Sensible Object Sweats the Details

“Kill your darlings.” “Sweat the details.” And: “If playing [the game] feels like you’re taking a math exam, it’s probably too complicated.” These are the unwritten creative mantras of Sensible Object, the studio behind the hybrid digital-tabletop game Beasts of Balance. Below, they share a few predictions for the future of tabletop games,  and some indie games you should be playing.

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Five predictions for the future of tabletop games

1. Games that change with time.
Legacy opened this particular Pandora’s box. Let’s see what else is inside.

2. Small-batch physical games using interesting materials.
We have enough boxes full of plastic zombies and orcs. Give us something different to hold in our hands.

3. Narrative maturity.
More games with the potential to make us feel. Give us a tabletop game that makes us cry and we’ll be happy (once we stop crying).

4. Games that explore and exploit the huge potential that integrated technologies bring.
And no, we don’t mean more companion apps. Think bigger!

5. Games designed to be enjoyed by multiple ages, and by casual players and hobbyists alike.
Tabletop gaming has the eye of the world right now; let’s make sure everyone feels included.

Kentucky Route Zero

Kentucky Route Zero

Five indie games you should be playing

Triple Agent! from Tasty Rook
A Werewolf-like game that you play by passing around a mobile phone. Beautiful aesthetics, intuitive UI, and concise ruleset.

Spirit Island from Greater Than Games
We love the way the narrative runs through every single element of this game. Every action taken and every movement made reinforces the feeling that you’re an ancient god doing battle against pesky human invaders.

Diet & Friends from Adventure Planning Service
A cute little social deduction card game we picked up at the Essen Game Fair last year. If you can find it, you should buy it.

Kentucky Route Zero from Cardboard Computer
This episodic point-and-click adventure is a great example of the ability of games to create a truly exceptional narrative.

A Fake Artist Goes to New York from Oink Games
Japan-based Oink Games consistently puts out the most charming, stylish, well-considered games with great narratives.

Six things to read, watch, play, and listen to

Experimental fiction by Jon Bois

Case Studyo’s vinyl toys for grown-ups

FLEB’s puzzle-themed YouTube channel

Magic: The Gathering’s Mark Rosewater on game design

The Odditorium, a fortnightly podcast exploring the fringes of culture

The late Satoru Iwata in conversation with the team behind the original Nintendo Game & Watch

“Give Up” by Parra x Case Studyo

“Give Up” by Parra x Case Studyo

This piece originally appeared in our Handpicked Happening newsletter, where Kickstarter creators share their recommendations for things to read, watch, and listen to. 

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