Hashtag Defence: DeTweet

By Alec Meer on September 2nd, 2010 at 5:37 pm.

A lot of people have a problem with Twitter. They think it’s meaningless, reductive, frivolous. This I say to them: what if it was a tower defence game? Oh-ho, now you’re listening.

DeTweet is Shawn Clapper’s canny concept, blending two of the more persistent mainstays of online culture: Twitter trending and tower defence. It’s still in its early stages, so there isn’t much in the way of high-grade weaponry to play with as yet, but the foundations are there, and strong.

What I like it about it is that it requires two different types of knowledge: being reasonably au fait with basic tower placement/upgrading and resource management, and having enough of an ear to the e-ground to know what people are spending their 140 characters furiously frothing about. An invader is created for every recent and ongoing mention of the word you base your game on, so the more popular it is the longer the game will last. And the harder it will be.

For instance, a session based around CODBLOPS didn’t get me very far, as not enough people have picked up LewieP’s splendid contract-o-mock of Call of Duty: Black Ops. Rockpapershotgun also proved disappointingly brief. But it was at least easy, as there wasn’t much of anything to mow down with my gun-nests.

“Blair” though – hoo boy. Not only did chatter about The Demon Prime Minister’s autobiography spawn endless tiny men, but Americans lusting over Gossip Girl’s Blair Lively further filled my screen. The addition of continued discussion about the Exorcist’s Linda Blair to the mix guaranteed there was more pixel-assault than I could quite handle.

While what really sold this to me was the comic surreality of men screaming random political assertions and crazed lechery in little speech bubbles even as they’re bloodily shot to pieces, for next time I’ll need something popular, but not that popular. (Or at least for the turret build time to be decreased a little). I’m sure you’re going to suggest some excellent alternatives below, aren’t you? AREN’T YOU?

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57 Comments »

  1. westyfield says:

    “Daily” works quite well – any links from news websites/papers ensure plenty of bads.

  2. alh_p says:

    I got to level 6 (when the game ended) with “Hague”. Do I get a prize? I’d like a rosette please.

  3. terry says:

    I’m getting good results from “mexico oil spill”, not so much for “news of the world are a bunch of lawbreaking shitheads”.

  4. Zwebbie says:

    Aww, “Fred Wester, CEO of Paradox” got me only one little guy.

  5. Joe Martin says:

    Awesome. I put in my #joeslunch hashtag and was attacked by an army of rice puddings and ham salad sandwichs.

  6. apricotsoup says:

    I tell you, lots of people drinking on twitter.

    A search for drink is still going ~20mins later.

    3 upgraded towers is all you need at early levels :3

  7. Premium User Badge AtkinsSJ says:

    Having fun with “Justin Bieber”. This is quite bizarre.

  8. Sonic Goo says:

    I tried Lady Gaga and got to level 2…

  9. Spaceman-Spiff says:

    Getting lots for “wtf” and “omg”.

  10. Dinger says:

    Penis. Lots of retweets and lots of blood.

  11. AlecTavi says:

    “FML.” You get to defend yourself from whiny, emo, schoolchildren.

  12. Fumarole says:

    Obama makes for a lot of dudes, same with Fox.

  13. Chris R says:

    Yeah, I was going to say that Beiber would probably present the biggest challenge. And in the game!

  14. crazyD says:

    I did Discovery. Very busy, but I was able to get to level 6.

  15. ShawnClapper says:

    Wow, it’s an honor being listed on RPS. Honestly my favorite online source for games ..really :). Game is still pretty green so the main thing I’ll be working on now is tweaking difficulty.
    Have to spend some time playing myself here to work it out. Suggestions welcome!

    • DrGonzo says:

      Loving the game btw. It would be nice to have a next wave button. You can end up having to wait around for a while. Also, being able to place towers before the game starts would be nice as I’m slow and dumb.

  16. apricotsoup says:

    http://img691.imageshack.us/i/drinkc.png/

    No sign of ending soon and I have to go home :/

    Also drinkc :/ damn image names.

  17. Picacodigos says:

    “Apple” and “Android” gave me better results.

