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Gameplay Mechanic a Month: Pressure Guessing

Month 12 - December 2013

Lights coming towards you.

Mechanic Description:

The mechanic for this month is about making a guess/guesstimate under pressure. Players wait until a circumstance presents itself and then they need to make a guess to predict a future outcome. Players wait until the outcome plays out and then they compare their guesstimate with the actual result.

The gameplay mechanic will make players tense, because they do not know when they are going to be required to make a split second guesstimate.

Playable in the following game:



Car Game



Game Description:

A car game that helps you estimate distances and pass the time on long journeys. While driving on a road, attempt to guess the distance between your car and oncoming traffic as measured by cat eye markers mounted on posts on the side of the road.

Players need pay attention to the road and road conditions. When you are the "guesser" you need to wait until the "caller" sees a car. When they do, you'll have to quickly guess how many markers you will pass before the other car passes you.

The game makes long car trips pass by more quickly and makes seeing traffic enjoyable. It also helps people realise just how quickly you reach other cars on the road.

Gameplay Instructions:

  1. Download the rules below for the full details.
  2. Go for a long drive somewhere that's a bit remote. To play this game you’ll need to be driving in a car...
    • On a road with markers on the side, such as cat eyes mounted on posts;
    • On a road with visible oncoming traffic;
    • On a road that isn't super busy and isn't super curvy;
    • With speed somewhat constant (speed changes should only be in response to road conditions and rules, not to cheat the game).
  3. Take turns at being the "guesser" and the "caller".
  4. The caller shouts "Guesstimate" when they see a car coming on the road.
  5. The guesser has to quickly shout out how many markers you will pass before the other car passes you.
  6. The caller counts the markers as they pass by the driver's window.
  7. Once the other car has passed, you compare the Guesstimate with the actual number of markers passed.
  8. Players get points based on how far out their Guesstimate was, i.e. a high score is bad.

Guesser says their Guesstimate; Caller starts counting the markers. Caller continues to count markers. When the other car passes you, compare guesstimate with actual answer.


Download a PDF version of the rules:


An analysis of the gameplay mechanic written by me in March 2015.

I came up with the game while on a long driving trip with my partner, who is also a game designer. We wanted to challenge our “game design” skills right there on the spot. The constraints were that it had to be a game we could play straight away to alleviate the boredom of the long drive. 

What Went Right:        

What Went Wrong:        

Hug Rating:
1 hug

In just the right conditions this is a great game. If the conditions are slightly wrong the game makes driving a nightmare.

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