First, a bit about Wideload Shorts. We’re an indie studio within an indie studio. Our team lives within the walls of Wideload Games. Wideload’s founder, Alex Seropian, did some stuff once. He started this studio called Bungie, made this game called Halo, and sold it all to some other company. But Wideload, much to the delight of those who work here, is about doing new things, and taking new chances.
The Wideload Shorts team makes small games that are imbued with Wideload’s trademark humor. Our focus is on good, solid, NEW gameplay that will stand the test of time. When it comes to our gameplay, we are nurturing and protective. Imagine that our gameplay is a baby bunny rabbit. We will bring it carrots, and lick its fur to keep it clean. If coyotes are the latest fad, and everybody insists that we MUST get a coyote (“don’t worry, your baby bunny should be fine”), we won’t do it. Our motto is: “coyotes eat gameplay.”
We’d like to think that the title of our latest release, Texas Cheat’em, speaks for itself. Cheating is fun, that much is clear. If everyone cheats, then it’s fair. Think about it this way. If your favorite FPS had no guns, it would not be fun. If only one person had a gun, it would be downright scary. But everyone has guns, so it’s fun. Texas Cheat’em has no guns. And if it did, it would be downright scary. But everybody can cheat, so it’s fun.
Our cute fuzzy bunny that we call “gameplay” is paramount. We cheated each other in egregious ways for months to come up with the perfect balance of cheats. And what did we get out of it? A new game that did not exist before. A new game that is more fun than the poker games that came before it. Ah, yes, that was our goal. By way of analogy, Texas Cheat’em is to poker as NFL Blitz is to football. We shaped the rules to our liking in the name of fun.
Cheating opened up huge swaths of gameplay territory for us to explore. “Precognition” will show you all of the community cards before they are dealt. Very helpful! But this doesn’t tell you how the game is going to end… it just gives you a bit more time to plan your strategy.
“Suggestion” cheats let you “convince” everybody else at the table that one card is actually something else. You can change the value of the card by one (up or down), or you can change the suit of the card. Very useful. It can even change the fortunes of other players… though you can use Community Snapshot to lock in your hand if someone else starts to change a card.
As happened so often during the design of Texas Cheat’em, these cheats interact in surprisingly great ways, providing all sorts of beneficial side effects that open up some really clever strategies…
I won’t delve into the rest of the cheats here, or divulge any of my favorite strategies quite yet… but keep an eye out for us at your table, we’ll be out there playing. We love playing this game.