Inner-west Culture Contributor

Gallery Serpentine has always attracted the creatively talented to its doors and when we meet an artist, designer, writer or performer creating the wonder stuff who provides an 'antidote to the mundane' we celebrate them!

Steven Medway is such a designer, a games designer quietly bringing forth the imagination and slightly darker community spirit of inner westies.

Here is his story:

I am a 39 year old amateur games designer from Sydney. After a stint studying everything beginning with "P" at Sydney University, I got involved in, and never quite exited the goth scene. Games, fantasy and Sci-Fi, art are a hobby and I'm a jack of all trades, master of none.

Game Designer, Steven Medway at one of his Blood on the Clocktower games

Why I created the game:
I love making games, and I love helping people who are nerdy or alternatively inclined to find similar people with similar interests. After an all-night marathon session of the social-deduction game "Werewolf", I decided to make a game that brought people together - not just gamers, but anybody who wants to have a fun time using their brain, their mouths, and their wits. Blood on the Clocktower is the result of 3 years of continual effort, brainstorming, editing and testing and I truly believe that is the world's best bluffing game. If not, then it's up there with the best. I continue to develop the game due to the overwhelmingly fantastic response from players, and their enthusiam in wanting to contribute to it's design.
Props and setting for Steven's game Blood on the Clocktower
Steven at a Blood on the Clocktower game eveninga civilised gathering of friends for A Blood on the Clocktower gaming evening
Who enjoys playing it:
People from all walks of life enjoy playing Blood on the Clocktower. Those with a particularly analytic mind love the logic and deduction elements. The socially adept love the bluffing and deception element. Children love the guessing element. The more socially isolated tend to love simply getting together with people for a fun social event that encourages inclusion and conversation, and active engagement. Generally though, if you are playing with a group of people of your own skill level, you'll have fun. Some people who enter blind into a group that has been playing for years may feel intimidated and feel like it's not their thing, while some will take to it quickly. Who you are playing with is very important, but I have also seen totally new people make friends quickly due to the game. I have several "advanced" versions of the game available for the avid gamer, that entail some very complex puzzle solving skills and deception strategies, but the "beginner" game is accessible by everyone over the age of 15 or so.
more into it gamers who dress for the characters
What has surprised me:
What continually surprises me is the way that those players who consider themselves shy people, manage to branch out and find their voice. Blood on the Clocktower is a game about lying to your friends, about murder, good and evil. I initially thought that such taboo topics would only appeal to the brave, but it is a continual pleasantness to see a timid or shy person stand up and demand to be heard. It is often the quiet ones that perceive more, and have more accurate and helpful things to say. Part of the game is trust - who do you trust? And why? In many initial games, the loudest person gets listened to the most. As soon as that person is revealed to be evil, and has been lying all the time, people seem to be more open to listening to people based on their intelligence and observation, not just their volume. 
Steven and a happy Blood on the Clocktower gamer
these gamers are really into it, dressed for theme
Blood on the Clocktower setting

Where it fits into the popular culture / board games etc:

Blood on the Clocktower is a social deduction game. Much like a "how to host a murder" night, or a live-action-role play. it is a game played by talking. Players are free to act the roles they are randomly assigned if they wish, but the main thrust of the game is about talking and listening. It is usually played sitting down in a comfortable setting (couches and a loungeroom are great), but unlike a board game, has no pieces (except for those the host has) and needs no board or table. It can be as quiet or as rowdy as the players want, with things usually ending up louder than expected. Since games last for a little over an hour, and multiple are played of an evening, the night itself is both a game, and a social event.
If you are interested in booking a game with Steven you can call or text him on:
04012 266 152.  Here is some information to give you an idea of the game you will be playing.
you can theme food for the evening around the game
A long time ago in the sleepy town of Ravenswood Bluff, during a hellish thunderstorm, on the stroke of midnight, you hear a scream.

The townsfolk rush to the town square to investigate, and find that the local Storyteller has been murdered, their body impaled on the hour hand of the clocktower clock, blood dripping onto the cobblestones below.

It soon becomes obvious to all that a Demon is on the loose - killing by night and taking on human form by day. Each of the Townsfolk has some information, but the Demon and it's evil minions are spreading lies to confuse and breed suspicion. Will the good folk put the pieces of the puzzle together in time? Or will evil overrun this once peaceful town?

Blood on the Clocktower is social a game of deduction & deception, lies and logic, murder and mystery, for 5 to 20 players. Of a "day" time, players talk and socialise, or go into private conversations with others in order to gather information and spread lies. Of a "night" time, players close their eyes, whilst the demon and it's minions wake up to spread their mischief.
typical set up but any decent sized lounge or room will work
Blood on the Clocktower games last for between 1 and 2 hours, and several games are usually played over an evening. There is music, special lighting, lavish decorations and some snacks provided. We come to you, but you'll need a decent sized lounge room or similar space for use.
any decent sized lounge room will work well for the game
themed food adds to a magical games evening
Some occult, adult themes.

Contact Steven Medway to book or join a game, 0402 266 152

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