Dungeon Alive | Zhaorui Zhang & Wenhao Zhu

Dungeon_Alive: A traveler has found a mysterious place with guardians…

WASD to move

LMB to attack

P to restart the game


Artist Statement:

For our project, we were inspired by the Crowd-Sourced Intelligence Agency (CSIA) by Jennifer Gradecki & Derek Curry from 2015 to 2021. We got inspiration from cheating and tricking the players, and we want to make the players feel more by playing through the game but not get to the point very soon. From the first, we were considering making a digital game about learning player’s behaviors. We would like to make a dungeon which could learn the player’s action and then give some different feedback to cheat or annoy the player. However, from that starting point to begin our project it is a little hard to consider what we want to express. Therefore, we stepped back to the concept of the name of our project – Dungeon “Alive.” We would like to make our players have a feeling that the dungeon is alive, so we switch the views from the player to the “enemies.” How would I react to the player’s behaviors in the condition I am one of the people in the dungeon. If that is not a game, I guess most of the people would react the same while a stranger is getting closer and closer to you and trying to attack you. Apparently, you will try to defend yourself and try to get away from that guy, which is the same as the people in the dungeon. The interesting point is while the players are playing through the game, they will find that their actions are unchangeable and which will completely change the game. Therefore, Dungeon Alive is a game where all of your actions, not just attacks, will affect the dungeon. Through our project, we would like to let people be aware that: It is human beings’ nature to long for power, however this power could also bring different feelings to others, and that could even totally change their lives…


What’s Special:

If you trying to get close to the guardians with the weapon, they will attack you due to self-defense.


If you trying to attack the guardians, they will fight you back. However, the guardians have different humanities, so some of them will fight you back by chasing you positively, but some of them will only stay on the spot.


We create a glitch room for the player who has killed lots of enemies. There’s a powerful weapon that the player can choose to use or not. The shape of a gun refers to the ultimate power. The player may abuse the power in the rest of the levels.


The enemies will run away from the player if the player kills an enemy with the gun. All of them can understand the power of the gun. Then, they lost the will to fight.


Foster is a game about trans life and is my personal way of trying to communicate what it feels like for me to be trans to other trans people who may experience transness differently and cis people who know nothing of the experience. Inspired by Dis4ia this is a game about my personal experience. I wanted it to be poetic to the point of being an interactive poem but that plan flee through when I sat down to write and didn’t have the energy for prose. so instead it’s rhythmic and flowery (wink). I built the game in twine a text-based engine to get that interactive writing feeling. this game became incredibly personal to me and I’m so proud of it as my first twine game


Download Foster

Please play the game if you’re interested



Artist Statement

For my final project, I wanted to do a game about planting trees and solving environmental problems. I grew up in rural New Hampshire, so I always took having a close relationship with nature for granted. Now, living in a city for most of the year, I find myself longing for that connection. With this game, I wanted to bring some of the wonders of nature to people who might not normally enjoy it, hopefully encouraging people to plant trees and help make their city or town more green. Another inspiration for this game is Atuel, a documentary game showcased at IndieCade 2022, which teaches the player about the Atuel River Valley in Argentina. Atuel is filled with stories from locals describing the deep spiritual connection they and their ancestors have with the river. While my game does not include stories such as this, I hope the mechanics and feeling of the world can help the player form a spiritual connection with nature. The name of my game at the moment is “Treedom” but that is subject to change. Treedom is a 2D platformer set in a forested environment. However, in this forest, something is off. The plants and animals are unhappy and some are even angry. The player navigates the world trying to fix these problems. The first enemy (and the only enemy right now, though I plan to continue this project and add more in the future) is an acorn. When they player strikes the acorn with his shovel (clicking mouse 1) the acorn is pushed into the ground and grows into a red tree. This tree is climbable and allows the player to navigate to places they could not have otherwise. Some other enemy/level ideas include a level where you enter a bee hive and have to calm down the hungry bees by collecting honey for them, another type of seed that grows into a tree you can wall jump off of, and a flock of birds you have to lead on their migration.  I am also in the process of outlining a story for the game that helps tie these events, ideas, and levels together to hopefully have my player go out and develop a relationship with nature.

