Freeze Tag

Research Questions

  • How does basic improv work on Twitch?
  • How is audience attention affected by an extension overlay?

Game Overview

Two performers start a scene of their own choosing. During the scene, the audience submits suggestions for characters, relationships, objectives, and locations. After a period of submissions, four random suggestions are selected (one from each category). Audience members vote on those suggestions until one is declared the winner.

After a short amount of time, the host or another performer shouts out “Freeze!” and the acting performers freeze in place. Another performer takes place of one of those currently acting and starts a new scene based on the pose of the replaced performer and involving the winning suggestion from the audience. This game can be repeated indefinitely.


Viewers would see the current prompt being performed.

Viewers saw an input field with a dropdown containing “Character”, “Relationship”, “Objective” and “Location”. A placeholder example of each type of suggestion was in the input field. After typing a suggestion, viewers could press submit.

Occasionally, a voting interface would pop up at the bottom of the screen with 4 options, one for each category of suggestion. Viewers would vote for one of the suggestions by clicking on its respective button, then be thanked for voting.

Hosts and performers would see an additional interface: the Config Panel, above what the viewer sees. This panel allowed them to start a voting phase, end the current voting phase (which obtained a new prompt), and clear the current pool of suggestions. They could also switch to a different game.

An initial implementation of this game had viewers making submissions in chat via commands, such as “!c fisherman” for a character submission, but we moved this functionality to the extension to leave more room in chat for socialization.

Technical Implementation

Submissions were pooled for each category and a random submission from each category was selected upon the start of the voting phase. If there were no submissions for a category, a default one would be selected. The host would start and end each voting phrase and relay the new prompt to the performer entering the scene.

Lessons Learned

The game is easy for performers to pick up, seeing as it’s an adaptation of an existing improv game.

Audience members mentioned that they wanted more control over the scene, such as by mixing and matching particular actors along with voting.