Reality is a Game

Game thinking from Adam Clare

Category: ExperimentalPage 1 of 37

Dr. Trolley’s Problems are Yours to Solve

Download Dr. Trolley’s Problem on:

Steam (PC/Mac)           Itch.io (PC/Mac*)          App Store (iOS)

Dr. Trolley’s Problem is fully complete and at version 1.0. You can play this gam all about the trolley problem on almost all the important systems, with hopefully more to come. It’s the trolley problem game you’ve been waiting for!Dr. Trolley's Problem

Dr. Trolley’s Problem brings the classic philosophical quandaries of The Trolley Problem to life and asks you to make life or death decisions on the fly. Explore your moral fibre in ways you never imagined (or asked for)!

Dr. Trolley is an infamous robot mad scientist from another dimension which has sequestered you in its simulation to answer the most pressing questions:

Should humans be allowed to drive cars? Or would driving (and most other things) be safer in the hands of Artificial Intelligence?

 

Successes

trolley problem game screenshot

What we found during Early Access and almost a year of lackadaisical testing.

  • The trolley problem situations spurred the conversations we hoped for.
  • People want to be mobile, so the iOS version came from people asking for it.
  • People enjoyed the chance-based situations after a series of serious ones. This was predictable since the inclusion of chance takes mental pressure off of the player.
  • My code is like spaghetti, and yes, it’s far worse than VVVVVV‘s. I consider this point about code a success since my coding as improved to know how bad I was at it 😉

Next Steps

Promotion!

Basically we’re going to try to get it this game in front of as many people as possible. We’d love your help in that process! Tell your friends about the game and share as much as you can on social media.

 

Since a game is never actually done, we’re going to continue to fix bugs. I wish I could release things that are bug free, but that’s basically impossible for me 🙁

*the Itch.io Mac version is suffering from inability to correctly sign the app. Still working on it. The Steam version seems to work.

trolley problem game

If we get enough sales (that’s to say quantifiable interest) we’ll do more:

  • Add thematic situation packs. Situations take time to make and I only want to create more if I know they’ll be played. Thematic situations like political ones require custom art and that adds hard costs (not just time).
  • Android version. I’ve tried and failed due to the bundle size, hopefully this will be released soon.
  • Better, real time, statistics. I’ll admit the game is deceptive and I don’t like that as one of the goals from the get go was to share stats about player decisions. Implementing this turned out to be a nightmare and delayed us releasing the game by half a year. In summary, sending data to an analytics program is easy (ads track you everywhere and you really should get a tracker blocker), showing the collected data back to players is hard. I know that someone reading this is thinking “but that’s so easy and I do that all the time”; but, my coding skills are limited and my patience has run out dealing with multiple analytics services and their limitations.

You made it this far in the post so I know you care 🙂

 

 

Please show your love by sharing this post on your social network of choice.

My Twitter Bots Talk About Escape Rooms & Cryptocurrency

y2kCash Zcoin

Back in the final days of 2017 I decided to create at least one Twitter bot after hearing about the Russian-backed bots. Plus, it was one of the coldest days of the year so staying inside and playing around with Twitter seemed rather appealing. I opened Cheap Bots, Done Quick and began creating some bots. Plus Dave was convincing me it’s a good idea to create bots after making one with Yifat.

So I created two Twitter bots:

@Y2KCash which talks about cryptocurrency, art, and technology.
@EscapeRoomBot which provides automated commentary on escape rooms.

Getting the bots up and running is simple enough and if you need help look there are plenty of online resources. Cheap Bots Down Quick uses Tracery as its language and if you’re new to Tracey there’s no need to fear as Katie Rose created a great guide on Tracery and Twitterbots (and here’s the full documentation).

Getting data

Escape Game Bot

Using the architecture list.

For my bots the hardest part was generating the content and not the code. Terms specific to escape rooms and cryptocurrencies was easy enough, as was some unique sentences I wanted them to say. However, for more general things I needed to look elsewhere.

I figured there’s no point in creating generic lists of objects since inevitably somebody else already has. Sure enough, Darius Kazemi nicely created just that very thing in his Corpora project. “The project is a collection of static corpora (plural of “corpus”) that are potentially useful in the creation of weird internet stuff.” It includes lists of common objects and terms, which proved very useful for my weird internet project.

Adding lists greatly increased the diversity of commentary the bots could espouse. Sometimes the results from the lists are unexpected like this:

I decided to go further and add emoji and hashtags. Emojis were easy enough but hashtags took some figuring out (to add a hashtag in Tracery preface it with “\#” ie) \#hashtag \#escaperoom). Adding emojis to EscapeRoomBot was clearly a smart move as the commentary on escape games including emojis get more impressions. Also, the emoji are just fun to add.

Now go make your own Twitter bots!

Some final thoughts from the bots:

 

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