Playtest 1

Notes from the first playtest

  • Finalize models
  • Jumping wasn’t working quite right
  • The level needs more work to feel interesting
  • The background feels really empty

Build of Game At First Playtest

(see class folder)

Current Build of the Game

Below is a quick clip of some gameplay from the current build which you can download below.


(see class folder)

Tilesets/Art Used


Attempting to Book a Club Room

Intervention Game: Attempting to Book a Club Room

This game, Attempting to Book a Club Room, is a scavenger hunt-esque game that takes place during a club meeting of the Northeastern University Game Development Club (NUGDC). In this game, a normal meeting is interrupted by an actor proclaiming that their current club room has been acquired by another club, and the NUGDC needs to find another club room utilizing Northeastern services.

The goal for the players is to find the final club room location for that week’s NUGDC meeting.

– At least 3 actors (including the “game master”)
– Website handout (handout here, website here) and riddle poem (here) for two scenes of the game
– General script outline for the game (here) for GM and actors to follow
– Access to a starting room and Ryder rooms 143 and 207

There are no explicit rules for the game for the players to be aware of, as this experience is one that is suddenly put onto the players of the game. Each session should be led by a “game master” (GM) to help direct the players through each “scene” of the game. As this was designed to only be run at an NUGDC club meeting, this is the ideal place to run the game. However, choosing another starting location is possible. As the GM, the only rule for you to follow is to let the players do all the work but answer questions with appropriate clarity as players ask them.

Scene 1: Kariotis 110 (or other room)
The game starts in this initial location that starts with dialogue between the GM and the NEU Admin actor. The NEU Admin hands the GM the paper handout that lists the link for the website that contains a quick puzzle for the players to solve. Open up this website on a projector or some other way that is easily seen by all players. By following links on the website, there will be a table with room numbers and corresponding 5-letter combinations that represent different buildings on campus. The answer to the wordle (RYDER) will show the correct room by finding Ryder Hall in the website’s table.

Scene 2: Ryder 143
An actor should be placed at this location ahead of time playing the role as the Club President in the dialogue outline. After the dialogue is complete between the GM, Club President, and NEU Admin, the players will be handed the riddle poem that leads to the next room. The synopsis of the riddle’s answers are as follows:
1. The next club room is also in Ryder
2. The code for the room can be found by counting objects on the first floor of Ryder as specified by the riddle
3. The first number is the number of bathroom sets on the first floor, being 2
4. The second number is the number of courtyards in Ryder, being 0
5. The third number is the number of CAMD banners in the foyer of Ryder, being 7
6. The final club room will be in Ryder 207

Scene 3: Ryder 207
The game will then end upon reaching Ryder 207. This will include a debriefing about the game and what its purpose was (which I will talk more about in my artist statement). As this was a part of an NUGDC meeting, our club concluded with a short presentation on Games as an Art Form where I presented on some of the things I’ve learned so far in this class (slides here if you’re curious).

Artist’s Statement

The inspiration for this game started with seeing the Uncle Roy All Around You game and the Men in Grey intervention piece. In Uncle Roy, players were asked to explore a large city, both in-real-life and virtually, in order to find the office of an “Uncle Roy.” In Men in Grey, people on a vulnerable internet connection were shown their current internet activity through a screen on suitcases by passing men in grey suits. There was one aspect in each of these that I really wanted to replicate for my own piece: in Uncle Roy, the idea of going on a large-scale adventure that requires a player to get on their feet, and in Men in Grey, the idea of unexpectedly taking people out of a place of comfort. I combined these two ideas into the general concept of this game: to suddenly whisk people on an adventure that would take unsuspecting players around campus on the hunt for a specific location.

