Dog Eat Dog RPG

Winner of the 2013 Indiecade Impact Award!

Nominee for the 2013 Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming!


Purchase information about Dog Eat Dog is coming soon. Please watch this space….

Dog Eat Dog is a game of colonialism and its consequences. As a group, you work together to describe one of the hundreds of small islands in the Pacific Ocean, defining the customs of the natives and the mores of the outsiders arriving to claim it. One player then assumes the role of the Occupation force, playing their capable military, their quisling government, and whatever jaded tourists and shrewd businessmen are interested in a not quite pacified territory. All the others play individual Natives, each trying in their own ways to come to terms with the new regime. The game begins when the war ends. Through a series of scenes, you play out the inevitably conflicted relationship between the two parties, deciding what the colonizers do to maintain control, which natives assimilate and which run amok, and who ends up owning the island in the end.

Dog Eat Dog’s system is light and easy to learn, designed for play with people who may not have seen or heard of roleplaying games — but with a token economy that eventually reverberates through every action your character takes, charging every choice with the possibility of death or assimilation. At the end of each scene, the Occupation judges the Natives according to a set of Rules that describe the relationship between the two parties, fining them or paying out tokens; the Natives, in turn, determine how the Rules change according to the events that happen in play. The setting is defined during play, and the starting conditions can easily be hacked to make Dog Eat Dog a game about any sort of unequal power dynamic or colonial situation, from occupied WWII Italy to first contact on an alien planet to the Justice League conquering Earth.

IMG_2032 (1)

I originally began working on this game in 2005, thinking about my own history as a second-generation half-Filipino growing up in Hawai’i. I playtested it with a few of my friends and tried it out at a couple of local conventions, and got great reviews as well as great feedback for future drafts. It lay fallow for a while as I ran short of time to work on it, but in 2012 I finally had time to Kickstart it and get it published.

Dog Eat Dog comes in the form of a book, with the full rules, author’s notes that explain the design process, and a brief historical overview of colonization in the Pacific. All you need to play is some pens and paper, some kind of tokens such as poker chips or coins, and a couple of dice.

Here are some comments from people who’ve played the game:

“It’s games like this that make you realize anew the paucity and vapidity of conventional videogaming violence and bombast…games can be powerful, and you just need to know where to look to find ones of artistic merit. Here, for instance.” — Greg Costikyan, Play This Thing

“I have a strong feeling that the emotional, personal side of the game cannot be described afterwards. There is a strong ephemeric component to the experience, which I really don’t know how to communicate – and a chronicle of the events seems to be a poor substitute, much like reading a list of events in a war and trying to imagine how people lived that specific situation.” — Giulia Barbano, Janus Design

“Dog Eat Dog isn’t a game about how colonialism steals resources; it’s a game about how colonialism steals identities.  Who you were, who you are, and who you can be?  That’s what gets stolen, and Dog Eat Dog is about how much of that you can hold on to.” — Chris Chinn, Deeper In The Game

“Dog Eat Dog is an extraordinary breakout game….It presents colonialism stripped bare of any fantasy, without apologies or excuses. Playing it is an emotional roller coaster of power and suffering, presenting both the unconscionable consequences of a dysfunctional society and the violent consequences of breakdown.” — Ben Lehman, Polaris

“Even though I was prepared for the concepts the game explored, I was still dumbfounded by the way Dog Eat Dog made me rethink the roles that both the colonizer and the colonized play in the process of assimilation.” — Mark Truman, Magpie Games

ded pics 004

Dog Eat Dog
53 pp, 8.5″ x 5.5″ x .25″, 3 oz.

Purchase information about Dog Eat Dog is coming soon. Watch this space….

55 thoughts on “Dog Eat Dog RPG

  1. Pingback: The Content of Our Characters | Liwanag Press

  2. Hi, I got to your kickstarter page too late to contribute, but I’d definitely like to know when the game is available for purchase. It sounds fantastic and enlightening, and I can’t wait to share it with friends and family.

  3. Heard about this via Silver Goggles, and didn’t have the spare cash available during the Kickstarter – looking forward to purchasing the game once it’s available!

