About Today

By Ticha Sethapakdi

Social situations are not easy for everyone. To some, socialization is like an arduous trial in which they are being judged–and the harshest juror is themselves.

About Today is a simulation game that follows a girl as she goes through various social situations. As the girl interacts with another individual, the player is responsible for determining how she behaves and responds to the other person. Responses are controlled on a TouchOSC interface containing various sliders and dials that adjust an array of behavioral characteristics, such as ‘friendliness’, ‘sarcasm’, and ‘compassion’. However, as with real life, there is a limit to how much time the player can spend to make decisions for the girl. If all the controls are adjusted to the levels appropriate for the social situation within the time limit, the girl would (ideally) go home feeling refreshed and self-assured. Otherwise, she would sulk and mull over what she could have said or done.

Overall, the game explores the notions of decision and indecision. It reflects upon the human construct of regret and how the act of redoing something may not always put a person’s troubled mind at rest. For that reason, there are no real ‘winning’ or ‘losing’ conditions for the game–the girl becomes lost in a tiresome cycle of ‘doing’ and ‘redoing’ while constantly realizing that there is something she ‘could have done’. This implies that the winning state is for the player to define–whether an ending is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ ultimately depends upon whether the player is able to come to terms with the mistakes they’ve made.


Ticha-Final Project Idea

For my final project, I am interested in making a game about personal insecurity and social anxiety.


About Today is a simulation game that follows a girl as she goes through various social situations. As the girl interacts with another individual, the player is responsible for determining how she behaves and responds to the other person. Responses are controlled on a TouchOSC interface containing various sliders and dials that adjust an array of behavioral characteristics, such as ‘friendliness’, ‘sarcasm’, ‘compassion’, and ‘wit’. However, the player must be able to react quickly to each scenario as there is a time limit for how long they can take to adjust the controls. At the end of the day, she would have a conversation with her father about the day’s events. If all the controls are adjusted to the levels appropriate for the social situation within the time limit, the girl would go home feeling refreshed and self-assured. Otherwise, she would sulk and mull over what she could have said or done.

This project is very personal to me as it draws from my own insecurities and is modeled after the way I reflect on my previous actions. I hope that those who play this will either consider the game relatable or find solicitude for those with social anxiety.

This is the interface as of now:



dys4ia is a really interesting autobiographical game that chronicles a transgender person’s life as they underwent hormone replacement therapy. I thought the gameplay was charming and found the narrative to be both heartbreaking and touching. (Shout-out to Melanie for showing this game to me!)

The Sims

The iconic life simulation game in which the player controls virtual people and makes them perform actions that affect their mental/physical wellbeing. While in The Sims, players have some control over the characters’ behavior and actions, my game delves deeper into the finer aspects of social interaction.

Ticha-Martians Marching


Realized I did not make a proper post for this so I decided to share it with you all! (Note: this is just my mod and not my final project)

Dropbox folder

This is my TouchOSC-controlled game, Martians Marching*. Martians Marching is a three-player game, in which one person plays the role of an alien ship terrorizing Earth and the other two people are defenders of the planet. Aliens, with their sophisticated extraterrestrial technology, have the ability to sequence genomes at a rapid pace. For that reason, alien warlords are able to dispatch various attacker minions with special genetic makeup that makes them impervious to most elements. Fortunately for the humans, a powerful plasma cannon was developed by the military to combat genetically-engineered alien forces. However, due to its convoluted control system, the cannon must be operated by two individuals.

Alien interface 
Human commander interface
Human plasma color interface


(This game requires three devices with TouchOSC.)

  1. Connect to the same Wifi network and configure the Host IP address.
  2. Set the outgoing port to 8000.
  3. Have the commander-interface.touchosc, human-hue-interface.touchosc, and alien-interface.touchosc layouts downloaded to each device.

How to play:

  1. Alien player configures the color of the alien minion using the red, green, and blue dials on their interface.
  2. Alien player can use the gray slider to determine where on the bottom of the screen they would like their minion to land.
  3. Only two minions can be on screen at a time.
  4. One human player (the commander) aims and shoots the plasma beams.
  5. The other human player configures the plasma beam so that the plasma color matches up with the color of the targeted alien.
  6. If an alien gets hit with a non-matching color, they become empowered and fall faster.
  7. Earth gets points for destroying aliens.
  8. Mars gets points for having aliens cross the bottom of the screen.
  9. The team with the most points wins.



*Please excuse the lame title; I couldn’t think of a better name.

Ticha-itch.io Games

So I was browsing the itch.io website and the games that caught my eye the most were Tipping Point and Binary System. I was mostly drawn to them because of their aesthetically-pleasing thumbnails–but after playing them they turned out to rather interesting!


