This game can be played with any number of players above three, although one needs to be able to hear everybody speak if the game is to be played in person. Alternatively, this could also be played with an online chat system, which could allow for more players than the soft limit imposed by the aforementioned restriction.
First, pick two people to be competing against each other. One will be the drawer, and the other the saboteur. The rest of the group will be the guesser(s). These roles can be determined any way the group likes.
Then, pick a word or phrase. This word or phrase will be only known to the drawer and the saboteur, not the guesser(s).
Use an online tool that allows multiple people to draw on the same canvas simultaneously. This game will work with any software that allows for this. The best option out there currently and the one used for playtesting is aggie.io.
When everybody is ready to begin, the drawer starts drawing the word or phrase to the best of their ability. The guessers will attempt to guess the word or phrase from the drawing. The saboteur’s goal is to thwart the drawer and guessers by drawing on the canvas as well. The saboteur is not allowed to just cover up the drawing. The refereeing of this rule is up to the group. One way to discourage this behavior is to have the drawer’s drawing on top of the saboteur’s drawing. This is not foolproof as the saboteur can still effectively cover up drawings if they use the same color as the drawer (assuming the drawer only uses one color), so the refereeing is necessary. Additionally, if it is at all possible to view what one person draws separately from another, the guessers must abstain from that information. In aggie.io, this takes the form of layers. Each participant can only draw on one layer, so if one were to look at the layer previews, one can see what the drawer is drawing without the interference from the saboteur. This can be resolved by obstructing the guesser’s view of the layer previews.
Some tips for the saboteur:
- Use the same color and stroke thickness as the drawer to make your red herrings indistinguishable from the actual drawing
- Add elements that make the drawing appear to depict something else
- Add arrows pointing to unimportant areas of the drawing if you are especially devious
Some tips for the drawer:
- Use different colors relevant to the word/phrase
- You can restart the drawing in a blank space (if there’s any left) if what you’re currently working on in unsalvageable
Some tips for the guesser(s):
- Differences in color and brush stroke can tip you off that different people are drawing different parts
- Usually, the stuff closer to the center tends to be the drawer’s and the stuff surrounding it are the saboteur’s
The round ends when the guessers have correctly guessed the word or phrase or when the group collectively agrees to give up. If it took more than one minute to guess, the saboteur wins. If it took less than a minute to guess, the drawer wins. This time length can be adjusted if the group wishes but play testing has found that a minute is a good threshold for our group. For example, if the words or phrases being picked are consistently very difficult to draw, the group may want to extend that time, or shorten it if the words or phrases are easy to draw.
A new round can have the same people in the same roles, but we found it more fun to rotate the roles around so that everybody gets a chance to try every role.
Here are some of art created from play testing:
I knew I wanted to do a game where multiple people draw on the same canvas because of the child-like nature of it. I was also inspired by Yoko Ono’s scores that resulted in artwork being created, such as Painting to Hammer a Nail, and John Cage’s procedural pieces that were slightly different every performance. I liked the idea of creating art by following rules or instructions. In this game, art is constantly being created every round, and it is all done without the main focus being the creation of art, but rather defeating your opponent. I think this creates art that could be more spontaneous or organic. I also think shifting the focus away from the creation of art can help those hesitant about art be more free from their preconceptions about themselves. I was also intrigued with the idea of two parties clashing in a competition where one is declared winner. I enjoy competitive video games in my free time, and I wanted to include that competitive feeling into this game. I think I was successful, even though the game is very casual in its presentation. I feel like it strikes a good middle ground where some groups can get very into winning and losing and other groups can be more focused on the drawings instead. As for what I appropriated, I’ve appropriated drawing software to play this game, as well as other drawing games where people guess what others are drawing such as skribbl.io, garticphone.com, or the drawing version of charades.
Players stand around in a circle, one whispers to the next something in Pig Latin, the next person hears and repeats in English, this alternates until we reach the last person in the circle. The last person should match the first person’s words.
