duck duck poison is a game that would probably work better as a non-digital game.
i envisioned it as a four-player version of mind fuck: a game purely about predicting your opponents. i remember the theme – vampires preying on a circle of restrained spies, each of whom has only a cyanide pill to defend herself with – immediately leapt forward to me and made absolute sense.
i wanted it to be a one-button game, like mind fuck. since the tension of the game relies of being able to deduce opponents’ choices, i decided to give players some means of obfuscating their button presses: when choosing whether or not to take a cyanide pill, for example, a player can press her button as much as she wants. an odd number of presses counts as “TAKE PILL,” an even number or zero counts as “SAVE PILL.” consequently, i spent a lot of energy thinking about how to best communicate what’s going on in the game while keeping choices invisible. i remain unsure whether the game works without an explanation of the rules, and so i’m not sure it ultimately works as a game people can just pick up and play at exhibitions. nusuth.
this game was my first collaboration with egypt urnash, who i’d been meaning to work with since FOREVER. she drew and animated amazing monster women for the game. she also planned different endings for each of the possible winner / survivor pairings at the end of the game, which i told her there wasn’t enough time for. then i sat on the game for like a year.
duck duck poison was originally designed for my harpy diem show with babycastles in march of 2012, part of my tour for rise of the videogame zinesters. they built bra controllers with buttons set in the nipples, and provided a sleazy leather couch for the players to sit on. they also hid a fog machine under the couch: every so often i’d pass by and lean on the pedal. we used six projectors to project the game on every surface of the space simultaneously.
duck duck poison is the third game i’ve used patreon to fund.