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auntie pixelante › triad
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this game began as a conversation with jake eakle about a mutual problem we’ve faced: trying to fit yourself and the two people you’re dating into a bed that’s not designed for three people. in such a way that all three people can actually sleep. my own unhappy solution to the puzzle involved a futon on the floor and one member of our trio having to sleep by herself. it’s not an easy puzzle.

well, why not remake it as a sliding-tile puzzle game? that was just the idea i was looking for – i’ve been writing mostly text-only twine games and books lately, it’s about time i do a graphical game again. so i cut out paper shapes, moved them around a grid, and designed a puzzle. then i opened up game maker to try and code the thing.

download triad for windows or mac

it turns out the reason i’ve been avoiding graphical games is that, in my old age, i no longer have any tolerance for programming. so i got leon to program the thing, and also to make a thousand tiny creative choices that made the game a lot stronger. liz did the music and sound, all of which is ingenious, because she is a genius.

this game is an homage to queers who sleep in funny ways. it’s dedicated to everyone i’ve ever attempted, however foolishly, to share a bed with. at some point i asked slut to name the characters in the game. if you’re curious, their names are riff-raff, boodles, and snippet. also, encyclopedia frown makes a guest appearance.


  1. zaratustra wrote:

    Unexpected error occurred when running the game.

    3/18/2013 at 12:26 pm | permalink
  2. zaratustra wrote:

    Fixed by running in compatibility mode Windows XP (I was using windows 7). sorry for the previous useless post.

    3/18/2013 at 12:36 pm | permalink
  3. Mikesta wrote:

    That took me forever to figure out. I felt super smart afterward, though.

    3/18/2013 at 12:38 pm | permalink
  4. auntie wrote:

    that’s interesting, i’ve never had a problem running the game in windows 7.

    3/18/2013 at 12:39 pm | permalink
  5. ggn wrote:

    Reminded me of X-Tetris!


    (still trying to solve this game though)

    3/18/2013 at 1:38 pm | permalink
  6. ggn wrote:

    (BTW works fine on Win7x64 here)

    3/18/2013 at 1:45 pm | permalink
  7. ggn wrote:

    Hah, nailed it! Good idea making traditionally static pieces dynamic!

    3/18/2013 at 1:50 pm | permalink
  8. Foone Turing wrote:

    Would it be alright to have a go at HTML5ing this? With the simple gameplay I think it’d make a nice little web-thingy.

    3/18/2013 at 2:22 pm | permalink
  9. auntie wrote:

    leon prepared an html5 version, but i don’t like how inconsistent sound is in html5 games.

    3/18/2013 at 2:32 pm | permalink
  10. Nersh wrote:

    This is nice and all, but it is making me feel incredibly dumb.

    3/18/2013 at 3:02 pm | permalink
  11. Cindy "princessmiwi" wrote:

    This was… really nice. And as someone who sometimes is too spacy even in a big bed with just another person… I can relate, hah.

    3/18/2013 at 3:44 pm | permalink
  12. auntie wrote:

    we’ve updated the mac build to not get intercepted by gatekeeper.

    3/18/2013 at 5:54 pm | permalink
  13. baywoof wrote:

    Solved it. Yay!

    3/18/2013 at 9:46 pm | permalink
  14. Vera wrote:

    Ahh! This is so awesome!
    Took me a whole lot of tries but everyone’s so cute I didn’t mind at all :) and the way the cat just hops up there like ‘whatever’ so great
    think I’d be pretty happy forever playing nothing but games about cuties living together :)

    3/18/2013 at 10:51 pm | permalink
  15. I found this far easier than I have any right to. My skills are wasted.

    3/19/2013 at 1:13 am | permalink
  16. Mike wrote:

    I was hoping the cat was going to be part of the solution to the roller. Ah well, perhaps in level 2 :p

    3/19/2013 at 8:53 am | permalink
  17. Pen wrote:

    I don’t usually have the patience for puzzle game, the cure for that seems to be to make all the puzzle pieces people! Also, in my clumsiness, I managed to push one of the pieces off of the screen. Good thing I can restart quickly.

    3/19/2013 at 9:47 am | permalink
  18. Robin wrote:

    This is really nice

    3/19/2013 at 1:39 pm | permalink
  19. Nand1 wrote:

    I can’t get it to run at all in Win 7 x64, compatibility mode or not.

    3/19/2013 at 5:45 pm | permalink
  20. Mattt wrote:

    I really enjoyed it. I was surprised by how difficult it ended up being given that it’s the same puzzle every night. Having the music build while trying to place the women was a great way to build tension in an otherwise very relaxed game.

