The Great UO E-Mail Disaster of 2015 and Digital Wordplay

It seems that the stress of Winter 2015’s final stretch, known as “Dead Week,” has been getting to the teaching staff, faculty, and graduate teaching fellows at the University of Oregon.

Today an unfortunate listserve e-mail, innocuously entitled “Course merge requests,” has transformed an innocent miscalculation into a cacophony of silliness in the University’s Webmail, with over 100 e-mails sent out so far as a result. Luckily for someone who both teaches and does research in Humor Studies, this case is quite illustrative of digital ‘wordplay.’

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Thoughts on the Keep Battles Art and Animation Update

We are very excited to be working on a major art update for our most popular game, Keep Battles! In this post, I will include some thoughts on this process and end with a few samples of what is to come!

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References Part 2: Cafeteria Clash Gameplay Design

In my last post, I discussed influences for Keep Battles and Slide Penguin Slide, ranging from Warcraft 3 mods to Black Sabbath. Now I will discuss our influences for Cafeteria Clash, which has been Rabbit Games’ most expansive project to date.

I have written briefly on the design process of Cafeteria Clash here, but in this post I want to specifically consider the other media that were influential for its development.

The core gameplay of Cafeteria Clash can be distilled into three primary elements: tower defense (TD), trading card game (TCG), and social media integration.

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References Part 1: Slide Penguin Slide & Keep Battles

Video games do not spontaneously generate, but rather emerge from the collective work of an individual or group of persons. Even if we consider a game made by one person, nobody works without some dependence on the work of others, and so it is useful to consider the ways in which games are influenced by and emerge through the work of others.

Rather than solely emphasize the originality of games and the new elements they bring to the table, it is also important to consider the other games upon which they draw. This is a standard procedure when writing philosophy, and references to relevant authors are often considered more of a strength than a weakness. At Rabbit Games, we try to play as many unique and relevant games as possible so that it might lead to improvements in our own work.

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On Cafeteria Clash

Rabbit Games is mostly the project of my husband, and he works on our games much more extensively than I do. Watching him create a story, a school, and a strategy from code has been very impressive, and he invested countless hours (over the course of a year) on making the game.

Cafeteria Clash began as a concept: merely that the gameplay would involve combining foods with different attributes, and then using these combinations to engage in some sort of food fight scenario. The first prototype that Roger made actually involved placing food combinations onto catapults and then clicking to launch them at passers-by, much like a carnival game. But we found that we wanted the game to be more, so Roger set to work on developing a combination of tower defense and deck-building that would become Cafeteria Clash.

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