Sunday, 29 October 2017

Say Something Nice

Another short game created in the space of one morning, inspired by a friend's recent experience with booking a restaurant and by the trend for some businesses to complain about their negative reviews.

In the near future, a conglomeration of businesses have made it virtually illegal to post a negative review about any commercial service: in this game, for 2 or 3 players, you’ll have to create a glowingly positive review for a business that has provided shockingly bad service.

Image result for dirty restaurant tableFirst up, choose who will be the Customer and who will be the Business: in a 3 player game, you also have a Commenter, who will provide their own spin on what the Customer & Business say.

The Customer starts by describing their visit to the Business, effectively outlining what sort of service they received; as the Customer, you might start by saying “On Tuesday, I went to La Belle Noire for lunch,” thus establishing that the Business in question is a restaurant or cafĂ© that provides lunch and which has a slightly pretentious name.

From there, the Business starts to describe the actual experience the customer had and the Customer responds by putting that experience in the best possible terms as part of their review. The Business should make the experience as plausibly awful as possible, though it should be comically awful, not merely depressingly awful, such as:
“The waiter sneezed on you as they took you to your table.”
“The menus were in a language you didn’t recognise and no-one could translate, so you had to guess.”
“Your soup was served in an eggcup.”
“The fire alarm went off, but the waiter just took the battery out and carried on.”

For each experience the Business states, the customer must spin that into the most positive version they can come up with, such as:
“The waiter was very approachable, almost intimate.”
“There were a lot of exciting surprises on the menu and we didn’t know what to expect!”
“The delicate starter really whetted our appetites for the main course!”
“The wait staff went out of their way to cultivate a calming & relaxed atmosphere.”

If you have a Commenter, they may ask a question to modify or seek more information about what the Business or Customer says about any experience, but only once per experience, i.e. they may not ask both the Business and the Customer about the same experience. The Commenter’s questions should be about their own version of that experience when they made use of the Business, such as:
“Business: is that the waiter who had the nose bleed when I was there?”
“Customer: did you order the Cabbage Bread & Boiled Rump?”
“Business: do you still serve the soup with a knife?”
“Customer: did you sit at the table in front of the fire exit?”

No matter what the Commenter asks, the answer must always begin either “Yes, and…” or “No, but…”; the answer must always build on and relate to the question, but the Business should take this as their cue to make the experience worse, whilst the Customer is challenged to make it sound better.

When the Business describes the last experience of the Customer and everyone has responded to it, the game is over; the last experience will usually be paying the bill or leaving the premises (possibly to seek medical attention.)