Artistic Communication Breakdown: Drawception

The second phrase came from a strange mind but that is now all I can see when I look at the innocence of a farting gnome

Here’s how it works: the website shows you a phrase to draw or a picture to describe in a limited number of characters. Your response becomes part of a chain and when 12 people have drawn or described, the chain is complete and you can see where your contribution sits and just how much it deviated from the originator’s intentions. Simple, creative and frequently hilarious. Drawception shall now accompany you through every working day. Some examples below.

I was sure the McDonalds reference I made would be wrong. Turned out it wasn’t! But then somebody misinterpreted it right at the death.

“Ghost scares a sleeping sun” is just one of those phrases that don’t crop up often enough.

“Embarassed totem pole” is the only possible description of that image even though it’s clearly not what the artist intended.

Obviously superb.

And the most unexpected image of a pizza assaulting a tophat I’ve ever seen.


  1. ZIGS says:

    This is the best thing since sliced bread

  2. Mr Chug says:

    Before jumping to wild accusations: does this predate or postdate Doodle or Die?

    • CaspianRoach says:

      seeing as this is in [beta], I’d say postdates.

    • Kaira- says:

      The very same thing crossed my mind.

      According to whois-information, this postdates Doodle or Die by 3 months, but that’s excluding the time before when Doodle or Die was not located at

    • Lamb Chop says:

      To be fair, they’re both just digital versions of a common party game.

      • LionsPhil says:

        It’s now annoying the hell out of me that I can’t remember what that’s called.

        All you need is a pen, a bit of paper to fold up, and a pub. Why spoil that with computerboxes, eh?

    • James G says:

      Both however were pre-dated by the now defunct

      • thegooseking says:

        That’s the one I was trying to remember. Goodness, that was fun. Though I guess this is the same thing.

    • Mr Chug says:

      I’m not claiming that Doodle or Die came up with the idea of Pictophone, but as far as I’m aware they were the first successful website based on it. Kept meaning to email RPS about it while I was playing, but then I’d run into a chain consisting mostly of racist slurs and memes and lose a bit of goodwill to it.

      • anotherman7 says:

        Last I checked, doodle or die has been ruined by shitposters, redditors and homestuck fans. Maybe this will fare better?

  3. westyfield says:

    I love this so much, been drawing/writing all afternoon. Also, looking through these, it seems I’ve been in the same game as one A. Smith esq. a few times.

  4. Berzee says:

    Dude! I love Pictophone!
    I never imagined it would make it to the internet, but now I wonder why I never did. This is brilliant!

  5. Berzee says:

    Oh look, it requires signing in to SOCIAL MEDIA
    How garbage

    • stahlwerk says:

      but it’s FREEEEE*

      *) value of social graph not included

    • BubuIIC says:

      This application will be able to:
      Read Tweets from your timeline.
      See who you follow, and follow new people.
      Update your profile.
      Post Tweets for you.

      Er… I don’t think so!

    • Brun says:

      Agree. Social Media integration is stupid, especially COMPULSORY integration. It’s been a huge distraction for both the gaming and wider technology industries. Gaming companies should be investing in making better games, not new ways to Tweet your Facebook from in-game.

    • Sivart13 says:

      I don’t know why people get bent out of shape about this. As a web application developer, having “Log in with Facebook” or “Log in with Twitter” means I can piggyback off an existing service you have a login/password for, rather than forcing you to create a new one.

      • Crane says:

        Because I don’t have an account with one of those sites, and I don’t want to faff around creating one, because it tends to be a much more time-consuming process than just sticking in the same username, password. and throw-away E-mail account I use for every other random website where I don’t care about possibly getting hacked.

      • deadfolk says:

        How about because my account got suspended when they decided I wasn’t a real person, and they want a scan of my passport before they’ll re-enable it?

        I think not.

    • Phantoon says:

      Pretty sure Doodle or Die doesn’t require you to make an account.

    • mckertis says:

      I’ll just go play iSketch without even registering.

  6. frenz0rz says:

    This is the best thing ever.

  7. SirKicksalot says:

    I can’t stop playing. I’m supposed to be working. God help me.

  8. cornflakes says:

    Oh, I knew this as the party game Eat Poop You Cat. Awesome that it’s online, and (another “duh why didn’t I think of that” moment) it’s perfect for the medium.

    link to

  9. jaronimoe says:

    oh my god, this is too funny and adicting :D
    I just wasted a whole hour on this when I should be finishing up some work ;(

  10. Author X says:

    And here, I just last week got the bright idea in my wannabe-game-designer head to take the “picture telephone” game I’ve played at parties before, also known as Mixed Messages in nintendo’s DSiWare shop, and recreate it online in a social game environment.

    Who’d have thought I wouldn’t be the only person to have such an original idea, immediately after Draw Something exploded and got OMGPOP bought for hundreds of millions of dollars? Oh well, maybe I’ll come up with another million-dollar idea soon. Like slingshot physics… in space! I should get on that.

