Dinner Party is a party game for 6-10 players where various partygoers must use their special abilities and their whits to keep a wealthy couple from eating poisoned meals. Players have to communicate and use their manipulation of the meals in front of them in order to gain information and achieve their personal win condition. Heavily inspired by mystery role-based games like One Night Ultimate Werewolf and Secret Hitler, Dinner Party promises a silly and exciting experience for friends and family.
Role: Lead Designer, Programmer
Development Cycle: ~6 weeks, March-April 2018
Team Size: 6
Purpose: Final game production course project
Target Platform: Tablet
Includes game and rules document
Easily the most exciting and promising of my Production I games, Dinner Party was our longest production cycle and gave us a unique prompt where we had to use a non-traditional input method (no keyboard, mouse, or standard controllers). What spawned from the idea of a party game utilizing a steering wheel peripheral in the middle of a group came this experience where you pass a tablet around and try to figure out who you can trust.
I really wanted a more active participation of the group in this game compared to the games that inspired it, because I felt like a major area it lacked in was keeping everyone engaged and acting with the mechanics, rather than relying on conversation to drive the entire game. I think the mix between digital gameplay and physical discussion, and how the actions bridge the two, puts the game in a unique spot.
Dinner Party is a very different game from those I’ve made before. On previous projects, I would spend the entire project just trying to figure the game out and making sure it was playable and interesting. However, we knew from just our first week of playtesting with a physical prototype that this game was fun and could be successful. That meant that while we spent the following weeks getting a digital prototype working, we were able to simply balance and tweak the game through physical playtests and make it into a much better game overall.