be witching, my tabletop game about witch fashion balls, is available now in print-and-play format. players draw outfits, provide commentary on each other’s outfits (opportunity to channel your favorite obnoxious reality TV judge), and then there’s a pageant-style interview round where the players decide who is most worthy of being crowned witchqueen of the ball.
i really like that final interview round, because it stages a showdown between two players without any of the others being eliminated. instead those players are judges, coming up with questions for the finalists and deliberating over their answers.
this game went through many transformations. the first conception of it was as a digital game, inspired by online dollmakers. i might return to that concept someday – i wanted to have something done in time for indiecade, though, and i hate programming. so it became a game with real paperdolls. players would fish for clothes from a communal pile galaxy trucker-style, and each would have its own magical powers and stats. i was still trying to come up with something that could be a print-and-play game, and my solution for doll clothes that could survive the kind of handling that happens in a free-for-all grabby game was laminate. the laminate made the paperdolls even more unwieldy and fiddly though. and i never really liked the galaxy trucker format for this game in the first place.
i really liked coloring the paper dolls though, so i decided to make the game be about actually drawing and designing the outfits instead. the magical clothing became magical accessories that gave you advantages in a simultaneous bidding game that decided the outcome. ultimately the bidding game had really nothing to do with the drawing and designing though – but in playtesting we found that we all really liked the part where we had to make cases for why our outfits most deserved the magic accessories / fit the theme of the ball. so i decided to expand this part and make it a more central part of the game. (the bidding system got ditched entirely, but it featured a few ideas that might make it to their own game.)
the finished game is be witching (whose final name came to me in a dream). i mean, i say finished, but in reality it’s finished-in-time-for-indiecade (the deadline is the end of the month). there’s more i want to do with it – most importantly, i want to hire artists to create more drawing templates to provide for a wider variety of body types to choose from. i want a boy witch body. i want more transfeminine bodies. we’ll see how the game sells. it’s $2 on itch.io – if you pay at least $4 you receive “the kickstarter rewards pack” (there is no actual kickstarter), a set of ten extra cards to mix in. they add words like “boho-chic” to the game’s style vocabulary.
you can purchase be witching here. you’ll need a printer to, like, print everything. or you could just write everything on a pile of index cards.
my patreon patrons, as always, got regular updates on all the different incarnations of the game, on the results of playtesting sessions, and lots of sketches for art that may or may not have made it into the finished game. also, a huge thanks to my playtesters – becca, kenzie, kyra, lisa, rabbit and xandir – who helped make the game what it is today.