Month: October 2023

Artwork 2: Appropriate – The King’s Cards

The King’s Cards – by Tim Doyle

The Rules:

  • 2-4 Players allowed
  • Play a game of Uno, only the objective is to collect as many cards of the same color by the end of the deck
  • By the end of the game, whichever colored card you have the most of is your designated color, and you gain 1 point per card you have
  • All special cards maintain their properties (skip cards, reverse, wild cards, etc)
  • If by the end of the game two or more players have been collecting the same color, they all lose
  • If by the end of the game you have cards not belonging to your color, you must subtract points from your score


I originally centered the game around the rules of King’s Cup, where whichever card is drawn dictates some action the players have to complete, but those rules didn’t transfer over very well to the context of this class. I was suggested to try and use Uno cards to make the game more intuitive, by using the numbers and colors to dictate certain actions and make it easier to remember what it is the player should do, but that was still too complicated. After my first play test outside of class, I found that it was still difficult and confusing to use rules dictated by King’s Cup using cards that weren’t from a standard deck. Eventually, I decided to scrap the rules of King’s Cup entirely and chose to appropriate the rules of Uno instead. I wanted my rules to emphasize division and segregation, so I used the different colors as the centerpiece surrounding my appropriation. The original game of Uno already plays with this idea of using a card’s color to dictate the player’s options, where you can only play one color card per turn unless you meet some specific scenario, but I decided to turn up the use of the colors in my appropriation. Instead, you are forced to collect as many of the same color as you can.

The play tests were simple and easy, as the game of Uno is not very difficult to comprehend. What I noticed is that it was difficult to gather a large amount of cards because of the nature of Uno, but that was alright in the end because you technically didn’t need a lot of cards to win the game.

The game isn’t made to be super balanced, but it was crafted to be a more artistic take on the use of the cards themselves. I drew a lot of inspiration from some of the works in Dada, and more specifically the simple creativity that the artists used in their works. My favorite art pieces from the book were very derivative of the original piece, where they heavily used the source material in their appropriated work, focusing more on putting a simple and creative twist on the work instead of completely warping it. This is what my game has in common, where the game fundamentally feels the same as a regular game of Uno, but the simple change in win conditions completely changes how the game is actually played by the players. 

Super Mario Bros.: Just-Like-You-Remember-It Edition!

The Game:

Super Mario Bros.: Just-Like-You-Remember-It Edition! features five levels of memory-deteriorating fun!

Built upon “Super Mario Bros” by Github user Gold872

…which is recreating some old video game from the 80s or something.

Artist’s Statement:

If you’ve ever played the game Super Mario Maker, or its inventively titled sequel Super Mario Maker 2, you’ve perhaps encountered the many remakes of Super Mario Bros.’s first level, 1-1. These are plentiful and unavoidable when playing this game online. Some people twist the level, adding traps and fire bars everywhere. Some remakes are perfectly accurate, but most aren’t. Many of these remakes get small details in spacing wrong. Some of them miss entire parts of the level. As time passes, which details of the games we play are we still able to remember?

Mario in a 1-1 recreation from Super Mario Maker 2. There are numerous long fire bars surrounding him.

I’m not sure I remember it like this… (pictured: Super Mario Maker 2)

This game project was primarily inspired by the plunderphonic works of Daniel Lopatin (AKA Oneohtrix Point Never, AKA Chuck Person), James Leyland Kirby (AKA The Caretaker), William Basinski, and various artists in the vaporwave genre, as well as the appropriation works of the Dada movement.

