Time for an official announcement: we’re working on a new game, and you can play the beta now! It’s called Scribbly Wits, and it’s our follow up to Vessel (and is probably about as different as you can get from it). So what is it? Scribbly Wits is an implementation of a pen and paper party game that goes by various names: ‘Telephone Pictionary’, ‘Telestrations’, ‘Eat Poop You Cat’, etc. It’s like the game ‘Telephone’, but with pictures: each person draws/describes the previous friend’s phrase/drawing, adding to a chain. The goal with Scribbly Wits isn’t to guess the correct answer, it’s to have fun with your friends in the act of conversation filtered through pictures and phrases. By the end it inevitably gets crazy, often hilariously so, as small details are left out/added/misinterpreted. It’s little mutations in descriptions evolving into something amazing.
Most social games only let you interact through very thin channels, which most often are actually just ways to get you to spam your friends
Why build this game? It’s simple: because technology has connected us all socially, and yet there are very few truly social games that create interactions with your connections. It’s a game that has been around about as long as paper and pencil, and yet there is no digital version that makes it easy and frictionless and fun to play with friends. Our innovation is to make that core experience of connecting with friends really polished and seamless, supporting all major platforms and social-networks, allowing asynchronous play and passive invites (just jump into a game anytime). The goal of this game is to be one of the few true ‘social’ games: the primary experience of the game is actually playing with groupsof friends, where your interactions with them are directly based on what they’re doing, and a result of their personalities and your relationships with them.
Most social games only let you interact through very thin channels, which most often are actually just ways to get you to spam your friends (giving gifts, begging friends for tickets, etc). The social interactions in most social games are actually just ads for the game, and rarely do you truly play with friends in any meaningful sense of the word. As a result, these practices have come to define and stigmatize social games, which is a sad state of affairs because the underlying platform – a service where literally all my friends are connected all of the time – is just mind-blowingly awesome. It’s easy to forget the huge potential in that when most social games use it only to exploit your friend connections. We’re taking the risk of developing for these stigmatized platforms, betting that we can work to redefine what it means to engage with friends in a social game and make something with real and meaningful interactions. Our goal is lofty, to create a platform for these spontaneous groups of friends to form, play, and connect to each other. The world is connected enough to allow some really truly interesting games between groups, the technology is already in place. It’s only been a lack of design imagination that has prevented many truly social games from materializing.
So we’ve just opened it up now to a wider audience, give it a play and by all means give us lots of feedback. The web version is available now (click to play), and we’ll have beta builds of the mobile version soon. Jump into our forums and let us know what you think! You can also email me directly at