Elephant featured on Kill Screen Daily

Following our presentation at Arse Elektronika in San Francisco last month, Kill Screen journalist Danielle Riendeau contacted the team to interview us about the game.  The interview with Danielle went great and we thank her for the increased exposure!  You can read the entire thing here at Kill Screen Daily.  As we note in the article, development of the game is continuing and we’ll have more news soon!

Elephant accepted into Arse Elektronika!

After a successful conference showing last year at Game Show NYC (a games, education and art conference), we are thrilled to post that Elephant in the Relationship has been selected to be shown at a slightly edgier venue, Arse Elektronika 2012, running September 27 through September 30 in San Francisco.

Initially conceived as a serious game in Tracy Fullerton’s Game Design Workshop class, the Elephant in the Relationship team (Andy Uehara, Casey China, Joshua McVeigh-Schultz and Michael Annetta) has worked to sculpt the game over several iterations and various playtests.

Elephant in the Relationship is a game for 2 to 4 players in which players try to communicate deeply troubling relationship issues. Players take on the roles of two people in a personal relationship and turn the drama of a potentially risky (or intimate) interaction into spectacle for a group to enjoy. The game fuses Pictionary-style drawing and guessing mechanics with elements of doll-play and improvisational theater, asking players to place themselves into a difficult emotional scenario with their partner.

Having taken off almost a year in development (so Josh could get through his PhD qualifying exams and Andy and Michael could finish their Master’s degree theses), we’re revisiting the game for Arse Elektronika.  The issues presented will be of a more sexual nature and the rule set will most likely be modified as well to look at the subject of the conference, ”4PLAY: Gamifuckation and Its Discontents” (I said it was edgier).  With a little more time on our hands now, the Elephant team is also hoping to polish the game for a future commercial release.

Elephant accepted into Game Show!

Elephant in the Relationship has been chosen as a selection in Game Show NYC, an art exhibition showcasing the intersection of art, education and games. Game Show NYC (GSNYC) expands the concept of an Art Show by making the enjoyment of art an active and educative experience.  GSNYC will serve as a forum to bring together artists, educators, and game designers, with the purpose of engaging and educating the public.

Elephant is rejected by Meaningful Play

We received an email today from the co-chairs of Meaningful Play today that they have rejected our entry, Elephant in the Relationship,  into the games competition.  Clearly there was some misunderstanding of the rule set presented in the game (one reviewer thought, erroneously, that you needed to play the game with your actual partner). We are currently reviewing and rewriting our rule set to address such simple misunderstandings. There was also an assertion that the Meaningful Play conference was primarily for digital games.  This idea that meaningful play is a “digital only” realm is a little short-sighted, in our opinion, and one that should be reconsidered by the conference’s organizers.

Elephant is submitted to Meaningful Play

Last fall, during our first semester of grad school, one of our required classes was Tracy Fullerton’s wonderful game design class. One of our projects was to create  a serious game.  Our amazing team (Andy Uehara, Josuha McVeigh-Schultz, and Michael Annetta) came up with a party game called Elephant in the Relationship.  EitR(or “Elephant” for short) is a role-playing game where teammates play partners in a relationship (any relationship) who have an unspeakable issue that needs to be addressed.  One team mate is given a very limited vocabulary which he or she uses to try to communicate that issue to the other team mate.  We had such fun developing the game for class that we decided we wanted to expand on the game and take it to the next level.  This summer, aided by the wonderful Casey China, we embarked on the second phase of development of EitR and it’s been great.

Although we’re still in development, we submitted a working prototype of the game to the Meaningful Play Conference’s games competition this week.  We won’t know the results of our submission until September, but we will absolutely be keeping this blog updated with our progress.