Created in just 48 hours, a third of the time it takes to assemble Ikea furniture, a new game work simulator is masquerading under the guise of a game in which players take on the fun job of assembling Ikea furniture with no instructions.
Sounds so relaxing and unstressful, doesn't it? Well, maybe to the gamer who has never built a piece of the Swedish furniture maker's products.
Home Improvisation was built by a team of four for Atlanta's Global Game Jam 2015, a collection of global conventions during which game developers partner to crank out games in a day or two.
Out of that Game Jam came a training tool for Ikea enthusiasts or those who'd just like to become numb to the stresses of furniture assembly before they move into a new place.
"There was a little problem printing the instruction manual, so you'll have to figure out how the furniture goes together on your own," the Home Improvisation Team says. "But all of the pieces are so simple, what could possibly go wrong?"
Well, those who have done a furniture build in real life know that answer.
The game supports a four-player co-op, with three individuals using Xbox 360 gamepads and another using a keyboard and mouse combination.
The functions are simple: pick up, attach, drop, rotate and flip. The game starts simply, with basic tables and lamps, before moving on to work that may drive a single player insane.
"Make sure to invite some friends over and make the beautiful furniture of your dreams," the team says. "Or, labor alone and slowly descend into madness. Just remember, if you build it with your friends, everybody wins. Assembling furniture will make you and your friends better people."
For those interested in getting in on the intense action of the home furniture assembly simulator, Home Improvisation is being offered for free here.
While the game is free, the developers are using it as fundraiser set up for Tony Tseng's family.
Tseng was a game designer and a professor at SCAD Atlanta, the north Georgia campus for the Savannah College of Art and Design. He helped to organize the recently completed Game Jam in Atlanta and he passed away just before the Jan. 23-25 event began. A memorial service was held Jan. 30.
"Tony Tseng was a mentor, a co-worker, a teacher, a loving father, a husband, and to many of us a friend as well as a colleague," states the fundraiser. "He left us far too soon, and we grieve not just for his loss but also for what his family lost. The Georgia Game Developers Association and the IGDA-Atlanta chapter are raising funds to help Tony's wife and son through this trying time."