Klixquisite Corpse

Sprite's picture

Anyone who's hung around drawing nerds has probably played Exquisite Corpse, a surrealist game in which one person begins a drawing (or story, or movie, etc.) and, after making the first half, passes it to another person to finish. The trick is that the second person only sees the tiniest bit of what the first person drew, usually just connecting lines to make sure the two halves fit together. The results are sometimes wonderful.

Now that I've discovered (and love) Glorious Trainwrecks, I'm wondering how (if at all) that idea could be used with a KotM game. One person works on a game for an hour, then passes it along to someone else to finish in an hour. Would there be any way to retain the surrealist nature of Exquisite Corpse (the second person only sees a tiny bit of what the first person created) without making unplayable games with broken code? Maybe the first person takes a screenshot to be interpreted by the second? Or would receiving a half-finished game, all the code out in the open, still be chaotic enough to create crazy results?

In any case, I think two people swapping half-finished KotM games at the hour mark (with maybe a 10-minute recess to allow for downloads) could be a lot of fun. Anyone else have an opinion?

(Is this something you've already talked about? I'm new.)

ExciteMike's picture

Let's do it!

There was the Community Chainwreck and that came out pretty cool! It's probably about time another thing like that happened.

Radix's picture

Just recently while I was

Just recently while I was laying fat cable I thought about suggesting this.

Totally in.

Danni's picture

Back in the days of the old

Back in the days of the old V-Cade (online arcade of Klik games, for those who don't know), I was involved in something like this, except that it was to produce an actually serious game (we used TGF or MMF - forget which). I believe it was called "Let's Make a Game Together".

There was practically zero direction. I think the first guy started off with some top-down level. The next guy added a frame that looked like a previous "LMaGT" effort (which was much more focused), involving a platforming scientist gathering cans of V-Cola and knocking bouncy skulls off cliffs. I think the guy also added a whack-a-mole frame after that one. When it was passed to me, I focused on the second frame. I made the sprites better, substituted my own platform movement system, and made various tweaks. I passed the game file to thewreck, who took one look at it and basically said, "This has got to be the most incoherent piece of crap I've ever played." And then the project sorta grinded to a halt.

So basically, I think we could produce one hell of a trainwreck if we were to do something like this. Maybe a rule or two here and there, but only for purposes of awesomeness. I propose that each user add a single frame to the game, and then modify the previous frame in some way (still allowing said frame to be beatable, mind). Eventually, it gets passed back to the first person, who modifies the last frame.

We could call it "Klik & Play Hot Potato" or something.

Danni's picture


Proposed Rules/Guidelines:

- There are no prior sign-ups required. You can offer to participate even during the cycle (while some other user is constructing their own addition).
- The "potato" is passed in a linear fashion among participants. Only one person can work on the game at a time.
- The first person will create a title screen and the first level.
- This person then passes the "potato" to the second person in the line of participants. This person will add a new level to the game, and then "remix" the previous person's level in some manner. The change should be noticeable but not too heavy (IE. don't completely deconstruct the last person's level - that would be unfair).
- The "potato" gets passed to the next person, and the cycle repeats until we run out of participants. Then, the order of the participants is shuffled around. The chain continues, so that every participant creates two levels.
- Then, at the end of the second cycle, the first participant from the first cycle remixes the last level (out of fairness), presumably to create a "you win" message.

- Try not to spend more than one hour on your contribution.
- Your contribution should be playable and beatable, obviously, along with your remix of the previous person's level. Other than that, no limitations on creativity.
- At any given point, you may elect to construct a "story segment", provided that the person before you hasn't done the same. There is an exception to this limitation - if, during the second cycle, the participant hasn't yet made a "story segment", he/she may choose to make one, regardless of the person before.
- A "story segment" is an additional frame after the contributed level acting as a sort of cutscene - what is contained in this cutscene and how it plays out is up to you - it might involve bad voice acting, a string of text (doesn't even need to be coherent), etc...
- Try not to spend more than half an hour on the "story segment". Also, it shouldn't take more than 30 seconds to watch, lest the thing turns into Metal Gear Solid 4.

