The Game: https://alliumonion.itch.io/conversion-protocol
I came into the creation of this game with a simple premise: to create a game in which the player is given an entirely auditory experience. Nothing in the way of any visuals. Absolutely zilch when it game to information transmitted by sight. In a medium so heavily dependent on visual communication, just as humans are beholden to both the powers and limitations of their sight in reality, this results in a significant shift in the way in which the player approaches the game. Having to rely so entirely on the ear to receive information from the game encourages the player to focus their attention on the only information given to them—the sound.
In making this game I encountered a multitude of setbacks which required me to reduce my scope; thankfully, I was prudent when I set out on this project and developed my game in such a manner that I was able to easily reduce scope without damaging the overall experience. My approach for the game’s content utilized my sound design skills, including the array of effects on the voice heard throughout the game. I would have liked to expand much more on the initial premise of this game, but was significantly hampered by life events occurring at the tail end of the semester; however, I am still proud to have managed to encapsulate, what I believe, to be the core concept, experimental mechanic, and narrative experience that I set out to explore. In the creation of this project I also had the opportunity to develop my technical skills, as I worked to make the game run in browser using HTML5. The fruits of my labor can be seen on itch.io using the link above. And I am certain I will expand upon this initial demo of a game in the future.
“I Will Pay Someone To Write This Essay For Me”
- Manipulate and weaponize existing bots to impede upon the experience of other Twitter users
- Demonstrate the prevalence and omniscience of bots on social media, in this case specifically Twitter
- Show the predatory behavior of “Essay Writing Services” and their ease of access
- Acquire the permission of the selected affected user
- Go to a recent tweet and reply with some variation of “I will pay someone to write this essay for me”
- View the almost instantaneous response by various bots
My initial inspiration came from the widespread activist practice of needing to slightly exacerbate a problem or nuisance in order for the proper authorities to notice it and fix it. Sometimes one must make an issue worse so that it either actually steps into the sight of an overseeing organization, or so that it creates enough justification for resources to be spend dealing with the issue. This practice can be seen in a multitude of ways and with varying levels of severity. It might be as simple as widening a pothole or crack in the sidewalk so that the city determines it to be enough of a hazard to merit repair. One man in England taped raw fish to broken ATMs so that banks were forced to service the ATMs when they came to remove the dead fish. It could also be the demonstration of backwards, outdated, nonsensical, or hypocritical laws. The practice of “sit-ins” during the Civil Rights Movement are a fantastic example of exacerbating what was perceived “as a nuisance” to demonstrate the illogicity and backwardness of excluding black customers from restaurants. While no where near as noble—or hard fought—as such a practice, my intention with this intervention was the demonstrate the prevalence and lurking nuisance of web-crawlers and bots on the internet. The selected environment, and specific issue to highlight, was the presence of bots on Twitter; More specifically reply bots offering a service, in this case “essay writing services.” These bots masquerade as authentic people, but are—for the most part—actually a highly networked service of web-crawlers auto replying to individuals lamenting the difficulties of their essay and then connecting users to a paid essay writing service. In this way, these bots act in a particularly malicious matter, as someone not even explicitly asking for such a service—possibly just posting to vent their essay related frustrations to their friends—could find themselves deluged with accounts offering their services at competitive rates. Thus to demonstrate this, I had a friend reply to various Twitter posts with some variation of “I will pay someone to write this essay for me.” Each time resulted in a multitude of bots replying to him, offering their services, and we even saw some other genuine users commenting how my friend had “summoned the bots” or saying something to the effect of “here they come.” This demonstrates that this issue of auto-replying bots is a widespread and known issue on Twitter, but rather than being cracked down upon, they are instead tolerated and ignored as their annoyance is only minor and temporary. Hopefully this intervention helped exacerbate this issue in some individuals’ eyes and compelled some to try and act to resolve this nuisance.