Daniel Lopatin in 2010, under the pseudonym Chuck Person, released a limited-run cassette tape of 80s pop songs looped, slowed down, and distorted into what he coined “eccojams”. By taking somber lyrics of songs out of context, Lopatin creates a haunting reinterpretation of these once-hits. These eccojams are heavily concerned with the idea of memory. They feel like distant memories of one part of a song, randomly getting stuck in one’s head years later. Lopatin re-released several of them on his audiovisual project “Memory Vague”. He approaches the idea of memory deteriorating at the end of the tape’s first side, where it gets more and more distorted and noisy until the original sample has been fully drowned out by a pulsing harsh noise.
Another artist even more concerned with the deterioration of memory, specifically in relation to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, is Leyland Kirby, who produces music as The Caretaker. The Caretaker’s most well known albums, “An empty bliss beyond this world” and “Everywhere at the End of Time”, are based on a study where people with Alzheimer’s were able to recall associated memories from the music of their youth. Both albums feature 1920’s music scavenged from record stores, looped and echoed into distant memories. “Everywhere at the End of Time,” Kirby’s final project as The Caretaker, is comprised of six stages reflecting the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Kirby’s work is often compared to William Basinski’s “Disintegration Loops”, an album of tape loop experiments where the tapes continually deteriorate as they’re played.

The Dada movement saw many artists (although they themselves at the time may have rejected the term, time and Wikipedia have come to know Dada as an art movement) appropriating found objects, twisting their meaning and purpose into new subversive works. While these artists were very interested in specifically using found objects, I am mostly interested in the way these repurposed objects lose or alter their meaning. When Kurt Schwitters repurposes machine parts, old newsprint, or bus tickets, they lose their ability to function as intended. Using these appropriated works in collage puts them in a new context and assigns them new meaning. When Marcel Duchamp creates a readymade statue out of a bicycle wheel or a urinal, he assigns it new meaning as a work of art. I love this idea of assigning new meaning to existing things through selection and transformation.

These projects got me thinking about applying the idea of memory deterioration to games. Artists like Basinski use the decay of physical artifacts to create their art, but digital games don’t degrade in the same way. I wanted to capture the idea of a poorly-remembered level, such as that seen in Mario Maker 1-1 remakes. I wanted to loop one piece of a game into infinity, like Daniel Lopatin or Leyland Kirby did with their music. I wanted the entire thing to collapse in on itself by the end like the Disintegration Loops, because at some point, everyone’s memory runs out.

Mario in a glitchy version of 1-1, with floating pipes and rows of blocks.

I originally wanted to use a game other than Super Mario Bros., but it was the easiest to find an accurate recreation of to modify for this project. It also worked well to work off of a game with wide familiarity, since the game should ideally be concerned with a level the player actually does remember. I took the structure of 1-1 and created five levels from it.

The first level is exactly 1-1, recreated perfectly, in a fairly accurate recreation of the original game.
The second level is slightly off. The spaces between key moments of the level have been altered, and powerups may be in different locations. The music has been slowed down slightly. This level is meant to represent misremembering the small details of the level design, as many Mario Maker recreations do.
The third level begins repeating key structures of the level, or forgetting some entirely. The music does something similar, repeating portions of the iconic overworld theme and skipping occasionally.
The fourth level repeats the beginning of the level over and over again. I consider this the “eccojam level”, as one moment is repeated again and again. The music is inspired by the second eccojam on the tape, called “angel”. It loops one section of the song, speeding it up and down in a disorienting manner. One moment it resembles the original bouncy track, and the next it briefly slows to a chiptune dirge.
The fifth and final level represents the final deterioration of a memory of this level. The level design and background elements repeat and glitch in nonsensical ways, only vaguely resembling the looping beginning of the level. The music is slow and drawn out, randomly pausing for large amounts of time and twisting into sounds the NES would not be able to replicate. Eventually, the iconic features of the level vanish, and the empty land soon gives way to an uncrossable abyss, as the memory eventually fades away.

Mario is walking in an empty level on a thin line of blocks that abruptly ends.

At some point, everyone’s memory runs out.


Fun-Sized Party TRPG

The link of the intial game lies here:

I tried my best to ritualize the procedure of the game in an Onoesque way that simplifies everything to the extent that the game is almost unbearably simple, and provided very straightforward and malleable insturctions for each and every step, as an Ono piece would radiate that sort of energy.

