Game Jam Winner Spotlight: Will You Do The Fandango?

from the like-it's-1923 dept

Last week, we took a closer look at the winner of Best Digital Game in our public domain game jam, Gaming Like It's 1923. Today, we continue our winner spotlight series with the game that won Best Remix for its combination of material from multiple sources: Will You Do The Fandango? by Lari Assmuth.

Fandango is a tabletop roleplaying game with an overall structure that will be familiar to anyone who's played Dungeons & Dragons or its ilk — but where D&D builds worlds by drawing on material from across the fantasy genre, Fandango uses very different source material: the world of Comedia dell'Arte, starting with the 1923 movie Scaramouche that entered the public domain this year. Instead of grand heroism and the battle between good and evil, Fandango aims to create a story of "swashbuckling romance" and big, bombastic melodrama.

In standard fashion, playing requires a Gamemaster and a group of players, each of whom creates a character with an array of stats (Action, Passion and Wit). The setting is revolutionary-era France, the characters are members of a traveling troupe of Comedia dell'Arte players, and the GM leads them on an adventure through towns and cities where civil unrest and class struggle are bubbling up. In each location they will meet notable characters, and get into social conflicts — instead of combat mechanics, the game uses rules and dice for witty repartee and dueling insults. At the end of their time in each location, the players put on a performance, and then deal with the fallout.

And one of the most intriguing features? Every character has both a "Personage" (the person they are) and a "Mask" (the role they play in the performances) — and while personage is fixed, masks can be traded throughout the game. Also, they are literal masks:

You can download the rules (and printable masks) for the game from its page on Itch, and all you need to get started is a quick read, a couple dice, a pair of scissors, and a few enthusiastic friends. If you get a game going, we'd love to hear how it plays out, and I suspect the creator would too!

Next week, we'll be back with another spotlight on one of our winners — and don't forget to check out the full list of entries to spot some of the hidden gems that didn't quite make the final cut. Happy gaming!

Filed Under: game jam, public domain, roleplaying, ttrpg


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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2019 @ 10:21am

    Yes, all those "legacy publishers" will lose their audience of hundreds of millions for their video games because GAME JAM can give them a viable alternative!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gary (profile), 3 Mar 2019 @ 10:59am

      Re:

      Well I'm sure you can do better, eh?

      Hey - it's almost as if extending copyright for over a hundred years is an unnecessary protection?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2019 @ 11:12am

      Re:

      At least the spammers on these articles read them first. Which is more than we can say about you bro.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2019 @ 11:55am

      Re:

      This isn't a videogame...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Mar 2019 @ 3:50pm

      Game jams such as this one give indie developers a chance to test their skills by designing a game within specific limitations (e.g., must be done in a certain amount of days, must use a limited color palette). The point of game jams is not to make millions upon millions of dollars or “take down” legacy publishers — the point is to give indie developers both a chance to experiment in ways they may not have considered before and some exposure that could be turned into a fanbase for newer works. These events also let developers have a little fun: Since game jams are not about super-serious “gotta make a AAA-level” games, developers can make whatever silly idea crosses their heads into a quick one-off thing.

      And hey, sometimes a small indie game developed for a game jam can become something greater. The original Pico-8 version of Celeste was developed during a four-day game jam several years ago; now it is a full game that is available on all major platforms and has nigh-universal critical acclaim to boot. One spark, one moment, one idea — you never know what could happen if you give it a chance.

      I have to wonder: What is your real issue with game jams such as this one — and with people enjoying or even celebrating game jams, even if nothing produced in them ever turn into another Celeste? Because I would think encouraging a new generation of artists (or at least a generation of overlooked artists) to make new works and have fun doing so would be something positive, not something negative.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2019 @ 6:44pm

        Re:

        You'd think for someone so dismissive of such initiatives, he wouldn't post in such a way that suggests he's terrified of the public domain.

        But it's Jhon Sanford Smith, what else did we expect? Competence?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 4 Mar 2019 @ 12:24am

        Re:

        "What is your real issue with game jams"

        I doubt he has one, he just has an obsession with attacking everything this site stands for. So, even when we're talking about something completely positive with no way to spin support of such a thing as a negative, he still has to make something up in order to attack.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 4 Mar 2019 @ 12:20am

      Re:

      So... you're still dumb enough to think that was the aim here?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    CrushU (profile), 4 Mar 2019 @ 1:31pm

    Disappointed

    I'm always disappointed by RPG systems, since that's like making half a game. The DM has to make the rest of the game for you. Still, it's interesting at least.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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