With this general idea in mind, I had two problems. I wanted to make this game purposeful in that it conveys some kind of message, and I wanted some kind of consent to play from my players without giving them any kind of hints that they would be playing the game. As I am an eboard member of the NUGDC, I participate in weekly meetings about proceeding club meetings and activities, and during one such meeting, we realized we had an opening one week and needed something to fill it with. I saw this as an opportunity to run such a game during the club meeting, as everyone attending is always expecting to participate in some kind of game-related activity. Seeing as the club meeting would be the ideal setting for this game, I also wanted the message of the game to be something club-relevant. I thought back to some of the problems I’ve encountered as an eboard member of the NUGDC, and remembered one that was very prolific at the start of the semester, being the difficulties getting an adequately-sized club room.

Newfound inspiration in mind, I began to develop the game around the idea that the players would be jumping from club room to club room, trying to find one to hold the meeting while getting kicked out of ones they would find for reasons beyond their control. I knew that I wanted some relatively easy puzzles to be the way that they would find each subsequent room after the first, but as I needed to fit the game into the club meeting’s allotted time and still have time for a presentation afterward, I also needed to make them easy enough to not spend a whole lot of time on. I had a tough time coming up with puzzles that related to my design, so I broadened the purpose of the game to including some general dissatisfactory aspects of NEU that I’ve noticed over the years. Specifically, I took inspiration from some of the archaic websites (at least by today’s standards) that sometimes didn’t even work that I would need to use in order to do things like book rooms for certain events. I decided to represent this in the game by having increasingly-archaic ways of “generating” new club rooms for players to find, being a very minimal website and a delivered letter in the form of a riddle written in cursive.

Just having the puzzles and game progression wasn’t enough, though, and my game still had one major unaddressed issue: I couldn’t run this by myself. There were multiple interactions that would only make sense if I had other people playing as actors to represent different voices in this narrative I was constructing. So, I enlisted the help of two other eboard members to play the role of a strict and punctual NEU admin, and a club president that is also caught in this mess trying to find a club room for their club. With the dialogue outline written, the puzzles designed, and the progression for the game detailed, this game turned into a very fun experience for everyone involved.


A Day In The Life

For my activist game, I want to explore the life of another person. 

The activist game starts with a person documenting their day; they capture themselves with pictures and videos. They share the information online to a maximum of 10 people and pose the question: how am I feeling at each given moment? Each participant has to provide responses  of what they think the pictures and videos convey. Each participant is now eligible to participate in the game by posting pictures and videos themselves creating a chain reaction. A day in the life starts with a person that shares their most revealing and vulnerable experiences that allows everyone to learn and grow from each other. One of my inspirations for this game comes from talk show host Carson Daley who shared a picture of himself during a live television show when he was experiencing a panic attack while everyone thought he was having the time of his life.

My game illustrates the artwork of  Linda Montano and Tehching Hsieh who tied a rope around each other and did every move together. This artwork was particularly inspiring to me because of how they stayed connected for over a year. They say, “They take out the dog, they  run, they have tea, watch a lot of TV, spend hours at the work tables sitting back to back. For pleasure, they watched  movies and rode their bikes around, one following behind the other (4).” Through thick and thin, this connectedness was therapeutic, but at the same time caused a rift between the participants. I’m not insinuating that there has to be a conflict between the posts, I just want it to be open to all emotions and themes. Linda and Tehching togetherness still created a bond with each other by sharing their lives. I want my game to capture this same meaning and experience.

Another example is Burden’s “ Five Day Locker” piece where he curled up in a two-by-two-by-three-foot locker which he endured for five consecutive days. The text, On Edge, quotes, “… to his surprise, people he didn’t even know came unbidden to sit in front of the locker, to tell him their problems and the stories of their lives. … Certainly, those who came were projecting something onto him. And Burden’s been extremely conscious of audience behavior ever since (Carr 18).” Burden’s artwork shows that everyone has a story to tell even though the person may not look like they do. I want to invoke the same emotion by making the viewers question and critique others’ lives and how it relates to themselves.