    3/19/2013 at 5:53 pm | permalink
  21. Dana wrote:

    Uhm the guy slept fine, why didn’t I win? ;)

    3/19/2013 at 7:08 pm | permalink
  22. Dana wrote:

    On a more ‘serious’ note, I love it, but it’s faster to restart the program than deal with the post-failure anims/chitchat and try again.

    3/19/2013 at 7:09 pm | permalink
  23. auntie wrote:

    people reading the snoring character as the only male character makes me feel pretty weird, because that character’s based on me.

    i intended them all as queer women. then slut suggested they were fairly gender-neutral, which i liked even better. so i didn’t add anything that would contradict that reading.

    gendering the characters as a man-woman couple seeking a bi-girl third is probably true to a lot of people’s okcupid experiences i guess but is kind of a heterosexist reading of the game. that said, i’m not going to tell anyone how they should read the game.

    3/19/2013 at 7:44 pm | permalink
  24. noirwhal wrote:

    As someone in a poly relationship who also has a snoring problem, I related to this game on so many levels.

    3/20/2013 at 12:33 am | permalink
  25. Lavs wrote:

    I read the three characters as all girls, and then I eventually went ‘oh. it totally didn’t even pass through my mind that the shirtless one might be male. i bet most people think they are.’ and then kept playing

    3/20/2013 at 1:10 am | permalink
  26. Frank wrote:

    Awesome.. but i could solve it yet. Do you have a flattr account so I can flattr you some aditional appreciation?

    3/20/2013 at 2:54 am | permalink
  27. bmfu wrote:

    I read all of the characters as queer ladies, but I think people are reading the black haired character as male because they’re the only one without a top? Doesn’t make that reading any less heterosexist, at any rate.

    As much as I’ve loved all your text based games I’m really excited to see you returning to graphical games, especially graphical games about human relationships. I love that the game’s solution has the characters’ quirks working to their advantage.

    3/20/2013 at 2:55 pm | permalink
  28. Scuzzball wrote:

    This was a surprisingly hard puzzle, considering. I didn’t like the delay after, but overall a great game.

    3/20/2013 at 4:57 pm | permalink
  29. Cthulhu's Accountant wrote:

    Please post the solution… I’m really terrible at puzzle games but this one is neat and I would really appreciate it!

    3/22/2013 at 2:23 pm | permalink
  30. Italo Nascimento wrote:

    Just amazing. This game is a game design lesson.

    3/23/2013 at 5:55 am | permalink
  31. Thredith wrote:

    I almost couldn’t get the rolling girl to sleep without falling out of the bed, but I somehow I managed to solve the puzzle.

    I really enjoyed this game Auntie Pixelante! The graphics, the music, the concept… It’s very refreshing to play queer games (and to know they exist, YES!). Keep up the good work!

    3/25/2013 at 10:10 am | permalink
  32. Lawrence wrote:

    Finally solved this! Loved your talk at GDC today! Liz directed me to this game when we talked out on the expo floor. Fantastic!

    3/29/2013 at 8:45 pm | permalink
  33. Matthew wrote:

    I just want to say: thank you for making this game. It is important: like a lot of the games that you already make, but this one is really relatable. So again, thank you and keep making games.

    4/1/2013 at 7:23 pm | permalink
  34. JR wrote:

    Weird! I read them all as queer men, except maybe the one in blue might’ve been a woman, but I wasn’t really sure, nor cared enough to put much thought in it.

    4/4/2013 at 9:27 pm | permalink
  35. musical man wrote:

    does it really matter what gender the characters are? they just love each other and it’s all that matters. but I don’t think I am able to solve this puzzle soon.

    4/6/2013 at 6:37 am | permalink
  36. LARGO wrote:

    What I hate about this game is that there is only one level! I mean, it’s such a cool concept it just begs for more levels, more combinations, maybe start with two people, then have three, then three with a cat, then three on a smaller bed, then…

    Really enjoyed it, it’s just too damn short.

    5/7/2013 at 2:35 am | permalink
  37. Cmon! wrote:

    Do anybody solved this? Please tell me the solution!

    6/6/2013 at 9:48 am | permalink
  38. Jack wrote:

    This *really* needs to be a browser game. Post the HTML5 version!

    7/18/2013 at 5:37 pm | permalink
  39. Jake wrote:

    Downloading and unzipping is another kind of gatekeeper, tbh.

    8/2/2013 at 8:14 am | permalink

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