i’ve actually given some thought to designing a two-player game with controls that would cause the players to have to actually physically interact outside the game. i briefly had an idea for a game called ‘DO NOT LET GO OF THE BUTTON’. each player has to keep her finger on a different key for longer than the other players. the idea, of course, is that players would invariably attempt to get other players to loosen their grip through chicanery.

when i mentioned this to patrick in my eegra interview, i realized it warrented implementation. chicanery is a fairly bare-bones implementation of the concept for up to four players. each player places a finger on the Q, C, T or M key. when the countdown is over the game begins: the last player to release her key is the winner. players are encouraged to use any available means to coerce the others into losing the game.

i am not responsible for any damage you may cause to your friends, relationships, or computer. i think the most computer-friendly solution would be to use xpadder to map the Q, C, T and M keys to joypad buttons, but i must stipulate that the buttons be on the same joypad.

sound effects were made with organya2. the font used in the game is casual encounter.

17 thoughts on “chicanery”

  1. A mite far away from indie gaming, but one of my favourite arcade games – “Panic Park” – had a similar premise to this. Ostensibly, it was a series of minigames where one always had to simply move a character left and right, but in reality, it involved bashing one’s movable joystick into one’s opponent’s in an attempt to throw them off course. Great fun.

  2. i figured someone would have gotten around to the idea before me. but i think there’s plenty of fertile ground to cover with regard to videogames which extend beyond the audial and visual output of the game code.

  3. Back at school I created a game that was a bit like this. You would input the amount of players, then at random intervals a set of letters would appear on screen, with one for each player. The first person to press their letter on the keyboard got a point. Whoever had the most points after 10 rounds was the winner.

    Our classes were mostly unsupervised, so playing the game involved a large amount of playful violence. The other students would usually notice (especially when someone got pushed off their chair), so we’d let them join the game. The amount of players and chicanery would increase quickly.

    The game never made it out of the classroom though and it’s gone forever now. So it’s great to see a similar game, with a lot more polish and without the crude made-in-five-minutes look of mine!

  4. In high school a friend of mine made a “virtual spider” in Hypercard. It was a still image of a cartoon spider, and when you moved the mouse it was replaced with an image of the same spider, squashed flat and dead.

    The way it worked was you put the mouse on top of the monitor, and then whacked the screen with your palm. Smush!

    Needless to say, the teachers didn’t appreciate a program that encouraged students to punch the lab equipment, but I thought it was pretty clever.

  5. It should probably say ‘their’ rather than ‘her’, otherwise you’re assuming the player is female, which is pretty dumb!

    This looks like great fun! I’m probably going to have to play this with korean schoolkids, which is not going to be pretty.

  6. “their” is incorrect because it’s plural. i prefer to use “her” (which is singular) as my default pronoun. harveyjames you should know this about me by now.

  7. Me again,
    We just featured Chicanery again! #4 Indie game for September :)

    Currently a video of it is available on our main page and on the indiegames blog main page.

    Good job with the games :)

  8. i’m sorry footage of the digital part of the game isn’t that interesting to watch! you should have recorded video of players slugging each other.

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