Players progress through levels, in which they are given a word/sentence to type on the screen. They pass onto the next level by typing something that matches with the letters displayed. They cannot delete any characters and end with their current level score if they type any wrong letter.
The catch is that every level, two letters on the keyboard are switched, such as “o” and “l”. Then, the player needs to type an “o” in order for an “l” to show up and vice versa. Every level, another two letters are added to the set of switched pairs that the player has to keep track of.
This game can be played with any number of players, and the one who reaches the highest level wins.
For my second iteration, I mainly focused on streamlining the user experience so that players could interact with the game more fluidly, all while adding a few features that would provide more options for the sentences to be typed.
Artist Statement: I was inspired by “White Chess” by Yoko Ono. Though we originally looked at it in our Fluxus unit, I thought that it was also an excellent inspiration for a Dadaist piece, as it appropriates an already-existing game and turns it into something new. In order to make my game, I followed a similar process of modifying an element that the player takes for granted. In “White Chess”, that element is the assumption that players will be able to distinguish between black and white, and in my game it is the assumption that a key types the letter that is written on it. By creating limitations and elements of surprise, even every-day objects such as a keyboard that we normally take for granted can be transformed into an element of play.
For my appropriation. I chose to create a game I will tentatively call. Visual MadLibs. The core concept of the game is to take a sentence, and have a player create a collage preexisting images on the internet. They then pass on this image to the next player to change in a way according to the next part of the sentence. This goes on for however many players there are until the final product loops back around to the person who had made the original image. An example of the transformation of an image can be seen here. My main inspirations for this project were one, they eyeball collage we looked at in class, and two, the fact that Mrs.Pierce’s suggestion that my previous score would have been a good fit for this assignment as well. With that in mind, I warped the idea to become more “gamey” and unravel into a more ridiculous image the players you obtain.
For my Appropriation project, I was inspired by pieces such as Yoko Ono’s White Chess, Takako Saiko’s many chess variants, and Super Soul’s Open Source. What drew me to these pieces was they way that they took an established game and made one relatively minor adjustment that completely changed how said game was played and experienced. I decided that I wanted to use poker as my starting point, as it was something I knew well enough and enjoyed, and I also thought it would just be an interesting game to appropriate. My first idea was a version of poker where the rules for scoring hands were unnecessarily convoluted and nonsensical. I liked this idea, but after thinking about it, I realized that this would really just be like a new style of poker rather than a “unique” game built off of an appropriation of poker. I toyed with the idea of scoring being so nonsensical that players would have the opportunity to maybe lie about what is or isn’t a scoring rule and convince their opponents that their hand actually is the best, but I couldn’t figure out a way of doing this that I liked or that wouldn’t be negated by just playing a few times and becoming acquainted with the real rules. I realized that my want to make this game and call it “I Hardly Know ‘er” was really all I had in favor of it, so I went back to the drawing board.
One iteration I devised replaced cards with pairs of dice, with a d12 signifying the value and a d4 signifying its suit. The idea behind this was to make it so every “card” was entirely random rather than being drawn from a fixed set of 52 cards. I did have an opportunity to test this one out in class, and it was fun and seemed like it worked well, but ultimately is not what I would consider the “final design” for the project. Looking back at the pieces I was inspired by, I realized that the aspect I was really drawn to was the way that these games changed what information was given to its players and/or how it was given to them. My final iteration is one I called Omnipoker. It plays mostly like a standard game of Texas Hold ’em, except each player is able to see the hands of all of the other players, but not their own. It leads to a unique situation where players have far more information at their disposal than usual, but are now missing possibly the most crucial part of the puzzle. This leads to a scenario where players need to determine their moves based on the information they know as well as what others know and they don’t. Not only did the game play surprisingly well, I also liked how, like many interpretations of Dadaism being “anti-art”, it ended up becoming a sort of “anti-poker”.
