Exactly 2 years after starting this ‘Game a Day’ business, I’ve managed 80 posts, averaging one post every week and a half. So, hardly a game a day! 

I was reinvigorated to start again with this series by a new website I was shown: the Pobble 365 project. Each day there is a new image designed to help creative writers, as well as a being a classroom resource. I thought that it could be a good resource of inspiration for games designers!

So I will try to use the image and story at Pobble each day for a game idea – and encourage anyone else to do the same!

For today’s image, a picture of a stargazer looking at the nights sky, I thought of a small ‘literal’ mechanism around this theme.

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Day 81: Stargazing

Each player is an amateur stargazer trying to impress their peers by seeing the most beautiful and rare constellations each night. The game is played over several rounds, each of which is a night, and starts with the night sky being dealt out – a 3 x 3 grid of cards showing various galaxies, planets and constellations. 

Each player has a telescope piece – a circular ring – which they will place somewhere on the grid. Anything within the ring they have ‘seen’ and can count towards their score for the round. Each player’s telescope cannot overlap with anyone else’s. 

You could either have a game where players take turns to place, or you could imagine a speed game where once the sky is revealed players try to place their telescope on the desired place as quickly as possible. Even more, it could be a dexterity game where players have to throw their ring onto the grid (thematically this could be ‘adjusting’ your telescope). 

In any case, you would then score points for what is in your telescope – some features would be worth a set number of points, such as planets – and you could have private or public goals you were trying to achieve. You would score your points, and then deal out another sky. Most points after a set number of rounds (or total) is the winner!