Trash Can Travelogue

The Requirements:

*4+ player (competitive)

*Ages 12+ (children & adults)


The Materials:

*Map of Northeastern University (x1)

*Cardboard Box (with trash & recycling items)

*Pamphlet of Photographs (x1)

*Checklist (x1)


The Instructions:

*Meet with me in front of Ruggles Station to receive your necessary materials…

*Read through the pamphlet of photographs to deduce which items Binson, Binjamin, Binley, & Binard wish to obtain…

*Travel across the campus and navigate using a physical (or digital) map of Northeastern University…

*After you place an item in a bin, keep track of its whereabouts using your checklist…

*If you find any litter during your journey, pick it up and place it in the nearest bin (and write it down on the BACK of your checklist)…

*Return to Ruggles Station, and I will grade your checklist by determining if you disposed of the items correctly…

*Depending on how much litter you picked up, you’ll receive bonus points for your endeavors that will contribute to your final grade…


Artist Statement: 

In the Interactive Media & Society course that I finished last semester, my final project was to conceptualize (but not fully implement) an interventionist artwork that can be incorporated into a public space realistically. The assignment’s core requirement was to convey an important message regarding contemporary activism and societal reform, so I quickly went to the drawing board and brainstormed some ideas. Overall, as someone who advocates for responsible recycling and the avoidance of littering, I ultimately decided to compose an interactive piece that would raise awareness about garbage pollution in a lighthearted manner. This overarching concept would later become “Reduce, Reuse, Restyle,” a public demonstration where trash cans and recycling bins would be decorated with speech bubbles and googly eyes. Each of them would discuss which types of wastes that they enjoy “eating” in their everyday lives, further providing them with their own unique personalities. In short, these artistic endeavors aimed to supply people with an eye-catching reminder about where they should dispose of their unwanted items for the betterment of the environment…

Since the entirety of this assignment simply composed of an ideated pitch, I never actually had the opportunity to enact this narrative premise in the real world. However, after watching the famous interventionist piece titled “Uncle Roy All Around You,” which was a massive multiplayer game where strangers communicated with one another throughout a city, I realized that I could transform “Reduce, Reuse, Restyle” into a compelling experience involving Northeastern’s main campus. These revelations established the foundational groundwork for “Trash Can Travelogue,” a game where four players compete and navigate themselves across campus to dispose of specific items in particular bins. Moreover, any litter that they witness during the experience must be documented and disposed of in order to receive additional bonus points at the end of the game, further motivating the players to beautify the university. Even though this project hasn’t been playtested by multiple volunteers simultaneously, I am very proud of the central concepts behind my artwork and I am rather content with how it evolved beyond its original source material…

Many of the intervention piece mentioned in the guest presentation were especially reliant on public spaces and individual volunteers. Some of them involved multiple locations in one general area whereas others relied on unsuspecting volunteers. Furthermore, every single one of them expressed their underlying messages in a wide variety of interesting ways. Even though I greatly appreciate the different methodologies for each individual artwork, I wanted to separate myself from them and experiment with my own creative processes. After all, such an inherent quality is best exemplified by the avant-garde movements that we learned about thus far, and I am genuinely striving to continue with this trend throughout each of these projects. In the end, despite some of the apparent shortcomings with this submission, “Trash Can Travelogue” is an interventionist piece that I am satisfied with in more ways than one, and I (once again) look forward to our next major assignment for the Experimental Game Design course…

Grab A Bev


1.Maps app (Google or Apple Maps)

2.Money to buy food




1.A player selects a location nearby to get food for, the player must not buy a drink

2.All players enter the food they bought into the discord on server

3/One of the other players enters a drink that they would like to combine with the food on the discord server

4.The player must then try and find said drink, buy it and enjoy their meal with it

5.Pictures of the full meal are then posted on a separate channel on the server for full meals

6.Players then share their reviews of the meal combo on that channel


Artist Statement:

  One of my main inspirations for this piece was the game Uncle Roy All Around You. The premise of Uncle Roy All Around you is that the city in which the player is in serves as the arena in which the game takes place. They are then instructed online to complete a number of tasks to help find Uncle Roy. This puts forward the question “Would you be there for a stranger in need?”, to which most players would answer “Yes”. Although I drew inspiration from this game, I decided to go for a generally lower stakes premise which is allowing your meal to be completed by a stranger. In my game, players allow other players to select the beverage to be drunk together with their meal. In response to the question asked of the players in Uncle Roy All Around You, “Would you let a stranger select the beverage for your next meal”. The answers to this question were less straightforward with players in my playtests asking to what extent is the other player a “stranger” etc. Although I chose food and beverage  to lower the stakes, it creates a paradox in the sense that  lending help in some cases is something people are more willing to do for strangers than allowing to choose what they consume, because of course you wouldn’t eat a random meal or drink a random glass of unknown liquid lying in the subway simply because it could contain all manner of harmful substances. To this end I created the balance between reducing the high pressure environment of a seemingly life and death situation to a more lighthearted one which still bore some weight.