Note: for convenience’s sake, the coordinates of a face are represented by numbers as below
1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9
Rules: Two players are needed for the game. The players play rock, paper, scissors to decide who goes first. The game runs similar to tic tac toe. The first player can choose to put their piece any place on the cube. Then, the cube rotates depends on where the player places the piece. If it is a corner of a face (1,3,7,9), the corresponding column of the cube gets rotated up if it is on top and down if it is at bottom (up 1,4,7 for 1), and then the row where the piece lands on gets rotated left if it is on the left side and right if it is on the right side (left 1,2,3 for 1). If it is placed on one of the blocks connecting to the center piece, that row or column gets rotated depends on to what position that block is to the middle piece (left for 4, top for 2, etc.). A face is won if before or after the rotation there are 3 connecting pieces on any face. The color of the face is decided by the center piece. For example, if player 1 gets 3 in a row with pieces on position 3, 6, and 9, and the center piece of the face is yellow, player 1 won the yellow face. Rotating a 3 in a row with the center piece would not win another face because the center piece is the same. If a 3 in a row that does not include the center piece is rotated, it would not score the player another face until the 3 in a row is disconnected at least once. After the rotation and checking for scoring, the other player takes their turn. They can only play a piece on the face that the first player’s piece lands on after the rotation(s). If it lands on a face that is won by any player, instead of having to play on that face, the player can choose to play on any face instead. The first player to win 3 faces wins the game. If there is a tie, the player who scored the first face wins. If both players scored the first and second face respectively during the same turn (after rotation(s)), the player that made the last movement wins.
Artist statement: I decided to do my appropriation game as a game combining tic tac toe and a rubrics cube. I really like ultimate tic tac toe (3 x 3 tic tac toe games in a 9 x 9 board, each move in a certain tic tac toe game determines where the next move will go) as a game, and I think it features some key aspects like strategy that is massively different from the original game. I came up with the idea because I wanted to make a strategy game featuring the base mechanics of tic tac toe. I really liked the idea of white chess, which is to make a game that is already complicated into something that is playable, but extremely difficult to play. For my appropriation project I wanted to make tic tac toe, a game that is known for being extremely simple, predictable, and unwinnable if both players use the optimal strategy, into something that is complicated, playable but extremely complicated. I decided to use a rubrics cube, because putting the 2D game into a 3D space would make it more complicated, and the rotational mechanics would make the game much more complicated and would potentially cause more confusion because pieces move, and one player’s move can potentially set themselves back and score their opponent a face. However, the game becomes really difficult to run, and there are quite a few issues to make the game balanced (in terms of people trying to score 3 in a row with the same 3 blocks). I decided to use stickers so that the pieces can be tracked easier as well, and they are easily removable and not expensive so the game can be run repetitively without destroying the cube. After a few play tests, I added some specific rules so that the game would not cause nearly as much confusion and much more playable. I think I reached my goal in a way that my game is runnable and playable, but is extremely complicated both to play and to win.
Each turn the Art Critic chooses 3 cards from the themes pile. They choose their favourite and shuffle the remaining 2 back into the deck. Then the Art Critic tells the other players, The Artist, the theme for their piece of art. The Artists have 3 minutes to create a piece of art using images from magazines or news papers that fits the theme. Once 3 minutes is up, The Artists stop working and present their piece of art to the Art Critic and talk about what they made. The Art Critic, then, chooses their favorite piece of art and that Artist gets a point. Lastly the role of Art Critic is passed to the next player and the game repeats. First to 5 points wins.
