What kind of post-game player are you?

Just like how there are plenty of reasons to play a game, there are plenty of methods to enjoy them too. Today we’ll explore some ways we enjoy games outside of an actual play session. which ones can you relate to the most?

Free fortunes inside!


Meta content

(At this point I spend more time reading about Magic: the Gathering than playing)

(At this point I spend more time reading about Magic: the Gathering than playing)

There’s tons of game-related information that exists outside of the game itself. Things like statistics, analyses of strategy, heuristics for design, or background knowledge about the development cycle are all bits of media that are stored outside of the game’s direct experience.

You’ll know you enjoy games for their meta content if you find that your excitement about a game spikes when reading about strategy and build optimization, discovering a long documentary about the game or recognizing that Jennifer Hale is voicing this character too. You may also spend a lot of time theorizing about future content or scouring for dev talks and patch notes even if you only play for 20 minutes a day.

Your fortune: you’re quite efficient at the things you work on, and are particularly adept at problem-solving and preparing… but only if you’re passionate about the topic at hand. My recommendation is to extend your researching habits to involve things that you don’t already love - maybe you’ll discover a way to enjoy it more.

Extending the game

Cross-media engagement is common and awesome. That’s fanart, fanfic, cosplay, writing theory or even designing your own gameplay tweaks (ie custom classes or mods). Sometimes a game is over before you’re ready to say goodbye, and it hurts to still have that yearning for engagement when you’ve taken all you could from the canon.

 
 

So making new things (and consuming the content that others make) is a way to stay engaged and explore the world a little bit longer. Other times a game has a broken mechanic and/or Cassandra is inexplicably straight, and so stuff like mods and fic provide ways for a game to sit better.

Extending the game through non-canon creations is a common way that people continue the love. You’ll know this is you if you haven’t touched a game for years but continue writing/reading/crafting/talking about it to this day. Sometimes you may find yourself opening up the game just to specifically grab content and reference materials for your fan additions, and sometimes you follow a bunch of subreddits for the fanart even if you’re five patch notes behind.

Your fortune: You’re a creative soul, and that includes if you only consume fan content instead of making it. The very act of consumption is generative, as you need a certain level of creativity in order to fully enjoy a lot of stuff that is technically non-canonical. My recommendation is to always keep at least two creative outlets open at all times, as it’ll be integral to regulating your emotions in the long-term.

Engaging with the community

Engaging with community is one of the main appeals for being a sports fan. This is particularly true when play sessions for a type of game (for example, football) are forced to be limited to a few hours per week. There is definitely something to be said about the types of lasting friendships that can sprout from a mutual understanding and appreciation for the same thing.

(Bring it back)

(Bring it back)

Game communities have their own flavours of course, but in the end it’s amazing that you can meet a stranger and immediately jump into a conversation around a mutual interest.

You’ll know you play a game for the community when a shift in that community makes your game experience immediately better or worse. You may potentially spend more time on forums than your game, and you may have one or more articles of clothing or desk decorations that relates to your favourite game[s].

Your fortune: The obvious thing to say is that you’re social, but it’s more than that - you’re a person who places value in being part of something greater, in forming strong connections, in finding respect and strength as a unified whole. Or you’re lonely, and trolling is how you interact with people - that’s the other type of person. My recommendation is to try to be a part of multiple communities - it can be devastating for something to happen when all of your eggs are in that one basket.

Gaining life experience

This is the weirdest one - there are games that are enjoyed inexplicably, internally, in which you have fully absorbed some part of its contents and you feel it has actually changed you… whether or not you can explain exactly how.

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For example, games like Yume Nikki, Soma, Firewatch etc aren’t too long, and they’re not necessarily fun in a normal way. But they can be meaningful, and the experiences that happen in those games can stick with you for a long time. (Also this relates to any game - even if it looks ‘random’ to others, such as gaining meaning from Tetris).

Everyone comes across games that change their life, or that are mostly ‘enjoyable’ for its post-game impact on you rather than its literal gameplay. Some people are particularly attuned to this experience though, and you’ll know if you are.

