Carnegie Mellon University
Entertainment Technology Center
Experimental Gameplay Info Experimental Gameplay People The Games


(Look below for our newest games, or further down for our FAQ.)

UPDATE: Our semester is now over. We've made a postmortem discussing what we learned over the course of the semester. Check it out here.

This is the website of the Experimental Gameplay Project at Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technoology Center. Our goal is to find new and fun ways of interacting with gamespaces by rapidly prototyping a series of ideas. Every game you see on this site is the product of one person: one individual to design, code, and create artwork. Most were made in under a week.

Every round of games has a common theme that we use to focus our design process and inspire ourselves. They can range from something physical like "Gravity" to something abstract like "Birth" or "Violate."

We don't censor our output, and as a result there will be some games on this site that, well, simply aren't that much fun. It's all part of the experimentation process; we firmly believe that just asmuch is learned from a bad game as from a good game. To that end, every game has a post-mortem from its developer saying what went right and wrong with that particular game.

Newest Games: Contrast

Keep the house tidy by cleaning the mess before Nanny gets to it!

exe zip

Manage the energy and position of cosmic pucks to help bring balance to the universe.

exe zip

Find the firefly, then bring light to the area.

exe zip


A game that trains your ear. Musical bubbles float up the screen, and you must pop the ones that aren't in key with the musical scale

exe zip

A three-player game where you have to manage a music store and attract the most customers by standing out from the competition.

exe zip


Q: Didn't I see something like this last year? Or on Attack of the Show?
A: Yes, we are the continuation of a project from the spring of 2005. The previous group got a lot of publicity and cultivated quite a following. You can see their website here. (There's really some great work over there; you should check it out.) We decided to make our own site to give us the freedom to explore our own ideas a bit without being tied to the aesthetic and taste of the previous team.

Q: Hey, you said new games every Friday! How come I don't see any?
A: Usually we wait until post-mortems are done to post the games, and that can sometimes take up to a day or more (the developers are usually tired the day of completion, for some reason :-)). Please be patient; we'll get the stuff up eventually. (If you're reading this during the summer or winter months, it's likely that CMU is on break and no new games are being made. Check back at the start of next semester!)

Q: How do you make these games? How can I make games?
A: This semester, all the developers are using OpenGL with an in-house C++ framework. The previous team made a number of games in Flash, and there has been one game this year using PHP. A good idea is not limited by the toolset — we all simply use the tools with which we're most comfortable. If you're looking for help learning the basics of programming, there are many free online resources. Here is one of them.

Q: Any thoughts about porting these games to {the Mac | Nintendo DS | Cell Phones}?
A: Our framework is just GLUT and some sound libraries, so there's no reason the games couldn't be ported to the Mac or even Linux... we just haven't bothered to yet. It's tough work cranking out this many games in such a short time period, and cross-platform programming isn't our focus. Perhaps after the semester is done, one of our more Mac/Linux-friendly developers will do some ports. As for the DS, development kits are really expensive, and they don't like giving them to schools, so that's pretty much out. Cell phones are a really neat platform, but we don't have a whole lot of experience programming for them and would rather focus on turning out neat gameplay and not wrestling with the tools.

Q: Will you make my game for me? I've got a great idea!
A: We're sure you do. But we'd probably just murder it. Best to explore one of the aforementioned free online resources and code it up yourself.

Q: Game X doesn't work on my computer!
A: Sorry about that. It's worth saying, for the record, that these games are offered AS IS with no guarantee or support. That being said, they all work pretty well on our machines. :-) If you have a serious problem, shoot us an e-mail and we'll see what we can do. Don't be surprised if we don't write back though; we're really busy! (Sorry, them's the breaks when you're grad students.)

Q: Can I join you guys?
A: Not without:

  1. Applying to the ETC.
  2. Being accepted to the ETC.
  3. Surviving your first semester at the ETC.
  4. Being assigned to the project after expressing interest in it to the director(s).

In short, not really, unfortunately. But hey, if you wanna come to the ETC, just click that link and start the adventure!