Do you yearn to have deeper relationships or conversations with your loved ones or those you care about? Now you can do so, with Discomfort, a conversational card game. What is it, and what is the story behind the game? Let's delve in with the creators to find out more.
Q: Please give the readers a short introduction about yourself, your company and your games.
House of Many Moons is a close-knit group of friends united by a shared mission: to make the world a better place while enjoying the process of creating games together. Our foundation is built on the belief that everyone deserves a sanctuary, filled with love and support, throughout life's various phases.
At the heart of our endeavor lies our conversational card game, "Discomfort." This unique game is designed to provoke thoughtful discussions and challenge perspectives within a respectful and secure environment. It provides a platform for like-minded individuals to engage in deep, meaningful conversations. The questions in "Discomfort" delve into the intricate and often difficult aspects of our society, addressing challenging topics that encourage you and those around you to initiate conversations about ourselves and the world we inhabit.
Q: Who are the brains and the designers behind the game? How did you meet with your co-creator and decide to get together to create a game? What are the events or inspirations that created the ideas behind your games, and what social change or conversation you hope to create?
House of Many Moons consists of J, Hong and Al. While we each have our specialties, we collaborated very closely and contributed meaningfully to the whole process of the creation of Discomfort. J takes care of all things admin and logistics, Hong is the photographer and videographer, and lastly Al handles marketing/social media!
The group of us met through volunteering back in 2015, and have been friends ever since. As we got closer, we shared more about our lives, experiences and got to know each other better. Meanwhile, we were also introduced to conversational card games. Through those, we found ourselves talking about things that did not usually come up in casual conversation, adding another layer of understanding and mutual respect to our friendship.
Over lockdown back in 2020, these conversations continued through zoom, and through this shared love of games came the idea that we could turn these conversations into an unconventional card game that touched on topics that we found to be increasingly important to talk about in our society. This intersection of our love for games and passion for social causes became Discomfort - the conversational card game that we learnt a lot from while making, and hoped that we could share that learning experience with others in a local context.
Q: What is your creation process like?
This being a passion project, we spent evenings after work and weekends having meetings either online or over a meal. We started coming up with all the questions that we felt would foster important conversations and covered a multitude of topics, went through all of them and either eliminated, rephrased or combined them. After that came figuring out the game mechanics - whether we wanted to have more traditional game elements to it like rolling a die to determine the topic, or to keep it as simple as drawing a card and talking about the question on it.
We ended up having 48 “THINK” cards and 9 "REFLECT” cards, meaning that play testing involved making sure every single “THINK” card matched every single “REFLECT” card. It was a tiring but rewarding process, helping us to further refine not just the phrasing of the questions, but also the intention behind Discomfort.
Q: Who is your target audience, and how do you reach out to them?
We’d like to think that Discomfort can and should be played by anyone, as it helps you learn more about yourself, those around you and the world we all share.
Our initial promotion and launch was through Instagram, and we concurrently released a video series that showcased the different topics Discomfort covered, and the different types of people that can play the game together. Find us at @houseofmanymoons on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube!
Q: What are some of the greatest challenges you faced while creating the game, and what about your game that you wished could have been done better?
This being our inaugural venture into the world of game development, we embarked on this journey with a sense of uncertainty, not quite sure what to anticipate or where to commence, particularly when it came to the complex processes of production, manufacturing, and distribution.
At the outset, connecting with industry contacts presented a formidable challenge. However, we resolved to be proactive and immersed ourselves in booths and fairs, where we had the privilege of encountering fellow local game creators and distributors who not only embraced our vision but also shared our profound enthusiasm for nurturing the local board game community.
Q: Do you have any plans for future games?
Definitely! We learnt a lot through creating Discomfort and want to continue making games.
We would also love to hold workshops based on our game Discomfort. Likewise, we hope to encourage the rest of the world to have these tough conversations, be a better listener, to grow and have a better understanding of our diverse world.
Q: What is your favourite genre of games or games you think are underrated?
We like a wide range of games and genres, ranging from playing games online together to tabletop games, more chill games to more brainwork-heavy games.
We love our co-operative but also chaotically fun games like Moving Out and Overcooked (on the Switch), as well as other tabletop games that require some form of teamwork like Zombicide and Mysterium Park - but we do also enjoy our competitive moments like the occasional game of Catan, Teabbles and Codenames.