T5: Background

This is the story of what we’re doing this weekend: an April Fool’s Day joke that turned into a design competition that turned into a housecon.

I’ll start with a video of 50kaitenz.

I’ve made something of an accidental Twitter penpal of @kumagoro_h. He doesn’t speak any English and I don’t speak any Japanese, but we bond over a shared love of trick-taking games.

He is the man behind the “Trick Taking Party“. As he tells it, it began as an April Fool’s Day joke, but turned into a design competition. He had 68 entries, a three-person jury, and prize money. The submission period was in January 2017 (with the next submission period being December 2019). It first came across my radar in a tweet that I’ve since lost where among the Japanese words that I didn’t understand, I could clearly make out “TRICK TAKING PARTY”, and knew that I wanted to know more.

That tweet had a link to a Google Drive of Japanese language rules for the 68 games. I never got around to translating or trying them, but e-mailed it around to the other OGers, thinking they might be excited as I was.

Naturally, the e-mail was titled “Trick Taking Party”, and then I thought I should apologize or at least explain that I wasn’t inviting people to such an event lest they get too excited over the subject line. I did that, but people responded to say that they would attend such an event if I threw one.

So, as part of my Year of Making Mistakes where I try to embrace the idea that it is ok to make mistakes, I am.

We’ve rented a house on AirBNB, and I’ve invited the OG crew, some local friends, and a few others I thought would be interested.

I’m pretty excited about the library of titles that will be available – including the now available English translations of the winners from @kumahoro_h’s 2017 Trick Taking Party (Google Drive folder)!

When I look at my shelves of games, it is the trick-takers that I wish I was able to get to the table more. I love the idea of exploring a specific tailored genre and the different ways that designers push and pull and prod and poke at the rules and mechanics to elicit different effects, so the thought of a weekend of that really excites me.

I enjoy following @kumagoro_h on Twitter, partially because I learn about new bands like 50kaitenz, but I also get to learn about the whimsical events he runs. Entirely by coincidence, he has also organized a trick-taking event for this weekend. His will be on Sunday, and is titled これはトリテなのか? (Is This a Trick-Taking Game?) Modeled on the Is This a Game? event from last year, it’ll push the boundaries of game design more into the conceptual art realm, and I look forward to seeing the designs that are unveiled.

Anyway, stay tuned here, on our Twitter, and maybe even Instagram, for recaps and diaries of how it goes!

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