Game Jam Winner Spotlight: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening to Steal Treasure

from the gaming-like-it's-1923 dept

Yesterday, we announced the winners of our public domain game jam, Gaming Like It's 1923. We had a lot of great entries that deserve to be played, so for the next few Saturdays we're going to highlight some of the winning in the various categories.

This week, it's our winner for Best Digital Game: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening to Steal Treasure by Alex Blechman.

Most of you are probably familiar with the Robert Frost poem, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, which was published in 1923 and as of this year is officially in the public domain. Well, here's what the introduction of this tongue-in-cheek game adaptation has to say about that:

Robert Frost's classic poem about stopping in the woods for no reason is very well written, but it's also pretty boring.

Not much happens. A dumb guy stops to look at some snow, and his horse gets weirded out by him. Dull. Yawn. Snoozeville.

Maybe that was considered an action-packed poem back in 1923, when Frost wrote it, but it's overdue for an update.

That's where you, the player, comes in. In this simple browser game, you are tasked with updating Frost's poem to sate a modern audience's craving for action, adventure, and... treasure! Verse by verse, you are presented with the poem and given the ability to swap out various nouns, verbs and adjectives for more exciting alternatives. So this:

...becomes something like this:

With some prompting and encouragement, you'll edit the entire poem in this fashion, until finally gazing upon your finished creation. Yeah: it's a very simple game, but one that made lots of us crack a smile and give it a second playthrough to see if we could do an even better editing job. It's funny, well-written and succinct, and we're thrilled to call it our winner for Best Digital Game. Check it out now on Itch, and share your best poem in the comments!

Next week, we'll take a look at another one of the winners, though you can always explore them all right now as well as all the other entries that didn't quite make the cut.

Filed Under: game jam, public domain, video games


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Feb 2019 @ 3:10pm

    Is there somewhere we can post our final results for people to vote on? Some sort of a leaderboard?

    r/SWSEST seems appropriate if there isn't anywhere else; or he could add the feature to the game :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Gary (profile), 23 Feb 2019 @ 4:39pm

    Sweet

    How can Robert Frost be incentivized to create new works if we take his poems like this??

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Feb 2019 @ 6:23pm

    Nintendo, Sony, and Xbox are shaking in their boots.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    Gary (profile), 23 Feb 2019 @ 7:22pm

    Re:

    Nintendo, Sony, and Xbox are shaking in their boots.

    This is a good point. Why do we need the power of law - overburdensome government regulation - to protect 100 year old works?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Feb 2019 @ 7:37pm

    Re:

    It is quite, quite interesting that it's always the copyright maximalists who claim to be about "helping artists" and "encouraging creativity" who are the ones slamming creativity and mocking artistic works. Quite, quite interesting.

    Meanwhile, just to make the point that you either already know (and therefore are being a disingenuous prick) or are completely ignorant of (which makes you unqualified to comment): game jams are just that. A quick and dirty setup to allow people to create barebones experiments on ideas. Not fully formed games or ideas. Nothing in a game jam is supposed to compete with "Nintendo, Sony or Xbox."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Feb 2019 @ 5:01am

    Re:

    Since you said so, I'll take your word for it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Feb 2019 @ 7:54am

    Re: Re:

    One can be for creativity and recognize garbage at the same time.

    A few games based on 1923 stuff doesn't exactly rival the professional games made today (which of course is only possible through copyright protection).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 24 Feb 2019 @ 8:08am

    Every time I scrolled past thos headline, the words keep compressing together to look something like "Stopping James Woods" and I wonder who that shitheel is attacking this time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    sofiya, 24 Feb 2019 @ 9:27am

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  10. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 24 Feb 2019 @ 9:46am

    Re:

    Nobody cares about your scam book, Jhon.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Feb 2019 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You had me right up until that last sentence. Which is of course complete and utter bullshit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Feb 2019 @ 11:04am

    Re: Re:

    I rolled my eyes at his comment and then laughed way too loud in public when I read yours.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Feb 2019 @ 11:19am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Which game lets you hit that straw man?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Feb 2019 @ 11:59am

    Re: Re: Re:

    A few games based on 1923 stuff doesn't exactly rival the professional games made today

    It's bizarre that you think this was the goal.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. icon
    ysth (profile), 24 Feb 2019 @ 12:13pm

    Oh, good, it actually uses the 1923 version, not the subtly changed (posthumously?) later version.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Feb 2019 @ 9:56pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You say that like copyright protection automatically means your stuff isn't garbage.

    In fact copyright protection incentivizes garbage, because one could then blame poor sales on piracy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. icon
    PaulT (profile), 25 Feb 2019 @ 12:43am

    Re:

    Yes, there we have it. The people who claim to be only thinking about those poor artists will immediately crap on any independent work that fall in line with what a handful of corporations want you to consume. It doesn't matter how much true creativity is on display, it doesn't count if it can't be sold as a "AAA" title with lootboxes and DLC, art be damned.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2019 @ 10:42am

    Re: Re: Re:

    A few games based on 1923 stuff doesn't exactly rival the professional games made today

    A few games built during a game jam, which is purposefully designed to be about quick and dirty game design and NOT about creating a mega platform game. So, you've set up a comparison that makes no sense.

    This is like saying the quick and dirty novels written during NaNoWriMo aren't making Penguin/Random House shutter. Yeah. They're not supposed to. That's not the point.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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