making it up as we go along

Close up of a game of making it up as we go along, with the rules in the foreground and the the player-created game board in the background
Close up of a game of making it up as we go along, with the rules in the foreground and the the player-created game board in the background Close up of a game of making it up as we go along, with the game board and various dice and wooden pieces in the foreground The end of a game of making it up as we go along played at the Overkill Festival in the Netherlands, 2022. The end of a game of making it up as we go along played in Dundee, 2022. Photograph of the making it up as we go along zine I made for the Overkill Festival.

Part of my Game Design as Play: Players as Designers research project.

making it up as we go along is a game about changing the rules and inventing new rules. Most other games are played according to rules set out by their designers, and players of those games have to play within the designer's rules. In making it up as we go along you - the players - are also the designers of the game, creating the game as you play it.

How does it work?

The game starts with just 3 rules. On their own, these rules are not enough to make for a particularly interesting game, but they provide a starting framework. It is up to you as players to add your own rules and transform the game into something a lot more lively and exciting.

The game can be played anywhere, with whatever props you have available, though you will need some way of keeping track of the game's rules (whether that's a pen and paper, or your phone, etc.).

The starting rules

  1. Players take turns.
  2. On their turn, a player may add a new Rule or modify an existing Rule and/or take an Action.
  3. Actions are defined by Rules.

More info

For more info see the making it up as we go along zine on itch: