Help and Hurt Your Friends in a Dungeon Crawl Game

Help and Hurt Your Friends in a Dungeon Crawl Game

Jason (GameGobble): Could you elaborate on the overall gaming experience you wanted players to have?

Curt (game designer): At its core, Cutthroat Caverns is a game about kill-stealing, a concept all too familiar for D&D fans. Everyone fights the monsters of the dungeons, but only the player who actually lands the killing blow claims any reward. So it forces players to jockey for position, trying to have their attack be the one to slay the creature, even if they have to trip another player or otherwise spoil someone else’s attack, so they themselves can claim all the glory. Cutthroat was one of the first true semi-coop games, admittedly one that leaned harder on non-cooperation and backstabbing, but tempered by the knowledge that if you didn’t work together, you had a very real chance of all dying and losing the game in a total player kill. Balancing the need to say alive, with the desire to win is the heart of the game.

Cards, Ravens, and Stabbing Your Friends in the Back

Cards, Ravens, and Stabbing Your Friends in the Back

Jason (GameGobble): Your games company Smirk & Dagger has a tagline of “cause games are a lot more fun when you can stab a friend in the back.” What are some of the ways those gotcha moments appear in Nevermore?

Curt (game designer): The game is filled with them and it is baked right into the core drafting mechanic. To play well, you are not just drafting the best cards for your hand and purposes, but carefully minding what you pass to your opponent. By sending them cards that set an expectation – and then breaking the pattern to suddenly deprive them of what they need and hand them junk instead, you bust their hand. “Hate drafting” is often more important than actual drafting in this game – and they will curse you for it.