Think this is too strict? Confusing? Or is it fine the way it is?

Dustin's picture

I think the rules are fine;

I think the rules are fine; this sounds like good fun.

SpindleyQ's picture

I like the general idea;

I like the general idea; it'll be fun both to remix someone's level and to see what the next person did to yours.

My problem with the "hot potato" style of collaboration is that one person can hold up development for long stretches, causing everyone else to lose interest and the project to die a sad, early death. We had a similar project that never quite got off the ground a couple of years ago. Back then, I proposed a "You call it, you got it" model -- if you want to work on the game, you have to go onto IRC and set the channel topic to say you're working on it. I still think this model would be really interesting; most of the time, people probably aren't even going to want to work on it at the same time anyway, so the net result is that things just move a lot faster.

It was also brought up at the time that you can copy and paste frames between games in Klik & Play, so creating a chain of screens with every contributor only seeing the screen of the person who came before him is also entirely possible. So is an "Eat Poop You Cat"-style project where you're given a game, which you must describe, and then the next person is must make a game filling that description without having seen the original game. (Probably you'd want two games going on at once, so every person would get both a description and a game, completely unrelated to each other.) These requires a more central coordination, though.

Radix's picture

I really hugely dig both

I really hugely dig both those last two ideas.

SpindleyQ's picture

I really really like the

I really really like the idea of a KOTMK or KOTMK-type event where people swap games midway through; it's something I've been wanting to try for a while. There used to be some webpage describing that form of collaboration with music, which they called switch sessions, but I can't find the page anymore. If there's an odd number of people wanting to do it, instead of pairing up and exchanging, everyone can "draw names from a hat" to find out who to pass their game off to. (I could write a script, if there's interest.)

Super-Dot's picture

I am so down for this, I

I am so down for this, I could fit through a cat door.

Edit: I could fit UNDER a door.

GoreCore's picture

Yeah, let's make it. But KNP

Yeah, let's make it. But KNP only, I guess?

leilei's picture

it'd have to be, you can't

it'd have to be, you can't really mix other game system structures in there unless it were possible to call other binaries during play. I think there's an extension for Games Factory that allows that.

KNP has an annoying bug in which the order of the sound effects file gets screwed with a level paste, so it'd have to be done carefully.

Super-Dot's picture

Not necessarily, if we

Not necessarily, if we distribute source files. I doubt I'm the only one more comfortable with Game Maker.

Sprite's picture

I'd say either KNP or TGF

I'd say either KNP or TGF only (is TGF free?), if only because I can't use Game Maker or Construct yet :)

leilei's picture

TGF isn't free, but there's

TGF isn't free, but there's a 1.06 shareware version that expires in 30 days that is fully functional, makes GAMs but not EXEs or SCRs. I still have them, both 16-bit and 32-bit versions.

Danni's picture

TGF would allow 64-bit

TGF would allow 64-bit peoples to contribute. As a bonus, it runs in Wine.

It does unfortunately have issues with multi-core systems. I know a workaround for that on Windows, but not other systems (Wine).

GoreCore's picture

TGF2 works fine with

TGF2 works fine with multicore processors. http://www.clickteam.com/webftp/files/tgf2/Demo/TGF2Demo.exe

Danni's picture

TGF2 is just MMF2 without

TGF2 is just MMF2 without Ogg Vorbis or extension capabilities... Even the first TGF could handle extensions.

Oh, and if anyone's interested, I could upload my archive of TGF extensions... Digital Music Control 2, Fast Loop, SliderBar, PowerApp Lite, 1000 Global Variables (and Strings), and even some dumb/buggy/sometimes even useless ones, such as Bullet Object, Drawline Object (drawing errors, really weird to use, is a hack of the Ini object), Chain Object (another Ini object hack - could never figure it out), a couple OpenGL objects that literally do nothing but draw wireframe boxes to my knowledge...

Sprite's picture

So then, we'd be making the

So then, we'd be making the games with a demo version? Would we need someone with a full version to export to .exe (I have legit MMF2, if needed)?

Would doing KNP-only preclude anyone currently interested from participating?