  11. nimzy says:

    Awfully similar to that link to thing that’s been bandied about recently.

    • futabot says:

      I really, really wish we had Drawception’s layout mixed with Doodle or Die’s drawing interface. Drawception creates stuff that is more akin to a webcomic while DoD just feels like a Tumblr.

  12. Reapy says:

    Can’t find any way to sign up to the site. I guess they want to harvest social data. Ah well, clever idea.

  13. Lafayettedroog says:

    i can’t seem to log in? how do you sign up?

    • CheesyJelly says:

      You have to sign-in via Facebook, Twitter, Google or Yahoo, in the top-right corner.

      • Lafayettedroog says:

        i have, but when i click play it just takes me back to that same “you need to log in” page. am i just being a massive derp?

  14. deck.ard says:

    Is the website down for anyone else?

    • CheesyJelly says:

      Yup – RPS seems to have overloaded the server.

    • Askeladd says:

      nope but they have some problems with missing images from time to time.

    • Chuck84 says:

      It does seem to have started to stumble and waver in the past few minutes. I blame RPS.

    • futabot says:

      We absolutely destroyed this site.

      • TheBuff1 says:

        I spent ages (well under 10 mins) drawing the missing image icon………

  15. Malk_Content says:

    Didn’t do this one myself but it seems we are well represented: link to

  16. Torgen says:

    I’d feel hypocritical for blocking all the Facebook games notifications from my friends, then signing on to this with Facebook and inflicting notices into *their* feeds, so guess I”ll pass. :(

    • Berzee says:

      It only takes like 2 minutes to make a fake facebook account =P

    • CheesyJelly says:

      Or you can set it so that notifications are displayed for “only me”. Except it would be you. Please don’t bombard me personally with notifications about your online activity.

  17. Dizzard says:

    I am actually dying looking at some of these finished drawception games.

  18. McDan says:

    Awesome idea. And I think RPS has just caused the site to go down from too many submissions.

  19. Hanban says:

    This is amazing.

  20. mmalove says:

    This is amazing, though it looks like the explosion of volume may have killed their server. Had quite a few uncontrolable laughing fits, which is always good on a Tuesday.

  21. Neoxess says:

    I really cant remember giggling quite so much as I did browsing some of the submissions.

    My favourite, and I suspect RPS inspired:

    link to

  22. Jerakal says:

    Good job guys, your linking to this broke their servers.

  23. Quasar says:

    My RPS-inspired submission went very strange indeed: link to

  24. Lokik says:

    Wow, this thing is way too addicting.

  25. Zanchito says:

    Shit I’ve lost 80 minutes to this thing and it’s past 1 am now. Everything was running smoothly until panel 9: link to

  26. Varanas says:

    After getting the text “Green soldier fires a shark missile over city”, I don’t think it is necessary for me to play any longer. link to

  27. Lambchops says:

    Chinese whispers in drawing form?

    I’m in!

  28. Lambchops says:

    The best one i’ve been involved in so far is this:

    link to

    I love this game!

  29. Zanchito says:

    I think too many RPS people are playing right now. Well, until you get bellydancing trees. link to

  30. jonfitt says:

    Unbeknownst to me I was involved in an RPS inspired submission:
    link to

  31. Lambchops says:

    Me going to bed at a sensible time and me going to bed at 2 have been decided by this nonsense!

    My other favourite I’ve been involved in so far, this time from the description perspective:

    link to

    • ekuurh says:

      oh god lamb, that was you??
      the drawing of illidan was so perfect, wish it went on :(

  32. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    It appears there are now many people playing this game who have decided that everything

    a) Looks like a penis.
    b) Is a penis.

    Great game while it lasted.

    • Lambchops says:

      I’ve been guilty of that, but in my defence it did look like there was a penis involved and I did write “sigh” after my description to signal my disdain!

      link to

  33. Domothy says:

    I, quite proudly, started the most favourited one on the website – Sexy Old Lady

    link to

  34. seventhrib says:

    I love it when someone misinterprets a grammatically ambiguous sentence, like in this one: link to

  35. frenz0rz says:

    This one turned out pretty hilarious – An American Werewolf in London

    link to

  36. Geen says:

    link to
    From concerts to skeetball to murder.

  37. greenbananas says:

    Too many shotgunners for the site, still. My contribution, and how scots seem to always attract violence:
    link to

  38. RagingLion says:

    Ah, hello chinese pictionary. This is a game I like playing in real life (though you need a lot of bits of paper to do so) whenever there’s large groups of people. It rarely fails and is frequently hilarious.

  39. The Sombrero Kid says:


  40. Wang Tang says:

    I spent half of this day looking at and partaking in the drawings. I almost literally fell off my chair because of some games.