My Games

Some sketches and doodles of my own that I’ve made in the course of attempting to better understand the interactive medium. I host these creations here not because they are “necessary” to anyone by any means, but because, for me, they are part of the discussion with which this website is concerned. I do not hold them up as great or noteworthy, but only as trifling experiments that may or may not be of interest. Note: for my latest doodles go to GameTrekking.com.

5 Colors Pandora screenshot
Jordan Magnuson's picture

5 Colors Pandora

Current version: 0.47

Last update:

Created with: Game Maker 8

Time frame: 48 hours + some

Download for: Windows

Source: Game Maker 8

An exploration game about colors and their consequences. Not particularly long, but a bit more difficult than my usual offerings. Hints are included in the download, and a complete video playthrough is available on YouTube (thanks Ortoslon).

5 Colors Pandora was originally made for Ludum Dare 16, where it came in 9th (out of 121 entries)… it was later entered into the 6th Gamer Maker Competition, where it made the final 15 (out of 275 entries).

Discussion and Reactions: TIGForums, Ludum DareYoYo GamesIndieGames.com.

 

Some kind words:

One word: GENIUS! (Atomic, LD Feedback).

Absolutely brilliant… I liked this game so much that, when I accidentally quit the game by hitting escape trying to pause when I got a phone call near the very end, I played it all the way through again just to finish (Philomory, LD Feedback).

Astonishing (Sos, LD Feedback).

Unique and intriguing (Frimkron, LD Feedback).

Deceptively deep (SonnyBone, LD Feedback).

The best game I have seen in this competition so far in every aspect (Risko, LD Feedback).

[One of] a selection of games released in 2010 which I absolutely loved (Terry Cavanagh, Distractionware.com).

On the flip side:

Meh. Nice atmosphere, but lots of backtracking and the ending… pff (Anonymous, IndieGames.com comments).

Find a bug? Please let me know.

Walk or Die screenshot
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Walk or Die

Current version: 1.01

Last update:

Created with: FlashPunk

Time frame: A few days, part time

Play now: Play in browser

More poem than game, Walk or Die is a study in the most minimalistic interaction I could think of. Does it  deserve to be called “interactive” at all? You decide.

Walk or Die was made for the TIGSource “A Game By Its Cover” competition; you can see the cart that inspired it here.

Discuss at the Notgames Forums, FlashPunk Forums, or TIGForums.

 

Some kinds words:

Nice! (Michaël Samyn, Tale of Tales).

I played it for at least ten minutes, while walking on my treadmill :D… I really like it (axcho, Notgames Forums).

It made me think about a lot of things for the 20 minutes I held the spacebar down. Mostly about mortality and solitude (Albert L., NG Comments).

Thirty… minutes… addicted. Something about this was just so… tranquil (Reetva, TIGForums).

On the flip side:

This game is exactly what I expected it to be. Which is kind of disappointing, really (Soulliard, TIGForums).

Find a bug? Please let me know.

Loneliness screenshot
Jordan Magnuson's picture

Loneliness

Current version: 028

Last update:

Created with: FlashPunk

Time frame: A few hours

Play now: Play in browser

An experimental, minimalistic microgame about loneliness, made for the Korean middle school students I taught for a year. 

Loneliness was an official selection of the Extra Credits Innovation Awards 2011, in the category of Narrative Delivery. It was also the focus of episode 25 of Extra Credits season 4: Mechanics as Metaphor.

Discussion and Reactions: Ludum DareNotgames Forums, TIGForumsFlashPunk ForumsNewgrounds, Kongregate, TwitterIndieGames.com.

 

Some kind words:

Affected me the first time, and even more strongly the second (Gregory Weir, game designer).

Made me really really really really really really really really really sad inside (Elspeth, NG Comments).

Worth every second (PlayIndieGames.Wordpress.com).

I can’t say that this game makes me feel particularly lonely, or particularly sad. But what it does do (very well, I think), is force me to make a decision: will I continue to engage, even though I KNOW it’s fruitless, or will I give up? And that question, I think, is profound. Because that IS what loneliness feels like: a never ending pattern of rejection. A hopeless state which will not change. And the only choices are to despair (to move, alone, into the dark), or to continue to pour out energy in what we believe (what we feel we KNOW) to be a pointless endeavor. What I loved about the game was that it demonstrated that, despite my knowledge of futility, I couldn’t choose isolation (AmelMag, NG Comments).

On the flip side:

Ye gods, it’s not emo sixth form poetry these days is it, it’s dreadful indie games (Kate S, Twitter).

So grauenhaft wie das und seine anderen Spiele programmiert sind, glaube ich eher dass er diese "schlichte" Aufmachung leider nur wählt weil er es nicht besser kann (Besucher2778, Spreeblick.com).

The meta-game reason for it aside; it does have nice music and visuals, but you can’t use ‘minimalist’ as an excuse for not having any real content. There’d be many ways to take some time and actually give it a point beyond the meta-game point to it. Games can have meanings and messages beyond just being a ‘game,’ but a game must have some sort of rules and goals to it to fulfill its primary purpose as a game. Without that, it doesn’t matter the reasoning or point to it, it’ll just be dull (Pyrewraith, Kongregate).

Lame as fuck (Greg, IndieGames.com comments).

Find a bug? Please let me know.

Being There screenshot
Jordan Magnuson's picture

Being There

Current version: 007

Last update:

Created with: Inform 7

Time frame: Some number of days

Download for: All Platforms

An extremely experimental little work of interactive fiction with pictures, about existence and Korea. Being There requires that you download and install a free Glulx interpreter.

Once you’ve installed a Glulx interpreter, go ahead and download Being There. You’ll need to unzip it, then open it with the Glulx interpreter.

Discuss at the Notgames ForumsTIGForums, or the IFDB.

