Home > gdcu > GDCU Level 8: The Grief Game

GDCU Level 8: The Grief Game

I’ve fallen behind in my Game Design Concepts coursework. Just having difficulty concentrating. I’m trying to do readings in between cases in grand jury duty, but it’s difficult when they play movies on the big screen and laugh and have a good time… I wind up joining them 🙂

Level 8‘s assignment is as follows:

Create a concept for a game that is built to appeal specifically to griefers (i.e. Bartle’s “Killer” player type). Post it in the forums. You do not need to create the rules for a game. Just create a concept that includes enough information to communicate what the gameplay would be like

Your post should include the following:

  • Target medium or platform. Is this a PC game? Console? Board or card game? Tabletop RPG?
  • Number of players
  • A paragraph or two describing the game concept
  • Another paragraph explaining why this concept will appeal to the target market.

I was inspired by the light cycles of Tron, probably because I had recently viewed the Flynn Lives trailer.

Target platform: Console, PC (Online)
Number of Players: 1-4

The play area takes place sandbox that players will turn into a maze. Players either compete against each other or AI. Each level has random bonus and destructive tiles placed in the play area. For example, a bonus tile could allow players to destroy a blocking wall, or a destructive tile which, when activated (stepped on), creates a wall blocking the player’s forward movement.

Each corner is a “starting location” where one player or AI begins the level. The goal is to be the first player to reach the center of the map. Players can use various objects, one per turn, to block or influence the movement of their opponent. For example, if you have been moving to your left, I can drop a wall preventing movement in that direction.

In order to prevent the game from being “stuck” where one player is boxed in by walls, there is a slowly recharging wall-breaking power that will allow players to break one wall if they find themselves boxed in… or they can use it to bypass a wall to help them win the game.


It’s easy to make a grief game if you think only in terms of Player A killing Player B. I wanted to do something a little more cerebral. An explorer or achiever would be interested in getting to the goal first to finish the level, perhaps uncovering any bonus tiles along the way. Here all players can prevent the others from reaching the goal, while simultaneously trying to achieve the goal.

This game appeals to a “griefer’s” need for being victorious both in terms of achieving his goal while preventing others from finishing the game.

link to forum thread
Categories: gdcu
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