An Endless Scrabble
- Minimum of one player
- No player maximum
- A modified digital version of the game Scrabble that could conceivably be played for an infinite (or at least incredibly long) amount of time
- Players take turns playing Scrabble as normal
- The game never ends
- The victor is the last person playing with the highest score
- No turn timer
- Individuals players can take a long a turn as they want
My initial point of inspiration for this game came not from another existing piece of art from the Dada Movement or otherwise, but instead from a game design exercise undertaken in the second semester of my freshman year at Northeastern University. The first assignment I encountered in Professor Christopher Barney’s “Foundation of Game Design” course—or at least in the online experience I was treated to at the time—involved iterating upon one of the most basic physical multiplayer game ever: tic-tac-toe. This was my first experience with the core principle of recursive design, as we were tasked with adding additional rules to tic-tac-toe and thoroughly playtesting after each change. After a few slight changes, I was possessed with the idea of scaling the grid far beyond a simple 3×3, and accompanying this change the introduction of additional players in the forms of more unique shapes: triangle, star, hexagon, checkmark, hashtag, even pentagram—the possibilities are endless. This scaling would of course have to be accompanied by additional length requirements in what would constitute a full “tic-tac-toe”; unfortunately, upon playtesting, this iteration functioned much more as an endurance test than one of strategy and cunning. It was thus that when tasked with the opportunity of appropriating an existing game to create a new experience, I thought of a recent game of online scrabble played—quite foolishly—without the instatement of a turn timer; which understandably resulted in the incredible elongation of what should have otherwise been a brief game. And so I was given my concept, and the execution was fairly simple: bring together a group of friends, modify an online game of scrabble to posses the possibility of continuing ad infinitum, and see how long we lasted. The results can be seen in the photos below. I succeeded in gathering six friends—including myself—and over the course of five hours we lost players until only three of us remained, who elected to all end the game simultaneously. Over the course of these five hours each of our turns became progressively longer as the board become more cluttered and points became harder to come by. This resulted in the constant discovery of incredibly rare words containing some of the higher value consonants. This phenomenon can be seen in “xis” “dioxide” “djinny” “poi” and “zoarial.” Additionally, we discovered that the words were created in a uniquely procedural nature as over the course of multiple hours players managed to find ways to add one or two letters to a preexisting word. The 104 point “dolesome” is a fantastic example of this, as it started as “dol” into “dole” to “doles” which progressed all the way to “dolesome.” Myself and my friends had an incredible time playing this new and unique word-hunting experience; for despite it lasting into the wee hours of the night, our desire to be the last one standing—which also transformed into a level of dogged camaraderie—kept us going. Although, I despite any of ours are keen to repeat the experience any time soon.
Indie game “Timber”.
So this is my blogpost for final indie game.
It’s a late submission. Though I still wants to gain some points, so I submitted it.
When I first heard the game engine Twine in our guest lecture, I was very glad and surprised thinking that I like narrative game and Twine is definitely one possible engine for me. But then I saw the professor of our guess lecture introducing her game of all these English and word plays, and I though, well, I can’t do that. At least I need some pictures or animations, I couldn’t just rely on a not-mother tongue language to introduce my story. Then I browsed through tutorial videos of Twine but didn’t see any specific animation guidance, or I believed that it could be done but may requires tons of coding and programming, some skill that I don’t possess.
With that said, I look for other engines and that’s when I saw Renpy. I saw that people used it to make Galgames which is great, I like the mechanism of galgame, so I downloaded it and started learning it. Coding in Renpy is quite simple, even me who didn’t know what indentation is before this project can code a crude game.
So I found my best friend Bella, cheerfully told her that I have a game and wants her to draw some pictures for it. By then I still don’t have any clear idea about the plot, but I told Bella that there will be a good ending when the protagonist broke the glass window and jumped out a building, mocking the scientist, saying “you couldn’t trap me anyway.” I told her that I want her to draw a villain, could be anyone as long as they looks evil.
Bella is great. Just to say this so that you know that she’s great. She quickly brought me the drawing of a “crazy scientist”, which is later used as the image of the player. She also drew Fiona. Though I “sewed” it with Novelai(an Ai drawing engine, its drawings not copyright protected)’s drawing, just so you know.
It is with Bella’s picture I thought out the plot.
There’s this evil scientist, incubated Timber and Fiona because his father died in the factory due to an accident, and he, believing that this problem just couldn’t be solved by upgrading the machines, dedicated himself to create furry creatures to work and replace the manual workers, in this way, humanity won’t be hurt.
These furry could not talk. Nor could they run as fast as human. Their genes are organized by the scientist that they are smart enough to work on the assembly line, but is not strong enough to escape.