My game was heavily inspired by the collage artwork that was very prevalent in the DADA movement. The piece that I enjoyed the most and that I drew the most inspiration from was Hannah Höch’s, Bouquet of Eyes. I love this piece because I find the human eye extremely fascinating as it is incredibly complex and beautiful at the same time, and this bouquet made up of eyes interested me a lot. Another thing I took inspiration from were DADA heads; they took old hat racks and added ordinary objects to them and they became something so different. I really enjoy the idea of taking something simple and plain and adding things from your environment to make it unique and extraordinary. Raoul Hausmann’s Mechanical Head is one of my favorite DADA heads because all he did was add normal objects to this hat rack but it made the hat rack so much more. While I was making my game I also took inspiration from some already existing games, mainly pictionary and cards against humanity. I think Pictionary is such a great game because it lets every player be creative but also unique at the same time. I wanted to capture that feeling in the game I was making; I wanted my players to take a central theme and put their own twist on it, that way they had to be creative. Cards against humanity works really well in my opinion because it lets the players choose what they like and don’t like. This lets the players have more fun because they are boxed in by rules and complex instructions, which is why the winner of a round is just chosen by a player. The reason I wanted the players to make a collage is because it gives the player a sense of creation, something that I think was integral to the DADA movement and it lets the player have fun and be creative.
- A basic version of Parcheesi.
- Some coins.
- 6 written alliances symbol.
First part: Rule of normal Parcheesi.
- Roll 2 dice each turn, if there’s a five (the sum of 2 dice equals 5 is also ok), put one piece to the start position and move.
- The 2 dice can be used to move 2 pieces. If you roll a double, you can have another chance to roll the dice.
- When you pass a piece of another color, you can send them back to the home unless they are in a safety place.
- One grid can only stand 2 pieces. If there’s 2, it’s a wall and pieces can’t go across it.
- You should have exactly the same steps to go to the end point.
Second part: Rule of appropriation （Coins）
1. How to get coins:
- If you pass through someone’s piece and don’t send it back, you can get one coin. It seems as you build an alliance with this person and both of you take one coin. One move can only get at most 1 coin from 1 person.
- One player can only build an alliance with one player. When he builds an alliance with another player or makes an offensive action (send the piece back, use 5 coins …), it seems as a betrayal. This player can get one coin. Also, players can’t build an alliance and betray the same player in one same turn.
2. Usage of coin:
- 1 coin can build a safety place for a grid once/one turn for yourself only.
- 5 coins can send a piece back to the start
- 10 coins can send a piece to the end directly.
- Every effect can be denied by the same number of coins.
(Yellow is about to win but green pays 5 coins to send the final piece back).
3. Some other things:
- Oral alliance and coin transactions are allowed in the game.
- Important!!! This is a personal game. The only method to win is to send all of your pieces to the end point. Alliance is not considered as winning together.
(Playing with the coins and alliances).
Like what I said in my self-introduction, I’m an enthusiast in PvP games — especially the games that make conflict both tactically and technically between players. I really love the players thinking a bunch of things before they make a choice in the game. So, that’s how my game is born with the central concept — “trust” and “betrayal”.
Like the Dada artist made their works to show their anti-war attitude, my game satires the war itself — your alliance can betray you at any time for their own benefits. Like the wisdom said, “Neither friends nor rivals are everlasting, but only profits.” Raising war only means to put yourself in a dangerous condition since there’s always no winner. Additionally, it’s like turning a game from our childhood to the deep dark meaning in the adults’ world!
Back to the game itself, based on the basic Parcheesi, I add a new thing into it — coins. When I play the Parcheesi, I found that players want to beg another player not to send their piece back but the rule forces. Also, players always form alliances to oppose the strongest player. Thus, I change the rule to allow the players to do what they want — they can form alliances to earn the coin which can save their pieces, however, they can only build alliances with one player and can get betrayed at any time. Also, since the target of the game has not been changed, alliances are not considered in winning. Only one player can win, a teammate is just a tool for the winner. In the first iteration of my game, the coin can only make the safety space and the player has 1 way to earn a coin — not to send enemy pieces back. I allow the players to do coin transactions as they want — “I give you one coin and you send his piece back” like this. Then, Jackson told me players should have more ways to earn and use the coins, the coin transaction is too free. I really love his idea, so in my final iteration, I make a large improvement in the coin mechanics. I encourage the players to build alliances and betray each other — they can earn more coins. Also, 5 and 10 coins can have a large power in the game but can be canceled by using the same amount of coins. This is how I make the coins important and promote the interaction between players. The alliances sign is for the players to remember the alliances more easily.