  4. Missed the kickstarter, but want in on the goodness. Please let me know when it is available in general release.

  5. Hi Liam,

    this is such a great idea. in fact, i want to use this in my classroom. please let me know how to get my hands on a copy of your book. please!! and even though you did not reach $7000, PLEASE develop a lesson plan for teachers. i am a teacher and want to play the game enough time to be able to implement it in my classroom. ~tien

  6. Pingback: Designing People | Liwanag Press

  7. Pingback: Reflections & Report Back from Allied Media Conference 2012 | Body Without Organs

  8. Pingback: Episode 40: Gencon 2012 Wrapup | The Jank Cast

  9. Pingback: The Walking Eye Podcast » Blog Archive » Discussion 37: GenCon 2012 Recap

  10. Pingback: The Walking Eye Podcast » Blog Archive » Discussion 38: Durance Review

  11. Pingback: Episode 142: The Good Gamer Thing | The Jank Cast

  12. Pingback: The Walking Eye Podcast » Blog Archive » Interview 27: Jason Morningstar

  13. Pingback: The Walking Eye Podcast » Blog Archive » Dog Eat Dog

  14. Pingback: The Walking Eye Podcast » Blog Archive » Interview 28: Liam Liwanag Burke

  15. Hey, I learnt of Dog Eat Dog through the Walking Eye, and would like to buy the pdf if it’s possible, I live in Singapore so a digital copy would be much better than shipping over an actual copy from America.

  16. Pingback: The Walking Eye Podcast » Blog Archive » Interview 30: Joe McDaldno

  17. Pingback: Board Games, Game Remixing, & Kickstarter: Interview with Elizabeth Sampat

  18. Hi there, sir! I just purchased/pre-ordered (unsure of which) Dog Eat Dog on this page. I was wondering if it comes with a .pdf file, or just the physical copy. Thanks very much!

  19. Hi Liam,

    I ordered Dog Eat Dog a couple of days ago, but I haven’t heard anything since. I was just wondering if the order of the game from this site comes with a .pdf, or if I need to just sit tight and stop belly-aching. Sorry to be a pain, just highly interested in reading and playing this game! Thanks very much, sir!

  20. Pingback: » [AP] Dog Eat Dog: Zemmiland Doubleplus Fun

  21. Pingback: Colonialism, Privilege, and Meaningful Play in Dog Eat Dog | Play The Past

  22. Pingback: Diana Jones Award 2013 shortlist announced « OgreCave

  23. Pingback: NRCD 2 Jun 13: All The Devils Are Here Edition, Part One | New Religion and Culture Daily

  24. Pingback: » allied media conference PORPENTINE

  25. Pingback: The Walking Eye Podcast » Blog Archive » Cultural Appropriation and Gaming

  26. Pingback: 7 pożądanych erpegów | naked female giant

  27. Pingback: The Walking Eye Podcast » Blog Archive » Bonus Episode: CONvergence 2013

  28. Pingback: Vuoden 2013 palkitut roolipelit | Roolipelitiedotus

  29. Pingback: The Walking Eye Podcast » Blog Archive » Gen Con 2013

  30. Pingback: Bundle of Holding – Indie Treasure Trove | Voodoo Buddha - Gaming News and Geek-Culture

  31. Pingback: Ennie, Indie i Diana – dwugłos o erpegowych nagrodach | naked female giant

  32. Pingback: Some Of This Year's Best Indie Games Announced As The 36 IndieCade Finalists - Indie Statik

  33. Pingback: IndieCade Festival Announces Finalists | The GameFob Network

  34. Pingback: IndieCade Festival Reveals 2013 Finalists | Chocolate Lemon

  35. Pingback: IndieCade 2013 Finalists Announced - The Complete List of Games | Indie Game Reviewer - The Best New Indie Video Games

  36. Pingback: Finalists Announced for Indiecade 2013 Festival - KaboomShark!

  37. Pingback: Showcase of Independent Games Has Been Announced for IndieCade 2013 | Cyborg 24

  38. Pingback: IndieCade Festival Reveals 2013 FinalistsApp Review Central

  39. Pingback: Os 35 finalistas que podem mudar a indústria, Parte 1 (Indiecade 2013) | Rubber Chicken

  40. Pingback: Mi chiamo indie, GdR indie! - Lokee

  41. Pingback: IndieCade 2013 Opens, Award Winners Announced | Indie Game Reviewer - The Best New Indie Video Games

  42. Pingback: IndieCade Award Winners Are A Great Bunch Of Indie Games - Indie Statik

  43. Pingback: Laureaci IndieCade ogłoszeni! | 1ndie World - gry niezależne, recenzje, indie games

  44. Pingback: Games to Make you a Better Person » Genesis of Legend Publishing

  45. Pingback: IndieCade 2013 Awards Announced! | Jetpack Joust

  46. Pingback: IndieCade 2013: Winners Revealed - Gamer Horizon

  47. Pingback: Complete List of IndieCade 2013 Award Winners

  48. Pingback: IndieCade 2013: Winners Revealed | The GameFob Network

  49. Pingback: And the winner is… | Xsus Marks the Spot

  50. Pingback: Game Info Blog » And the winner is…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>