  18. Severian says:

    I hate twitter and I hate this.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I hate Twitter and I love this! Shooting those irritating cocks and their iPhones in the face. Awesome. Now I want a fps version.

  19. Lack_26 says:

    I managed to get to level five against God, by God there were a lot of them, I filled up all the space I had to put turrets in.

  20. Tei says:

    Got to level 6 with CNN :-D
    I must try again!

  21. TomSmizzle says:

    “Oil” was way too hard, and way too depressing, but “Butt” was hilarious, and not that hard!

  22. Trite says:

    Meh, I went with “a”. Let’s just say I didn’t get to the end.

  23. Birky says:

    Just tried ‘love’ – It occurs to me that it makes for a pretty hard game (and probably would consistantly). Makes for dull reading however – which is surely the thing it adds over every other tower defence game.

  24. Davie says:

    “Bong” was far more difficult than I expected it to be.

  25. Calabi says:

    Was fun, like the killing the news.

  26. Trollwind says:

    I need a cheat code! Got through “churros” easy enough, but I can’t seem to beat “nfl”

  27. WFL says:

    #fail was rough.

  28. Eschatos says:

    Made it to level 14 using “bieber” before I was overwhelmed. Had every single tower slot filled with a fully upgraded tower, thus proving that it is impossible to win against Justin Bieber.

  29. Flagg says:

    Tried “true dat” http://thecardchest.com/#detweet/true dat
    Was funny with them all agreeing with each other heh but was pretty easy…So then tried “agreed” http://thecardchest.com/#detweet/agreed ….that one killed me heh

  30. DJ Phantoon says:

    What kind of weird tower is it where they can’t shoot right next to themselves? Game needs more work. Also, Freedom is much harder to beat than Nazis. So there.

  31. Berzee says:

    For much hilarity try “OMNOMNOM”

  32. Moth Bones says:

    Seeing the little blue characters bloodily mown down when ‘Tories’ is used is utterly heartwarming. There weren’t many though. Placing the towers seems very hit-and-miss, I’m still not sure what mouse-click combination I actually managed it with.

  33. Moth Bones says:

    Oh, the little figures are blue whatever word you use. Okay.

    Also, I keep thinking our cat is in the room because of the mewing noises.

  34. Konork says:

    1) Set the word to “a”
    2) Do somewhat fine for the first two levels
    3) !!!
    4) Profit Pain

  35. TowerOfBabel says:

    best score was lvl 6 with egg … lots of fun with oil, palin, fish

  36. MarkN says:

    I used “DeTweet”. I got one very easy level. It’s rare a game is too accessible and easy because it’s very niche, but if this game takes off it’s only going to get harder and harder. And then fewer people will want to play it. I have no idea where this will end…

  37. JackShandy says:

    Hard mode:

    “Love”.

  38. Arathain says:

    “Football” didn’t go so well.

  39. Premium User Badge Hodge says:

    “Portal 2″ didn’t do much, either. I hope it’s not being prescient.

  40. Sovereign says:

    “follow” – Nightmare Mode

  41. panther says:

    I mowed down lady gaga fans, how satisfying.

  42. RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

    “ate” gave me a good balance. Still, loads of people out there who need to explain what they’ve eaten. Often it does not even have anything to do with normal food.

  43. R.Hippy says:

    I survived ’til level 10 with Obama, then I ran out of good places for guns. Also, a lot of people Tweet a lot of bullshit about him.

  44. netsukemonkey says:

    This is an amazing game. I tried ‘unfair’ and although it didn’t generate many bads there’s a lot of fun to be had gunning down the little fellas as they moan about life being unfair.Of course life is unfair, little people. Your walking down a predetermined path being machine gunned by me!

  45. odd signals says:

    Defeated by Earl on level 3 :-(

  46. duel90 says:

    used #Oil

    Did anyone else go deaf from machine gun fire?

  47. Flagg says:

    Hah nice

  48. Glenno says:

    As in real life I had ‘beer’ ….

    Kept knocking them back for a bit then the beer overwhelmed me and I fell over badly.