  Another source of inspiration for this game is the plethora of online arcade cooking games in which players are meant to put together different meals when given multiple ingredients and are then scored based on the coherence between the meal they made and the standards that were being requested in the game. However, I took out the scoring aspect as a objective element whereas if certain ingredients or combos don’t match in particular meals then a certain number is given as a score and rather opted for the more subjective route where players write their own reviews based on how they feel after they tasted the meal.


As you can see, all sorts of interesting combinations arise from the game, with some players aiming more for humor while others are genuinely suggesting a combination that they like. Either way, it is great fun and everyone is a winner.

Pictionary (But With Extra Steps & It’s Not Pictionary)

The Requirements:

*5+ Players (odd number of people)

*Ages 10+ (children & adults)


The Materials:

*Writing Utensils (pencils, markers, chalk, etc.)

*Drawing Mediums (papers, whiteboard, chalkboard, etc.)

*Square sticky notes (1×1 inches)

*One-minute-long hourglasses (4x)

*List of Categories (1x)

*List of Instructions (1x) –> Look below “Documentation:” 


Artist Statement: 

During the ideation process of my project, I analyzed a multitude of inspiring Dada movements that we have discussed throughout the Experimental Game Design course thus far. From the linguistic collages of the Berlin artists to the textual imagery of the Cologne illustrators, many of these talented innovators brilliantly demonstrated the power of words and symbols through intricately-designed artworks. They discovered newfound methods of blurring the boundaries between the familiar and the abstract while simultaneously using language as their key component, and I wanted to find a way to express those profound ideas even further. Even though I prefer to avoid appropriation for my more personal projects, I strived to incorporate the stylistic decisions and design principles of these numerous artistic endeavors into my newest piece. Ultimately, my excessive research and dedicated lucubration led me to composing “Pictionary (But With Extra Steps & It’s Not Pictionary).”

In short, the rules for this appropriated game can be summarized in the following sentence: instead of guessing what the original word is based on a picture, the players have to find the letters of an unknown word that are obscured within the picture, and then they have to unscramble those letters to determine the true, hidden word. The game was not only inspired by Pictionary, but it was mainly influenced by a multitude of artworks that utilized letters, numbers, and symbols within their finished products. Multiple movements across the globe (more specifically, the ones in Berlin & Cologne) excelled at their harmonious combination of writing, sculpting, & illustrating as a means of highlighting certain aspects about the art, the artist, and the audience.

One of the most prominent themes that I genuinely wished to explore in this derivative party game was the intrinsic nature of a collage versus a composition. If phenomenal artwork draws inspiration from a wide variety of different mediums (and if letters are composed of very basic lines), then when does a collage end and a composition begin? Is a composition just a collage where you can’t pinpoint the individual sources, or is a collage just a composition where you can? Is it neither (or both)? As someone who doesn’t typically create collages and instead works from their imagination, I found this question to be rather fascinating, so I composed a variant ruleset of Pictionary that encapsulates this philosophical question. Players are shown pictures that seem to be original illustrations from the get-go, only to look deeper and realize that they have to obscure letters in a textual (and pictorial) collage. A defining characteristic of the avant-garde is its inherent capacity to search for deeper truths through unique processes and nuanced perspectives, and I wanted to exemplify those endeavors through the usage of collages, compositions, and characters. In the end, I am honestly very content with how this specific artwork turned out, and I legitimately look forward to the next project that we will be tasked to create. Thank you for reading!




