Now it’s official. Local No.12 – Mike Edwards, Colleen Macklin, John Sharp, and me – have made our conference Twitter game BackChatter free and available to the public. Check out this page on the Local No.12 website to access the code on sourceforge, as well as our handbook for running the game and our visual design templates for posters and postcards.
So far, Education Technology conference DevLearn is planning on running the game, following indie game festival Freeplay this summer. You can take BackChatter to your event too. Really. It’s free.
BackChatter, the Twitter-based conference game I created with Local No.12, has had its run at Freeplay, the Austrailia-based independent game festival. In this blog post, John Siesma, who adapted the game to the festival, talks about what did and didn’t work with the game.
It’s a funny feeling seeing your game design taken up by others – like your baby going off to college. Of course all game players partake in some form of open source culture, as they play with the structures of a game, often changing them as they devise home rules, design levels, or engage in other forms of game modding. I’ve actually never been part of a bona fide open source code release before, and I can’t wait to see what others do with the game.
If you’ve got a conference or event that might use a bit of interstitial play to spice things up and get your attendees interacting with each other, now you can put together your own BackChatter game. We’re launching a guidebook for hosting and running the game in the very near future. Keep your eye out for it right here!
Experimental game collective Local No.12 (Mike Edwards, Colleen Macklin, John Sharp, – and myself) spent last year designing and refining BackChatter over several conferences last year, culminating in the game’s swan song at the Game Developers Conference in March.
What is the game? BackChatter is a Twitter and web game designed for conferences. Players get points for predicting what words will be popular in the Twitter backchannel for the conference they’re attending. You make moves via Twitter, betting on words that you think will show up in Tweets with the conference hashtag.
As we announced at GDC, we have open-sourced the code for the game, which will let you create your own BackChatter game for your event. We are working on documenting the code and creating a game hosting guide, but in the meantime, the game is already being used for other events. Check out John Sietsma’s blog post about using the game code for Freeplay, aMelbourne-based independent game festival.
Stay posted for official BackChatter documentation later this fall. And let me know if you’re thinking about using BackChatter for your event.