Can game design help you beat The Traitors?

January 18, 2024
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Could a strong knowledge of game design help you win The Traitors? This was the question UK series one contestant Ivan Brett had in mind when he joined the show last year, keen to beat the odds for as long as he could while playing as one of the game’s Faithful. The author of The Floor is Lava and Bored? Games!, a professional D&D Dungeon Master and long-time fan of social gaming, Brett’s own pitch to the series’ producers was that he could beat them at their own format. Of course, things didn’t entirely go to plan.

Still, he believes there’s a method to the series’ format, a meta to follow to avoid being murdered, and several social game design tweaks he would make to keep the series feeling fresh for years to come. I sat down with Brett this week ahead of a big week of episodes in the show’s hit second season to discuss all of that and more.

“I love social deduction and social strategy games – adore them – and have for many years been running them as part of my job,” Brett says to me of his gaming background – a similar pitch to the one he used to apply. “I was running a lot of Mafia, Werewolf, those kinds of games in youth clubs and for corporate training exercises when I saw this advertised, and I thought ‘brilliant!’, obviously – if I was ever going to apply for a reality show it would be this.

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