The goal of Tipping Point is to use an unstable platform to your advantage while you hoard as many chickens (which fall from the sky because of reasons) into a fence as possible. It has a very simple gameplay and graphics-wise it looks pretty good; but admittedly, I don’t think it’s something I would play for more than 5 minutes at a time.

Binary System seems like another ‘collect stars and avoid getting hit by asteroids’ at first, but it’s pretty interesting in that it focuses on the mutual dependency of two objects. The game can actually be pretty tricky because the controls are a little awkward and, given the way the planets are arranged, it’s hard not to get blown up. Still, I think this is a game I can easily get addicted to because of its lovely graphics and coordination-heavy gameplay.


Ticha-LTLYM #44: “Make a LTLYM assignment”.

Assignment #71
Shout out something you love in the middle of a public place.

Go to a public location with lot of people and, at the top of your lungs, shout out something you love. It could be a person, book, TV show, ice-cream flavor, etc., but your sentence must begin with “I love…” in the local language of the place you’re in (e.g. “I love Super Mario!”).

D O C U M E N T A T I O N >

Send us a video of you doing this task with the title “I LOVE [thing you love in capital letters]!”


When two people share a love for something, a special bond is established between them. Whether the people are complete strangers to each other or the closest of friends, they have a unique kinship created from their mutual interest. This is why places like Anime/Comic/Video game conventions are so successful–because they give people the opportunity to find others with similar interests  and ‘geek out’ about the things they love without shame. I was interested in creating a microcosm of that environment in my custom LTLYM assignment through making people shout out what they love in a public space, so they may discover the reactions and potential friendships that simple gesture could create.


Caroline, Gregory, Ticha – The ‘Its’ and the ‘Bits’

The Its and the Bits™ is a mix of Snake, rolling chairs and music, themed in honor of the whimsical and ironic buzzword-laden world of corporate team-building exercises. Players split into two teams, the “Its” and the “Bits”. The “its” initially start off with just 1 player, who tries to consume all the others, who then join their team, while the “bits” run away. The game is fairly non-violent since while players run away and chase after each other, their goal is the back of another’s chair, so there’s no direct competition or reason to push people. At the same time, it is inclusive since players are always in play on either team until the very end. The game is marked by tension and release, as music controls whether players can use their legs to move fast or not. Ultimately, Its and the Bits™ should be fun to play–for whatever side you’re on!

Make a non-violent and inclusive version of musical chairs. The game should be easy to understand and fun to play, and should be playable with minimal materials found in an office or work environment.
We initially brainstormed various different forms (live guitar, an ACTUAL orchestra, etc.) and uses of music (stop spinning, dancing, different information via wireless headphones, slow vs. fast).

We began by playing around with some spinny chairs. We tried grabbing onto each other in various formations: line, circle, pods of 2, etc. and found that while we originally thought we might use duct tape, hand grips are strong enough to do just about anything we might want (which ended up becoming the snake formation). We also tried various forms of maneuvering: using either feet or hands, and pushing off the ground, walls, or other players. We found that while feet are the easiest way to get around, you can do without by wiggling around, pushing off other players, and the walls. It was also pretty funny to look at. These became our two main game modes.

Iterations & Playtesting
Test 1: Playing live music via guitar
Observations: It was pretty cool, but hard enough to hear over the sounds of chairs rolling that players often struggled when they could move freely and vice versa. We were also concerned that the performer would have some bias towards when to start and stop the music. Thus we decided to opt for playing louder, generated music over speakers.

Test 2: When the music plays, the It can use their feet; bits struggle, and vice versa.
Observations: This made the game somewhat more interesting as players had to swap up their strategies, but ultimately was too confusing to explain and keep track of, and led to a lot of imbalance (if you were in the wrong place when the it came with music on, there was not much you could do). We kept the music/no music, but made it the same for both sides.

Test 3: The “it” only needs to touch another player to tag them.
Observations: This made it way to easy for the “it” to win, especially when it could use any of its members to reach out. We decided the “it” must grab the back of the chair, with 2 hands.

Because your entertainment is serious business.
The Rules
Thousands of Fortune 100 companies have used our Enterprise-grade Its and the Bits™methodology to proactively bring new synergy to their work environment communications. Its and the Bits™ is a gamified form that is designed to get the whole corporation to work collaboratively.

Players: 3+ (Best played in big groups)

Ticha-Best Games Fest Reviews

Stepball is a turn-based ball tossing game in which players can only move when the referee calls ‘Step!’ Each team must toss the ball to a teammate standing in the opponent’s goal area for a point, and the first team with 7 points wins. Although I had traumatic flashbacks of high school P.E. class after putting on a colored bib, I ended up really enjoying Stepball in spite of its very simple gameplay. While I really liked how you only needed a ball to play the game, I think the strongest point of Stepball is that athleticism is not actually required to do well–since the game does not involve running or actively manuvering around other people, the only skills needed are throwing and catching. After Dave, Swetha, Nivetha, and I played, we were all joking about how Dave was surprisingly good at the game despite being totally unathletic (i.e. a CS major). And as someone who is also prodigiously incompetent at sports, I am grateful for this form of gameplay because it makes me feel more valuable as a team member (you can imagine my joy when I helped my team score a goal). My only issue with this game is that it gives tall people a significant advantage, which makes it difficult for shorter players like myself to catch the ball without having it interfered by someone else. I remember feeling frustrated whenever I would be so close to catching the ball before a taller player from the other team swiped it away. At the same time, it is common for sports-based games to be favorable to people with specific body types–such as how basketball works well with tall people.

Mont Trottoir
Unlike Stepball, Mont Trottoir has a much more complex gameplay and requires the use of multiple ‘props’. The premise of the game is that the players are ‘mountain climbers’ who need to go from one end of the field to another. The mountain climbers travel in pairs and are connected to each other by a rope, and the first pair to get to the top wins. The climbers are also equipped with cards that allow them to do special moves such as use ice axes to hold onto objects and summon yetis to attack another pair. The game is turn-based, so for each player’s turn they can take two steps and use at most one of their cards. Additionally at least one person must stand on a platform–such as a bucket–to be ‘safe’ and ensure that their partner can still hold onto the rope by the end of their turn. While Mont Trottoir is very fun to play, its complicated rules made it difficult to pick up initially and we had to ask the supervisor many questions throughout the game. However, what I find particularly interesting about Mont Trottoir is that it enables the involvement of non-players. For example, the ‘yeti card’ allows a player to have a non-player make a yeti impersonation, and the player closest to the yeti has to fall back to base camp. This characteristic of Mont Trottoir distinguishes it from other games in that it allows people who are not playing the game to still experience it in some way.

Ticha-Subversive Play

For my project I was interested in exploring touch screen games and changing the way in which we play them. Initially I wanted to do something with Angry Birds for the iPhone, like target the birds waiting in line to be flung instead of the piggies–but then I realized that I was not taking advantage of the game’s ‘touch’ aspect. This made me look into how touch screens are able to distinguish human touch from other kinds of touch, and once I understood how it worked I began to play around with different materials that could be used to interact with the screen.

In the gaming world, there exists a variety of special hardware that facilitates gameplay (i.e. video game cheating devices). For example, the action replay is one such device that allows players to ‘hack’ their games and do things they would not be able to do during normal gaming sessions. Players could use the device to magically obtain huge sums of money, get infinite health, level up at lightning speeds, etc. Because this kind of device only exists for console games I was interested in creating a device of my own to play one of my favorite guilty pleasure games: Fruit Ninja. Fruit Ninja is a very simple, yet addicting fruit-slicing game. Its objective: slice as many fruit as possible and make combos by slicing groups of fruit to earn a high score. I focused on its Zen Mode, which gives you a time limit of only 90 seconds to slice as many fruit as you can but does not contain obstacles such as bombs. One (dumb) way to play Fruit Ninja in Zen Mode is to slice the screen neurotically and hope that you can hit enough fruit / get enough combos to earn a decent score. I aimed to automate this action with an analog device that anyone could make with the objects found around their house.

The device
The setup on my dirty phone

When pressure and a small charge is applied to a touch screen, it is registered as human touch. I knew that in order to reproduce the slicing motion in the game, I had to make something that would send touch messages across the screen. Thus I used a piece of aluminum foil, wrapped it around a popsicle stick, and taped it to my phone. I then attached one end of wire to the foil and left a section of the other end exposed. Finally, I put my phone on its charger to make its screen more receptive to electrical charge. This construction gives me the effect I wanted, because taping the foil to the phone applies pressure to the screen and touching the exposed end of the wire sends charge to the foil. The charge travels along the foil for as long as the wire is touched.

When I played Fruit Ninja using this device I realized how much fun was destroyed by automating the process of fruit slicing. This made me think about how, when games begin to feel like work, people resort to things like cheat codes and action replays to make gaming less troublesome for them. But somewhere in the process they may realize that using those cheats still does not make the game feel any more like a game–because they are no longer playing it themselves.

Ticha Sethapakdi

Hi everyone! My name is Ticha and I collect bugs sometimes. (note: not sure if the picture is a ‘recognizable’ version of me as my hair is much shorter now…)

Here are some of my selected ‘new media’ (???) pieces.

And for your entertainment, my art tumblr in which I post traditional / digital drawings, photography, and sculpture.