Reality is a Game

Game thinking from Adam Clare

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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.

Introducing Dr. Trolley and their Trolley Problem

Dr. Trolley’s Problem trailer

This video game tests your moral fortitude. 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 fiber in ways you never imagined (or asked for)! I’ve created 50 situations that are all based on the famous trolley problem, with more coming.

I’ve been working on the game for some time and it’s finally ready for the world. Well, sort of ready. We’re launching the game on Steam Early Access to make sure that all the situations are understandable and work fine.

Inspiration

I’m always interested in the intersection of philosophy and games, and in particular, the trolley problem. It’s been attempted before by the likes of MIT in their creation of the Moral Machine, which I don’t think is a fun way to reach people (it is good though). My hopes with Dr. Trolley’s Problem can reach people through entertaining gameplay in a way that the more serious moral machine (and others) simulations cannot.

Many of the situations in the game are based on research into the philosophical thought experiment first postulated by Philippa Foot back in 1967. Amongst other sources, I read the excellent book Would You Kill the Fat Man? by David Edmonds. I highly recommend it since it is filled with a ton of variations of the original problem; plus it has great analysis on each one. Edmonds also co-hosts my favourite philosophy podcast, Philosophy Bites.

trolley problem cop or robber
What would you do in this situation?

Dr. Trolley’s problem is available for both Mac and PC. If everything goes to plan the game will be available on even more platforms in the future! Imagine taking the trolley problem anywhere you go…

Don’t worry this is only a game.

What are you waiting for? Get the game now:

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