Confine has simple rules but fun, complicated gameplay...there's a lot of potential [for players] to develop skills and strategies to get good at this game."
Miles Horak, programmer (Zynga)
Gwent. Orlog. Five Finger Fillet. Wicked Grace. I love the narrative impact of discovering the tabletop games hidden in the worlds of modern role-playing and adventure games.
Real-world ancient games offer incredible insights into the cultures and times in which they were played. The way we choose to play is a window into our cultural consciousness, and so invented games can be a radical tool in narrative storytelling of RPGs.
So I set out to create my own tabletop mini-game in an independent, one-day game jam.
Confine was designed as a nod to real-world ancient board games. A unique constraint I added was the requirement that players should be able to learn the rules entirely by watching others play. If translated into an RPG game, this would mean Confine was not dependent on long tutorials or blocks of text for the player to enjoy the game.
As ancient games ranged from the sacred to the mundane, I hoped to create something that could be represented in various ways throughout a game’s world. While a decorative board was designed for the game prototype, it was intended to be easily played with “found” objects, with the play area scratched into the ground with a stick or piece of chalk.