Welcome back to the Conversation! Today I’m joined by Matthew Moore who is here to talk to us about his project Bring Your Own Book, the game of borrowed phrases.
Hello, I’m Matthew, game designer for Bring Your Own Book. I’ve been a professional video game designer for a few years now, but this will be my first published tabletop title. I’m excited for it to happen and happy to have a chance to chat about it.
By the title alone one might think you’re creating some kind of book club with your project, but that’s not right at all is it? Can you tell us a bit about Bring Your Own Book and what kind of shenanigans you have waiting for us?
Sure! Bring Your Own Book is somewhat inaccurately described as a card game, because what we provide is cards and a timer, but really it’s a book game. In order to play, every person at the table needs a book. Different books make for different experiences, so you can challenge yourself with textbooks, have good clean family fun with children’s books, or enjoy a raunchy game with racy romance novels. It is what you make of it.
The core activity is taking text out of context. If the prompt asks you to find “A line from a teenager’s diary,” you’ll need to search through that detective story you brought and pluck out something that works. It can be any amount of sequential text, from a whole paragraph to a single word, and it can ignore existing punctuation. For example, a player recently tweeted at us their find for “The name of a beauty product.” They proposed “Pledge: For Her,” which they extracted from “‘I will not take a pledge for her,’ I replied.”
The mechanics are simple and not unlike other popular social games. Players take turns drawing prompts from the deck. The player who presents the best selection receives the card as a way to keep score. Any time any player gets to three cards, everyone passes their books to the left. The first to get enough cards wins, and it’s time to play all over again with different books.