Mini-game #4: Nudgers, The Twitter RPG


Okay, it’s time for the 4th mini-game of mine. This time it’s bit different (you don’t get to download anything, well maybe Tweetdeck but that’s it). The 4th game is played in Twitter, and this is an role playing game called Nudgers. Nudgers are few inch long, almost liquid-like creatures that live inside humans. Their main way to do anything is to nudge (or poke) human’s brain to get it to do something useful.

What you need is:

Game flow:

  • Participate in the game by creating twitter messages (tweets). I’ll explain more about this later.
  • Each day (or twice a day) the game progresses and I’ll describe what happens.

Goal of the game:
The objective is that all of you who participate (by everybody via “search @nudgers”) will collectively decide what you should do next.

I, as a “storyteller”, will tell what happens based on the “votes” you have given.

There is no specific goal, or it might be revealed during the game. It’s role playing game you know.

Here’s some rules

  • This game lasts for 7 days.
  • I’ll write some tweets that describe what’s going on the world of Nudgers. I’ll present you with some options that you guys can use. Each of these tweets will contain phrase “@nudgers” (so that it’s easy to follow by doing a search for @nudgers in the client). For example, I could write “#nudgers You see a huge creature approaching, what will you do? Round 1: ATTACK – FLEE – NOTHING – TALK“.
  • You will need to write what you think you should do (for example “#nudgers – round1 – ATTACK“)
  • After 12-24 hours, I’ll collect the answers and see which action you guys collectively decided to do, and describe the next round (if you are still alive…)
  • All this takes place in Twitter (my nudgers account being the central place to follow, @nudgers search being the the place where all messages will be visible)
  • You (per twitter account) control one Nudger living inside a human body – all other player controlled nudgers will also live inside the same body.
  • You are allowed to vote ONE ACTION per round (and not allowed to change your mind: what’s nudged is nudged).
  • It’s a must that you write your action in UPPER CASE, otherwise it won’t count.
  • You are allowed to suggest an action and argument why you guys should flee/attack/whatnot. Simply type your suggestion to @nudgers channel and say why exactly you should attack. Maybe others will follow your advice…
  • I trust you not to try to break the game, since I believe that could be easy. :)

In summary:
Just see what goes on in the @nudgers search and tweet “@nudgers – round X – ACTION” when new round is available.

If anything is unclear, don’t worry – I neither really don’t know how well this will go.

To participate:

  • Join Twitter
  • Follow my Nudgers account or check my page twitter.com/nudgers
  • Keep eye on the #nudgers search
  • Bonus: I really recommend downloading Tweetdeck or some other software, it will make your Twitter-life much easier. Don’t even bother with the website interface.

See you there…

This game will last 7 days and your Nudgers might die during it. I don’t know what will happen – it’s up to you. And I have absolutely no plans to run another game after the 7 days.

I know this might sound bit odd, but let’s just try and see how this goes. I’ve done bit similar thing with 5-6 guys… but don’t know what happens if many of you really are gonna participate. Well, I guess that’s the reason this is called a prototype…

World of Nudgers – the introduction
Humans. Those large creatures think that they are in control. Little do they understand that there’s higher force controlling them. Well, not perhaps a higher force, but at least a force: Nudgers. Nudgers who have sticks.

Nudgers are small creatures who wander inside human bodies. These troll-like creatures are only couple of inch long, but like to use their stick to poke the human brain. Whenever a human person brushes his teeth, you can rest assured there was Nudgers nudging his brain. Whenever you see humans doing stupid things, well, there’s Nudgers who caused that.

In one stormy night, a group of Nudgers had invaded a new human body that was lying motionless in a forest. You notice several nudgers around you and must now decide what you plan to do next. continues here…

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. Using Tweetdeck I can see the reply made by nudgers23 because it includes the hashtag I’m following through a search. This is a part of twitter to make it so conversations aren’t dependent on who you follow and who’s following you. Basically, a “#nudgers” twitter search will show the replies to @gameproducer. At the same time it allows the nudgers thing to be less obtrusive. So, the suggested set-up deals with the potential problems caused by doing a reply rather than a normal tweet. I got the idea to do a reply from seeing nudgers23 do it.

