Doodle or Die: Like the Game of Telephone, Except With Doodles

May 18, 2012

1:00 pm

Doodle or Die is a web-based game that randomly assigns you one of two actions: either to doodle a description or describe a doodle. Once you complete the step, you will be able to see the full chain of either doodles or descriptions, and therein lies the fun. Since you are limited to see only one step before you take action, it leads to some truly hilarious outcomes.

“It’s like the game of Telephone. Except with doodles.”

Dylan Greene , Chief Coding of Code Intern, and Aaron Silverman, Head Fun Optimization Intern, originally built the game during a 48 hour coding competition at Node Knockout. Even though their 48 hours were decreased to 8 because of Hurricane Irene, it didn’t stop them from winning the “Most Fun” prize and going viral.

“It blew up! In over two days we had 100,000 – 150,000 players!” said Silverman.

Later on, they brought Garrett Miller, Senior Site Beautification Intern (love their titles), on board to revamp the site. So, 7 months later, they have 50,000 registered users and 100,000 preview users (you don’t have to register to play the game), who spend on average of 20 minutes a day playing the game.

Doodle or Die doodles

As of right now, when you decide to play, you join the “global group.”  An algorithm assigns you a step, which you can either complete to see the chain (the game is limited to 18 steps), or skip the step all together – but only three times in a single day. They are currently working on adding a group feature to the game, so you can invite your friends and create your own set of rules.

You can also look at the profiles of the players, and you get to see many amazing drawings, along with some simple and funny doodles. “Before I do actual art I play three turns on the site. It’s a great creative outlet,” says Garrett. It certainly does make you think “out of the box.”

Give it a try, but be warned, it is addicting!

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Gulnara is passionate about technology and startups. Her goal is to make Washington, D.C. a vibrant startup playground. She is the Founder of and an Event Organizer for Weekly DC Nightowls Co-Working Sessions. Follow her on Twitter @Gulnara.

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