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Cardboard Children: The 4C

John Walker, in the TV parlour, with a USB hub

Hello youse.

Once again, I’ve pushed aside my planned column (a photo story of a games night in action) to do something that came to me in a dream earlier in the week. Well, no, it didn’t come to me in a dream. It came to me while I was on the toilet, but that’s not the kind of thing I would tell you on an upmarket PC gaming website.

I’ve been having great fun writing this column over the past couple of months. Mainly because I’ve been blown away by the knowledge and passion of those people making contributions in the comments section. So, I’ve been thinking about doing something that we could all get involved with. Something interesting for the tenth column. And it came to me while I was on the toilet, with my trousers at my ankles, but that’s not the kind of thing I would admit to on an upmarket PC gaming website.

This isn’t a competition. Because there’s no prize. It’s more of a challenge. And it’s the kind of thing I feel comfortable doing on a site like Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Because, y’know, you all seem kinda… kinda smart. Kinda clever. You know? I think it’s the kind of thing that might work here. I hope it does.

So let’s see what it is!

CLUEDO

Cluedo. That’s where it starts. The family board game, Cluedo. If you’re in the United States, you’ll call it Clue.

The board features the layout of a house. A grand, stately manor. Or, if you have a more modern edition of the game, a swish and cool celebrity hangout.

There are playing pieces of different colours, representing characters. The doddering old Professor Plum. The devious and sexy Miss Scarlet. It seems society has conditioned us to see the characters in this way, because the game certainly doesn’t fill in any blanks.

There are tokens that represent weapons. These are laid in rooms, as possible murder weapons. There are cards too, with pictures of the weapons on them. On these cards, you’ll also find images of the characters, and of the rooms.

All of these components come together to create what is, in my opinion, a terrible board game.

Now, this column isn’t about me hating Cluedo. It isn’t about why I hate Cluedo. It’s not even a column to get us all arguing about whether or not Cluedo is a good game. It’s all opinion, and in this column (AND THIS COLUMN ALONE) my opinion doesn’t matter. Here’s why we’re talking about Cluedo today:

CLUEDO HAS INTERESTING COMPONENTS – The layout of a house. Dice. Playing pieces. Some cards.

WE ALL PROBABLY HAVE CLUEDO – We’ve had it lying in a cupboard for years. Or someone’s bought us it as a gift recently, because they’ve heard we like board games. And we’ve forced a smile.

THE 4C – The Cardboard Children Cluedo Challenge

We’re going to remix Cluedo, is what we’re going to do.

Take your copy of Cluedo, dust that bad boy off, and throw away the rulebook. Sit with those components, and get thinking on a new board game. A brand new board game, using any Cluedo set that anyone can buy in a mainstream shop.

THE RULES

1.The new game should have its own title.
2.The new game should use some of the components of Cluedo, but need not use all of them. The board, however, MUST be used.
3.Additional components can be added to the game. However, any additional components must be made available on a print and play basis. Provide printable sheets.
4.The only exception to the print and play rule for new components is dice. Your game can use extra dice, or dice other than six-sided dice.
5.Your Cluedo remix for The 4C is to be completed by the 24th of December.

I already have my idea for a Cluedo remix. I’m going to start writing it up this week, and will unveil it after the deadline. After that deadline passes, I’ll post up links to all the best Cluedo remixes, so make sure your remixes are downloadable.

Please feel free to use the comments section here to discuss the process, and sound people out about ideas and stuff. And I’d be delighted if you would try to get the word out about this challenge to as many people as possible.

Let’s see if we can turn Cluedo into a toolset. A toy box that is an essential purchase for any board gamer. Let’s make it difficult to get the lid of our Cluedo boxes shut, because there are so many printouts of remix rulebooks in there.

I think, if we really push this, we could find out a lot about game design. And have a lot of fun while we’re doing it.

See you in the comments below!

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Robert Florence

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