Movin' Out

The base game of Décorum had many fun content reveals and extras throughout. Roommates, gifts, and pets! So when our publisher came to us to make an expansion, we wanted to make sure we weren’t just adding new cute components. We wanted to change some of the fundamental gameplay mechanics… and add cute new components.

Décorum’s marketing used the phrase “Can you find a happy compromise, or is it time to move out?!”. So when pitching ideas for the expansion we asked the question, “What happens when it IS time to move out?”. Our first joking answer was “Décorum Divorce”, but with a little more optimism, we realized this was an opportunity to expand on our relatable theme. If moving in with your partner is stressful, moving out with them is even worse.

I wanted to take the original concept of decorating the house and make it feel more tight, almost restrictive. The partners aren’t overwhelmed and excited by the endless possibilities of what their house could look like anymore, they need to move! To give that feeling, I changed the original rule set. Players could no longer add objects to the home. Whatever objects are in the start state are what you have to work with. Each object in the home is now yours, totally. With that single rule change the placement of each object becomes more precarious, arguments become more circular, and each move causes many unintended changes. It helped give the sense that the partners had been together longer, and that every object needed to be accounted for. You can’t just throw away a lamp that's causing arguments and start fresh, a decision has to be made.

Of course we also added our vehicles, boxes, bubble-wrap, and even some movers to help you on the way. Some of our original characters return, and some new ones are introduced. We even have a few scenarios with a special secret set up… there’s no house, only vehicles.

Creating Movin’ Out really allowed me to reflect on what I wanted to carry forward from Décorum, and how removing options can be just as effective, and often more elegant than adding them. I hope partners who play Movin’ Out enjoy these changes, and enjoy finding even more ways to silently agonize over the placement of the Blue Modern Lamp.