I did the play test with my roommates and they really love this game. One of my roommates loves to betray teammates and then say some words to satirize the other players — this is what I want in the game. (Although that caused another roommate don’t want to play this game with him any more).(This is what happened from his anger).
“We were against the pacifists, because it was the war that had given us the possibility to exist in all our glory. We were for the war, and today Dada is still for the war. Things have to collide: the situation so far is nowhere nearly gruesome enough.” – a cheeky statement from a speech Richard Huelsenbeck gave that would describe the characteristics of the Dada movement in Berlin
Superfight is a game similar to Cards Against Humanity, but instead of answering a prompt, players design heroes by assembling different fantasy, superhero, sci-fi, historical, and pop culture characters as well as powers and debilities, and then argue about which one would win in a fight. I saw this extremely varied character creation process and had the idea to turn it into a tabletop roleplaying game. The players would design their characters and I would design enemies for them to fight. Keeping with the theme of the very loose and almost limitless possibilities for character creation, the rules were very loose as well, where action mainly ended up consisting of rolling a d20 and deciding how well the attempted action went based on if the roll was above or below 10. As the game was played and tested, I decided to implement health for the player characters as not a number that goes down until the character dies, but I would just slap their character with new and wacky debilities until the player decided that this character was now dead or at the very least incapacitated. Debilities and powers were also acquired by the players on their turn if they felt like playing an additional card on their character or an enemy. It was a very fun seeing the wacky characters the players and I built, and actually playing out what they would do in a fight, something the original game only teases at.
But what does it all mean? Antonin Artaud, a playwright who was briefly part of the Surrealist movement said in an essay The Theater and Cruelty “This is why we shall try to concentrate, around famous personages, atrocious crimes, superhuman devotions, a drama which, without resorting to the defunct images of the old Myths, shows that it can extract the forces which struggle within them”. He was very interested in the forces contained in mythology and how they are not done justice in modern times, as he says in The Theater and Culture “The old totemism of animals, stones, objects capable of discharging thunderbolts, costumes impregnated with bestial essences—everything, in short, that might determine, disclose, and direct the secret forces of the universe—is to us a dead thing, from which we derive nothing but static and aesthetic profit, the profit of an audience, not an actor”. I can’t help but agree with him a bit in how a lot of old myths have been watered down to purely aesthetics in how we portray them and their derivatives in our culture, whether it be in fantasy, sci-fi, or superhero genres of books, games, and film.
While that is a whole other conversation, it is from this premise that I decided to include the Huelsenbeck quote at the beginning of this post. For it is this reduction to purely aesthetics that allows these mythological stories to be industrialized and mass produced, similar to how warfare was in the first world war. And just as Dada would not exist without the collisions of the grotesque aspects of the war and societies that it spawned from, so too would my game not exist with the mass commodification and production of myth that the game Superfight serves as a Library of Alexandria of. I am not sure that there is media today that would satisfy Artaud in his quest to express the human mind and spirit as he imagines the myths of ancient times were able to, but until that happens, I will continue to collide the vast majority of what we do have to create new characters and story that are at the very least fun to mess around with in all their absurdity.
This came off a lot more serious than I intended it to and doesn’t fully reflects my beliefs on modern culture, but again that is a whole other conversation. Documented below are some of the zany characters created while playing the game in class.
Adding the pictures I took of the game and the wacky zany characters created from playing it directly into the blog results in them being too low resolution to see clearly, so they’re documented in this google drive folder instead.
Pig Latin Whisper Game
Players stand around in a circle, one whispers to the next something in Pig Latin, the next person hears and repeats in English, this alternates until we reach the last person in the circle. The last person should match the first person’s words.
Rules of Pig Latin:
Most words in Pig Latin end in “ay.” Use the rules below to translate normal English into Pig Latin.
