Month: February 2015

Appropriation Ideas


  1. 3DS Appropriation

Appropriate a 3DS and a few games. Play the games.

  1. Running With Scissors

This can be played with 2 or more people. Give each person playing a pair of scissors. Everyone set a timer for 1 minute (at the minimum). Everyone start their timers at as near as possible to the same time. You all now have one minute to cut a piece off of as many things as you can. You can only cut something once per round. You will be scored on how many pieces you have cut off. Try not to do anything to dangerous, and do everything in your power to win.   

  1. Role Playing With Toys

Take the first toy, trinket, bobble, or knickknack you see in the day (it must be representative of some definable figure). For the rest of the day try to embody that character in speech, actions, etc. Don’t break character unless someone calls you out on acting like the exact character you chose, there is no close enough. If someone does call you out, explain the rules to them and encourage them to try it out to; then congratulate yourself on your acting skills and feel free to play again. If no one calls you out all day, you can either choose another character for the next day or try to improve upon your method.

  1. Stacking

Take everything flat in your room (or most things that you can easily move). Try stacking them one on top of the other from largest to smallest. If successful try it again from smallest to largest (I am not liable for broken goods). If successful try any variation in between or start adding non flat objects to that stack. (Michael also can sue me for appropriating his score.)

Appropriation Iteration Declaration 

Indiecade Lethal League

I chose Lethal League.

It’s a game:


Lethal League is a 2D fighting game  that utilizes very few moves and makes combat very simple.  I generally dislike fighting games, but Lethal League was a pleasant surprise.  The game is played essentially like tennis.  Each player is able to hit a ball that is in the stage with a held item.  Once a player hits the ball, it travels in a straight line and bounces off of the walls of the arena.  Each hit on the ball makes it move faster.  The round ends when the ball collides with a player.


I enjoyed playing Lethal League because it is very different from most fighting games.  There are no complicated button combinations or health gauges to worry about.  The player simply has to worry about hitting and avoiding being hit by the ball.  The game is very reminiscent of some boss battles in the Legend Of Zelda series and the mechanic of both players needing to react quickly works very well in the scenario of the game.  The game gets more challenging when the players aim the ball in different directions.  The quick play times of each round make the game enjoyable for long periods of time.


My game utilizes rope, a mirror frame, a plastic bag, and snow.  Rope is tied to the corners of the mirror so that two people can hold two one piece of rope per hand.  A plastic bag is attached to the frame so that objects that pass through the frame are caught in the bag.  The players must catch snowballs thrown by another player, by pulling on the ropes and moving the frame around.


Artist Statement:
I came up with this idea by tying rope around the frame in a spider web like style with the intent of using the “web” to catch or block thrown object.  I then got the idea of having two people having to work well together to win the game and thought to tie the ropes so that it was like both players were controlling one very simple puppet

I started trying to come up with a concept that helped convey a message.  I liked the idea of Ono’s white chess board and wanted my game to make a statement.  I’m still slightly upset that I don’t feel like I achieved that task.  I did; however, also want to implement our discussions of Dada from class and what we learned about the movement.  I’m proud of my method for finding my game mechanic because it stemmed from a naive, playful testing session.  I grabbed three items in my room and let myself play with them in odd ways.  I eventually discovered the form of my game from this session and I enjoyed the process I used.

IndieCade Game Choice – Risk of Rain

Overview thing or whatever it’s called:

Risk of rain is a 2D, action, platforming, rogue-like, done in pixel art. The honest reason I chose this game was because I already owned it; however, having already played it I knew right off the bat it was a good game.

If you’re looking for some thoughtful in depth commentary on the human psyche, social issues, or the meaning of life find another game. Risk of Rain is quite a standard action game where you kill things do little else. The story of the game is that a mysterious entity has caused your space ship to crash on a hostile planet, and you must survive, kill, and upgrade yourself as best you can before it comes back to finish you off too.

As a rogue-like the major mechanic of the game is iteration. Once you die in a play through you have to start over, but hopefully you’ve learned from you previous foray into the world and are now smarter for it. If your very luck, or skilled, you are able to unlock new items characters, and various outer secrets which can be used in future playthroughs.

The ascetic of the game is quite nice, the music fits wonderfully, and you really feel yourself improving each level as you learn new strategies for dealing with the enemy, and the best combination of items for your character’s class.

Risk of Rain isn’t breaking any molds here, but I don’t think it has to. It’s a good rogue-like, and more than that it’s a good game, and sometimes that is enough to keep you going.

IndieCade Game Selection – Cat On Yer Head

I downloaded the crowd-based game “Cat On Yer Head Storybook” from Playniac in London (submitted to IndieCade 2014). I technically opted for the 24-page sample book (rather than paying for the full version), but this abbreviated version of the game still has the basic mechanic in place, and I can see it being a really fun game to experience at (rather nerdy) gatherings.

In effect, it’s a literal cat-and-mouse chase game. One player starts with an imaginary cat on their head, another starts with an imaginary mouse. If the cat player taps the mouse on the shoulder within 30 seconds of starting, the mouse loses. If they evade the cat, the mouse wins! The cat and mouse can be passed to other players by tapping them on the shoulder; to know who’s who, the cat player must loudly say “Cat. Cat. Cat.” over and over again, while the mouse does the same.

