In the news: Wired
Tweet Land: Where the game play is determined by Twitter
By Olivia Solon0
Tweetland is a new game that aims to use real time tweets to shape game play. It’s currently looking for funds on Kickstarter.
A little like Scribblenauts, the games within Tweet Land take mentions of certain words on the microblogging site and turns them into gaming events. Some of the trigger words will be based on trend topics, while others are based on internet memes or common events.
There are currently just two games within the aesthetically retro Tweet Land: racing game Route 140 and shoot-em-up Love City. Route 140 is programmed to look for mentions of keywords in tweets, such as “car accident”, “tsunami”, “shooting star”, “fireflies” and “zombie”. These words will trigger somewhat self-explanatory actions within the gaming universe.
So the mention of a meteor will cause — surprise, surprise — a meteor to hit the road, and if someone tweets about a car crash, that too will take place on the route. The word zombie triggers an invasion of the undead onto Route 140. If Twitter starts to experience problems, a fail whale will also fall onto the track.
Currently the game reacts to all mentions of the words, but the team plans to filter out tweets with offensive words in the near future.
The second game sees an anti-care bear in charge of weapons that are powered with “hate” tweets. The misanthropic bear builds his armoury through weapon-based tweets such as “lightsaber” and “shotgun”. These are then charged with the hate tweets. He then has to take on citizens that try to hug him every time someone tweets the word “love”.
In an email interview, the Tweet Land team told Wired.co.uk that the biggest challenge was keeping the game balanced in order it to be “fun and addictive”. They said: “Since we are using a lot of tweets for the game, there would sometimes be a problem when one keyword would appear way more often than other ones. We want the player to be able to experience a different variety of tweets every time they play without letting the game just spam a wave of retweets, so we have been working on balancing these issues.”
The team behind Tweet Land are a motley crew of developers, graphic designers, musicians and digital marketers from Costa Rica — Diego Vasquez, Nestor Villalobos, Juan Diego Espinoza, Andres Cartin, Felipe Cartin and Alberto Cartin. They have already beaten their Kickstarter funding target of $7,000, which will go towards launching the game in beta for the web and iPhone.
The aim is to build more games within the Tweet Land platform and eventually launch on iPad and Android. The video above gives you a flavour of the games. Do you like the idea? Tell us in the comments below.