    Another point is that the level of obtrusiveness is dependent on the ratio of nudger tweets to other tweets made by a person. For myself, that’s way too high not to use the replies. However, if a person makes twenty other tweets each day, I don’t see this as a problem. I’m actually hoping to get back into tweeting about my blogging and such.

  2. “Now, if @michael makes a reply @nudgers saying “@nudgers – round 1 – ATTACK – attack is the best defence”, then it would mean that @PlayerX (who is following @nudgers, but not following @michael) wouldn’t see this message?”

    Ah, good point. But actually same could be said if I wrote “#nudgers – round 1 – ATTACK – attack is the best defence”, no-one would see it unless they were following me OR the #nudgers hashtag.

    So I think if you just change your search to this url: http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%40nudgers then that’ll work fine.

    Also I believe tweetdeck allows you to “follow” @-replies just as it does hashtags. I could be wrong there though. I use twhirl, and that allows you to do it.

  3. This was a brilliant start!! :D

    @nudgers could be a bot.. well a more intelligent bot serving you quests in a way.. hmmm.. a cron job later, the story moves forward..

  4. Okay, so let me get this right… I created an account:

    Now, if @michael makes a reply @nudgers saying “@nudgers – round 1 – ATTACK – attack is the best defence”, then it would mean that @PlayerX (who is following @nudgers, but not following @michael) wouldn’t see this message?

    Important part of this thing is to see what others are suggesting and why, so unless you follow everybody is playing the game this won’t happen?

    Really interesting :)


    Katy: I’m exploring (1) how Twitter works (or where it could work) and (2) what happens when this type of experiment goes. Right now it has generated pretty interesting discussion about the gaming possibilities of Twitter.

  5. @Juuso: Usually @-replies are down to a minimum and more sophisticated clients that make Twitter actually useful blend those out for everybody not involved. But usually I just keep personal stuff to Direct Messages using “D Username Blabla”.

    Anyway, I don’t mean to rain on any parade, but turning your Twitter messages into a game might have a negative effect on people who are following you for your content.

    I’d also like to offer a solution: How about doing this game in a private FriendFeed room, do game related stuff there and stream in Twitter for updates to the players. And I’m also with Michael here.. creating a Twitter client for the “game server” would be a good idea, so you won’t use your credebility on your main account. Jeff Tunnell and the other guys from PushButton Labs, for example, created a Twitter account especially for their new engine. So everybody who is interested in updates related to the new engine can opt-in.

  6. 7-14 turns seems very small for a whole game, even with limited available commands. What is gained by making it a public, networked game spread out over time? What are you exploring here?

    I like the idea of being able to influence other players… But then you say moves can’t be changed after you make them. Influence and negotiation doesn’t seem common in the online casual game space, although I may just be looking in the wrong places and finding mostly time management games like Zynga does on Facebook.

  7. Interesting idea but I agree with Oliver, it’s not the place for it. However if you made a separate account (like @nudgers for example) and changed commands to “@nudgers – round1 – ATTACK” instead of using the hashtag, I think this would be OK. At the minute, everyone that follows you sees all the game commands, even if they don’t want to play.

    “What about replying to other people you follow? Isn’t that kind of rude too to everybody not involved?”

    Actually @-replies are only seen by people who are following both you and the other person. So if I write “@juuso thanks for posting that link” then this will only be seen by people following both me (@MichaelJW) and you. Well, and you yourself of course ;) And if they’re following both of us, chances are they’d like to see whatever link it was that we were both interested in.

    That’s why @nudgers would be better than #nudgers — it would only be seen by people playing the game.

  8. Oliver: good point.

    Hmm… what about replying to other people you follow? Isn’t that kind of rude too to everybody not involved (meaning: everybody except you and the guy you reply to)?

    Well, good thing Twitter right now is a testing tool to see what comes out of it. Thanks for the very good feedback.

  9. I will so not do that.. probably a great way to lose respect of others who follow you. Go on Twitter to add value to “the conversation”.. games like that can be played in private chat rooms.

    Sorry but I think doing that would be kind of rude. Imagine being at a party and all of a sudden announcing a silly game like that. It would be just obnoxious and creepy to everybody not involved.

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