Tong game was created during the “PongJam” in about 3 days.
Tong is an alternative text adventure themed around the 1972 game Pong by Ralph H. Baer.
The approach to me was to create something that was not obvious and at the same time new and unexpected. I combined a chatbot with a text adventure and a lot of facts about Pong and its aspects. The game itself is meant to be a bit of a nuisance since it follows some technical aspects of the original Atari console. Because of these aspects the player is forced to type some orders for quite some time, which is supposed to feel repetitive and basically only consists of the controller input in Pong itself.
This resulted in a weird funny chatbot and hidden educational game about original Pong.
The game is based on a chatbot called Admiral by Noah “kirsle” Petherbridge
and Daniel Shiffmans The Coding Train videos (Coding Challenge 79).
Useful hints (don’t read if you want to explore it all by yourself):
– help | lists possible commands
– hint | gives a small tip what to do
– what to do | type this if you want an ingame hint
– meta | type this to get some nice background information about some design decisions
Spoilers (mark text to read):
Tong game is based on Ralph H. Baers Magnavox Odyssey and “Pong”.
The resolution of the first Pong machines was 192×160 bricks.
To get to the “Start button” one has to go north for 73 bricks. So a bit less than half the resolution.
To get to a paddle object in the east or west one has to go e or w for 86 bricks.
Magnavox Odyssey and Pong were released in 1972.
There are hundreds of Pong variations out there. An interesting one is for Instance “the Painstation”.
The game was also featured in the follow up exhibition “Pongsage” at Schaustelle Vienna together with 10 other games from jam participants.
Jam entries can be found here.
Tong was presented on an old tube monitor in a dark separated area of the exhibition to create a feeling of intimacy when talking with the bot and trying to solve the puzzles of scoring points.