But you know, that human aren’t human because they can talk or can stand stable.
One good ending is that Timber broke the glass window, and the other one will be that Timber murdered “You”. In both ending Timber kept its hated spirit and followed its cruel heart as an wolf. Which is great. This reflected my personality when I was young. I was “borned as an ingrateful and hateful child”. When I saw my father mistreating my mother I wanted to kill him. Though my mother said no because she love me and wants me to have a bright future. And later I converted Christianity, so I gave up the murdering idea. Oh, plus my mother loved her family members, every of them, and can sacrifice everything for them.
Some said that it’s very ungrateful to kill one’s parent. But isn’t it very selfish to not hate one’s father who do wrong things only because he’s your father and feed you?
There will be the third ending, which isn’t finished yet but, it’s a bad ending. In my script it’s label as “weak”. But it’s not weakness in muscles, its weakness in Timber’s heart. This ending could be achieved if you treated Timber nice enough to the point that he is puzzled. That he don’t know whether he should kill ‘You’(who did wrong things) or not, for you taught it how to understand language and feed it.
The protagonist, Timber, a wolf furry, is prototyped from timber wolf. This is because I like the muddy and dirty look of Timber wolves.
The link of a video record of me reaching one ending is attached. Though the audio of it is a little bit cracked.
In the future the game will be updated, and, yes I’ll create a Chinese version for my friend Bella and just to say again that Bella is great.
For my final project, I wants to create a game that explores the complexities of human relationships. The game will include both positive and negative aspects of relationships, such as happiness and conflict, and will require players to navigate these challenges in order to maintain the relationships. The goal is to convey the message that relationships can be difficult, but they are an inevitable part of life and require effort to maintain.
The game goes as followed: tie two people together by any string. Have one person in the front and one person in the back. The person in the back will have a blindfold on (the game works best on a tiled floor). Have another person direct the person in front by telling them which tile to step to (front, diagonal, side to side). The person in the back has to mirror the person in front by stepping to the correct tile in the back of the person in front. If the person in the back steps to the wrong square, they must be notified and told to step to the correct tile. The game also works best when the person in the back has headphones on so they cannot hear footsteps.
My game was inspired by Linda Montano and Tehching Hsieh, who were known for their performance art piece in which they were connected by a rope for over a year, doing every move together. Their work influenced me because of the strong connection they maintained and the range of emotions they experienced. In my game, I want to capture this sense of connectedness and openness to all emotions and themes, like Linda and Tehching’s piece.
Another inspiration comes from the Dada movement. “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).” This quote suggests that the Dada movement, which was known for its provocative and destructive nature, was seen by some as a necessary step towards a more intellectual engagement with art and the world. My game explores this destructive nature by showing the hardships of relationships inside the world.
The fluxus movement was also a big inspiration to my game. “Fluxus’s goal is to teach us to experience the world for ourselves, ” in the same way” (Maciunas’s words) that we experience art (Baas 8)”. This quote suggests that the goal of the Fluxus movement was to encourage people to experience the world in the same way that they experience art. According to this perspective, the movement sought to blur the line between art and everyday life, encouraging people to be more present and engaged in the world around them. This interpretation highlights the participatory and experiential nature of Fluxus, as well as its emphasis on individual experience and perception. This engagementreflects that we must stay calm and accept the changes in relationships we face in life.
Follow the Line
Follow the Line is a short minimalist art game where the player is tasked with a simple goal: to follow the line in front of them. Players will have to jump through platforms, avoid obstacles, and persist through unexpected divergences in order to follow this line.
Players will find that, upon reaching a certain point in the game, their path will repeat. This will continue to repeat until the player chooses to quit the game after a ‘Game Over,’ after which they will win the game.
WASD to move
Spacebar to jump
Mouse to select UI options
Link to web-embed of game: https://cmnu.itch.io/follow-the-line
(Play in fullscreen mode for the best experience)
I created this game with two main sources of inspiration in mind: another art game I’ve played in the past, Every day the same dream, and my own experiences with the education system growing up.
