Artwork 4: Bump

by | Apr 20, 2016 | Artwork #4: Experience


Bump is a single-player crowd navigation computer game. The object of the game is to navigate through each crowd to the goal.


The source code can be found on my github repository for the game.

A Mac OS X app of the game can be found (compressed) here. (The download should begin automatically.)

Screenshots of Gameplay:

bump-gameplay-screenshot bump-endgame-screenshot

Sources of Inspiration / Artist’s Statement:

The idea for Bump came from a data collection game I played on my commutes when I worked downtown. This was a simple unnamed game where I incremented a counter (located on my pebble watch) every time another person made physical contact with me. This was almost always accidental, and usually as a result of rush hour traffic or crowded trains.

Consciously recognizing every time that I was bumped, pushed, or tapped by strangers very quickly grew to be quite stressful, and it was this experience that I aimed to capture with Bump.

While the mechanics of the game (moving around from Point A to Point B) are fairly standard, the game itself disrupts the player’s sense of flow by antagonizing them with a short soundbite. This soundbite is an appropriated clip of Imogen Heap’s song Hide and Seek, although its usage is in reference to the 2007 SNL skit entitled “Dear Sister”, which is itself a loos parody referencing a scene in the second season finale of television show The OC, which uses the song.

The heavy reliance on audio as a game mechanic was also partly inspired by Julian Oliver’s game Quilted Thought Organ, which plays music as the player navigates. Another somewhat less superficial inspiration for the game was Taylan Kay’s game Auti-Sim, which seeks emulate the auditory hypersensitivity aspect of autism spectrum disorders. Bump has a similar aim: I wanted to capture the anxiety that I feel in crowds, which is one of the more persistent struggles that I have personally had as an adult on the autism spectrum.