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  • Writer's pictureXeo Lye

Debtzilla Design Diary Part V: Gadgets

What's a super hero game without cool cool gadgets! The best and most loved superheroes are always those that makes use of innovation and gadgets to improve on their crime fighting vigilante activities. When I started designing the gadgets for Debtzilla, I wanted to make fun of the hero's genre which normally are expensive high tech gadgets and we wanted to reflect the frugal nature of the heroes in Debtzilla. Hence we started with every day items that can be used for crime fighting.

Some examples include:

Lucky Fortune Cat

Roti Prata (South East Asian Indian Pancake)

Foldable Chair

While having these every day items as hero gadgets are fun, the problem came in when we started on the hero design.

What is a good representation of a weapon by Warren Buffet or Janet Yellen?

I cannot imagine Buffet using a foldable chair and smacking zombies on their head. Nor Janet Yellen throwing a prata at a villain.

We tested the concept on our initial play testers and while most of them think that it is funny, the gadgets doesn't fit the theme or the characters.

With that in mind, we decided to overhaul the entire gadget design to have a better tie in with the financial world and the designs of the characters with a satire and funny edge to the gadgets. It's definitely more difficult than putting our setting in a fantasy theme whereby I can probably think of powerful weapons right off my head.

One of my favorite gadget is called "Million Dollar Round Table" and it's a spoof of the premier insurance association which awards this titles to top insurance agents around the world. It also has a double meaning within the table top gaming whereby losers "Flip table" when they lose a game.

Other Gadgets are designed with tie in with the heroes in mind. For example in the case of Tweetman, we were thinking "What is the most powerful weapon that Donald Trump wields?". The answer: The popular social network Twitter, which Donald Trump seems addicted to and in recent times, we have seen his Tweets influencing the financial markets. So we came up with the idea of Twitty, a mash-up of a blue bird which is the symbol of Twitter and Robin from Batman, which is the basis of the character design of Tweetman. The feedback from playtesters was overwhelming positive and everyone praises the creativity we put into our gadget design.

If you like the way we design the concepts for our gadgets or have any ideas which you feel should be included in Debtzilla, do comment below!

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