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Designer Diary – Death Note: Confrontation

Death Note: Confrontation is out in stores now! Designers Jordan & Mandy Goddard sat down to share their thoughts about designing the game and some tips and strategies on how to outwit your opponent! Check out this Designer Diary for Death Note: Confrontation.

Murder is a tricky business. We found this out pretty quickly when we set out to design Death Note: Confrontation a little over a year ago. Now that the game is released and we have some perspective on the process we thought we would share a few of the things we learned while designing this 2-player asymmetric game of hidden roles, hidden movement, and hidden motives.

“The human whose name

is written in this note shall die.”

– The Death Note

Death Note: Confrontation is a game that is played with pen and paper in two secret notebooks. The idea of playing a game in something as inconspicuous as a notebook was integral to the game’s concept from the very beginning. It was literally the first thing we wrote down during our first brainstorming session. We love designing games with clever components and we had never seen anything that used books in this way. This early decision determined a lot of how the game would look and feel, and it set the tone for how we would approach creating a game that was compelling to Death Note fans, while still being fun and approachable to those who have never been exposed to the story.

The most common question we get these days is “Do you have to know the Death Note story to enjoy your game?” and the answer is absolutely not. Fans of the story will find lots of little things that will deepen their appreciation for the game, but at it’s heart Death Note: Confrontation is a cat & mouse game between murderer and detective. We wanted to create an experience for everyone that enjoys a good head to head puzzle. The game allows players to get in each other’s head and try to predict their opponent’s next move while using that player’s strengths and limitations against them in a way that we have never seen before.

“You can’t ever win if you’re always 

on the defensive. To win, you have to attack!”

– Detective L

It has been incredible to watch the game be released and sold around the world. Players have commented on how simple it is to learn and how quickly they are able to start forming more and more complex strategies to outwit their opponent. So with that in mind we thought we would include a few notes from the design team that might make you a more formidable opponent in your next head to head.

Tip 1: Don’t take the Day Phase for granted. If you are L, don’t spend too much time just blocking high points or Kira will figure out your pattern and eek out a win with consistent low point rounds.

Tip 2: Bombs are valuable to both Kira and L. When designing the game we made sure that Bombs give L more information about Kira than any other kind of kill. As Kira, be sure to kill only the bombers that don’t give L too much information.

Tip 3: As L, use Quiet Nights to your advantage. More advanced players will note that a well placed Quiet Night can allow L to eliminate more suspects than anything else in the game. Learn to use them strategically and you will have a leg up, but use them poorly and L will lose every time.

Tip 4: As Kira keep track of everything L knows. You can use the clear search grid tool to know which suspects L has been able to eliminate, and you can make your kills in areas that make your opponents job much more difficult.

“Kira is childish and hates losing… 

I am also childish and hate to lose. 

That’s how I know.”

– Detective L

– Jordan & Mandy

Death Note: Confrontation is available in stores now!