Dance `Til Dawn – Sean’s Pick, 061517

Eclectic Week takes a turn to the seriously weird and intriguingly different with today’s Pick. Barak Blackburn – primarily known for a ton of work for Spectrum Games – decided to push the envelope of story gaming in an oddly wonderful way. By combining randomizing music services (like Pandora and Spotify) with Scrabble tiles to create a shared narrative experience based on the songs played as you play, he’s taken the background music of the story and turned it into the story.

Dance ‘Til Dawn is an immersive storytelling game.

We’re going to listen to a playlist that has a beginning, a middle and a very definitive end. We’re going to tell a story even as we’re moved by the music. And, when the last song plays, this story is over. The end of this story is hinted at in the beginning, but the players will define how we get there, and how it comes to be.

Dance ‘Til Dawn is a game about listening.

We are going to listen to music together. The music may very well move us and organically, the flow of the narrative will change. This is the hope. Players may choose to narrate, or they may choose to listen to the music and let it fill this shared space.

We are going to listen to each other.

Narration is a shared responsibility. Players will narrate. Characters will succeed or fail as players see fit, there are no skill checks. But as the music plays, we always know that we are moving closer to the end. Together, we will explore the world.

Each song is a piece of art, with lyrics written perhaps for reasons deep and profound, music constructed in such a way to elicit a response. Listening to music can be a group activity: a car radio, a concert, buskers on a city street.

Let us listen together. Let us tell a story. Let music be our soundtrack.

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

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