Skip

The lemon is evil.
May 24, 2011 6:20 PM   Subscribe

"Remember, you’re the first little girl who’s ever made a game at TOJam. And everyone’s worried you’re going to run around screaming and making noise and wrecking things. […] If you’re very well behaved, then next year if another little girl wants to come and make a game, the TOJam people will say 'the little girl who made a game last year was SO wonderful, we’d LOVE to see more little girls making games.'" Ryan Creighton takes his five-year-old daughter Cassie to an indie game jam in Toronto, and together they make Sissy's Magical Ponycorn Adventure.
posted by danb (45 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite

 
I just played this and it is adorable.
posted by restless_nomad at 6:27 PM on May 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, it's Ponycorn. Becauase for a second there....
posted by orthogonality at 6:28 PM on May 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Cute game. Since my daughter is also 5 (well, in a couple weeks), and I can barely program enough to get myself through, I donated a bit.
posted by swimming naked when the tide goes out at 6:38 PM on May 24, 2011


I played all the way through and enjoyed this. Someone please make Jason Rohrer play through this again and again and again until he understands why this game is better than any of his games.

now to make ponycorn lemon meringue
posted by Bwithh at 6:44 PM on May 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


"You're evil because you're a lemon!"

Game of the year, no question.
posted by Huck500 at 6:44 PM on May 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh, this is seriously cute. Here's to more little girls getting interested early on in making games.
posted by cmgonzalez at 6:44 PM on May 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


This kind of reminds me of Axe Cop, where another little kid gets to see the product of their imagination become "real."
posted by xingcat at 6:46 PM on May 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is awesome enough to make me wish I had real programming skills and a five year old daughter.
posted by meinvt at 6:47 PM on May 24, 2011


Wonderful stuff - very cute. Played it through with my 7- and 10-year old laughing all the way. We're now inspired to write our own game (they've been doing stuff in Scratch for over a year). Tossed a tip in the paypal jar.
posted by dylanjames at 6:49 PM on May 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I...I like this more than any videogame I've ever attempted. Way to go, Cassie, you defeated a videogame grump!
posted by hippugeek at 6:50 PM on May 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Okay, so I got to play this game and before the game loads, I get an add for some TV show. Shot of a woman in a swimming pool. Then, turns out the woman is dead and the tag line is "Murder is back in season" and some snarky looking (detective? forensic dude?).

Talk about poor ad placement. (Also the ad doesn't show up if you use firefox + adblock)
posted by delmoi at 6:51 PM on May 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm sure it's cute, but I got about halfway through the intro narration before the voice got on my nerves and I had to close the tab.

(No, I don't hang around kids much, why do you ask?)
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 6:57 PM on May 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


"you're walking through a rainbow when you see a turtle laying on its back --"

"Which rainbow?"

"It doesn't make any difference which rainbow, it's completely hypothetical."

"But how come I'm walking through rainbows?"

"Maybe you're looking for ponycorns. Who knows? You look down and see a turtle, laying on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can't. Not without you. And you're not helping."

"What do you mean, I'm not helping?"

"I mean, you're not helping. Why is that, Leon?"
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 6:59 PM on May 24, 2011 [30 favorites]


I am just not made for videogames. Collected three ponycorns, and now I'm stuck. It's Grand Theft Auto all over again.
posted by benito.strauss at 7:16 PM on May 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


benito.strauss: "I am just not made for videogames. Collected three ponycorns, and now I'm stuck. It's Grand Theft Auto all over again"

You're better at it than me, I didn't get any ponycorns in GTA.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 7:18 PM on May 24, 2011 [17 favorites]


I got all the ponycorns, and an extra coconut!
posted by yellowbinder at 7:21 PM on May 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Awesome. It even has ending vignettes for each area you visit, just like Fallout.
posted by juv3nal at 7:26 PM on May 24, 2011


Don't be silly, juv3nal. It's _nothing_ like Fallout.