The procedure of playing this game extended into crazy and unrestricted interpersonal gameplay, which was my designated plan. That sort of freedom of interpretation took away some constraints of a traditional TRPG and made a fun experience that is easily understood and replayed. I did hope that the extensive usage of the d6 would also bolster that accessibilty and create a party game that would help people enjoy instead of feel constraint in almost any sense. I tried and the rhytm of the game was highly malleable, which also resonates with how simplicity was the central theme of Ono’s works.

Despite liking the sense of this artwork, I find that I would need to be better with people to have the best fun in this game.

A Drumming Party Game!

Originally, I wanted to appropriate the movie Blue Giant which came out recently, its about teenagers who want to play jazz and one wants to become the best jazz musician in the world. This movie has an incredible soundtrack and I wanted to appropriate it for this project so that people could feel that excitement of playing together as the teenagers did in the movie and the same way I have in previous bands. I started out with a concept about jazz music where each player would be playing a different instrument and after learning the play their instruments in the gamified way, they would be able to play together. Upon presenting this idea to my class, the lack of enthusiasm made it clear to me that my idea for the mechanics was uninteresting and the concept too confusing so, I scrapped it and started over. At its core, I wanted people to enjoy making music together when I remembered that during a vacation I went on, the staff of where we were staying, gathered us for a drum circle night of playing and dancing and I remember, despite never having played with these people, you could still have fun however in a much more casual way than jazz typically is. So, for my in class playtest, I brought in a multiplayer rhythm game where players learn to play quarter, eighth, and sixteenth beats. Once learning all these types of rhythms, they had an opportunity to play together. It was during this playtest that I realized, many people who have never experienced reading rhythm notation may struggle with this game so I simplified it for the final version.
In the final version, after each time they learned a new “skill” ie. a quarter beat, eighth, silent or free square, players each got a part and had an opportunity to play together! This minimized the pain of learning each new type of rhythm because players had more opportunity to play together than the previous iteration which kept players more engaged.
I think if I were to continue working on this game, I would add in the sixteenth beats next for players that want a challenge and also allow each player to pick different difficulties so more complex rhythms can be created for those with more experience, and simpler rhythms for players that are new to drumming so they are not overwhelmed.

While I don’t think that my appropriation of drumming circles here quite parallels the readings about artists during the dada era, I think in the general concept of artists stealing parts from things that inspire them and want to use those things to create some emotion in their audience or share their perspective, we are similar.

View the final project here! –>

First draft of project party game–>

playtest notes–>

Tic-Tac-Toe Where?

Game Rules:


  1. 4 sudoku tables labeled A – I horizontally, 1 – 9 vertical
  2. Each player marks 3-in-a-row on each 3-by-3 grid on the board as a means of winning, Make sure your opponent cannot view your board.


  1. On each turn, players would “attack” the board to see where the enemy has placed their markers on the blank board. When attacking, announce to your opponent the grid you are attacking.
  2. The opponent must tell whether the attack hit or missed. If the attack missed, the player that attack may go again.


First to find 3-in-a-row of the 3 x 3 square of the opponent will win.

Artist Statement 

Initially, I started with a Yoko Ono inspired work where the tic tac toe game would create an infinite game of tic-tac-toe. I wanted to create a distinctive art piece through a game with the only added rule being “add a line anywhere on the page after you play your move in tic-tac-toe”. The games became messy and interesting as people were forced to think outside of the box about their next move until realizing that they would never win. The best part was seeing people coming to this realization and seeing the way that their strategic play-style from before changed into pure chaos. It was a creative spin to the game however, it wasn’t as climatic as I expected it to be. (Playtest result see below)

As a result, I decided to do a mashup of different games together to create a intensive game of tic-tac-toe using a sudoku board and the gameplay of battleship to create a fun and different spin to the game. Initially with this iteration, I started with a basic tic-tac-toe board, but I feel like the game would be too brief for players to feel the fun before it is over. Thus, I adopted the idea of using the sudoku board as it is comprised of 9 tic-tac-toe boards together while also creating a larger 3 x 3 board.

