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Joanna Piancastelli

Games

✏️ Unheroes Golden Cobra Challenge (2014)
Organizer M vs M Intercon N (2014)
Organizer A Wolf by Any Other Name The Smoke (2019)
✏️ Mutiny on the Asp The Smoke (2020)
✏️ One Flesh, One End The Smoke (2022)
Organizer One Flesh, One End The Smoke (2022)
Organizer Emperor's Retreat The Smoke (2023)

Awards

Golden Cobra Challenge (2014)

Unheroes: Winner, Most Appealing to Newcomers
"Three former superheroes walk into a bar...." and the game plays itself from there. A catchy premise that anyone can jump into, with crystal clear play designed to have a payoff every time. Unheroes takes the real world and warps it into the setting for a pervasive freeform larp about power, responsibility and second chances. A tightly written game, with great awareness of player safety and accessibility.

Unheroes gives us the rich inner lives of superheroes without any of the messy power-point-allocation baggage. From the suspense beats to the time-activated powers, this game is above all cleverly paced and ready for unexpectedly public superhero play. Bravo.

Joanna Piancastelli's game of amnesiac supers, Unheroes, builds on a rich tradition of conflicted bricks and speedsters, humanizing these colorful protagonists and expertly adapting their tropes to the contest parameters. The result is a smart, assured and very playable game that will be appealing to anyone who has ever read a comic book.

Unheroes is about a world where the past has been erased, but comes creeping back anyway. Amnesiatic protagonists discover their super hero past, and the fact that as super heroes they seriously screwed up. With incredibly solid design and a captivating narrative not rooted in whether the Hulk can beat Thor, it's an inviting game that is a fine cap on the current tradition of super hero freeforms.


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