It didn't crash once!
posted by coriolisdave at 7:29 PM on May 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


I wanna play! But do I have to pay before playing? For me (not in US) the link goes straight to the donate page.
posted by likeso at 7:35 PM on May 24, 2011


likeso, I'm in Canada, and I was able to play without paying.
posted by tickingclock at 7:39 PM on May 24, 2011


Bwithh: "I played all the way through and enjoyed this. Someone please make Jason Rohrer play through this again and again and again until he understands why this game is better than any of his games.

now to make ponycorn lemon meringue
"

Oh snap!
posted by symbioid at 7:39 PM on May 24, 2011


I played this earlier when waxpancake tweeted about it. It is super charming. I look forward to the increasing maturity of highly accessible program toolkits; this should be something every kid can do mostly by themselves.
posted by cortex at 7:54 PM on May 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh hey, that's the Ryan Creighton, who outplayed an entire conference-roomful of games designers and got little but abuse for it (personally I feel that was the kind of games-playing that would make Dave Arneson proud).
posted by Kattullus at 8:18 PM on May 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


That was amazing on so many different levels. The game design, the artwork, the voice acting (which was surprisingly apt for a 5 year old), the glimpses of conversations that happened off-screen as father and daughter negotiated various scenes, the implied larger history of positive parenting.
posted by postel's law at 8:52 PM on May 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


I am fundamentally opposed to this game due to its blatant anti-lemonism. This is unacceptable.
posted by majonesing at 9:33 PM on May 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


likeso, I'm in Canada, and I was able to play without paying.
posted by tickingclock at 7:39 PM on May 24 [+] [!]


Huh. Well, could be iPad/browser related... I'll try later on the laptop. Thanks. :)
posted by likeso at 9:39 PM on May 24, 2011


likeso,

It is a Flash game so you're probably having iPad trouble yeah.
posted by Winnemac at 9:44 PM on May 24, 2011


Ah! Flash. No wonder. Mystery solved, thanks Winnemac. :)
posted by likeso at 10:23 PM on May 24, 2011


That "Put me in a jar, Sissy" was a little spine-chilling. Why does the ponycorn want to be in a jar? Why?
posted by running order squabble fest at 1:38 AM on May 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I once (as part of my degree) made a game about an ant being washed down a drain and out to sea, collecting items on the way (too many slowed the ant down and reduced the size of the airbubble surrounding her). It was nowhere near as engaging as this one.

I'm currently working as a research assistant on a project that involves how game playing aids literacy skills (not just reading and writing, but critical analysis, discourse, texts etc), and another RA I know is working on a project sort of about girls being marginalised in gaming and other aspects of ICT. So here's to Ryan and Cassie (and of course, Sissie and the ponycorns). I suspect this will have quite a flow on affect. Also please notice the total absence of pink as a trademark feminine colour! Anything that puts less pink in the world of girls is fantastic!

Unfortunately, I couldn't work out how to get the coconut to kill the lemon, so I didn't finish the game, but I like that it has that degree of difficulty.
posted by b33j at 3:14 AM on May 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


Unfortunately, I couldn't work out how to get the coconut to kill the lemon, so I didn't finish the game, but I like that it has that degree of difficulty.


That's one of those triggered unlocks, which along with cat-hair-on-the-honey-makes-a-mustache puzzles were the death of the point and click adventure in the golden age. You can't get the coconut until you've gone to the room with the lemon in and looked at the sign next to the rock, which shows you a picture of a coconut being thrown at a lemon.

So, even though it is obvious that you need to throw the coconut at the lemon, you can't actually do it until you've been told by the game to throw a coconut at the lemon. And if you've already tried to gather the coconut by clicking on it before that, you might not think of going back and clicking on the coconut again to get it, and think there must be something else you need to do, like get the mouse to turn back into a dragon and knock the coconut down or something.

