Playpen: Wiki-rah-rah!

I shouldn't be allowed on the grown up parts of the Internet.

Jack de Quidt directs us at Farbs’ (Mr Captain Forever) new project. It’s called Playpen. It’s basically a wiki-isation of a storytelling pixel game. So you explore this pixel-world, clicking on hotspots. If you find yourself inspired, you can click into edit, and add your own pixel art to the design, or other hot-spots. These can link to new locations or just provide a bit of text. I can’t wait to see what results and – as evidenced above – have already contributed to the world. Farbs should feel lucky that I didn’t just do what we used to do on screenshots back in my magazine days and draw an enormous urinating phallus over it. There wasn’t a new screenshot of a much anticipated game which passed through our hands without being emblazoned with some manner of a cock. “Oh no! What are Id thinking? Why have they put a gigantic penis on their latest Quake 3 grab?” we cried. Smartest men in games journalism, us. Er… anyway! Go have a nose around Playpen. It really is delightful.


  1. Veret says:

    I “played” through to the “end” twice. The first time I ended up staring at a rather pretty pixellated closeup of a raindrop. The second time I went into town, stared down a ninja, and was asked to create a new page. The whole aimless-community-editing thing kills any chance this game had of being a coherent whole, but in return for that sacrifice you get the chance to see some rather original user content.

    Can’t decide whether I like this or not. But I definitely think Wikipedia should require you to stare down a ninja before you can edit anything.

    • Koozer says:

      You actually thought this was a game? It’s more like a choose your own adventure.

    • RobF says:

      Aye, it’s not meant to be a coherent whole. That’s kinda the point.

      It’s a massive user generated world and worlds within worlds within worlds and all the batshit that brings to the table. You can edit anything on there at any time, branch off anywhere, create your own story if you want to or just fiddle with other peoples bits (oo-err) or, well, just draw cocks. That works too.

      It’s never had a start or an end and there’s no reason for any current “ends” to stay as such, just a portal which started off with nothing and gradually (rapidly, I guess) grew into the beast you click on now.

      The more off the beaten track you go and away from the main page the more sub stories you get to see. Naturally, the editing gets a tad more coherent the further you move out as well because that’s where people are doing their own little things.

      It’s not meant to be just played as such but to entice and encourage you to explore and create your own stuff, which I think it does wonderfully. And it’s lovely to leave open ended tangents and go back and see what people have done with what you left there. Fer example, when it was in testing I left the hall from Melbourne House’s take on The Hobbit:

      link to

      Went back a few days later and some folks had drawn out half the map of the game. That’s just plain ace.

      There’s nowhere else on the internet where you can go and have a mock game of Scramble:

      link to

      Take a trip to the Stray Dog Cafe and help some futurists with their plans:

      link to

      Or go off and explore the universe:

      link to

      All within a few clicks of each other.

      It’s probably my favourite thing Farbs has done and I’ve loved watching it grow and fluctuate between sense and out and out anarchy and because almost every time you revisit it, it’s evolved again there’s always something new to go and gander at.

      And so simple in theory that you wonder why no-one has done it before.

  2. HexagonalBolts says:

    Seeing as I do a degree in English Literature and often practice creative writing, I thought I could provide a mature and sophisticated contribution.

    I clicked on the red cottage and noticed that someone had added an option to ‘rape the knight’ but had failed to draw a new page. I created a new page with a penis and an arrow, and following from that explored around the knight’s internal organs.

    Oh dear.

  3. Wolfox says:

    No thanks… I’ll stick with Sleep is Death. ;-)

  4. geldonyetich says:

    Apparently I’m bad at this game. I made the Kool Aid Man entrance to the Blue House, and at that point there’s nothing to do but attempt to pop him, which results in having to face Kool Aid Man’s wrath and the inevitable annihilation.

  5. disperse says:

    I added my contribution, click on Investigate the Volcano:

    link to

    • Ush says:

      Awesome! I love it.

    • Koozer says:

      Entire Dwarf Fortress branch is now needed, nay, demanded! you kind of dead-ended it there, but I’m sure I can find a suitable place to start a fortress…

    • disperse says:


      Yes, definitely! There should be two options; “Dig deeper” and “Start the fortress Staffbodice.”

  6. RobF says:

    You defaced my window! Bless ye.

    There’s a nifty “Best of” Tumblr which handily links off to the respective pages (contents may vary):

    Although it doesn’t feature my personal NOT SAFE FOR ANYTHING favourite:

    link to

  7. Pani says:

    I went to the sun world which as we know can be accessed through the worm world where there is a sheriff worm and a mother worm with great big boobies.

    Was great fun though.

  8. Ush says:

    Does anyone remember something like this from years ago that was just a series of basic webpages with story text that anyone could add to? I thought it was the amazing concept ever when I happened upon it, spent ages adding to the thing… Anyway! Must have a go at expanding this sometime…

  9. Bret says:

    I added Chryssalids to the spaceship.

    Every spaceship should have some Chryssalids, really.

  10. HHPP says:

    Oh, that is flattering! One of mine is the best of.

  11. duel says:

    that was intense

  12. Koozer says:

    I just added a terrible rendition of the history monk’s monastery courtyard in the Cori Celeste mountains \o/

  13. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Interesting and confusing. There’s very little to no explanation of what on earth is going on and a lot of the time it’s not quite obvious what you’re looking at and why. This doesn’t help me want to jump in and add something since most of the content seems so incoherent.

    But I couldn’t say it was disappointing. Merely that I was hoping it was a bit.. different.

  14. terry says:

    The best thing about this is the changelog, it’s better reading than Dwarf Fortress patch notes:

    (added poo highlights)
    (tidied up the page so it is less… phallic :/)
    (added falling off turtle option)
    (added mystery)
    (removed penis)
    (renamed area from punch horse to punch unicorn)