Browsing articles tagged with " games"
Mar 10, 2011
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Module 3: Play

“Totally indulgent and want to keep shooting that shit.”
- Kellyn


Take an existing game, analyze it, and identify its core mechanic. Then, extract that mechanic and design a new game around it.

Design Question

How can a physical game act as a serve to reduce goal-oriented anxiety and give players a sense of accomplishment and perspective over the stressful factors?


This game transports the catapult core mechanic of Angry Birds into a test of teamwork, physical coordination, and physics.

The goal is for teams of two to work together to knock over the stack of cups using a nylon catapult and plastic eggs in as short a time as possible from a distance of three feet. Knock them all over to graduate and make your angry nerds happy!


The concept and design is meant to give MFA DT students a fun way to alleviate shared stress associated with the program. By conquering major program milestones in a physical fashion, the game offers this audience immediate gratification and a sense of (control) over hurdles that can feel insurmountable at times.

In Action

How To Play


  • Plastic Easter eggs decorated with angry, nerdy faces
  • Nylon pantyhose
  • 2 chairs, (preferably with wheels)
  • 3 paper cups (do not use plastic) with one of the following written on each one: “Bootcamp”, “MiniThesis”, “Thesis”
  • Sharpies
  • A dash of frustration and a smidgeoning of angst

    1. Each team has two players.
    2. Players divide into teams of two, then each team sets up their station: two chairs at least three feet away from the target; one nylon catapult; a stack of plastic eggs (nerds); three cups stacked in a pyramid (target goals)
    3. Players must remain sitting in their chairs and cannot move closer to the target than the allotted space.
    4. Players only have the stack of eggs given to them. They can keep shooting as much as they want, but they must retrieve their eggs and may not use another teams eggs!
    5. The first team to knock over all three cups wins!


  • Each group designs a set of nerds for each other.
  • Add more “goals” or cups to make the game more complex


    The feedback from the class was incredibly helpful and insightful. In further iterations I would begin with some type of color categorization of the egg “nerds” along with a weighting system to correspond to the color hierarchy. This would also be a starting point to integrate a points system. For as much as I love the idea of playing with pantyhose, I would of course rethink my materials, and I would also rethink the organization of cups. For example, it may lead to more interesting play if you had to shoot the egg in the cup. The narrative skin is also in need of further developing – while I like the concept of knocking out your goals, it is completely inapparent at the start and during game play.