Every day the same dream is a game that takes place in a grayscale world that features the player’s avatar going through the same day over and over again, following the same routine each time: waking up, commuting to work, and then working in a cubicle for the rest of the day. Throughout the game, the player can choose to do various activities to interrupt this routine, such as going to work in their underwear, ditching their car on the way to work and reconnecting with nature, or visiting a graveyard with a homeless person. I won’t spoil the rest of the game here if you are interested in playing. The game takes between 10 and 20 minutes on average to complete and it is able to pack a lot of messages within this relatively short playtime.
When this project was assigned to us, I knew immediately that I wanted to do something similar to Every day the same dream, as it is one of my favorite art games. I took the cyclical nature of its gameplay loop and applied it to my own life with a similar cyclical experience that I paid a lot of attention to during my time in high school.
At that time, a lot of my life felt like it was going on a predetermined “path to success” that adults in my family would repeat to me ad infinitum, that many other children also hear: get good grades in school, go to a good college/university, get a good job. This was repeated as far back as I can remember, and every level of school felt like it all played back into this “path to success.” For example, at least in my own experiences, getting good grades in elementary school means getting put in harder programs in middle school which means getting put in an honors program in high school which makes a stronger college resume which makes for a stronger work resume. As an at-the-time 16ish year old, over half of my life at that point was about meeting goal points along this path, and reaching a goal just meant I was on-track to meet the next one. There was a time where I felt like this endless cycle would never be over. Obviously this cycle does eventually reach an end, as I am set to finally graduate next semester, but I wanted to create a game that captures this feeling that I used to have.
From this experience and with inspiration from Every day the same dream, I created this game, Follow the Line. Similar to my own childhood experiences, the player is tasked with simply following this line, or the “path.” Even through obstacles, the player must continue to follow this line. The player, in certain sections, is punished for moving off of this line. If the player ever falls off the line, they need to move forward anyway to get back on that line. At the end of it all, upon reaching what the player thinks is the end of the line, the line just keeps going and going. The mechanics of this line reflects those feelings I had in high school of feeling like I was repeating the same things over and over again for a goal that felt so far out of sight.
The win-state for this game is simply, upon getting a ‘Game Over,’ i.e. falling off the map, choosing to quit the game. This represents the idea of moving off of this path and creating one’s own ideal path forward in life, something that I was able to do through pursuing game development as a career (granted, it still fits along that “path to success,” but it was my choice to stay on it.) This isn’t to say that this “path to success” is objectively a wrong one, as there are really no wrong paths, but I wanted this game to reward going off of the intended path. Everyone has the right to choose what their path forward is, and while people can make suggestions about what that path can look like, no one should be able to make the choice of what path to follow besides the person following it.
Use the mouse to move
Click to use items
This game was inspired by RPG games from the early 2000s. Another major source of inspiration was White Chess by Yoko Ono. Once again taking the concept of who is considered heroes and villains and exploring how approaching these concepts from a different point of view will affect gameplay, the player’s experience, and the overall end goal of the game.
The player is spawned in Zelda Village and presented with the challenge of finding all the runes to save their family. During this journey, the player will run into several characters who are not described as friends or foes. It is completely up to the player’s discretion who they determine to be viable or allies or enemies. Although there is a set goal, which is to find all the Runes. This goal can be achieved through multiple routes and it is all up to the player. This relates to how relationships in real life work, and making certain characters in the game allies will affect your chances of developing bonds with others. In the end who you associate has its consequences. For example allying with a certain character can cause another character to be hostile towards you. In this sense not only is the player faced with how each character presents themselves when making a decision but also how this decision will also affect their relationship with other characters. In such a situation the player can either choose to stick with their judgement of the character solely based on their actions and what they said, or be swayed by the opinions of others about the character. This is similar to the way these situations pan out in the real world.
Although this is the current state of the game, I would hope to be able to expand it from a simple RPG to an MMORPG. Which would then have players interacting with not only NPCs but other players as well. This would still maintain the element of choosing which people to ally with or battle. To expand on this concept, there can even be “beef” between guilds, which would then mean that simply joining a guild could either create a whole set of new allies or enemies, and even in this situation players can decide whether or not they want to align themselves with their guild in terms of the people that they associate themselves with or not.
This is a short narrative game. I used Twine to create this.
