February 21, 2012

Prom Week’s “Social Exchanges”

To celebrate Prom Week’s release on on Facebook and Kongegrate, we thought we’d share some of the details about what’s going on inside of the heads of Prom Week characters.

As we’ve posted before, Prom Week is a game where the player gets to shape the social lives of 18 highschoolers by controlling what social actions they take with one another. What each character wants to do, and how each character chooses to respond, is determined by over 5,000 social considerations.

February 14, 2012

Prom Week Released on Facebook!

Delve into all the adolescent angst, drama, and scheming of the week before a high school prom in this online game, which uses a sophisticated artificial intelligence system to enable players to shape the social lives of 18 hapless high school students. Find dates for them, break up and make up, forge new friendships, make enemies — it’s up to you to determine whether the Prom will be a magical wonderland of disco ball lights or a nightmare of existential crises!

Play it now!!!

January 13, 2012

Prom Week a finalist in Technical Excellence at IGF 2012

We are very excited to announce that Prom Week has been nominated as a finalist in Technical Excellence for the 2012 Independent Games Festival!

We’ll be posting more info about Prom Week, how it works, and information about our release date soon.

Whooo hooooo!!!

November 11, 2011

Prom Week: Gameplay and Social Physics

When we started making Prom Week, our mission was to make social interactions truly playable. While games have increasingly gotten better at physical simulation, social interactions in games still tend to be scripted, with most games using dialogue trees of some form. A result of this is that many games end up being about physical conflict, as the physical simulation is the only part of the system dynamic enough to enable interesting gameplay.

Just like physics simulations in puzzle games such as Angry Birds support many emergent solutions to game challenges, we want to support emergent gameplay for social interaction.

November 10, 2011

Prom Week!!!

For the past two years we’ve been working on a game called Prom Week and I’m happy to announce we’ve just launched our closed beta! Look here for announcements, news, and tales of its development in the coming weeks!

Prom Week is a social simulation game where the player shapes the lives of a group of highschool students in the most dramatic week of their highschool career. Each story is centered around a character, and it is up to the player how it goes. Using our sophisticated social artificial intelligence system, Comme il Faut, Prom Week is able to combine the dynamic simulation of games like the Sims with the detailed characters and dialog of story driven games.

October 19, 2010

Chaim Gingold Visits EIS

Title: Human Play Machine
Speaker: Chaim Gingold
When: Wednesday 10/20/10 at 11am
Where: E2 room 506

Every game or form of play toys with some human faculty. Slot machines play with our sense of probability and reward, and soccer players play with social coordination, physics, and their bodies. Newborn babies play with and explore their hands. In a sense, our games are software that run on our players’ physical, cognitive, emotional, and social hardware. But what are the specs of the human game playing machine? Are we using all of its memory, processing power, and input/output devices?

October 9, 2009

Tale of Tales have done it again: The Observational Immersionist Style

fataleTale of Tales just released a new game or rather “experimental play experience” (a phrase surely concocted to appease those who don’t accept their repurposing of the word game).  Anyhow, it’s called Fatale and it is awesome.

Starting with The Endless Forest, Tale of Tale’s have consistently created environments that exist for the purpose of being looked at and explored.  This may not sound all that unique as most 3D games have environments that are explored, but the difference is that these games exist solely for this purpose.  To them, game environments are not containers for gameplay, but rather are the reason for gameplay.  By only affording the player navigation controls, the player’s mind is free to embark on a journey of induction and introspection.  In their own words, Fatale “offers an experimental play experience that stimulates the imagination and encourages multiple interpretations and personal associations.”

August 26, 2009

Rationalization’s reception

rationalization-thumbRationalization was covered on the Indie Games blog and reviewed on Rock, Paper, Shotgun.  It was great to see that people were interested in checking out the game.

Though, on Rock, Paper, Shotgun people did far more than just check it out.  There were over 50 comments and many of these were very thoughtful interpretations of the game.  It excites and surprises me that the audience of this primarily mainstream game industry focused blog would be interested in dissecting this admittedly strange “proceduralist” game.

August 14, 2009

Rationalization – a new game

gameplayI created a short game called Rationalization to help me think through some ideas.

The game is very abstract and its message is primarily procedural.  I look forward to hearing any reactions you may have.


July 27, 2009

Kosmosis – Procedural rhetoric gone wrong (as usual)

gameplayMolleindustria recently created a new game prototype called Kosmosis: “A COMMUNIST SPACE SHOOTER AS AN ARCADE GAME FROM AN ALTERNATE PRESENT WHERE NON-DEGENERATED SOCIALIST VALUES ARE HEGEMONIC.”  The game was created as an entry for the Experimental Gameplay Project competition titled “Unexperimental Shooter.”  Molleindustria are known for tackling controversial subjects including free culture and religious hatred and are some of the few people who create games from the “message up” (i.e. design with procedural rhetoric in mind).

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