Overall, I felt that artists during the DADA movement were having fun with their work while trying to iterate on previously-created works of art. Iterating on my own idea reminded me a lot of Marcel Duchamp as he has appropriated his own works so many times. In a way, iterating and improving upon an idea could be appropriation as I had changed the ideas and made it into my own. Like artists during the DADA movement, I had fun trying to think of various ways to iterate and add more to a simple game of tic-tac-toe that I’ve known all my life.

Headbandz Appropriation

In a world of conflict, the Dada movement developed as a daring response to the war, embracing the bizarre and senseless. The chaos of World War I provided fertile ground for the Dadaists’ revolutionary spirit, as they used art to transcend reality’s darkness into a realm of absurdity, satire, and amusement. Using inspiration from this, I appropriated the board game “Headbandz” to craft an experience that serves as a playful counterpoint to the somber undertones of the Dada movement, infusing it with a sense of light-heartedness and pure enjoyment.

My journey began with a desire to harness the Dadaist spirit of rebellion and absurdity, transforming “Headbandz” from a game centered around objects into an ensemble of diverse video and board/card games. Rather than appropriating the tension of war, I aimed to infuse a sense of lightheartedness and fun into the experience. Through the reinterpretation of cards, I have provided a platform for players to escape the weight of reality and immerse themselves in a world that they are familiar with, by reminiscing about some of the most popular games in recent times.

The game works similarly to how “Headbandz” originally works, but instead of guessing random objects players are guessing popular games within recent times. Since this is a games course, I thought appropriating the “Headbandz” game to be about video/board/card games would be fun. Since I wanted the game to fit the lighthearted feel, I tried to think of popular games that everyone would know so players could reminisce once they figured out what their game was. I play-tested it in class as well as in the final iteration and everyone seemed to enjoy guessing and talking about popular games that they played growing up. I got some suggestions about making it a bit faster since it took a decent amount of time to play so I decided to have two game modes, one for a quicker game and one for a longer version. The quicker one would be timed and each player would have 30 seconds to ask as many yes or no questions about their game to try and figure it out. Once the 30 seconds was up, it would move to the next person and repeat the process until someone guessed their game correctly. For the longer version, there would be no timer involved and each player would ask a yes or no question about their game. If the answer to their question was a yes then they would keep asking questions until the answer was no and then it would be the next person’s turn. This process would repeat until everyone guessed their game correctly.


Texas Holdem -but with action card!

To play the game, first, you need to know about a regular Texas holdem. Texas Hold’em’s a card game with four times to bet. Everybody gets two cards, and there are five more cards on the table. You can choose to drop out, match the bet, or raise during the betting times. The point is to make the best hand you can with your cards and the ones on the table. The person with the best hand wins. The dealer button moves around the table, and your goal is to win chips from the others.

But in this version:

Alongside the regular number cards, there are also “action cards” mixed into the deck, in order to add a twist to the gameplay.

Players have the freedom and are encouraged to use these action cards at any point during the game. when a player decides to play an action card, they must draw another card from the deck, to keep the same number of cards in their hand.


Also, in this version, you are not betting with chips. Instead, you are betting with the parts of your body. For example,  If I have a good hand, I may raise the bets to 1 eye. At the end of the round, the one with the strongest hands can keep his/her bets, while the other players can’t use one of his eyes for the rest of the game. The player loses the game when the player is unable to continue playing with no eyes or no fingers.

Artist statement:

This project is inspired by the appropriations in the Dada movement. This project reflects the Dadaist approach of taking existing objects and recontextualizing them to create unexpected art. There were lots of appropriations about chess during the movement, for example, Yoko Ono’s Play It by Trust, Takako Saito’s Sound Chess, and Spice Chess. My initial idea was to combine poker with UNO, so the cards dealt were UNO instead. But when I searched “Poker * UNO” on Google, I found someone in this class had a similar idea and already posted it in 2016.  Therefore instead of UNO, I combined it with action cards. Those action cards brought more randomness and strategies to poker. Players in this game can also use action cards at any time, altering the gameplay in unexpected ways. This is also a kind of appropriation as Dada art often featured unexpected and irrational elements.