 

Some kind words:

An Ode to Joy… the joy of living, the joy of experiencing and acting—that is what this game is about (Victor Gijsbers, celebrated author of De Baron and Fate).

I really enjoyed it. Evoked a strong feeling of nostalgia—memories of chilly autumn days at the park and such. The photos were lovely. I loved all of the different interactions you programmed in—it was quite compelling just exploring this mysterious, kind of magical world. Made me feel like I was a kid again (Adam, TIGForums).

I have played through it five times so far. The pictures seem alive and the actions are awesome… It felt like I was there. I just wish it wasn’t so short (Brendan Magnuson, my brother).

A touching travelogue… a love letter to Korea (Peter, IFDB).

On the flip side:

In the end, it really doesn’t say very much about either existence or Korea (Felix Larsson, IFDB).

Find a bug? Please let me know.

Freedom Bridge screenshot
Jordan Magnuson's picture

Freedom Bridge

Current version: 0.31

Last update:

Created with: FlashPunk

Time frame: Some number of hours

Play now: Play in browser

Readme: Readme.txt

Source: Online at GitHub

A very small notgame about Freedom Bridge, in Korea. Takes about two minutes to play through.

In 2011 Freedom Bridge was showcased by Extra Credits as one of twenty-seven "most interesting games of recent years that you might not have tried (or heard of)."

Discussion and Reactions: Notgames Forums, TIGForumsFlashpunk Forums, NewgroundsKongregate, Twitter.

 

Some kind words:

One of the most intense interactive experiences I’ve ever had. I went on and watched some short documentaries about Korea afterwards in order to process the tension it had left me with (Mitsche, FlashPunk Forums).

I’ve listened to countless NPR stories and read dozens of New York Times pieces on the complicated situation between North and South Korea, but nothing emotionally immobilized me the same way that Jordan Magnuson’s Freedom Bridge did (Patrick Klepek, EGMi issue 241.5, page 5).

One of the best video games I’ve played all year (Fraser McMillan, Resolution Magazine).

An excellent demonstration of how you can use the medium to really have an impact (Brooks Harrel, college student with a ‘starving artist’ passion for game design).

Short, to the point, and beautiful (benedict, FlashPunk Blog).

Very much worth the quick playthrough! (GameSetWatch).

I often take issue with games this short and message-centric, but it was very effective (Bryan Suchenski).

Here, despite being the barest representation possible, is something far more deeply affecting than the biggest budget "emotional experience" being crafted today (Eolirin, Raph Koster’s Blog).

Best flash game ever? (multiple posts on Twitter).

On the flip side:

Sorry, but I have a hard time calling this a game. The supposed interaction was so limited as to be meaningless (BigJonno, Resolution Magazine comments).

You know, a game doesn’t become good or moving just because a poignant message is flashed at the end (Desper, Resolution Magazine comments).

Find a bug? Please let me know.

Country Connect! screenshot
Jordan Magnuson's picture

Country Connect!

Current version: 1.11

Last update:

Created with: PyGame

Time frame: 3 Weeks

Download for: Windows

A game of world travel inspired by the 10 Days board games and aimed at casual game players. It was designed with netbooks in mind, for Intel’s Atom Developer Challenge. It was chosen by Intel as the best education & reference application of the contest. 

The game was made in Python, which means that Mac and Linux builds should be possible. If anyone is interested in porting the game, feel free to check out the source code on GitHub. Please let me know if you do anything with it :)

Discuss at the TIGSource Forums.

 

Some kind words:

Before you know it you are immersed in a knowledge of world geography. It’s almost like cheating, the education is so easy and fun here (Intel App Developer Blog).

Find a bug? Please let me know.

Terrorist Killer screenshot
Jordan Magnuson's picture

Terrorist Killer

Current version: 0.73

Last update:

Created with: Game Maker 8

Time frame: 10 days

Download for: Windows

Source: Gmk File

A short political game about terrorism and the war on terror. Originally made for the Kokoromi one-button challenge

I’m afraid it may be a bit heavy-handed, but then again, so is life.

Terrorist Killer was an official selection of the Extra Credits Innovation Awards 2011, in the category of Positive Impact.

Discuss at TIGForums.

 

Some kind words:

A very effective use of the medium… The brutal simplicity of it is precisely what makes it powerful (Jonas Kyratzes, artist and game designer).

A game that makes a point without forgetting that it has to be a game (PC Gamer).

On the flip side:

Meh. Tasteless game. So if you need to butcher countless innocents to stop the “OMG TERRORISTS”, how exactly are you any better than them? (Diasp0ra, PC Gamer).

Find a bug? Please let me know.

Bunnies vs. Bunnies screenshot
Jordan Magnuson's picture

Bunnies vs. Bunnies

Current version: 1.00

Last update:

Created with: Game Maker 7/8

Time frame: 5 Days + some

Download for: Windows

A game I created with the help of Mitchell Hillman in an "extended weekend" (five days) for the mini Ludum Dare #14 48-hour game creation competition. The theme of the compo was "Tragedy and/or Comedy." I decided to tackle the tragedy theme head on by creating a game about genocide. It ended up tying for second place overall, out of the thirteen entries. I’ve since polished and tweaked the game a bit.

The game is short (five levels), and shouldn’t take long to play through. If you find a level too frustrating or difficult, you can use the "N" key to skip to the next one. 

You can find discussion related to the game and a link to an old, more challenging version with a time limit at the TIGSource Forums.

Some kind words:

Awesome effort (Alex Higgins, Zandair Studios).

Wonderful. At first I thought, this is like SimAnt. I changed my mind. I don’t remember ghettos and Gatling guns in SimAnt (Jed Davis, NG Comments).

Find a bug? Please let me know.

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