So for much of 2015 I have been spending my spare time updating Hollywood Lies and bringing it into our current format. We finally released it in early December.
As well as re-formatting it (to bring it up to our current standard, as I had done recently with Murder at Sea), we had a few other ideas for developing Hollywood Lies:
- To make Hollywood Lies gender neutral.
- To make the game kid-friendly.
- Incorporate the expansion pack into the main game.
I have talked previously about making Hollywood Lies gender neutral, but the last two deserve a bit more explanation.
Originally Hollywood Lies had an “adult” version and a “kids” version. That’s because when we wrote it we didn’t think that our customers would want to run it for their kids – we should have thought that through!
Having two versions made it clunky for our customers, and harder for us to update when we find an error.
And to be honest, wasn’t much difference between the two:
- The nude photos plot in the adult version (which was inspired by a plot in Notting Hill) were replaced with embarrassing photos.
- The affairs were changed to “secretly seeing” (but no change in the actual plots).
And that was about it.
As the changes were just cosmetic, some parents were understandably concerned with their children playing characters who are in affairs (whether ‘secretly seeing’ or otherwise). With the new changes all these affairs are removed, and anyone can play, and it will still be lots of fun for everyone.
We also incorporated the expansion into the full game. While we like the idea of having optional expansions for our games, practically they present a couple of problems.
- First, they end up more complicated as there’s a second set of instructions and more bits of paper everywhere.
- Second, the characters in an expansion never seem as fully embedded in the game as the original characters. (Although that might just be my perception rather than reality.)
So for Hollywood Lies we’ve included the characters in the main game. If that proves a success, we’ll do it with our other games as well.
So that’s what we’ve done. Next time I’ll talk about how I did it.