It’s fun to imagine someone messing with the gamers by pretending to be a mouse player, but being a decoy instead. In fact, Playniac supports user-submitted rules and modifications to the game, even including an official submission form for mailing in. The full version of the play book includes variant rules and options for play such as mouseholes and cheese for the mouse player to interact with. I might pick it up eventually, but sadly I am rarely at events with 15+ people (rules state you need between 15 and 1000 people; I’d LOVE to see this happen at a concert or sporting event, but alas, getting the rules to that many players could be problematic). I’ll try to run a mini game of COYH (we’re short a few people, but it could still work) in class this Friday, but we’ll see what happens.

Brownie Battles: Appropriation + Mechanics = Microgame

The following is a link to a Google Doc of Brownie Battles, a dice and roleplaying-based microgame relying on giving “stats” to everyday household objects.

Brownie Battles


Artist’s Statement

In creating this microgame, I wanted to think not only about mechanics, but about what it means to “appropriate” something. A dictionary definition reads as, “the action of taking something for one’s own use, typically without the owner’s permission.” The important part here is that one is taking something for their own use, in this case, play.

When thinking about how to make a game out of appropriated objects, I considered the intrinsic meaning of those objects to be a key design piece. We all give meaning to small items around us, whether this is simply “like” or “dislike,” or something as large as, “the most cherished item I have from my relative.” When appropriating something, you’re stripping it of that meaning, and so that left me with a question: what is the meaning now?

To answer this question, I decided to make a game about giving new meaning (through mechanics) to an appropriated item. Brownie Battles derives combat statistics and abilities from these appropriated items, thus giving players a new way to look at items they may have around. No longer is a small cup just a useful tool to have around the house; now it’s the purview of a smart, aloof house sprite wielding a sword and shield. This addition of meaning to appropriated items drives Brownie Battles, and I hope you enjoy playing it.

Close Your Eyes

So I played Close Your Eyes for my IndieCade game. It’s a horror-y puzzle platformer whose main mechanic is the ability to close your eyes to change the way you can interact with the world. By closing your eyes, you can walk past enemies unharmed, walk through some walls and platforms, and make hidden walls and platforms appear. Later in the game, closing your eyes can be dangerous for you, as there are some enemies that get closer to you and can eat you only while your eyes are closed. This creates some interesting, though rather easy, puzzles that require proper timing to solve. Overall I felt the game was well executed and definitely creepy, though not quite scary enough to be called horror.

My first big complaint is that it’s really short and it doesn’t have any particularly challenging puzzles, though this can probably be forgiven by the fact that it’s a free game and was made by students. My second complaint is that it seemed to be attempting to portray a really abstract story about the playable character’s history with abuse or domestic violence. It tells this story through what are essentially flashbacks; levels that don’t have any puzzles but do have sound and images of other people in them. The end is really sudden and honestly easy to miss though (I’d explain why, but spoilers), and I think that if they had made the game longer they could have really flushed the story out a lot more, and made it more meaningful. I believe they were trying to emulate Yume Nikki with the ending, but it didn’t really work because of the way they had introduced other story elements earlier in the game.

You can watch me play it here.

Daze Final

Take one large mirror.

Smash it into small pieces.

Set the vase in interesting positions

Admire from every angle.


Documentation of Final Test:

Artist Statement:

I first got the idea for using a broken mirror after learning about Duchamp’s smashed glasswork pieces.  I loved the idea of the randomness of the breaks in the glass and wanted to emulate it.  I used the mirror because I like the reflective qualities and felt like I’d be making a highly simplistic disco ball.


Score Testing

I tested the original draft of my score with a friend.  I had her read the score and follow its instructions.  The test went as planned until she proceeded to take the vase containing the mirror shards and move it around the room to see how its surroundings changed the reflections.  She also walked around the vase once it was set down.  Her actions caused me to change the score slightly to make it a little more explicitly worded, but ultimately, in my opinion, far more satisfying to perform.


Snowman Jenga Final Version and Artist Statement

Take your friends outside to build a snowman. Note- make sure the man has a bottom, middle, and a head.

Make sure to give the snowman a big, happy smile.

Pour red snow cone syrup onto the snowman.

With a spoon, try to eat the snowman from the middle and bottom, without letting his head fall to the ground.

Whoever takes the bite that causes the head to fall is the loser.


Place a hat on the snowman’s head, and play not until the head falls but until the hat falls. In this version, you may eat the head.

If there is no snow with which to make a snowman, you may make a mud man. Do not eat him.


Artist’s Statement:

I first got the idea for this score when I was walking around in the snow with some friends, and one of them began to eat some of the snow. I found this to be really gross, since the snow was dirty with salt and dirty and other city gook. I then was thinking of a way to make the snow less disgusting, and thought it would be fun to use that concept for my score. My friends thought eating a snowman was a bit morbid, so I decided to make it more so by adding red flavoring (to look like blood) and making it a game to keep the snowman’s head from falling off. I added the bit about the mud man while watching Avatar: the Last Airbender, thinking it would be a funny addition, and I added the part with the hat while thinking about Celia’s hats, as a less morbid and more comical version of the game.