Your fortune: Did you read a lot when you were younger? You have an apt ability to cross-apply the experiences of others to your own life, especially in fiction. Your passion and empathy is palpable and powerful, and though it may often feel like both blessing and curse, it can also be a compass to point you towards your values and goals. My recommendation is to treat your own needs the same way you’d treat a friend’s.)

Everyone does all of these to some extent - which method do you relate to the most for your favourite games?

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Musical Overlay and Generative Experience

“Life’s the biggest troll but the joke is on us” - Donald Glover as an orc launches my body across the map

“Life’s the biggest troll but the joke is on us”
- Donald Glover as an orc launches my body across the map

I love music! And I have a habit of inevitably replacing most in-game music with my own. Do you do this too? How much does this effect the game experience?

After the first 300 hours of Slay the Spire I started to get a little bored of the same ol soundtrack. And at any rate, as much as I love StS, their music isn’t a strong suit. So now, Donu and Deca murder me to the tunes of El Huervo and The Neighborhood, which is a much-needed improvement…

…but it’s not strictly better to replace music, is it? Even unassuming music - especially unassuming music - does its own job of establishing a lot about a game.

Obviously, music establishes tone and atmosphere. High-intensity music helps you feel ready to ROCK in combat, while slower music can do stuff like help you recognize a town as a safe space from monsters. This stuff, I think, we all know intrinsically. But there’s other stuff that’s maybe less obvious too.

For example, we know that background music should generally be unassuming / loopable / tune-out-able so that players don’t get annoyed. But also, I think unassuming songs are also good because they can “fit in” a wider variety of contexts. Conversely, the more the bgm slaps in a game, the narrower its application probably is. For example: combat music has room to be exciting because it’s only going to be used in high-adrenaline situations. But town music can sometimes be difficult to make “special” if a variety of moods are going to happen in that location. This is a big argument in favour of letting the game select appropriate music for you (assuming the game is well made) - the music is more likely to match w/e you’re doing and not accidentally ruin a sad time or sully a happy one.

Wait, this album has a game??

Wait, this album has a game??


There’s another neat thing that I think in-game music does too… The fact that game music is “isolated” - that is, rarely heard outside its own game - means that hearing its soundtrack can easily re-immerse you into that world. Comparatively, an IRL song may be loaded with other associations, and therefore may prevent you from getting as into the mood even if the tone matches. Things get murky once you download Darren Korb on Spotify, but you get the idea.


What I mean to say, I guess, is that a well-made game will have good sound design that makes conscious choices with their music. And, once you spend enough time in a game, even just hearing a certain song will give you a kind of gut-instinct-pavlov-doggo-reaction due to association. Cool!

Buuut, the thing is, I think choosing your own music has a lot of benefits as well.

Like, okay, so you get to replace potentially-annoying/boring music with something of your own taste that you enjoy. But also, if you happen to be in a particular musical phase in your life, you get to form associations between a “real-life” artist and that game. Maybe whenever you listen to Future Islands you’ll get some faint nostalgia pings for Spelunky? Maybe you were on a Madonna kick when you were grinding for a specific set of mats for a gun?

Since a song you chose can traverse both “out of game” and “in-game” experiences, your real-life experiences with a song could influence how you perceive the events, tone, atmosphere, etc of the game you’re playing. This isn’t a strictly bad thing, in my opinion - while yeah, you can drift away from the “intended” atmosphere you were “supposed” to be getting from a certain location/game/event, you also get to put a bit of a personal spin on it.

In other words, listening to your own music when playing a game is a small way of personalizing your experience and interpretation of that game. If game BGM can do a good job of setting tone, real life music should be able to the same. And if that’s the case, choosing music carefully can be your way of "shaping” what kind of game you’ll end up playing. Your experience could end up being very different from another player’s just because you were listening to Bjork? Seems great!

Conclusion: Music affects your gameplay experience in a few ways. It seems like playing with the default music is best until you have a good sense of the game, then swapping to your own music is cool for subsequent playthroughs.

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Stay lofty!

