Browsing Category


Exhibiting Difficult Games

I think a lot of games curators will have spent today thinking about this post by Nathalie Lawhead, in which Lawhead recounts a recent experience of showing her game Everything is going to be OK at an event. The experience as she tells it has positive elements but was overall pretty stressful, with a lot of moments where players performed youtube-style “what is this WEIRD GAME” baffled screaming. Her experience was clearly not the best; Lawhead’s game is in some ways inaccessible and it rejects many of the conventions that make games easy to grasp in a crowded expo or exhibition environment. She writes:

I feel like, if you show games like this to total consumers audience, you have to prepare the audience for it. The setting and context has to be differentiated. You HAVE to create a space that basically screams “THESE ARE ART DON’T EXPECT A TRADITIONAL GAME”. You have to make some kind of point that people have to be open minded. Create a space that encourages respect.

The Twine Traveller

Skegness in 1923


We recently made a short game called One Night in Skegness, for the wonderful SO Festival.

It’s a Twine game, and it takes maybe 5-10 minutes to play. Which you can do now, it’s at that link above! Or here! (Better with your sound on, but it works fine without.)

It’s pretty simple, as a play experience. Your character travels between a few different places in Skegness, and visits a few different historical eras. There are some low-key adventures. There are a few jokes. There’s a robot, there’s mild peril, there’s a chance to change the future. If you’re lucky and careful, you’ll return to 2086 and see what changes your journey into the past made.

But we thought it might be interesting to write a little bit about the process of making a time travel game in Twine.

Raise Haiku Ratio

At Now Play This last year, we ran a game called Woodlouse (created by Jake Simpson and Pete Morrish). To play Woodlouse, you think of words (like “woodlouse”) that have more vowels than consonants. That’s it. If a word qualifies, it’s “a woodlouse”.

When we ran the game, we had a big piece of paper with some marker pens nearby. We put instructions out, and I wrote up a few sample words (in different coloured pens, with an unconvincing attempt at faking different handwriting styles). Then we invited people to write up any woodlouses they could think of.