Awkward Family Dinner

Games Night is a sacred tradition among many families and household. On those hallowed eves, brother battles against brother, wars are waged between mother and daughter, and friends fight to be crowned the funniest at the table. But, not only do interactive table top games strengthen bonds and bring joy, they are great for improving motor and problem solving skills!

Presently, the adult party card game industry is dominated by the one and only Cards Against Humanity. For years, it has reigned supreme as the card game that’s so wrong it’s right. It has become the pinnacle of many parties and a tool for measuring self-worth based on humour-levels. But, we feel it’s time for a new kid on the block; one that taps into something much closer to home: the inherent awkwardness of all family gatherings.

AS Studios presents: Awkward Family Dinner. The situational card game for horrible people with even more horrible families. Below is an overview of my contribution to the project – check it out!

design (theme/mechanics) connection between the audience you have identified and the game itself.

The Game Mechanics

I would also like to note something that is not mentioned in my video. My spectacular group members (Travis, Nathan and Harrison) helped to come up with the theme and mechanics of the game that I suited my target market to. Awkward Family Dinner is a card game very similar to Cards Against Humanity. The game narrative places the player in the shoes of an awkward family member. They must navigate a number of sticky situations which may or may not cause their mother to excessively drink wine. Travis has done a wonderful job of humorously scripting these situation cards. The game mechanics are best described by Travis in his blog post, but to give you a basic run down:

  • The game consists of scenario cards and game tokens
  • The player with the oldest mother begins
  • Players take turns picking up a card and responding to it. The cards contain a scenario and two possible responses to it, which the player may choose from. Depending on the chosen answer, the player’s ‘mum’ will drink a certain amount of wines.
  • The first player to reach 10 drinks loses, and the player with the second-highest amount of drinks wins.

I had to consider the inclusion of alcohol as a central theme to the game narrative, when selecting a target market. And, after providing the group with the research, we modified the original mechanics and narrative to make the game more suitable for a wider audience.


OBGames, 2019, Determining a age rating for your board game, BoardGameGeek, viewed 9 April 2020, <>.

Burgio-Ficca, C 2019, Toy and Game Retailing in Australia, viewed 9 April 2020, retrieved from IBISWorld database.

Cards Against Humanity, What is Cards Against Humanity?, Cards Against Humanity, viewed 9 April 2020, <>,

StackExchange, 2012, How do game designers come up with suggested (or minimum) age requirements for games?, StackExchange, viewed 9 April 2020, <>.

Statista, 2020, Card Games – worldwide | Statista Market Forecast, Statistica, viewed 9 April 2020, <>.

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