Farklempt! Rules

Jason Van Anden
Managing ones' feelings is essential to getting along in the world. Keeping emotions inside can be as damaging as just letting them flow. Farklempt! challenges players to manage their emotional-health through the skillful manipulation of feelings against others trying to do the same.

Farklempt! was commissioned by the incredible online community Rhizome.org with support from the Jerome Foundation, The Greenwall Foundation and The Warhol Foundation. The original proposal for Farklempt! can be found here.

It is highly recommended that you read the following rules before playing Farklempt! They are very simple, possibly entertaining, and will make your experience with this artwork much richer. If you are too impatient to read them or would prefer a purer (albeit more confusing) aesthetic experience turn up your speakers and click here to start playing immediately.

Requirements

Farklempt! can be played in most common web browsers as long as they have the java 1.4 plug-in installed and the ability to run java programs is enabled. Most modern browsers do, but just in case yours does not, you can install a java plug-in here. It is also recommended that you play Farklempt! on a fairly good internet connection tethered by wires. No worries if your connection is not up to speed, Farklempt! has a built-in fail safe system. If your connection can't handle multiplayer mode it will automatically switch to solo mode.

Goal

Accumulate as many points as possible by steering your Meshugen over others while simultaneously maintaining a cluster of constantly growing filn. Read on for translation.

Game Space

The game space is made up of two panes, the "Mishegas" pane on the left and the "Meshugina" pane of the right:

Meshugina Pane

The Meshugina pane is the player universe. It is populated by funky little avatars called "Meshugen". Your Meshugen is the highlighted one with it's score in dark blue:
The Meshugen can be seen drifting around in the Meshugina pane. This activity is the result of how feelings are being expressed or repressed (explained momentarily).

Mishegas Pane

The Mishegas pane is where you manage your feelings (which in turn controls your Meshugen's movement - more on that later). Inside the Mishegas you find a cluster of very colorful roundish objects called "filn". Filn look a lot like bubbles or balloons:
Each filn represents a feeling such as happy or sad:
Filn inflate like balloons until they are deflated. There are two ways to deflate a filn:

Good: Maintain your filn by clicking on them with your cursor.
Bad: Neglect your filn, allowing them to inflate so large that they touch the edge of the Mishegas pane and explode!

Either way, each time a filn deflates, it makes a sound proportionate to its size and appropriate to its feeling.


Movin Your Meshugen

The state of your filn determines the direction your Meshugen will move. Like directions on a compass, each filn pulls your Meshugen in a direction:
When the size of opposing filn are significantly different, your Meshugen will drift in the direction of the larger one at a speed proportional to the difference in their size. Although this may sound complicated, it is actually quite easy to pick up with minimal practice. The following examples illustrate the consequences of various configurations of filn.

When all of your filn are the same size, your Meshugen stays put:
When the Happy filn is larger than Sad (its opposite) and the Anxious and Angry filn are equal in size; your Meshugen moves east:
When the Anxious filn is larger than Angry (its opposite) and the Happy and Sad filn are equal in size; your Meshugen moves south:
In this final example, the Anxious and Happy filn are both larger than their opposites; your Meshugen moves southeast:

Scoring Points

Each Meshugen's score is displayed at its top right:
A Meshugen's score is determined by calculating the sum of each of its filn's points.
When two or more Meshugen are over (or under) each other, points accumulate during the their time spent together:
Each filn accumulates points based upon its size. The larger the filn, the more points accumulated:
Helpful Hint: Filn points are multiplied by the number of Meshugen that are together at a given moment. So if three Meshugen are together, double the points are added, triple for four and so on.

Losing Points

If your filn gets so large that it touches the side of the Mishegas pane it will explode and all of its points will be lost:
Even worse than losing points, you can lose your player! If you neglect your filn for more than a minute, your player will be reset. This is done to manage resources. The short explanation is that this is done to manage resources so as many people can enjoy Farklempt! as possible. If you require a longer explanation click here.

Known Bugs

iMac G3 400 Crashes after 6 hours
This happened more than once during beta testing on the same machine. The only known work around for this is to plan on reloading the page after six hours or so if you have an iMac G3 400 running OS X.3.

Feedback

If you have comments about Farkempt! please send them here.

Geek Out

Farklempt! v 1.0 was developed using Sun's Java 1.4 and and Python 2.3. The client software was written in Java, and the server was written in Python using Twisted Matrix Laboratories Twisted modules. All of the code was written using either TextPad on a Mini-Box running Microsoft's Windows XP or VIM on an Apple iMac G3. The graphics for the game and this document were edited using Corel's CorelDRAW! and Photo-Paint 9.

Future of Farklempt!

A series of new versions of Farklempt! are in the works, including an installation version with a physical interface. Please be sure to check back here or join the mailing list for further developments.

Farklempt! in the News

Wired | USA Today | Slashdot | Edge

Good Luck!

Make sure your speakers are turned up, and click here to start playing Farklempt!