This game is inspired by Dys4ia. When player reacts with one scene/page, system directs player to the next one. Also, there are some ‘dialogue’ in the game, which leads player understand the game without any game mechanics introduction.
There is no rules or goals for this game, player only needs to click on the button to interact with the system. Just like talking to a friend. In fact, it was designed for the player who feels bad. If player feels happy, they are not going to play this game, which means the game will just stop for them. If player feels bad, they will need to ‘choose’ the reasons that they feel bad. Then, the system will show some comforting and encouraging sentences with pictures to them.
The reason I designed this game is that, sometimes, when some people feel unhappy, they pretend to hide the emotions in their hearts instead of telling their friends, since they thought they don’t want to ruin their friends’ day. Actually, I am one of these people. I think if there’s someone could ask and comfort me will make me much more better. But it is also important for us to take the initiative to tell others our worries.
In the game, there were several options to choose for showing the reasons of ‘sad’, which they are final week, being sick, upset for no reason, and ‘don’t want to share.’ If the player chose final week, being sick, upset for no reason, 5 encouraging sentences will show up with aesthetic pictures. If the player chose ‘don’t want to share’, the system would ‘tell’ 2 jokes to the player, try to make them feel happy, even though it might be a SPEECHLESS funny.
(Please download the link to open.)
Artwork 4 Artist Statement – Environmental Distress
By: Michael Stauber and Kaylah Webb
- WASD to move
- E to open inventory
- Two finger click for action (e.g., open chest, plant tree, open gate)
Environmental distress was inspired by the game Max presented on, Proteus, which is a single player indie game which explores how the environment reacts to the player. We wanted to take this idea and explore how the player reacts to their environment. Breath of the Wild and Animal Crossing also inspired us. In these games, the players are given instant access to their environment and are provided with minimum guidelines and “side quests” to complete if they want to. Your impact on the world directly affects the others in the game, either positively or negatively. For example in Animal Crossing, if you don’t play for a long period of time weeds start to grow due to neglect. You can either choose to make your town look better once you return or ignore the issues that were the result of your inactivity.
Players spawn in the once thriving town of Turtleville where they quickly learn, they are the new mayor and in full control of everything the small village has to offer. Players have the choice to restore Turtleville’s jungle, build infrastructure to better the villagers, save the almost extinct sea turtle population, and so much more. We wanted the choices and actions to be up to the player. If players had this opportunity in the real world, what would they do? Environmental Distress speaks on ethics, internal morals, and personal/communal choices. Since Minecraft is an open world game just like the ones we were inspired by, we decided to create Environmental Distress as a side quest for Minecraft users to add a level of realism to the game. Players can ignore these issues and even use the boat to go to a new location in the map, which relates a lot to how people sometimes choose to ignore an issue somewhere because “they weren’t the ones who did this”.
Shmup throughout the years
An important genre to me and for the history of gaming is the Shmup genre, or the Shoot ‘em up genre. One of the most well-known video games is Space Invaders, which is one of the first and earliest games in this genre, following in its footsteps comes Galaxian and eventually the more popular Galaga. This is usually where the common knowledge of the genre stops and I wanted to showcase what the history as well as what comes after, what the genre looks like now. I was inspired by how Andy Warhol was able to use appropriation and historical moments to both make art and share knowledge about the topic of art. Appropriation played a very large role in my artwork. This artwork was done in Unity, by switching scenes around once a certain part is reached. The artwork starts as Space Invaders, recreated in Unity, then switches to a recreation of Galaga using Assets from an asset bundle in the unity Asset store, after that it switches to a bullet hell boss, created using Danmokou, which is a bullet hell engine made within unity. This is all to show the evolution of the genre
Here are three videos showing parts from each portion of the art/game (I suggest muting the video since the sound did not record properly even though there was not much sound anyway, if sound is not muted there will be a loud buzzing sound):
Danmokou (Touhou Clone)
Space Invaders artwork is recreated from Space Invaders
I used a tutorial from Zigurous on youtube: How to make Space Invaders in Unity (Complete Tutorial) 👾🛸 – YouTube
For Galaga the artwork is originally from galaga and recreated by Playniax
The Galaga Essentials from the unity asset store: Galaga Essentials | Systems | Unity Asset Store
Danmokou created by Bagoum: What is Danmokou? (bagoum.com)