The classic board game Monopoly has taken many versions over the years; thanks to British expat Ian Steele, who includes a Beijing version, or 北京opoly.
The game includes a number of scenarios that many people who have ever lived in Beijing may have experienced. Click the link below to read the interview we did with Steele about the game in March 2021.
READ MORE: Meet the man who created the ‘Beijing Monopoly‘
In addition to his day job in admissions at Harrow International School in Beijing, Steele runs Custom Beijing which, as the name suggests, sells customizable and (mostly) Beijing-related products; an original personalized Beijing map of the capital proudly hangs from the It’s Beijing Office!
Not content with creating just one original Beijing board game, Steele recently created Beijing nightsa mystery role-playing game with… shall we say… characteristics of Beijing.
In a recent interview, Steele said It is in regards to Beijing nightshow to create an engaging board game and a chance for It’s Beijing readers to get their hands on a free copy of the game in a raffle.
Before talking about Beijing Nights, give us an update on 北京OPOLY who It is previously covered.
北京OPOLY was a far greater success than I expected when we last spoke about a year ago. Since the last article, I have ordered the production of almost 1000 copies of the game and they are selling out very quickly, unfortunately, it seems because many people are leaving Beijing this summer and want to take a souvenir with them. After many requests, I turn to the production of 上海OPOLY as one of my next projects.
Tell us about the inspiration behind Beijing Nights.
As with everything I do in Custom Beijing, I like to try to put a Beijing touch on things. This set seemed like an ideal format to add Beijing “characters”, such as “Hutong Elders”, “Bao’an”, “Laowai”, etc., so it also serves as a fun souvenir of the city to take home. with you when you go, while being a really fun game to play at home or in a bar when you’re on the go.
What is the objective of the game ? Tell us everything we need to know about it.
Beijing nights is shorter than 北京OPOLY – probably 10 or 15 minutes per game – and is actually a mystery card game. It is very similar to One Night Werewolf and somewhat similar to secret hitlerfor those who know board games.
As a group (3-10 players), each person secretly selects a role, with each character assigned to either the police team or the town team. Each character has their own specific action, and in turn, each character performs that action secretly. After all rounds have been completed, players must identify the Police character(s) to win.
There is a lot of deception though, and it’s not as simple as it sounds. Once you get used to the gameplay, it can make for some really lively games!
This is your second board game. What do you think is the secret to creating a great board game? Do you follow any particular principles and/or formulas when designing?
I think it’s safe to say that my games are heavily influenced by others, but my main goal is to bring that Beijing touch to them all! I want the people who live here to really feel like they have a unique game that will be fun to play now, but also fun to play in the future so they can bring back fond memories of the city.
I think the number of requests I’ve received from people in the US, Australia, UK and other countries who have since left Beijing and want something that brings back their memories of this big city is the proof!
Finally, I think quality is extremely important. We’ve all bought random fakes on Taobao that fall apart in a short time, but my games are super high quality – from the box and board to the cards and tokens inside.
These are built to last!
How can people find out more about the game and get their hands on a copy?
I have a few options. For those who have a VPN, you can follow my Instagram page at @custom.beijing or my Facebook page at @custombeijing.
To purchase the games, or to ask more questions about any of the products I offer, you can contact me via WeChat (WeChat ID: Beijing-2021- or scan the QR code below).
To celebrate one year since the last It’s Beijing item, I am offering one of each of the 北京OPOLY and Beijing nights free games as part of a draw.
If one of your readers buys me a game and quotes me “It’s Beijing” when ordering i will put their name in a *draw and after the closing date (two weeks from the date of publication) two people will be drawn and i will refund their payments so they get their game for free !
*Note that to be included in the raffle, readers MUST cite “It’s Beijing” during the order. Only orders placed from the date of publication (Tuesday April 12, 2022) until midnight Tuesday April 26, 2022 will be accepted into the draw.
[All images via Ian Steele/Custom Beijing]