Unfair Monopoly

^ The initial setup of the game

^ The board after a short and quick playthrough

Unfair Monopoly is a version of Monopoly with modified rules:

  • The player order is decided by a dice roll. (Highest roll = Player 1)
  • Player 1 starts with $5000, Player 2 and 3 start with $500, and Player 4 starts with $2.
  • Player 1 starts off owning every property on 2 sides of the board (of their choice).
  • Players 2 and 3 start off owning 1 property of their choice.
  • Player 1 starts off with 20 houses of their choice (5 houses can become a hotel).
  • Players 2 and 3 start off with 1 house of their choice.
  • Player 1 “has connections” and so can get a new property for free every turn.

I’ve always thought it was interesting how much some people hate Monopoly. I’ve always enjoyed it, but it feels like you can’t bring it up without getting some groans. I think that’s for a few reasons (its length, the jail system, the fact it keeps on going after the winner is almost guaranteed…), but ultimately, all these issues–to some extent–derive from the fact that losing at this game is painful. It’s awful to have almost no spaces, and almost no money, and just sit by as you spiral into bankruptcy. The thing is, this is–in a way–the most “realistic” aspect of the game. When you’re subject to the will of much richer, more powerful players, there are few tools at your disposal to recover from that. The fact that the original version of Monopoly was created as a statement (rather than being a game for the sake of a game) says it all.

Because of that, I figured it’d be fun to ramp up the most frustrating–and most realistic–aspects of the game. What if, instead of starting off on equal footing, the characters were split into classes (Player 1 being upper-class, Players 2 and 3 being the middle class, and Player 4 being poor)? Additionally, what if Player 1–on top of having far more property and money than anyone else–also had “connections” which let them gain properties without doing any work or spending any money? That’s realistic, too. Ultimately, these changes make the game nearly unplayable, especially for Player 4, but really for anyone who isn’t Player 1.

Making this game was a weirdly cathartic experience, despite how frustrating and hopeless it’s built to be. I think that’s because I’ve always been annoyed in particular by the concept of “connections” in getting people up corporate ladders, whether or not they have the skill/ability to warrant reaching the top. Because of that, it was satisfying to “vent” about it through this game.

In a way, this game’s style of appropriation derives from the way Dada artists took pictures and corrupted/distorted them to convey the violence of World War I and the shifting of culture in the early 1900s. In the same way their collages would cut up and combine their original photos in uncanny ways, this game takes Monopoly and distorts it into something unpleasant but realistic, while being fascinating in its own way.

The core of this game has generally stayed the same throughout development, but a couple things have changed. First, Player 1 used to select 20 separate properties at the start, but that dragged on for a while during the first playtest, so now they simply select 2 full sides of the board to own. Additionally, the game now uses a proper Monopoly board (with slight visual modifications) instead of a printed piece of paper, which was originally used for proving the concept.

Ultimately, I hope this game can serve as a quirky conversation starter for people who love, or hate, the Monopoly game we’re all familiar with.

Universal Chess


  • Since the two chess sets use different mapspace, thus when crossing the border, players can decide which near line/grid they want to enter.
  • Rooks, Queen, Chariots, Canons, and Bishops will need to take a turn to pass the midline, while knights and horses don’t.
  • Western pawn can be promoted into any eastern chess piece besides the general when it reaches the end, and eastern soldiers can be promoted into any western chess piece besides the king when it reaches the end.
  • King can no longer cross the middle line


This appropriation is inspired initially from Duchamps and his chess art pieces. The concept of this appropriation is to demonstrate aesthetic and cultural differences between western chess and eastern chess where both of them were adapted from the same origin. The game deliberately let the chess pieces follow the moving rule of the respective board space they are in because there is an old saying in both western and eastern cultures called “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” (or ru xiang sui su in Chinese). Both of them mean when visiting a foreign land, follow the customs of those who live in it. Also, taking an extra step to cross the middle causes it to be very difficult to move one’s piece to the other side because it will be relatively easy for the opponent to defend, which somehow demonstrates that it is very difficult for a culture to enter another. 

