King of the Social Utility

King of the Beach (KOTB) is a battle card game that seeks to reverse-engineer the process of surfing by opposing two players in a battle of wits, wipe-outs and (pumping) waves (brah!). The motivation behind the game are focused around the idea of converting the free-flowing concepts, to a game that provides an insight, a particular perspective into the world of surfing culture. The theme, as most of you know, revolves around the world of surfing. As an attempt to try and immerse the player within the world of surf culture, the language featured on the cards is heavily influenced by the colloquial jargon you’d hear ‘out the local’ (the place you are most likely to surf). For this reason I believe many individuals, not familiar with surf culture would find the initial concepts, contexts and and system of scoring difficult to understand. Through play-testing I have deduced that those not entirely familiar with surf culture, would on average take a few plays through to understand the primary fundamentals, while individuals who surfed or had some knowledge of the culture were able to pick up game play quite easily. Therefore (obviously) the initial target market is aimed at those who surfed, or had some involvement within the community. However, it would not be restricted to only those who surfed (or there about), instead, become a stepping-stone for the noobs-of-the-surf-world, inviting them into the community and provide a further understanding to the dynamics elements that can transform the sport/lesuire activity on a daily basis i.e. wind and swell directions, factoring into different locations.

Johnson (2013, p.138), although talking about the video game industry, establishes that successful games must have an active consumer basis (well-duh!). However, he recognises that it is important that the consumer be somewhat involved with the production process, making the transition from a linear model of distribution (producer>consumer) to more of a parallel model for the distribution of ideas (producer=consumer… ‘prosumer’). This has the potential to be done through allowing consumers to participate in the production process, whether it be the design and develop of new cards, or the customisation of Shred-Board game play mats. I believe that providing outlets through social media channels for the consumer to provide feedback and potentially customize the way in which they play game has opportunities to develop a large fan basis at a fast rate. As surfing is already a largely social activity, despite the effects of ‘localism’, the production of KOTB card game would be conducted in a similar manner. Using various social channels such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram it would integral to work with our fan-base and the wider community (including potential sponsors such as; World Surf League, Samsung Galaxy, and various other surf-affiliated brands and corporations) to hold contests, give-aways and KOTB events as a means of remaining in-touch with public opinion.

Johnson, R.S. (2013), ‘Toward Greater Production Diversity: Examining Social Boundaries at a Video Game Studio’, Games and Culture, Vol. 8, No. 3, p.138

Click to access Games%20and%20Culture-2013-Johnson-136-60.pdf

1 Comment

  1. I love the design that’s going into your game dude. From the title (Wavves represent!) through to representing the aesthetics of surf culture through the cards and mechanics, it’s a game that you could definitely take somewhere. In talking about making a game for a demographic, while surfers aren’t really known as the type to take up table top games, this would definitely be right up their alley I’m sure. You might even make some board game geeks take up surfing ha ha. Great work man..


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