Blinks: Expand your Game Play with Widgets

Blinks: Expand your Game Play with Widgets

Widgets is a unique concept to Blinks that is both a collection of games and can augment your existing board games. We talked to Dan King, Game Design lead at Move38 about its origins, possibilities, and the fun of Widgets.

How did the idea for a Widget Blink start?

Widgets came out of Move38's Summer 2018 internship. During the internship, one of the assignments was to create a series of widgets (or behaviors) that Blinks could do. So as a group we brainstormed a list of different ideas and came up with a bunch: timers, spinners, dice, counters, and the like.

The point of the exercise was to think of Widgets as different tools for game development, games built out of behaviors. Jon intended to bring the widgets to a workshop for participants to use these pre-programmed behaviors to design games. I'm not sure if the workshop happened but we were happy with the results of the excercise. 

How did Widgets get included in the first Blinks sets and now the Blinks Game System?

Once Blinks was almost ready to release, we realized that we had a few empty spots and liked the idea of a Blink as a multi-tool and include it in the sets with some games ideas.

How did the idea evolve to its final form?

The first iteration of Widgets had an overcomplicated system of layered menus. We found this counter-intuitive and then just simplified it to clicking through between the behaviors. Widgets have 4 different functions

  • Dice
  • Coin Flip
  • Spinner
  • "Sand" Timer

We originally had a Rock Paper Scissors function but removed it. Coincidentally at Global Game Jam 2020, our neighbor Andrew, prototyped an even more complex stand-alone Rock Paper Scissors Game.

As we finalized for production, we tweaked the animations for example turning the Dice from multicolor to a flashing casino dice red. 

I realized we couldn't ship just the widget but needed to include game ideas with it. I set to work on creating and testing games using the final widgets. Included in the instructions are Takeaway Dice, Flipbet, and Spinomino. To this day FlipBet is one of my favorite games!

Name a game and you can play it or supplement with Widgets. Liars Dice with the dice widget. Any game that needs a timer like Pictionary, Codenames works well with the timer widget. Possibilities are endless. 

I think the coolest thing is that others have made games with Widget Blinks. Jonathan West made it his own and with paper rules posted to the forum made Blinks first stacking game, Topple Stones.

Fun Facts:

  • Widgets is the only Blinks game with no title on the label.
  • Timing of the Spinner Widget is based on the Wheel of Fortune wheel where it spins freely then slows down when force is applied.
  • Check out this demo for the physics of damping

Widgets is part of the original Blinks Expansion Set and included in the new Blinks Game System