Steam Madness
Steam Madness
role: Concept, Design, Programming
team: 4 total (1 programmer, 1 designer, 2 artists)
time: 2 days
tech: Phaser, JavaScript, HTML5
platforms: Web, Android, Board game


Steam Madness is a hybrid tabletop & digital game. Inspired by the Battlestar Galactica board game, this game uses a hidden traitor mechanism. The group is attempting to travel to Oregon on their steampunk caravan, but one member contracted steam madness and is now set out to secretly sabotage the trip.

During a turn, the active player takes the tablet and is presented a choice of two paths to take. Each path requires different resources (e.g., food, medicine, weapons, fuel) to pass through safely. The active player discusses with the group which path they think they can survive. If the active player were the traitor, this is their opportunity to lie to the players about being dealt difficult paths and that they had no better options.

After a path is chosen, the players contribute cards from their hand facedown to complete the challenge. Random cards are also shuffled into the mix depending on the path taken. Any matching resource adds to survivability, but any non-matching resource subtracts from the score. This creates tense moments where players accuse each other of throwing in wrong resources to sabotage the trip.

We wanted to take the best social deduction elements from Battlestar Galactica, dramatically reduce the playtime down to 20 minutes, and introduce an external decision maker (the app) that adds more uncertainty to the game.


• Nominated for Best Overall Game and Best Use of New/Different/Weird Platform at NYU GameCenter's Global Game Jam 2015