Consensus is a snappy board game about cooperation and negotiation. Played with magnetic tiles, participants each work to bring their individual designs towards a shared solution. The simple, tactile game design makes it easy to pick up and learn while the strategy and psychology at play keep it fun to come back to. Most satisfying of all when consensus is reached, everyone wins!
Consensus was created by Amy Kao and Edie Fake at USC as part of Richard Lemarchand’s Experimental Game Topics class. Paired together for the semester’s largest team project, our collaboration came easily. We share an interest in building social strategy into games and a love of design integrity. We tested, strategized, and built Consensus together, every step of the way. Working efficiently under a tight deadline, we were able to take our concept from inception to fabrication in just under two weeks.
Interestingly, the very process of developing Consensus replicated the finished game’s core mechanic. Assigned to a team project for a class at USC, our brainstorming began with each of us honing our individual ideas towards a collaborative plan. When Amy suggested we use this collaborative dynamic as our project goal, Consensus quickly blossomed out of the idea. While testing prototypes of our concept, we pushed towards making the action feel fluid –players were required to constantly adjust their pieces- to emphasize the importance of flexibility and shared leadership in negotiation. It also became evident that the elegant principles of the game lent themselves to a finished presentation with a sturdy, classic feel. Edie’s background in fine art led to the bright, primary color palette and we both delighted in the tactile pleasure of working with wood and magnets. Consensus creates a system that values individual decisions while making them part of a shared teamwork, and -awesomely- this leads to engaging, super-fun, non-competitive play.