Creighton mentions that this specific puzzle was Cassie's idea, along with providing the solution, in his blog. I imagine the other designers at the jam made her feel very, very bad about this1.

1 I don't actually think this happened2.

2They probably thought a low Metacritic ranking will be punishment enough3.

3But, seriously, I love this game. Then again, I also think "My Little Pony - Friendship is Magic" is pretty awesome4.

4Correctly.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:40 AM on May 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


That was a very awesome game. Also, I completed it with no deaths!

Admittedly, I assaulted a lemon with a potentially deadly and extremely large coconut.
posted by jaduncan at 5:09 AM on May 25, 2011


This is an adorable game.

I'm mixed on the "you have to be very good or else no one will want little girls to make games with them next time" coaching. I admit I'm not a parent and babysitting my friends' kids can be exhausting so I can see the concern. On the other hand, getting kids and especially girls interested in making games seems like a net good and worth making some accommodations for.
posted by zix at 7:24 AM on May 25, 2011


Honestly, I don't think "you have to be on your best behavior while at TOJam" acts as a discouragement at all — in this particular case, I think it underscored how special and rad being able to go / make games is. Formality can sometimes be fun...
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:23 AM on May 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


I can't wait for the toy line. Odds are Poo-Pants will be rare compared to Lady Fuzzwuzzle or Fluffybuns (to increase demand, of course), but I think if anyone deciphers the name of the pink ponycorn, I bet it'd be a mail-order-only with 5 proofs of purchase.
posted by CancerMan at 10:02 AM on May 25, 2011


I think we broked it. All I get is a blank page.
posted by ErikaB at 12:04 PM on May 25, 2011


"Honey, your game is gonna go *viral*! Daddy's gonna make a mint off his adventure game system." (seriously, anybody know of a good graphic adventure tool, because I have one I wanna see happen)
posted by symbioid at 12:08 PM on May 25, 2011


running order squabble fest: "That "Put me in a jar, Sissy" was a little spine-chilling. Why does the ponycorn want to be in a jar? Why?"

This was what I thought was funny as hell... "As a reward for treating Ponycorns well, I will reveal my true form" but I'm like "you put them in JARS!!!! I'd hate to see what treating them bad is like!"

(I just didn't wanna reveal the spoiler, but since y'all did it upthread, may as well spill the beans now)
posted by symbioid at 12:14 PM on May 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


running order squabble fest: "But, seriously, I love this game. Then again, I also think "My Little Pony - Friendship is Magic" is pretty awesome"

Although its physics are quite flawed.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 1:11 PM on May 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ponycorns in jars is the only way Sissy can replenish her health when she faces the evil Lemondorf in Sissy's Adventure 2: Rainbow Portal of Time.
posted by CancerMan at 2:36 PM on May 25, 2011


I've been playing for 15 minutes and I only have two ponycorns.
posted by lakersfan1222 at 2:46 PM on May 25, 2011


Joakim Ziegler. Possibly the ponycorns are made of dark matter, and the "jars" are in fact Klein bottles.

That would explain a lot.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:05 PM on May 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Forget the Rapture: Jesus is now talking directly to me through gaming.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 5:23 PM on May 25, 2011


"That's not a ponycorn - it's a goat on a pole. That's Weird."

It sure is Sissy, it sure is.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 12:50 AM on May 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Heh. Ryan's actually a dear friend of mine. I'm thrilled to see this show up on my beloved MeFi! :D I'll point this thread out to him - I'm sure he'll be tickled to read the comments. If you have any specific questions or comments you want to direct to him or Cassie, let me know and I'll see what I can find out.

For those having trouble playing, it did indeed go viral and his website has had a hard time keeping up. It should be better now, though.

(For those curious, the goat on a pole is a required item for every game made at TOJam.)
posted by dendritejungle at 5:36 PM on May 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


« Older I had a dream last night, that I built a universe.   |   The Most Sensible Site You Will Ever See Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post