Blog Post 1, Part 3: K-Pop Random Song Challenge Game

The K-pop superfans who can make, and break, musical careers in South Korea  | South China Morning Post
Image Credit: South China Morning Post

NARRATIVE AND STORY WORLD

How K-pop became so popular worldwide?

K-pop has become a global phenomenon. Hallyu, the Korean culture wave, has begun since the early 1990s. The K-pop groups such as BIGBANG, BTS, BlackPink and TWICE, have swept through the world. They perform different styles including rap, bubblegum pop, ballads, and rock. Everything from outfits to hairstyles to overall images are carefully measured to craft a certain brand that attract fandoms. These idol waves continue to the present days. The song, “Gangnam Style” released in 2013 by PSY has become the first YouTube video to reach one billion views. K-pop music has been booming all over the world.

K-Pop Random Play Dance

I am a K-pop fan. The concept of K-Pop “Random Play Dance Challenge” is simple. A mix of various K-Pop choruses, both old and new, are stitched together and played out loud to a group of people. Everyone stands clear of the center and, if you know the dance, you run to the centre and perform. Songs will be played for about 30 seconds and after that, K-Pop fans will wait for the next song to be played. The songs range from the most popular ones to the most recent ones. It is not a professional performance and it is just for fun and games. You can enjoy the K-pop songs, sing and cheer for other K-Pop fansand most importantly to make lots of new friends.

GOTOE'S KPOP RANDOM PLAY DANCE WITH KOREAN TRADITIONAL CLOTHES! - YouTube
Image Credit: 퇴경아 약먹자 (Go-Toe) on YouTube

Quizzes and Slapjack

I was also inspired by the secondary school quizzes where students sit in groups to answer questions asked or projected on the whiteboard. I also referred to the card game “Slapjack” when I develop the game. In Slapjack, players each have equal amounts of cards shuffled and facing down. Each player puts down a card, going clockwise. As each player puts down a card, all players must be attentive because while putting down each card, players say the name of the cards in order: Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q and K. When a player says a name of a card and the card that was placed down is the same as the name mentioned, players must smack their hands down on top of the cards. The slowest player takes all the cards from the table. The player with no cards on hand is the winner of the game.

PRIMARY GAME MECHANICS

My gameplay is named “K-Pop Random Song Challenge Game” which is a card game tailor-made for the K-Pop fandom community all over the world. It is a very simple game which is good for cozy K-Pop friends to snuggle together and challenge each other to see who are die-hard fans of the K-Pop idols.

The theme of the game is about using your knowledge about K-Pop songs and information about your idols of K-Pop groups. It also involves some luck and risk to win the game. The game challenges your knowledge about K-pop groups, for example, debut dates, birthday of a member, K-pop slangs and, of course, the songs. In fact, you need to know everything about the most popular K-pop idols to win the game. The one who wins the game will be the greatest fan among the players.

The idea of my gameplay is in fact a mixture of K-pop random play dance, quizzes and the card game, “Slapjack.”

GAME LOOP

A group of 2-6 K-Pop fans aged 10+ shouts out random K-Pop song names and information of the K-Pop groups, striving against each other to become a true fan of their idols. The player who earns the most points win the game.

Each player gets a deck of shuffled song cards from 6 K-Pop groups: BTS, TXT, Seventeen, BlackPink, Red Velvet and Twice. Without looking, players take the cards in their hand and form them into a neat pile facedown. Starting with the player to the left of the dealer, each player quickly places the top card from his or her stack onto the middle of the table. When the card is placed to the centre of the gameboard, the fun begins. The first player who first shouts out the K-pop boy or girl group name that sing the song takes the song card and places it on top of the K-pop base card. The game moves quickly from player to player. Players continue to play cards and keep a watchful eye at the centre of the gameboard.

When the player shuffles a Lightstick Card or a Sasaeng Card, he or she picks up a card from the pile of Lightstick Cards or Sasaeng Cards which the players will be asked a question about the K-pop groups’ information. The player earns a point or loses a point if he or she gets the right answers or wrong answers. The player who earns the most points wins the game. When playing the game, players compete to find out who is a true K-Pop fan, that is, who is the most knowledgeable K-pop fan.

The game ends when there are no more cards left to play.

The card game includes:

1. A gameboard

2. 6 Base Cards

2. 60 Song Cards

3. 20 Lightstick Cards and 20 Sasaeng Cards

4. 60 tokens

The Gameboard:

Song Cards:

Base Cards:

Sasaeng and Lightstick Cards:

The Rules:

  • Each player chooses a K-Pop group and places the Base Card in front of the player.
  • A dealer shuffles the cards and gives each player the same number of cards.
  • Beginning from the left side of the dealer, each player flips a card upwards and places it at the center of the table.
  • The first player who shouts out the correct name of the K-pop boy or girl group who sings that song on the Song Card (+1 point) wins.
  • That player then places that Song Card on top of the player’s Base Card.
  • If no one knows which group that song belongs to, the next player can go next.
  • When there is a tie break, that is more than one player knows the name of the K-pop boy or girl group who sings the song on the Song Card which has been placed down, the dealer takes a Lightstick Card and reads out the question.
  • The player who answers the question correctly wins the Song Card.
  • When a player encounters a lucky Lightstick Card, the player takes a purple token (+1 point) but before they do, they must answer the question correctly.
  • When a player encounters a risky Sasaeng Card, the player takes 2 green tokens (-2 points) if the player does not know the answer. If they do, the player gets 1 green token (-1 point). If the player does not have a token, the game continues without losing a token.
  • At the end of the game, players add up their Song Cards (+1 point each) and add up their tokens (+/- 1 point).

SUMMARY OF PLAY TESTING AND ITERATIONS

Before coming up with the final production, here are some changes and iterations.

  • When there is a tie break that players shouts out the name of the K-pop group who sings the song on the Song Card at the same time, it is quite hard to judge who is the winner. I added in a rule that if two players or more shout out at the same time, the dealer picks the top card from the pile of Lightstick Cards and the player who answers the question correctly first wins the Song Card.
  • I put 10 K-pop groups but they were too complicated to play with. I narrowed it down to only 6 most popular K-Pop groups to make it easier to manage and play.
  • To make the game more challenging, I added more Sasaeng Cards and Lightstick Cards to challenge the players’ knowledge on their K-pop idols.
  • Originally, there is just one colour for all tokens. I had to make two colours of the tokens to distinguish the cards, that is green -1 point and purple +1 point.
  • The questions are too simple and the players always earn marks when answering the questions. I changed to harder questions to challenge the players.

References:

UEA Korean Society, 2021. KPOP Random Play Dance. [online] ueasu – students transforming. Available at: <https://www.uea.su/events/7911/5046/&gt;

Vincent, B., 2019. A Brief History of K-pop. [online] teenVOGUE. Available at: <https://www.teenvogue.com/story/brief-history-of-k-pop&gt;

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