Pitts of Rage: A Transformational Pittsburgh Cycling RPG

Created by Nolan Pearson & Yuan Kang

Platform: Tabletop

My Role: Game Mechanic & Card Designer

Time Frame: 3 weeks

Fig 1. - Game Board, Player Pieces and Dice Set

Project Description: Transformational Theory

The goal of this project for my Intro to Game Design class was to create a transformational game that would have an impact on the players. We were paired with BikePGH to create a game pursuant of their mission. We chose to take the angle of a role playing game (RPG) which puts players, who are mostly likely drivers, in the role of a delivery cyclist, navigating intersection to intersection, cycling down lanes with varying difficulties and having to pass a dice check to determine their fate. Players would further empathize with cyclists, experiencing a daily commute through their eyes, making Pittsburgh a better and safer city for pedestrians.


Contributions

  • Designed game rules and wrote manual

  • Created cards

  • Provided material assets for the project

Game Design: Iterations

I had originally set out to create a game akin to DnD, with a variety of classes/roles letting players pick a character with a special modifier and individual goal. I began playtesting with the first 2 character classes, one with a fixed route and the other with a randomly generated route. All of the playstesters enjoyed the character with the random route (The Delivery Person) more so than the other character with a fixed route, so instead of trying to create asymmetrical roles, I decided I wanted to focus on just the one, which had already the makings of an interesting game system.


The second biggest additions was, after completing the initial system of the game, a few

players had asked for more interaction. I spent so much time focusing on how cyclists have a *bad* time in the city, I hadn't added any mechanic that would allow the player to affect their circumstances. With the introduction of "Bonus Cards" for achieving an objective, players were now able to gain an "equipment card" that would allow them to affect their rolls, allowing for a greater sense of agency, showing ways cyclists can also experience safer cycling.


Fig 2. - Game Manual, Game Board, and Card Decks


Fig 3. - Gameplay testing

Team

Nolan Pearson - Gameplay Designer, Card Designer, Playtester

Yuan Kang - Board designer, Playtester