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Get Away: A backstory (or The joys and tribulations of being a solo ‘group’)

On a scroll, text "Get Away: Chaos at Yicheng"
Get Away: Intro page

 Get Away: Chaos at Yìchéng is a collaborative board game, where players aim to ‘get away’ with their given task. It allows players to take the part of the morally grey and be the killers in the story – whether or not the murder is justified is up to them.

Research into Game Mechanics

Dot points about game's theme, mechanics etc.
Get Away Outline

Something I spent a lot of time on was background research into games with a similar concept – I was aiming to start with some basic game mechanics before working on introducing a theme. As you can see, at this stage I had a very basic outline and very little else.

Initially, I was intrigued by the idea of hidden movement mechanics, so I looked into games such as Fury of Dracula, Last Friday, Final Girl and Ten Minutes to Kill. I watched review or ‘how to’ videos and made lists of elements of each game that interested me.

Dot points on game development
Examples of the Brainstorming Process

I based some of my game mechanics on Horrified, a game I had the chance to play earlier in the semester – the collaborative gameplay intrigued me and I loved the idea of the monsters (or as I conceptualised, NPCs) whose actions could change the game drastically. I also borrowed the idea of creating a map, as well as the ‘Haunt’ (or an event that drastically changes the player’s motivations and gameplay) from Betrayal at the House on the Hill. While I love Betrayal, it can be a bit janky at times and is riddled with confusing terminology and gameplay holes – I wanted to remedy this.

Game Development

After researching the game mechanics I wanted to include I had to decide if I wanted to create my game based around these mechanics first and choose a theme to fit – or if I wanted to manipulate the mechanics to fit the chosen theme. I chose to do the latter, picking out the distinctive xianxia theme (something I’m interested in, and thought would help motivate me to work on the game more).

Worldbuilding & Art Style info

I will talk more about why I chose this theme, as well as its influences on my game pieces later but I want to include some important links from my research. I found some helpful sites exploring both the xianxia genre as a whole, and looking into the more specific wuxia subgenre. Some explored the history of the genre while others provided a deeper look into important terms.

Character & NPC templates
Board game map

From here, I aimed to create different types of characters (both player and non-player) as well as the key location types and work out how everything would work together

Once I had an idea of the Game’s Three-act structure I developed a rough map and worked further on creating some physical and visual representations of game pieces.

Theme & Playtesting

Looking into similar games

Examples of Similar Games
Some Examples of Similar Games

I found it very difficult to find any games with the exact same premise or even similar mechanics within the same genre. Since the wuxia genre – and from there the xianxia subgenre is so very specific, and has only recently been growing in popularity the audience is very niche. I was able to find a few Tabletop RPGs, as well as a single board game, but with the limited amount of time I had I wasn’t able to look into it more.

Final Thoughts

I’m fairly happy with what I was able to produce during such a small timespan – and as a single-person group. I got very invested in this game and know that I put more effort into it than was required, and I may have been better off choosing to narrow my focus on specific areas for more in-depth development. I also identified some specific areas that I would’ve liked to work on more throughout my pitch.

Further Research: Plot & Backstory, Gameplay & Mechanics, Characters, Storylines
Areas for Further Research

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