ago was his last relationship?” The Second Player offers “two weeks,” The Third Player offers “one year ago, the day their dog died,” and the First Player answers his own question “Last night.” Everyone agrees the Third Player offers the most tragically satisfying answer. The license plate was LA55589, so the Third Player gets 5 points.

4) Play continues until all the “fingers” of one hand have been used. The player with the most points wins, which is ironic because the points don’t really matter and everyone had a good time making up stories about people around them.