A series of short games which explore the idea of collective action. Made for the Games Transformed | Love Games, Hate Capitalism 2023 game jam.

Released for free on Itch.io May 2023. Playable in browser

---> play here <---

We developed ‘Bread & Roses’ over a one week development period. During the concept period we devised five concepts which were allegorical or metaphorical to the game jam’s theme of collective action. In addition we tried to frame each of these games under the slogan of “Bread and Roses”. The phrase originated from a speech by American women's suffrage activist Helen Todd. It relates to how in this movement, the people were demanding not just the essentials (i.e. bread) but also the beautiful, artistic things in life (i.e. roses).

One of the things I wanted to play around with in the design was the idea of zero tutorialisation. Each of the mini-games is designed to be about player exploration with regards to the controls. The player has to try buttons to see the impact they have on the game world.

The first of the mini-games is about the idea of co-ordinating action together to achieve a common goal. The player controls when each of the six groups of wheat grow. Only if all the wheat grow at the same time are they able to avoid being cut by the scythe.

1. The Tall Poppy Syndrome

The second of the mini games is leaning into the idea within the Bread and Roses slogan that art is also critical for society to thrive. As each character comes on screen, the player needs to plant at one of the pillars on the building until all six pillars have plants placed at their base to proceed. 

2. Painting by Planting

This one is just a bit of fun.  Based on Nicholas Gurewitch’s Perry Bible Fellowship comic strip, The Bunny Pit. The player must mash buttons, breeding rabbits, until the bunnies spill and sucessfully escape the pit.

3. The Bunny Pit

The fourth mini-game is based on a European folk story called ‘The Stone Soup’. The story goes... a hungry stranger convinces the people of a town to each share a small amount of their food in order to make a meal that everyone enjoys. It exists as a moral regarding the value of sharing. In our version, the player is the stranger, stirring a large pot and asking for particular ingredients until the soup is finished and all the characters come together to drink the soup.

4. The Stone Soup

The final sequence sees a group of protestors walking down a city street as the credits roll by the top of the screen.

5. Bread and Roses