Behind the Scenes: Flic Flop's Origins and How we made "Shuffleboard from the Future."

Behind the Scenes: Flic Flop's Origins and How we made "Shuffleboard from the Future."

Flic Flop is one of Blinks' most kinetic games and it has been a big hit every time we've played in public since we created it. Jon and Dan recount the origins of the game and it's never-ending fun. Reviewers and fans have called it shuffleboard from the future!

How did Flic Flop come to be?

Jon: Early in the development of Blinks, Nick [Bentley] and I had an index card file of game ideas. We had around 100 different ideas in there. Each game idea had its own specific affordances and distinct actions so we started by brainstorming all the things one can do with the objects. One of the ideas was a game where Blinks would be flicked or slid across a table. We didn't immediately create a game with this concept. Ultimately, the idea stayed on file until we were approaching the release and were finalizing the games for the first two sets of Blinks. When Dan came on board, the Flicking game idea was dusted-off and we sketched what became Flic Flop.

What Makes this game so much fun?

We loved the sport-like nature of a Blinks game that brings out the thrills of competition and builds up anticipation in players. The big hits, high scores, and near-misses is just extremely satisfying. Like any sport or bar game, each player brings their own energy and approach to it. Some people flick them with a finger while others slide the Flickers like a shuffleboard puck.

Flic Flop is great because it's very accommodating to house-rules. You can make it really easy by making a cluster target or a solid row of targets. We sometimes will add a backstop so the Flickers don't slide off the end of the table. You can play up to six players with the 3 colors and at any distance you'd like. We suggested first to 11 points as winning but players can make their own rules here as well.


What changed during in the development of this game?

Dan: This is one we tested a lot with friends and family. We deliberately made it with the simplest rules to  make it flexible and as easy to pick up as possible.  Before shipping it, we rewrote the target animation to allow for clusters to animate together. Looks amazing, don't you think?

Programmatically, We could have done more with a scoring mechanism, automated score keeping. Also the animations (by current Blinks standards) are pretty chunky. However, we think that the simplicity of this game is it's big appeal and the unambiguity of counting the scored and not-scored Flickers keeps it fun.

One of the key realizations for me in making this game was that with Blinks, the personality of the game is often in the speed of the animation and color choice.

Fun Facts about Flic Flop

  • Flic Flop is Ishmael's favorite game. He will (literally) challenge anyone at anytime to play.
  • Crazy distance challenge. When we demoed Flic Flop at Playcrafting x Microsoft Global Game Game 2020, there were some very long ledges and conference tables. Over the course of the weekend lots of people rose to the challenge and some played for hours.
  • & 1 visitor scored a flicker from over 20 feet away on his second throw.
  • You can play it in the round: Crokinole-Style or by Crokinole rules.
  • Dan's Easter Egg: If you click your flicker, it just spins. An extra dose of fun right there!

Flic Flop is part of the Blinks Ultimate Action Pack and formerly part of the Blinks Expansion Set