Gameplay wise, since these two chess sets have different pieces and different amounts of pieces, this game will be an asymmetrical PvP game. In respective of game balancing, for the western sides, it has 3 less special pieces (pieces besides pawns), but it has the queen which is the most powerful piece amongst all. Moreover, bishops & knights are similar but stronger than elephants & horses where knights will not be blocked by other pieces like horses do, and bishops can move in any amount in a diagonal but elephants can only move 2 grids in diagonal. For eastern sides, it has half of the amount of soldiers compared with western pawns, but they are a bit more powerful because they can capture forward or horizontal when they cross the middle where pawns can only capture in diagonal. Eastern chess has advisors and canons but advisors can only move in the 9 grids surrounding the general which has no use in offending, and canons are not as powerful as the queen. In short, western chess has less special pieces but they are more powerful and it has more pawns, whereas eastern chess has more special pieces but less powerful, and less pawns(soldiers) but a bit more powerful. Therefore, the gameplay is somehow balanced.

During the playtesting, I found that the game is relatively stagnant since it is difficult to cross the middle line, so I want to give more power to certain pieces to make the gameplay more engaging and offensive. The knights and horses are a good choice because they will not be overpowered like rooks or chariots if they can cross the middle line without taking an extra turn. Also, kings can no longer cross the middle line just to remain symmetric with the eastern general.

Disclaimer: There are no political implications in any form, anyhow, anywhere in this game.



Other Variation (Speed Chess + Extend the board by 4 rows, the middle line now is between 2-3 on the western board)

Trickster Tycoons

For my appropriation project, I was inspired by Town of Salem’s Jester Role; for those of you that haven’t played Town of Salem before, the Jester’s goal is to trick the town into voting to hang them. Jester is the only role in the game that actually wants to be hanged, and this counter-intuitive gameplay is a fun and interesting challenge. That got me thinking; would it be possible to implement a similar mechanic into other games? And so, I came up with this ruleset:

  1. Choose a game to play. This game must be a multiplayer game for three or more players, where players are not eliminated as the game goes on, players directly compete with each other and/or have some way to affect each other’s performance in the game, and at the end of the game, players must be ranked based on their performance. For my playtest, I chose Mario Party.
  2. Either create your own cards, or use traditional playing cards. There must be one card for each player, and one must be very notably different from the others (such as a Joker). Shuffle the cards, and give one to each player. The player that receives the unique card is playing for last place. Everybody holds on to these cards, and nobody is allowed to show each other their cards until the end of the game.
  3. If the player playing for last is in last place at the end of the game, they steal victory from first place. If they come in first place, then second place wins instead.

When playing under these rules, any multiplayer party game can in theory be turned into a social deduction game, which is a dynamic that I personally think is incredibly interesting. Now, every misplay builds suspicion; when someone makes a non-ideal play, it sets off red flags in everyone else’s mind. And once players are sure they know who’s playing for last, it could turn the entire game on its head.

Sadly, my playtest was not able to capture the full potential of this premise; due to scheduling constraints, I was unable to assemble a group that was entirely familiar with the game we were playing. Dros and Kate were playing for the first time, and so were unable to more accurately choose the level they were playing at. It became way too easy for them to dismiss any suspicion I attempted to throw at them as pure incompetence. Furthermore, I feel like this could have played out better over a longer game, with more opportunities to lose Stars, give them to other players in Duels, lose coins to the slot machine, and wait for better Star Prices. Although the playtest was not a complete success, I would still argue that the potential is there; it simply needs a second opportunity to find it.