January 4, 2015: The Name's The Thing
All game designs start somewhere, with an initial constraint that drives the beginning of development. Sometimes, you think of a mechanic with a strong hook and build around that. Sometimes, you have a certain presentation or aesthetic in mind, and design something to go with it. Sometimes, you have a handful of components you want to use, and you figure out how to make them work together.
For the Chez Geek expansion I designed, what I had was a name.
Slack to the Future.
It came from an initial conversation with Andrew Hackard, dug deep into my brain, and stayed there. I didn't know if that was going to be the final title, but I knew that it encapsulated everything that was on my mind regarding new content for Chez Geek. The advancement of technology has fundamentally changed the way we slack, and I wanted to make that phenomenon part of the game. Social media wasn't a thing when the original game came out, cell phones weren't as prevalent and couldn't do as much, and it was much harder to find pictures of cats.
Armed with this name, and the idea it gave rise to, many of the cards came naturally. We got to make lots of Internet-related jokes, poke some good-natured fun at the realities of crowdfunding, and slip in some essential components of the slack life that we can't believe we'd left out (like Free Beer!).
In the end, we never came up with a better title, and the original stuck. I'm glad, because without the name, I'm not sure it could have come out as well as it did.
I hope you enjoy Slack to the Future as much as I enjoyed making it.
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