The big surprise at this year’s PAX West was the release of a new venue called “Teien,” which translates loosely to “Garden.”
The venue is a small pagoda-like structure surrounded by walkways, trees, and tranquil water. Inside are two book shelves and two sets of three statues each, along with two conversation circles and window pads at either end. The aesthetics, however, pale in comparison to two decisions which set Teien apart from every other venue to date:
- There are two semi-transparent paper walls called “shōji,” behind which the sniper can see guests only in silhouette.
- The two shōji are placed randomly in four possible locations. This means there are four possible configurations. Sometimes, Teien will have both bookshelves behind the shōji, and sometimes, both sets of statues.
Assuming the placement is random, this means one of these two hard tell missions will be behind these shōji completely in about half the games played.
Highlights and lowlights persist through the shōji by being slightly lighter or darker, but the mix of occlusion and silhouette can cause party goer shapes to blend together. And if you didn’t normally highlight either Bling Twin or Plain Twin to tell them apart, you’ll probably have to make an exception here. Here’s a rough video of the venue in action: