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Nivetha -Whiteout Game from

Link to the Game “Whiteout”—>

After looking through and the other indie games websites, I found a game called “Whiteout” created by Rene Rother.

Most of the games I like to play are very story or narrative based. I was wondering how to make a game with these elements on a much smaller scale. Obviously, text adventures are one option but the idea of a text adventure seems plain and boring to me. “Whiteout”, on the other hand, feels like a beautiful short narrative piece that is craftily and beautifully executed.

The game basically starts out with a white, snowy scene. The main character, who you control, has lost her friend, Fox. She sets off to find him in the freezing arctic.

The object of the game is to find her friend in the white, vast arctic while maintaining a warm body temperature. As you walk, your temperature drops and the only way to bring it up is to stand close to the fire at your camp. You must also make sure you know where your camp is at all times. The game provides you with flags you can use to mark your way and help you find a path.

The game is VERY long. It is almost impossible to find Fox and the only thing you can do is wander around for a long time. However, what is really interesting is the small features they add in the landscape that is not just plain snow. If you walk for awhile, you will begin to see glaciers, caves, and even frozen whales in the middle of the frozen wasteland. These strange objects combined with the beautiful scenery give this game a very interesting narrative (at least, for me).

Another thing I enjoy about the game is that it is totally immersive – the howling winds and desolate landscape make me feel like I am this character. Moreover, the game doesn’t try to provide you with strategies and tips to survive. Instead, players end up making strategies themselves during gameplay. For example, you start to pay attention to your shadow or the direction of the wind to locate yourself and keep from getting lost.

One thing I didn’t like about the game, though was the fact that you had to use flags to mark your way. I would rather (and I did) play it without using any flags because when I do use the flags, I pay less attention to the landscape and more to figuring out where and when I should place flags down. However, I understand why, game mechanics-wise, this flag system is necessary to give the player at least a hope of winning the game.



Tagline – Greg, Jing, Maryann, Swetha, Tess


Tagline is a combination of tag, snakes and ladders, and hopscotch, with a dash of icebreaker. Like in tag, one player is chosen to be “it”, and they chase other players and try to tag them. However, in Tagline, when you’re tagged, you also have to tell an embarrassing story about yourself to the other players. Additionally, all players can only move on a grid drawn on the sidewalk.  The grid has various sketches drawn throughout that, like in Snakes and Ladders, can act as shortcuts or slow you down. Players can interact by blocking each other so that another player gets tagged.

The idea of gamification here is to get players used to interacting with each other by playing a game and following all of the same rules. For this or other reasons, people seem to find games a lot more natural than the contrived nature of pure ice breakers, and our goal was to create a more engaging and successful way to get to know new people.

We found during our tests of this game that in a group of friends, this game became intense, competitive, but most importantly fun! With a group of strangers, however, the stories shared during the game and the competitive atmosphere provided a good way for us to feel comfortable with each other and get to know one another. In the end, everyone walked away feeling happy and feeling as if  we truly got to see into a bit of each others characters.

Spin and Stare

A game of spinning and staring. WOW-EE.

A 4 player game.

To play, players require two objects to balance on their heads and an oddly specific set of spinning benches.

Players split into teams of two; two players to each bench. One player will sit on the bench’s axis and balance the object on their head. The other player will position themselves at the other end of the bench and turn the bench until somebody has lost the game. Generally, both “pushers” should be pushing in the same manner for fairness (i.e. sitting and pushing with feet or standing and pushing with hands).

As the pusher spins the bench, the sitter must continually turn their body so that they are always making eye contact with the other sitter while also balancing the object on their head. A sitter loses when they break eye contact or whenever the object falls off of their head.


This game went through several iterations before we finally came to the finalized rules. Another version of the game required the sitter to stand on the axis as the bench spun, and the stander could not make a full 360 turn or break eye contact. However, due to the nature of the benches, this was deemed a bit too dangerous for the quick assignment.

Another type of game we designed around the benches included a “pose-off” style of game. We all liked the idea of holding a completely still pose on the axis of the bench as the bench spun slowly, turning ourselves into a sort of mannequin and making the game more “performance” based. The game we created out of this idea was Ninja, Pirate, Hooker. In a style very similar to Rock, Paper, Scissors, the player had to choose between one of the three characters to win. Pirate beats Ninja (because of their sword skills), Ninja beats Hooker (because they can’t fall for their seduction), and Hooker beats Pirate (better hooks. And tits). As the players were slowly spun on the bench, they would strike a pose resembling one of the three characters, and whenever they are turned to face each other they reveal who they are and the winner is decided.

But because this game was so close to Rock, Paper, Scissors, we decided to better develop Spin and Stare.

A Hop and a Skip

Game instructions on the tree!
The sun marks the beginning of the game. (a happy beginning)
A view of the game play space.
Just getting started – tutorial level.
Action shot of the group leaving the tutorial level behind.
There is no turning back.

The inspiration for this particular corporative outdoor game was a circle of stones surrounding a large tree. A group of three or more players congregate at the beginning of the circle marked by a yellow sun. The Players each pick a color and stand on the stone closest to the sun marked with their color. The players join hands and thus the frolicking may begin. The players must traverse the circle while both maintaining a constant connection to the group and only stepping on stones that are marked with their particular color. The only exception to this rule is that players may step on each others feet to reach a stone of their color. The game starts at a tutorial level and gets progressively more difficult as you go around the circle.

Rediscovering a Place – Brainstorming

Museum – Artistic Photobombing OR Curator vs Annoying Tourist
– Given list of painting that need to photography/protect
– Curator: Either Photobombing Tourist or Protect by saying “No Photos Please”
– Tourist: Photograph Painting
– Not limited to Museum, Public Art, Phipps, Party
– Use Pumpkin to Photobomb (cover head – 1 point, pumpkin breasts – 2 points,  pumpkin earmuffs – 2 points)

Bathroom – String Cup Telephone
– 20 Questions style between bathroom thing
– OR drawing on toilet paper with pens (bathroom has a: Pen Island)
– Gloryhole reward or something

Oculus Rift – Cuz Magic

Pumpkin Patch –  Somethin Somethin Magic

Bus Stop/Ride – Pumpkin Baby
– Two team relay from CMU to downtown
– Players can’t get on bus, ask stranger to take care of pumpkin and give to person at next stop
– Each team has 10 pumpkins, winner is one with most that make trip
– Trust of strangers to get pumpkin to end, pick trustworthy looking ones


Gamify Everything Response- Maryyann

After listening to Jane McGonigal’s TED talk, I have a few conflicting opinions about her talk. I think it’s interesting to use games as inspirations to solve worldly problems, but I think that her comparisons are a little stretched. Games are addicting, but there aren’t as many risks in games that are present in real life. I do think that games can bring people together and break boundaries as well as teach people to keep certain good habits.

I can see in some of my friends the gamer qualities she mentioned. I noticed that people who tend to be good at games were also very good at academics. They seem to work hard at everything.

She says “EPIC” a lot.

I think libertarian paternalism can definitely be pushed to the extreme. It reminds me of those make your own adventure books. The reader chooses his/her options and paths, but somehow always end up at the same or similar conclusion.

Learning To Love You More Assignment #41: Document your bald spot


I’ve had this bald spot on my scalp for, I’m assuming, my whole life. I remember whenever I was a little girl, being in my downstairs bathroom with my mom and grandma when they noticed this on my head. It felt weird, so we looked through my hair and found this little empty patch. It became a source of obsession that I still haven’t gotten over. I used to pluck out the hairs around it, scratch at it, dig into it with my nails, rub it furiously, press down into it. I still do a lot of these things today, and whenever I get stressed out or am arbitrarily playing with my hair, I find myself obsessing with this one spot.


I recently noticed that this spot also serves as a dent in my scalp. If you touch from my forehead and back onto that spot, you’ll notice that this patch of skin is kind of sunken in quite a bit.


I hate this thing. When I was a kid I used to think it was a scab and there was actually a bunch of hair growing underneath it, and I just had to pick away at all the tough outer skin. That probably made it worse.


I’ll admit, as I’m typing this I’m also scratching at this thing. I hate it.

LtLYM Assignment #52

Learning to Love You More
Assignment #52: Write the phone call you wish you could have.

Using a black pen, draw a picture of your cell phone. Be very precise and make your phone look as realistic as possible, you can trace the shape of the phone if you want. Please make your drawing by hand, not with a computer. In the window where the caller name appears, write the name of the person who you wish would call you. If you have to, use a fake name. Don’t draw anything except the phone, leave the rest of the paper blank. In a separate document, type the conversation you wish you could have with this person.

Allen: Uh… hey Dad, what’s up?

Dad: Hey bud, how are things going?

Allen: You know, the usual. Heading into the office.  How are things with you?

Dad: Same old same old. …

Allen: … What’s going on, did you need something?

Dad: Oh, no. Well–your Aunt isn’t doing well.

Allen: Linda? What happened? Everything OK?

Dad: She’s just — she’s not doing so well, you know.

Allen: Yeah.

Dad: It’s such a shame.

Allen: It’s got to be hard to watch happen…

Dad: I don’t think I could handle it.

Allen: Yeah, me either.

Dad: …

Allen: Everything okay?

Dad: Allen-

Allen: Yeah?

Dad: I know we don’t talk about things…

Allen: Yeah…

Dad: And I know you have been struggling for a while-

Allen: What do you mean?

Dad: I just could have warned you, is all.

Allen: What?

Dad: The same things – the panic, the fear, the sadness–

Allen: Dad-

Dad: Listen to me, son: you are not alone.

Allen: Dad-

Dad: I’ve been quiet my entire life. It’s burned me up, Allen. I got nothing left inside. I’ve wasted it all holding it in.

Allen: …

Dad: I — [clears throat] Please don’t let it eat you up. It probably already has. I never said it sooner. But I want you to know that I understand it all. Every pain. Even if I could never say it until now.

Sylvia – LTLYM #66: Make A Field Guide To Your Yard

As you can see from the pictures below, the backyard of the house I’m living in is kind of barren. Its pretty much a gravel patch with a ton of weeds, moss, and other wild plants growing around the edges.

For this LTLYM prompt, the goal was to wander around your yard and document as many unique life forms as you can find. As evidenced in the spread below, I found a lot! It’s cool to see that when you look closely there’s so much variety in life even in the “boring’ or “uninteresting” corners of the world (click on the picture for a larger view).

P.S. The last pictures in the spread are kind of hard to decipher. One is a dead fly caught in a spider web, and one is a REALLY HUGE SPIDER with TWO BAGS OF EGGS and its kind of freaking me out.

Learning to Love You More: #40 Heal Yourself

Heal Yourself

When I’m tired, overworked, and unhappy, I employ the Cluster Cure:

  1. Go to the Gates 3k Cluster
  2. Locate a blanket
  3. Put on blanket
  4. Locate one of the stuffed animals
  5. Hug stuffed animal
  6. Sit quietly until I feel better
  7. Talk to people in Cluster a bit
  8. Ease back into work

Displaying IMG_4288.JPG

MacKenzie-LTLYM #11

Learn To Love You More: #11 – Photograph a scar and write about it.

Photograph a scar on your body or on someone else’s body. Make it a close-up shot so that it shows just the scar. Include a story (write it on a computer as a separate file, don’t write it on the photograph) about how the scar happened. Please do not send images of wounds that are fresh and have not healed. Only images of scars will be accepted.
D O C U M E N T A T I O N >
Send in either the actual photo or a digital (scanned or copied) version of the photograph along with the story.

I was in kindergarten out on a bike ride with my family. My two older brothers raced ahead of me, go up a short curved street curb, bike on some grass and then they are on the sidewalk. I want to follow. I sped towards the curb and go over it. Next thing I know I am falling sideways. My training wheels got stuck in the grass. I instinctually use my left arm to brace my fall. It all goes black. I awake to my family around me and a strange tingle in my left arm. My elbow is broken in three places. I will need surgery to realign where the nerves are and set the bones with a pin.

LTLYM #51 Michelle

Assignment #51
Describe what to do with your body when you die.

Here is your chance to think about and describe what you would like done with your body after you die. Do you want to be buried in a cemetery, cremated and scattered in the ocean, composted beneath an apple tree? If you don’t make some decisions now, someone else will make them for you later. Feel free to be creative but try to make sure that what you describe for your final remains will be legal and really possible (not fantasy), so that your friends and family can actually carry out your wishes when the time comes. If there is a particular ceremony or activity that you would like to have accompany your final Good Bye, describe that too.

After I read a book about the process of making charcoal, I just really wanted to make charcoal from my bones. I also wonder if human bones can be ground with oil to make an Ivory Black pigment. I can’t be alive to see my bones used in such a way, so I would entrust my charcoal to my closest artist friend. Unfortunately, I don’t even know what kind of process I would have to go through to request this, so I’ll be happy if I am cremated and scattered on the top of a cliff at Cooper’s Rock or the seaside.

As for a ceremonial goodbye, I would be happy if my parents or sister were there to find closure.

Maryyann – LTLYM #11: Photograph a Scar

Prompt: “Photograph a scar on your body or on someone else’s body. Make it a close-up shot so that it shows just the scar. Include a story (write it on a computer as a separate file, don’t write it on the photograph) about how the scar happened. Please do not send images of wounds that are fresh and have not healed. Only images of scars will be accepted.

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

Send in either the actual photo or a digital (scanned or copied) version of the photograph along with the story.”

Among the many mysterious scars from clumsy accidents, this one is probably the most prominent. I got this one this past summer while spending time at my grandparents’ farm. My two dogs Bandit and Neko stay with  my grandparents at the farm and being outside dogs, they get really dusty really easily. On a sunny afternoon while I was brushing Bandit’s fur, he was suddenly startled by a curious rustle in the bushes. As he lunged up, my hand slipped and down stroke of the brush landed across my arm. If you aren’t familiar with dog brushes, the barbs are made of metal and since Bandit has a thick coat, I was brushing rather firmly. At the time, I had three large gashes across my forearm. It was pretty unfortunate. I’m glad only one of them left a scar, but hopefully it goes away eventually.

Make a poster of shadows. – Jing

Assignment #6
Make a poster of shadows.

You may take pictures of the shadows or simply trace them. These solid shapes should then be drawn on paper and colored in with a single color. You are not interested in anything but the shadow itself, and you are most interested in shadows that don’t look anything like the objects that created them; abstract shapes.. Choose either brown, pink, light green, orange or white. Use only one of these colors. If you would prefer you may cut out the shapes from colored paper. The shadows should appear on the page in a grid formation, in rows. Treat this like a index of shadows rather than a work of abstract art. The finished report should include 10-20 shadows and should be pasted on (or drawn on) white paper of any size (even if, especially if, the color you chose for your shadows was white.) Do not label this poster in any way, except to write your name and the date on the back. My god these are going to be beautiful.


Andrew — LTLYM: Cover of “Don’t Dream It’s Over”

Prompt:When I was walking down the street in Liverpool I heard this guy singing that song that goes Hey now, hey now, don’t dream it’s over. He sang it really well so I asked him if I could record it in a studio and use it for a video I was making there. His name was Richie Mossman and he agreed to do it. For this assignment we ask you to do your own version of this song. It can be a faithful rendition or an interpretation, you can re-sing it, ask a choir to sing it, ask a child to sing it, sing the translation in your native tongue, with any instrumentation or with none at all….
I can’t figure out how to embed the video. I haven’t played guitar in a while and wanted to take the chance to try playing a new song I’d never heard before.

Don’t Dream It’s Over