Ultimate Kings Cup: Ruleset Compendium

(Part one can be found here. )

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Below is the most comprehensive list I can think of for Kings. Mix and match appropriately for your group. Unless otherwise noted, the regular format for all of these is either "the last person to do this drinks", or "the first person to mess this up drinks". First are the rules that rhyme / alliterate, then are misc rules that can go anywhere.

Also, we take no responsibility for consequences of these rules. Select and use at your own risk.

Ace

Space. You announce a location, like "places to ___". People go in a circle naming a place to ___. Usually antireq with "categories".

Face. Everybody must be touching somebody else's face.

Race. When drawn, everyone must run to a (pre-chosen) location and back.

Usually, Ace is Waterfall or "never have I ever".

2

You. Point at someone. They drink.

Double. Point at two people. They drink.

True. Ask someone a question. They must either answer truthfully or drink.

3

Me. You drink.

Glee. Start singing a song. If most people join in, those who don't must drink. If nobody joins in, you drink.

4

More. After a countdown, everyone points to who they think needs more drinks. Whoever gets the most votes drinks. In a tie, both drink.

Vore. Everyone must put anything into their mouth that does not normally go into their mouth. Caution.

Floor. Everyone must put their hand on the floor. The slowest person drinks. Hard mode: Everyone lays their entire body down flat on the floor.

Herbivore. Vegans and vegetarians drink.

5

Drive. The person goes "vroom" and steers their wheel to the next person, who must then either go "vroom" and steer towards the next person, or "ERR" [screech] to change direction to the previous person. First person to mess up drinks.

Jive. Perform a simple pose/dance move. The next person does yours, then adds theirs. The next person does yours, then the other person's, then adds their own. The next person.... etc.

Guys. Starting with you, everyone names a guy they hate until someone can't think of one.

Guys. Masculine people drink.

High Five. Everyone puts their hands together. The last two people [or one person] to get both of their palms against someone else's palms must drink.

6

Chicks. Femme people drink.

Fix. Describe a problem of yours and the other people take a few seconds to describe how they'd fix it. Best [funniest] solution doesn't drink, everyone else does.

Trix. Everyone gets the chance to show off a weird thing their body can do. If you don't. If you do, also drink.

7

Heaven. Everyone immediately puts their hand up ASAP.

Eleven. "7-11." Go to the corner store for refreshments. Or refill your drinks.

8

Date (Polyamorous). First person to draw 8 is "ready to mingle" and drinks. Each subsequent 8 drawn joins the relationship; whenever an 8 is drawn, all people in the relationship drink.

Date (Kismesis). Choose someone to be your date. When you would drink, you can make them drink instead. When they would drink, they can make you drink instead.

Date (regular). Choose someone to be your date. When you would drink, they drink too. And vice versa. This lasts until the next 8 is drawn.

Late. The most recent person to arrive at the house/location/game circle drinks.

9

Rhyme. Say a word. The person after you must say a word that rhymes, and then the next person, etc. First person who can't think of a rhyme drinks.

yeah there's not much for 9, usually it's just rhyme or one of the misc below.

10

Pen. There are n-1 pens in the center, where n is the number of people playing. Last person to grab drinks.

Pen. The person to your left tells you what to draw. Everyone else has to guess what it is. Anyone whose first guess is wrong drinks, unless everyone's wrong - then you drink.

Traditionally, 10 is categories, as listed below.

Jack

Snack. Everyone takes turns listing someone they find to be a snack. First person who doesn't drinks.

Smack. You must smack yourself anywhere on your body. Anyone who laughs drinks. You don't need to announce that you have drawn a jack until after the smack. You drink if nobody laughs.

Jacuzzi. Everyone says something they like about the person who drew the card. The person who drew the card drinks in honour of themselves.

Traditionally, Jack is "thumbmaster" or equivalent. Listed below.

Queen

Questionmaster. I hate this one, but it's here for completion. If you ask someone a question and they actually give you an answer, they must drink.

Questionmaster II. Same as above, except people are allowed to answer your questions if they say "____" first. (the phrase can be whatever your group decides on before the game.)

Quench. Drink some water you wild animal.

Queen of Dance. Same as 5's Jive, listed above.

