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!
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 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.
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.