Monday, March 2, 2009

Game Challenge 6

Random Word Story Game

Requirements: To play, you will need a few items.
· Pen or Pencil
· Paper
· A six sided die
· A timer
· Deck of topic cards

Objective: The objective of this game is to be the most creative person in the group.


1. First, players must decide who goes first. Rock paper scissors, flip a coin, roll a die, it really doesn’t matter how. After the player to go first is established, the group must decide what order the other players are to go, either clockwise or counterclockwise.

2. Next, you must shuffle the topic cards and set the stack face down on the table. Then, someone in the group, it really doesn’t matter who, draws the top card and shows the topic to everyone. Each topic card has a general topic in bold large letters, as well as the first three words of the story. The first player builds off of these three words. Think of the general topic as a guide, not a requirement. Straying from the topic isn’t a problem.

3. Now the game begins. First player takes the paper and the pen or pencil and rolls the die. The second the die lands and a number is shown, the player has 10 seconds to think up a number of words to continue the story equal to what is shown on the die plus 2. Once those 10 seconds are up, the player then has 30 seconds in order to write those words down. A player may start writing in their 10 second thinking time. However, should the final 30 seconds pass and the player is not finished writing, they lose and must wait until this round of play is over to continue.

4. Players keep taking turns rolling the dice, and continuing the story until there is only one player left to continue the story. That player wins the game. Keep in mind that each player may complete a sentence whenever they choose and start a new one so long as it makes sense. While grammar and spelling are not important for this game, you cannot have something like, “The man. Dan said to” for your turn. Make a good attempt to follow common rules for sentences.

5. Once each topic has a winner, move on to a new topic card. Continue playing as long as you want, or until the topics are exhausted. The player that won the most games is declared the winner.

Additional: As an addition to the game, players are more than welcome to think up their own topic cards and add them to the deck. Just follow a similar patter to the cards provided.

Rain Forest,
A man went

The crew began

House Cleaning,
Vacuuming the house

I was going

At the club

In a Band,
The drummer decided

We found our

The plane was

The ball went

Well the play was a success, though my system was not. Because of computer failure, I had no means to print anything out, so I wrote a program that pulled each of these topics out randomly, and rolled a die, and started the timer. It was effective, the problem came in when players were writing things down quicker than expected. Still, we did finally have someone lose. The end result for the story was interesting. I'll add it if I find the document. Either way, it might be worth trying on your own to see what messed up vampire infested story you can make.

One additional rule. If any given player can write an ending to the story in their alloted words that no one else can respond to in any way that would make sense to continue, that player automatically wins.


  1. Stephen,

    Great solution! Creating a computer program to solve the problems of generating random numbers and timers was brilliant.

    I agree with Kate's comments in class that you could make the random die roll increase in number with each turn to make it more difficult for players to finish the sentence. This of course could simply be a variation of the game - its overall structure remains the same.

    However, I will also note that it is difficult for me to think up some of the sentences in my head unless I'm thinking at least one turn in advance. I also tend to write as I think. So the rule of thinking about what goes on the page before you write doesn't work well for me! You may want to consider designating the entire waiting period as used for thinking and writing.

    You may also want to put in the rules somewhere a definition of the story you are using (such as 'it must have a beginning, middle, and end'). This is because the ultimate means of determining the 'wholeness' of the story is qualitative rather than quantitative.

    Devin Monnens

    PS - You need a better title than 'Random Word Story Game'

  2. I think that the game worked pretty well, but it might be fun if the time to write it down was reduced every turn. Something that keeps the gameplay going instead of keeping the pacing the same the whole way through.

  3. Awesome game, I agree with what was said that people tend to write while they think, and that the time should be reduced every turn to make it harder and harder.

    And of course, as with all games like this in such an environment, there are some emerging issues with lack of maturity!