- If a word starts with a consonant and a vowel, but the first letter of the word is at the end of the word and add “ay.”
Example: Happy = appyh + ay = appyhay
- If a word starts with two consonants move the two consonants to the end of the word and add “ay.”
Example: Child = Ildch + ay = Ildchay
- If a word starts with a vowel add the word “way” at the end of the word.
Example: Awesome = Awesome +way = Awesomeway
|English||Igpay Atinlay (Pig Latin)|
|Hello (General greeting)||Ellohay|
|How are you?||Owhay arehay ouyay?|
My idea with this game was originally inspired by something I read from Marcel Duchamp, “To all appearances, the artist acts like a mediumistic being who, from the labyrinth beyond time and space, seeks his way out to a clearing.”
It was so interesting to me to be describing the place that artists get either inspiration/ideas from way beyond any dimension. This stuck out to me, this idea of getting inspired by something stored far away and obscurely in either our memories or as Marcel insinuates, a different labyrinth.
For me, this labyrinth is my childhood. The happy, joyful times of playing games all day long and silly laughing constantly. With my younger brother, I used to talk in Pig Latin all the time! It helped us be silly and also helped us utilize our processing skills. When thinking back to my childhood, we also used to play Telephone very often. I got the idea to combine both and playtest the game in class.
During the playtest process, I learnt that Pig Latin is hard. Players need examples in the rules sheet to get used to the game. Furthermore, the rules need to be explained in simple words, not paragraphs. I also learnt that just playing with Pig Latin, made it so the players were just saying gibberish back and forth. This wasn’t the point of the game! I wanted to illustrate that same feeling of being a child and processing all the words in your head.
This feedback resulted in me changing the game. I made it so that players would alternatively speak in Pig Latin so that each user was either translating from Pig Latin -> English or English -> Pig Latin. This time around, players conveyed the game as being more fun and reminiscent of how quickly they used to do this as kids in their heads. My point of making this artwork was achieved when I heard that from the players!
Requirements for Speak Fighter:
A fighting game (this specific version uses Street Fighter 2 for the SNES)
Four players, these players do not need to know how to play fighting games, it is possibly better if they do not
The players will divide into two teams. One member of the team will be the fighter who uses the controller but is not allowed to see the screen. The other team member will be the coach who can see the screen and gives the fighter information in order to win. The coach and fighter can only give information to each other in coded language. For instance, the coach can say, “you need to do the right thing,” in order to communicate that the player needs to move right, but the coach could not say, “go to the right,” as that makes the information too obvious. I suggest asking for examples of movie genres or television shows before the players compete and using one of the suggestions as a theme for how the players can communicate. For example, players could only be able to communicate as though they were in a western and would need to speak in an accent and use language associated with westerns.
This piece definitely change a lot from what I had initially intended. My original inspiration was based on a thought I had about how I found that using fighting game terminology to refer to things that had nothing to do with fighting games was incredibly funny. This thought spawned the concept of a fighting game that you played only by speaking, possibly using syllables as a means to simulate frame data or requiring players to complete a full argument to win. This idea proved to be far too abstract and complicated for this project, so I changed the concept a bit. My new goal was to create a fighting game with a verbal component, possibly requiring players to talk to each other while playing or only being able to attack while speaking. I had been watching speedruns of blindfolded Punch-Out!! for the NES which made me want to add a hidden information element to the game. I was also inspired by the boxer/coach relationship present in that game which made me consider adding other players to guide the fighters. This culminated in the original prototype of the game and also informs the language I use to refer to the players. The coded language was an attempt to maintain a verbal detachment from fighting games where now instead of fighting game terminology would be applied to non-fighting games, non-fighting game terminology would be applied to fighting games. Additionally, the sit down and play environment and improvisation required reminded me of the show Whose Line Is It Anyway. This directly inspired the optional rule to ask for a communication theme for the players to abide by in the same way that the host of the show would.
It’s also worth noting that the players were instructed to speak as though they were in a Marvel movie in the attached video.