A very fun choose-your-own adventure game — playable entirely on Twitter — went live this week, complete with pixel art, secret hints, and lots of surprising ways to die.
The game’s called Leon, and it comes from pixel artist Leon Chang, who made sure to point out in a Thursday afternoon e-mail to the Intersect that he’s not actually the first person to make a choose-your-own adventure game on Twitter.
Leon, like that first Twitter choose-your-own adventure game, uses a whole bunch of Twitter accounts to make the game work. Each account represents a move, and players are given a few handles to choose from in each step. You click the handle to make your choice, and repeat.
“Lot[s] of people could not figure out how to get past the first screen,” Chang said in his e-mail, “which is funny because there’s only a few things within the tweet you can actually click on.”
Once players figure it out, though, there’s a lot to explore — so long as you don’t end up dying on the toilet.
It took a month of occasional work for Chang to make all the art for the game. The most complicated part, by far, was figuring out how to create all the Twitter accounts — something Twitter didn’t make terribly easy to accomplish. Chang said he resorted to a burner app to create all of the phone numbers needed to register the game’s accounts, since each different account required a different phone number. “Twitter is not a great platform for a video game,” Chang said.
“I couldn’t find any way to actually contact them ahead of time so I just went ahead and made the accounts and hoped they wouldn’t get suspended,” he added.
When asked whether he thought his game is the sort of thing Twitter would embrace, Chang appeared to respond with the written equivalent of an eye roll: “Yeah Twitter probably loves it because I did it for free and it drove people to their site. I think Twitter should pay me. I make good posts all the time for no money.”
Game play is short, but encourages repeated play throughs pretty explicitly. You’re not going to find out everything hidden within on the first run, in other words. And it seems to work best in-browser, right on Twitter.com. On mobile, Chang noted, some users were finding that the way Twitter handles clicks and animated gifs was eating up their phone’s memory.
Click here to go directly to the beginning of Leon.
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