Never Have I Ever

In the introduction to Dada: Zurich, Berlin, Hanover, Cologne, New York, Paris, one of the lines reads: “The word Dada itself provides an overarching moniker for the raucous activities of its participants.” For my artwork, I want to call out the double edged sword that is alcohol. 

Alcohol is a substance you can easily find in any household; it is a substance that is used recreationally as a party or social drug but it also has its dark side which is abused by people for its sedating effect. Returning to the quote in the introduction, I want to create an artwork that uses alcohol on its participants to create a “raucous activity”. I want to appropriate the game “Never Have I Ever” as the basis for my artwork. How you play the game is people go around in a circle and say “Never Have I Ever”  with a specific activity and whoever has done it has to put a finger down. Whoever puts a finger down has to take a shot of whatever alcohol they have found in their area. I want the game to follow Macchab’s stance which states, ”tenacious yet mocking presence wants to transform tragic memory into skeptical consciousness, refusing therapeutic mourning by being seditious. As a whole, the leitmotiv of Der Ventilator is productive anxiety, indulging in the play between apparitions and realities, mockery and gravity, and feeding a culture of instability that forecasts Dada’s tactics of provocation in Cologne (220).” I want the game to take a dark turn by revealing something personal for each person, turning the game “raunchy” in nature. Alcohol “refuses therapeutic mourning” and “feeds a culture of instability”. Alcohol is a powerful substance that can bring out the emotion in people and makes the game like “Never Have I Ever” transparent in a sense. 

I feel my artwork is in line with the Paris Dada movement. According to the Dada text, “The cumulative effect of this first “Dada season,” as it became known, was to mark the movement as a nihilistic collective force leveled at the noblest ideals of advanced society. According to critical consensus, Dada represented youthful provocation, an adolescent destructiveness that (for those favorably inclined) should clear the way for a new intellectual engagement with art and the world at large (349).”  Alcohol use can be looked at as a disorder which is a form of self-destructive behavior. The point of my artwork is to expose the dark deep truths of our lives and to invite the somewhat “nihilistic” way of thinking similar to the Paris Dada Movement. I want the users to engage with the game with a different perspective and leave the game learning something not just about themselves but also other people.

Standing Ovation | Michael & Kaylah


  1. Attend a class presentation
  2. Actively listen to the presenter
  3. Once presentation is finished, stand up and give a round of applause and verbally compliment the presenter
  4. Sit back down as if nothing happened
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 for each presentation 

Artist Statement 

Our intervention, Standing Ovation, was heavily inspired by Uncle Roy All Around You which served as a commentary on our willingness to help out strangers. The essential question “Would you be there for a stranger in need?” was asked to Uncle Roy participants and if they answered yes, then a couple of weeks later they would then have to help out a stranger in need. This idea of encouraging people to support those they are not close to inspired us to think about environments where we are surrounded by strangers/acquaintances. Almost instantly, we brought up our classes and how we feel removed from the lives of classmates that we sit next to. When you’re simply listening to a lecture that feeling is irrelevant but once you have to present, the lack of a comforting face can sway your confidence. It feels like no one is actively listening to you speak since you’re not friends with them, so our main goal was to stage an intervention that revolves around changing this common feeling. Presenting isn’t something everyone is comfortable doing, so when your audience shows that they are listening to you and clap at the end can be reassuring and encouraging for future presentations. 

We were also inspired by Eric Andre’s and Impractical Joker’s ‘interventions’ in society and how they influence the bystanders around them. We wanted to explore how our intervention, standing ovation, would affect our fellow classmates. Specifically, mob mentality, which is the inclination that in certain large group situations, humans often neglect their own individual feelings and in the process adopt the behaviors and actions of the people around them. As this iteration of Standing Ovation was performed by two individuals, the likelihood of this mob mentality taking place significantly increased. At the end of Max’s presentation, we acted on the game rules and gave a standing ovation. We observed a massive increase in class applause/engagement than in prior presentations where the standing ovation did not take place. Funny enough, when the ‘late-comers’ entered the classroom soon after, the entire class ended up giving them a standing ovation. In future iterations of the game, we plan to explore individual scenarios where only one player is aware of the game rules.


IMG_5429 2