Scam Venture

Scam Venture is a pass ’n’ play party game app designed to embrace the inner fraud in all of us. Inspired by the deception and persuasion-based games such as Cards Against Humanity and the Jackbox Games, we noticed that there aren’t a lot go games out there involving start-ups and venture capitalists. As we came across a list of bizarre companies that received Kickstarter funding, it made sense for us to combine the party game style with the world of business. To do so, we designed each round of our game to have one player be the “VC,” in which they get to choose the category, or industry, for the round. The other players, the “Founders,” are assigned a randomly generated company name (intended to sound ridiculous) to pitch that company based on the assigned industry to the VC. They are encouraged to use a list of words to “woo” the VC, though the real catch is the presence of “scammers.” In fact, only one of the companies is “real” in the round, and all Founders are notified if their company is real or not. For the VC, the goal is to try to choose the real company based on the pitches. However, for the scammers, the goal is to deceive the VC into thinking that their company is real. If the VC chooses the real company, they will earn a profit in their investment ($1 million investment per round), and the real company also earns money. But if the VC chooses a fake company, they will lose their investment to the fake company! The VC’s gained or lost percentage is randomly generated to make the stakes unknown for each round. Because a round can be as fast as 5 minutes, players are encouraged to play multiple rounds to win the most money. In all, because it is a pass ’n’ play game, only one player needs to have the game downloaded to their phone, so the barrier to playing this game would be low. Attached is a screenshot of Scam Venture, prototyped on Adobe XD.

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