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For my class, "Design for Play" my group and I designed a social deception game called "The Order" inspired by secret Hitler and Mafia. Villagers in a fictional town band together to identify the mysterious leader of The Order of the Golden Sun.
"A powerful cult, the Order of the Golden Sun, covertly controls a town and its government through manipulation and fear. As the cult's influence grows, the townspeople find themselves enamored by the cult members' mystique even while they are trapped under the cult's strict rule. A small group of skeptics embarks on a dangerous quest to unmask the cult leader and reveal their hidden motives. In this thrilling social deduction board game, players must work together to expose the truth behind the Order of the Golden Sun and save their town from total dominance. Will you be able to uncover the cult leader's identity before it's too late?"
The villagers' objective is to identify and banish the cult leader as soon as possible.
The Order’s objective is world domination by getting to the final tile of the board
6 - 12 Players
For Ages 12+
How to Play?
6 - 12 Players
2 Order members (1 cult leader, 1 martyr)
4-5 villagers (1 skeptic, 3-4 villagers)
3 Order members (1 cult leader, 1 martyr, 1 cultist)
5+ villagers (1 skeptic, 4+ villagers)
Set Up & Gameplay Overview
Place Flame of Devotion (place marker) on the first of five tiles on the board “Intrigue”
Everyone gets one character card and a corresponding affiliation card
Game moderator calls first "Midnight Meeting":
Everyone closes their eyes except for cult members who identify each other
Cult members close their eyes, then Town Skeptic opens their eyes
Youngest player or previous winner starts the game
During your turn, draw two action cards, play one, covertly discard the other. Follow the directions on the played card --e.g.:
"The Banish" calls a town vote where players vote to banish one member from the game
"Cult Takeover" advances the Order one step on the board
"Conversion" triggers a midnight meeting where one villager is inducted into the order
"Reveal The Faithful" allows two players to reveal their affiliation cards to each other
As The Order progresses across the board, new cards are shuffled into the deck
At tile four, all cult members reveal their identity by donning Sun Shades (sunglasses), and the villagers attempt to identify the cult leader
I started with purple and yellow: the yellow fit the sun theme, and we wanted something that would be in high contrast with that to differentiate effectively between cult member and villager. Then we built the other colors out to get a good range of values, and enhancing colors.
The game assets and style evolved over several iterations and playtests
Character & affiliation cards
The Cult Leader
This player makes all the decisions on behalf of the order (e.g. who to sacrifice, who to convert). If the villagers successfully identify them, the game is over and the town wins.
If the Cult Leader tries to induct this player into the Order, the conversion fails and the Order is set back one tile on the board
This player tries to get the villagers to banish them during a town vote. If successful, the Order advances two tiles on the board.
Tile at which cardis added to deck
Use these to target another player
Save these to play at a different turn
Pro - Town
Use these to advance the town's mission
Use these to shake the game up
Use these to gain some information about other players
Pro - Order
Use these to advance the Order's mission
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