DevShop is a card game that was designed to mimic the experience of running an interactive agency. Based on the culture and agile project management style of philosophie, we created a game that would be fun for people inside and outside our industry and shed light on agile web development.
The game is a fun turn-based game for 2-4 players, where each player builds up his or her agency, completing tasks and ultimately increasing their client's satisfaction. The player with the highest client satisfaction at the end of the last sprint review wins!
Check out this video for a quick review of the mechanics and gameplay:
The first thing we do is decide how many sprints the game will last. "Sprint" is a term from agile, and represent a fixed work period. At the end of each sprint, developers demo the work they completed to the client. Normally the number of sprints is determined by the scope of the project; bigger projects require more sprints to complete.
While sprints in real life typically last 1–3 weeks, each sprint in the game lasts 10-15 minutes. Strategy varies for shorter and longer games, so plan accordingly! Once the players have agreed on the number of sprints, shuffle up the opportunity deck and then count out cards facedown, inserting sprint complete cards accordingly.
Players get any combination of 2 interns and some funds. What kind of DevShop your company becomes after that is entirely up to you!
Each player and is allowed 2 free actions per turn. These actions include:
Hiring an Employee
To hire en employee, you have to pay the cost in funds located in the upper right corner. Once you hire them, they belong to your company and can be used for the remainder of the game. Each employee is different and has unique abilities. You'll need to decide which employees to hire in order to complete tasks, and which ones to hire to overcome crises.
Acquire an Asset
Assets function like utility cards that help boost the abilities of other employees, lower the cost of getting other cards, or help you avoid crises! Assets, like employees, are purchased with funds equal to the number in the upper right.
You can also take one of your actions to go fundraising and acquire one funds card.
Buy a Twist of Fate Card
Twist of Fate cards are held facedown — the only unknown element in the game. They're designed to "cheat" the rules of the game in your favor (legally of course). These cards may be used to either benefit your company (like the one above) or sabotage your opponents.
Work on a Task
The primary way to earn client satisfaction is by completing tasks. They're how you develop your project, finish off features, and ultimately, make your client happy. All tasks require a certain amount of skill points to complete and have a reward when you finish them!
No matter how good your planning is, stuff happens during sprints. Accordingly, one crisis is dealt to each player at the beginning of each sprint. They have a detrimental effect as long as they stay in play, but you can "manage" them then they go away. For example, for an IRS Audit, you need to either pay 3 funds or have an accountant manage this crisis. Otherwise you cannot hire or acquire new assets!
Ending the Game
You keep taking turns until you hit a "sprint complete" card. Then at the end of each sprint, everyone shows off how many tasks they were able to complete. They then add up their client satisfaction points. We reset the opportunity field and the person with the highest client satisfaction begins play. If it's the final sprint complete card, the player with the highest client satisfaction wins the game!
We'll be working hard during the kickstarter campaign as we finalize the last few mechanical and numerical tweaks to the game. Once those are complete, we'll do a final design iteration and post our final version of the cards here! Keep an eye out in the next couple weeks!
Leo Maros - Project Lead / Game Designer
Joy Liu - Visual Designer
Jean-Nicolas Bayette - Visual Designer
Skot Carruth - Managing Partner
Wondering how we made such an awesome kickstarter video? We tricked our amazing video partner Eric Locko into volunteering. He filmed, edited, and produced the video, so give him the love.
Kickstarter Video Team:
Risks and challenges
Before I begin to explain what challenges are still to overcome, I'd like to explain how did DevShop came to be.
One day at work, Skot, a Managing Partner asked me (Leo), if I could design a game that we could play with our business cards. Why? Because how cool is that? We would hand out our business cards and, if people could collect them all, would be able to play an entertaining game at a meet&greet or any kind of social mash up. Well because I had a small history of game design, as well as being a huge fan and judge of hobby games like Magic the Gathering, I was ripe for the task.
However, it didn't turn out that way... I had instead created a stand-alone game that basically took philosophie and made it into a game. From our agile style of project management, to the individual employees, to our culture, it's all there!
The designers got to have a fun time creating the style and layout of the cards--facing similar challenges as they would with any other project--and were able to deliver some amazing work.
So, if you've ever wanted to know how it feels to run a Dev Shop, help us fund this project and we'll ship you a copy!
Like the crisis cards, we have our own challenge set of challenges to overcome when we get this project funded! We've nearly finalized all the design and mechanical components of the game. All we have left to push to production is a little bit of number tweaking and a final design iteration!
Once the project is funded, we'll be handing over our files to chicagogameandcard.com, a custom card game manufacturer based in Chicago, to help us produce DevShop. A few weeks after submitting the order, the final product will ship directly from their factory, complete with rules, cards and boxes.
We also want to thank everyone who has helped fund, contribute and collaborate on making this project a success!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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