Retro: Kazekami Kyoko Kills Kublai Khan

2007 Mar 2

This is yet another game that is Shreyas’ fault. For some inexplicable reason, he challenged a bunch of people to design games based on the concept “lesbianstripperninja.” This is my attempt. Annie Rush’s game, House of Horiku, is another.

Kazekami Kyoko is probably the most well known of my games, aside from maybe Seadog Tuxedo, probably because I talk about it all the time. It’s not the be-all and end-all of my design skills, but it’s where I felt I finally came into my own as a designer and designed a game that doesn’t play like anything else. Still, as I’ve mentioned before, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have it’s influences:

    The dirty secret of KKKKK is that it’s just James Wallis’ The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen, in which player/characters brag about their impressive feats. The only difference is that the game is structured as a dialogue instead of a monologue. The basic structure is:

    A: I did X! Aren’t I awesome?
    B: Verily! But what about Y?
    A: I accomplished Y in this fashion! What do you think of that?
    B: Impressive! And Z?

Now, it’s made slightly more complicated than that by the alternative response formats, but that’s a pretty decent summery nonetheless.

Recently, I’ve been discussing the content of the game with folks. The original premise went like this:

    Kyoko is a wind spirit, a kazekami. She is also a ninja. She is not a princess, as Kublai Khan thought before Kyoko stabbed him in the gut. He was trying to be amorous with his newest concubine. She was trying to prevent the Mongol invasion of Japan. As Kublai dies, the kazekami torments her husband by recounting how she has managed to seduce scores of his rare and beautiful wives…

Now, this sounds really awesome and sexy. But Kyoko tends to treat Kublai’s wives just like scenery or tools, which is not as feminist as the premise might initially suggest. It’s basically a very masculine fantasy about being totally dominated by a powerful women who, to make things worse, is busy telling you how she did the deed with a bunch of other hot women. So, yeah. Can’t really make excuses for that. It’s just one big giant sex-capade.

In any case, I tend to think the game has more redeeming qualities than flaws. It was an early effort to find my own design style and, in that sense, it succeeded specularly. I’d like to play more of it so I get a better sense of how I could polish it up.

– 2006 Jan 11: Shreyas Announces the Lesbianstripperninja Contest
– 2006 Jan 18: My Original Draft of the Game
– 2006 Feb 13: Transcript of Initial Playtest with Thomas
– 2006 Feb 23: I Discuss KKKKK in Relation to My Other Two-Player Games
– 2007 Feb 14: Ashi and I Discuss Flirting as a Model for Game Design
– 2007 Mar 07: Mo and Brand Comment on the Game

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