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Voodoo – Break The Spell

On 22, Feb 2013 | No Comments | In Blog, Games

Having organized the annual Global Game Jam at the Cologne Game Lab for the past three years, I finally broke the spell and managed to participate in the fourth and recent jam for the very first time.

As my teammates and I were still running the event, we knew we had to get the game done within approximately 24 hours instead of the common 48. – Fortunately Carmen, Guido and I have a couple of things in common that makes collaboration so extremely fun: It`s the love for improvisation paired with a little bit of megalomania.

I had brought the ‘MaKey MaKey kit’ which is basically a usb adaptor that enables you to replace your avarage keyboard and mouse with a custom interface. By simply connecting any electrically conductive object to the makeymakey board, a person who is connected to earth can initiate any action in any computer program by touching the object and hence closing the electric circuit.

As this year’s theme was a human heartbeat we instantly though about creating the interface as a reference to a defibrillator but when we actually tested the device with a series of random jump and run games, we got fascinated be the power of collaborating and navigating by simply touching each other. This impression was verified when we invited other jammers to play with the interface. The immediate feeling of being part of a conspiracy, a magic circle of friends came up even when we just told the group to navigate through a word document.

The game just naturally evolved out of this first open experiment. The magic circle and hence the gameplay mechanic became vital for the story.

Play the game online


After a long and hard worklife life in the magic business the recently retired voodoo puppet “O” has been scrapped and left alone in the mystery woods. Help setting “O” free from his inanimated state. Use the power of collaboration and combine your characteristics with those of your teammates to support “O” on his way through the woods. Love, curiosity, doubt and fear are the main forces that will support the retired voodoo puppet to find a new life.

The game is intended to be played without your standard interface but with the power of holding hands in a real life magic circle. The connection between offline player interaction and navigation in the digital space is achieved by a special interface we constructed by using the MaKey MaKey kit. To navigate in the game, the players have to time and combine their powers by holding and releasing hands in a chain of action.

The game is fully functional with your standard arrow keys  in single player mode but we highly recommend to get yourself a MaKey MaKey kit and play Voodoo together with your friends. Below, you can find a mini-manual how I to build the interface and we are happy to hear about your experiences and ideas how to further develop the game.


Carmen Johann: Game Design, Character Design, Animation
Guido Göbbels: Game Design, Game Art, Level Design, Programming
Katharina Tillmanns: Game Design, Interface Design, Sound Design

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