Royalty. You must be referred to with royal monikers like "your majesty" and w/e. Anyone who doesn't, you MAY sentence them to drink if you choose. Hard mode: you must use the royal "we" when referring to yourself.

King

Rule. Invent a new rule that stays for the rest of the game, or until the next King is drawn (if they choose to overwrite your rule). 

Long Live! Everyone else raises a glass and cheers in your honor, saying, "Long live the king!" They drink to your name.

King's Cup. The OG. There's a cup in the center. Every time a King is drawn, pour some of your drink into that cup. When the last king is drawn, that person must drink the entire cup. I personally find this rather gross, but now you know why it's called King's Cup.

King's Cup II. There's a particularly expensive or good drink in the center of the table, in 4/3/2/1 portions (remove kings from your deck to match). Drawing a King means you get to drink that bonus drink.

- You may also do Royalty as listed above, if you want.


Misc: rules that can work for any card

Waterfall. You start drinking, then the next person, etc. The next person can't stop drinking until you stop. And so on. I don't really like this one for older groups since alcohol tolerance drops a bit. 

Cultmaster/Thumbmaster/Viking. Describe a prompt and the action that must follow, then continue the game as normal. Once, at any time afterwards, you may suddenly do that prompt and everyone must follow the described action. The slowest person to follow drinks. You can be as subtle or obvious as you want with your prompt.

Slap. A variant on "Heaven" - everyone must slap the table. Last person drinks.

Would You Rather. Ask a 'would you rather' question. After a countdown, everyone puts out 1 or 2 fingers to declare their vote. The people of the minority opinion drink. In a tie, the questionmaster drinks. [you can make it majority opinion if that feels more subversive to you]. Usually used for Queens.

Paranoia. Whisper a question to someone. That person answers out loud. If you want to hear the question, you must drink. [Once people can no longer think of creative questions, feel free to change rules.] Usually used for Queens.

Never Have I Ever: Say something that you've never done. Anyone who has done it, drinks.

Categories. Say a category, then something in that category. People will add to the list of things in that category. First person who can't think of smth drinks. Usually used for 10s.

Rant: Other people decide on a topic and you need to rant about it for 30 seconds. IE chairs, Tim Horton's, the colour orange, etc. If you can't fill up 30s with a rant, you drink. [Avoid bummers!] Usually used for aces.


Ideas for New Rules If You Draw A King

Wingman: You must cheer whenever the person to your left has to drink. If you don't and you get called out, you drink.

Rhythm: When you drink, you move to the beat of w/e music is currently playing. If called out, drink again.

Tilt: Choose a number. Whenever that number is drawn, whoever most recently drank must take another drink.

Codenames: Everyone must refer to one another by any name except for their first or last name.

Born To Die: Whenever a Lana Del Rey song comes up on the playlist, the last person to salute the nearest flag drinks. (this is pretty specific but can be adapted to your needs...)

Eco-Friendly: If using the "drive" rule for 5's, everyone uses bikes instead of cars. Now the sound is "brrring" and "erh" instead of "vroom" and "erh".

Communism: If using the "3 = me" rule, drawing a 3 now means "we" instead of "me".

Scry: Instead of drawing one card each turn, that player draws two cards and chooses one to use. The other one goes into the discard.

Justice: Whenever someone hits someone else, they must pour themselves a shot of TrashBad for their next drink. (Before the game, mix a cup of TrashBad that's basically a poor-tasting bad alcohol. IE moonshine+arizona+wine.)

Tiny Man: (Warning: ppl hate this.) Everyone must pretend there's a tiny man on their cup. You must remove the man to drink, then put the man back on. Otherwise you drink again. 

Undominant: People must pick up their drink with their non-dominant hand.


In general, rules should not be stuff that prevent people from talking or interacting with each other - unless your group is the type where restrictions on talking make them want to communicate even more.

Feel free to also do rules that only concern specific card draws, or specific events in the environment around you. They don't have to be massively pervasive stuff. One group of friends likes a rule where you must be dancing when in the kitchen, for example.

If you have any additions you'd like us to add, comment below and we can update. This is I think the most comprehensive list of King's Cups rules that exist online - hope you enjoy :D

Stay lofty!