The mystery gameboard Machine

My project works to build a creative kit for game designers to test out their ideas. I built several modular pieces that could come together in any desired combinations and create game boards to test out game design concepts. This project consisted of perforated boards, different sized dowels, and other game bits that could be attached to those. My ultimate goal for this project is to turn it into a learning and testing tool for both beginners and experts. I would also like to introduce these kinds of kits for students, teachers, and anyone else interested in reading board games. I came up with the idea for this creative kit from realizing that my skills were better suited for designing boards than sets the rules. What I wanted for this project was a way to facilitate the creation of rules by having all of the elements of a game board already created. So I used my board design skills in a way that would then enable me to work on my skills as a mechanics designer.  





Anonymity takes the Vanilla out of Sex // Lucas Kazansky

“Anonymity takes the Vanilla out of Sex” is a social experiment, a game and a party.

I created it because of a desire I have to find connection and relate to others in a physical environment about sexual preference. My belief is that we are more sexually complicated then we make our selves out to be. That expression of this diversity is made easier when we have understanding that we are not the only ones in the room who feel this way.

To help facilitate this process I constructed a comfortable environment in my home complete with “Nookie Cookies,” freshly juiced cocktails (“Pink Panties”) and 3 tents with electronic switches that acted as anonymous voting booths. 3 volunteers per round weighed in on their feelings about the sexual subjects, which the audience asks. If there is coconscious that 2 or 3 out of 3 people vote for a subject a pneumatic falace is inflated. Participant’s responses remain anonymous through this system and the goal of the audience is to find enough things that the volunteers have in common to inflate the fallacy to the point it explodes confetti on the audience.

The experiment was absurdly successful, through the course of the party the comfort level of those involved grew and the format of the game devolved as there was less need for obscurity and anonymity. What began as solo voting inside of the tents moved to partnered voting inside the tents and ultimately the tents became unnecessary and everyone was able to vote right in front of each other and express themselves face to face.



GRAF Ó LUX // Lucas Kazansky


A recreation of the experience of being involved in the world of graffiti.

There are 4 groups of people: Graf, Paint, Pig, Pedestrian. Graffers want fame from throwing up bombs; putting a paint person in a location as a canvas for their tags with more fame being awarded to those using bolder more obvious locations because they’re more easily seen by the Pedestrians. Pedestrians are wannabes who walk around texting about the tags they see, at the end of the round the pedestrian with the most points becomes a Graffer. Pigs are just busta’s and want to give people a hard time and flex their authoritative might. Pedestrians and Paint want to become Graffers. When Pigs see the bombs they bust the paint and take it back to jail, if they see the Graffer in the process of making the bomb they bust the Paint and Graffer and they switch places. This creates an inverse relationship between the Graf and Paint. Round is over after 10 minutes and the game can be played as long as desired.

Mini System Documentation

The Mini System was my attempt to create a tabletop RPG that was friendly to newbies and brief in time scale.  My buzzline during development was “an RPG that could be run in 30 minutes or less,” but it’s still going to take a few levels of development and iteration before it gets that parsed down, and I’m not certain that the game wouldn’t suffer for it.

My first draft of The Mini System had very little in the way of roleplay, and if there was roleplay it was divorced from the rules, given that character strength essentially boiled down to balanced probability.  These were my two largest mistakes; a lack of in-game support for roleplay and clever tackling of the narrative, and a completely balanced always-succeed-half-the-time model.  Ironically, to make the game “feel” more like a roleplaying game, I had to add complexity, in particular increased randomness and multiple variable modifiers, to the encounters to throw off the game’s balance.  In addition, I turned my very undefined “Wild Die” mechanic into a very specific mechanic to incentivize incorporating aspects of the narrative into gameplay.  This also required me to completely rewrite the sample narratives I had to feature one or more “subjects” that could be caught upon and manipulated by the players, to contextualize the roleplay mechanic.

I am happy with the state of roleplay in the Mini System currently, but the balance will obviously require continuous fine-tuning, and I am currently working on simplifying it even further and lessening the amount of dice involved to make it more accessible for the UV/UG show.  I  found that playtesting the game with my family and non-gaming friends has helped me cut down on gaming jargon, but it’s still a frequent barricade, so this will also be parsed down for the show.