WitchHunt, created Kyle Brockman and Henry Payne of Chocolate Pi Games, is a brand new social deduction game that has been eight years in the making.
WitchHunt uses the same premise as it’s social party game predecessors, like Mafia or Werewolf, but with a few twists. The competitive “hidden role” game revolves around a group of good players as they come together to try and weed out the bad players among them. As of August 11th, WitchHunt surpassed their $10, 000 Kickstarter goal with 242 backers and has 27 days to raise additional funds for the final stretch of their campaign!
WitchHunt takes place in day and night phases. While the rest of the town sleeps during the night phases, bad players (known as “Witches,”) choose who in the town to target and remove from the game. During the day phases, all players attend a proverbial “town meeting,” where players discuss who seems to be the most suspicious and collectively vote to eliminate them, attempting to preserve the town’s prosperity. Both phases are timed, which makes decision making crucial to the outcome of the town, and can accomodate anywhere from 8 to 20 or more of your friends, coworkers, or newly made convention buddies.
Each player gets a special character complete with their own magical attributes which gives that player a unique advantage, adding to the contribution of the town as well as another point of contention for the group as a whole to consider during elimination. But the most notable difference WitchHunt has to offer is the continued inclusion of eliminated players.
Unlike every multiplayer game that seems to be designed to encourage players to flip tables, break controllers, or ruin friendships (I’m looking mostly at you, Mario Party), WitchHunt opts to keep eliminated players involved in the fun. Rather than hole up in the corner twiddling their thumbs and planning their strategy until another game has begun, individuals who are voted out of the town continue to influence the course of the game. The wholesome townsfolk voted out of the game become “Angels” who are charged with protecting the town, while Witches who are voted out become “Demons” who wreak total havoc to their tiny heart’s content.
But an awesome concept is nothing without an equal amount of design and good implementation, so the team behind WitchHunt set out to find a lead artist able to translate their ideas to visuals. I sat down for an impromptu chat with theIR Chicago-based concept artist and design guru, Laura La Vito, who told me how excited she is for the Kickstarter’s success, as she works on finalizing her character sketches during the home stretch.
Kimmie: How is working on WitchHunt?
Laura La Vito: Designing WitchHunt was intense, because it is my first card game as lead artist. There are so many little things that go into an expansive game like this that I never even thought about, so it was kind of overwhelming at times. But Kyle just put his faith in me and believed I’d be able to pull it off, so that helped me keep my complete meltdowns to a minimum.
Kimmie: First solo game? I’m sure being a rockstar helps.
Laura: Hah! It helps that I have cool people around me to make me look good. Rockstar by association. Typical bassist, amiright?
Kimmie: Sounds legit! Cool people and lots of caffiene, I’m sure.
Laura: And lots of beer. LOTS of beer. Did you just spring a surprise interview on my at 9am?
Kimmie: You know you can tell me to stfu at any time.
Laura: You’re the worst. I haven’t even made it through my second cup of coffee yet.
Kimmie: So caffiene is involved! That’s glorious. Which of the art that you’ve created for WitchHunt has been your favorite?
Laura: I love how the Rules Card backs turned out, which is funny because no one ever looks at them. Tortured artist, of course.
Kimmie: How about characters? I’m a little partial to your Hunter, myself. Brunettes with bows and arrows.
Laura: Well as far as characters, I’m most excited to finish off the Oracle and the Fortune Teller, because I fell in love with their sketches immediately. And I’ve grown to really like how the Assassin turned out. Asking that is like asking a mother to choose their favorite child. Notice I had an immediate answer, so I would be a terrible mother.
Kimmie: Can we talk about how the Nurse and Gambler characters look like you and your husband?
Laura: Okay. That was not intentional.
Kimmie: I believe you. Where can people find more of your work, for WitchHunt or otherwise?
Kimmie: Here’s the big one. Do you personally enjoy the game?
Laura: I do! If you like lying to your friends, but hate being regulated to bartender duty when you’re inevitably killed off in the first round, you’ll love WitchHunt.
Now that the Kickstarter is fully funded with time to spare, WitchHunt will be breaking up friendships around the area sooner rather than later! Love getting the gang together for multiplayer games but hate being the first one out? There’s still time to contribute to WitchHunt’s Kickstarter!