the original chicanery was a quick (made in a single day), abstract proof-of-concept. the concept was a digital game in which all the action of the game takes place outside of the computer. each player (two to four) holds down a key on the keyboard; when any player lifts her finger, she’s out of the game. the player who holds her key the longest is the winner. but the players are free to dislodge each other from the keyboard in any way possible.
i realized the game deserved a proper implementation during a discussion following my panel at nyu on the fifth, and cactus and messhof’s baffling insistence that they had no interest in making videogames which incorporate elements beyond the video and audio of the game. afterwards, over drinks, we talked about digital fighting games and how so much of the play takes place in the mental and physical space between the players themselves (mind fuck was an attempt at distilling this idea). slut told a story about bloodying her best friend’s nose over a game of chicanery, and i decided i needed to return to the game.
the first version of chinanery was completely abstract because all the game action took place outside of the screen – what context could fit that kind of dynamic? in the EDGEPLAY EDITION of the game, each player is holding a guillotine blade from falling on a game character locked in wooden stocks. being responsible for the providence of a hapless pixel person whose eyes dart to and from a precarious metal blade while persperation streams down her head could give players an incentive not to give up too quickly, i thought. (surviving characters go on to future rounds. there is no escape but the blade.)
like octopounce and shootin’ starcade, this game is designed to run continuously over the course of hours at events with many people. (and like starcade, it features a kickin’ track by amon.) feel free to leave it running at parties or conventions. you can change which keys the game uses (default are Z, R, N and P) in the keys.cfg file. to quit the game, hold the escape key, don’t just tap it.
the name of the “edgeplay edition” was chosen because the game involves guillotine blades. it has nothing to do with this thug.