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A member registered Dec 25, 2019 · View creator page →

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First off, thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed "We Are Ciphers". I truly appreciate how generous you are by posting a review here.  And it's such a thoughtful review too. 

For those who want to do more storytelling and less ciphering, simply pick one cipher like the pigpen, and use it as sparingly as you want to in your letters. 

@kumada1, I'd love to ask a few more questions about your experience. Please let me know if you're open to chatting by emailing me at motherof1000s at gmail dot com. 


The premise is beautiful. It's universal. I have the version that is included in the Babblegum Microgame Collection. I ran it for our local story game group. We had around 2 hours and I made tweaks to work with that time structure. 

Our group collaborated and decided on being a family of old college friends who made a film together 10 years ago. It was a crazy production but the film itself has become a cult classic. Some of us became famous, some of us didn't. Most of us didn't stay in contact. 10 years later, we reunite at our college professor's home. 

By the Entree phase, we had a flow. We were in character and just started talking. We opened up and apologies were made. There was comraderie in the room before the end and even karaoke! 

Thanks for this game and the collection in general. I would play this again and am open to playing it as blood relatives. 

Awesome! I see it now. 

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This generator is awesome. I first saw it on your "The Babblegum Microgame Collection" rulesbook. Hey do you have a link to that so I can refer people to it? I'm also planning to play 1+ games from it soon. 

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Maramaing salamat! So glad you're f***in doin this. 


Thanks Greg and Nicole for running the game for us. It's been one of my favorites this year. It was light, funny, gripping, and palpable. I laughed so hard I swear my immune system punched Covid-19 to next year! And I loved how Kurt, you guys, Peter, and I collaborated on words to use and there were so many puns with and without intention. Pillow fort community was inevitable but I'm a blanket fort folk forever (well until the next time I play ;) 

Hey I'm having trouble with discord at the moment and not sure anyone wrote me back. So I'll throw the question here on itch since that's working for me. 

You guys wrote to me suggesting I submit my game We Are Ciphers for your Print & Play  jam. Can you guys clarify what you consider a print&Play? I know folks who consider P&P games as such that have playable pieces you use once printed. In that sense, other than the 2 cipher samples I include,  my game doesn't need to be printed to be played. You can even play it online. So I thank you for the invite but can you clarify?  I just want people buying my game through this jam to be clear about what's on offer. 

I'd love to hear how it went. feel free tp share moments and photos of your ciphers and codes and letters (without addresses of course ;)

Do you want to a play game? I mean your game (this game)  with me. I'm open to joining an exisitng art of telephone game too. I just want to play this  now that I bought it. No sitting in a file never to be seen again.

Thanks so much!  If I've got gas in my tank, I'll look into it. Hey if you play We Are Ciphers, feel free to send me a  photo or two of your letters. Peace!

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Ken, first off! 

Yay to extended deadline!  ;) (although  I can feel my brain shutting down already. Need more sleep.)

Thanks for your speedy and helpful reply. 



I can't wait to buy, read, and try out  your game "The Art of Telephone". 

My bro and I had a similar idea  long ago when we were kids but we never got our act together. 

And here you are, creating the game. Now I get to finally try it out! 

Hello Ken and other game jam experts, 

It's almost submission deadline time. That's tomorrow! I have finished my game (yes!!!) 

but I'm not done with art for the project page--- the banner, background, font, etc. . - Can I publish and edit project page later? 

*** Just to be clear, I am not talking about updates to the files like adding new pdfs or such to the project page. I'm talking more about the look of the project page. 

Any help would be great. I've written to support on itch but no clue when I'll get a response. 

Ah, last minute. 



Yes, even for me who letter writes regularly, it's rare for me to get something back. And it is a thrill. 

Did you hear  how people are stepping up for the US postal service also by buying stamps and such ?

Check out this beautiful card deck and magic kit that the US postal service are selling. 

It features one of my all-time favorite stamp set "The Art of Magic". 

Here's the link from

See you in the mail,


Hi ken! I love receiving and writing letters. 'Been a letter writer since I was a kid in Philippines. Then when we moved here, I continued to write to stay connected with folks back "home". These days I wrote more locally (within US). To hear that the US Postal Service might be privatized by government has made me arrrrrggggh! And you doing a game jam to help fight this possible move, yes! It has definitely inspired me to jam for the 1st time. 

Are you a letter writer yourself? 

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Hello Drew, 

Just wanted to update you that we've now played your game more than half a dozen times. It was our favorite story game of 2019! It was the first story game I ever facilitated (that was just 3 months ago). And after that experience, someone else in our meetup who played in my game ran it for others as their first facilitating gig. Both times = enriching and fun!This is such a gem. Let me know if you ever put it on roll20 or such  so that people can play it online easily especially during COVID-19 times. 

Thanks again. 

To Others, 

Have you  played this online yet? Did you create a google sheet or such that breaks down the different phases? Did you use roll20 with the emotion cards laid out? Did you record your session? Please feel free to contact me at jgurantz3 (at gmail) to share your session and/ or tools. 


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Dear Riley (creator of this game) and my other fellow storytellers, 

                          I hope you're all safe and healthy during our 1st pandemic. I am writing today to share my experience playing this game.  I write in hopes that you will find what I share helpful in some way. 

                           We had bought "say what you mean" as a way to explore 2 player 1 page games. But the essential factor to getting me to play it is my big love for snail mail. Truth be told, I've been an avid letter writer since I was a child. Therefore, it just made a lot of heart sense to give this game a go.

                          My partner and I played it live in our kitchen across from each other 3 weeks ago early on during COVID-19 stay at home order. We played wizards (exes) who parted ways long ago but have now slowly reconnected via letters. Through letter writing, we explored the idea that we as exes and powerful wizards have different opinions about the role of magic. It was a slow go as I think the line in the game that said "corresponding through ostensibly formal letters" got into our heads too much. High-foolooting grandiose language is not something we're that familiar with. So if you're in the same boat, I suggest you gloss over that or do a little research for basic greetings and phrases that you could incorporate. 

                            In fact, I found this and share it now with you.  


                            Do write to me if you discover an actual list of grandiose highly formal letter writing greetings and phrases. I'd be ever so appreciative. 

                             Oh, do I digress? Ah yes, back to distilling more feedback...

                             We essentially enjoyed peeling the layers of our connection and sharing what each of our life is like now that we're separate from the other. Our exchange (role-playing scenes) led to sometimes disregarding what the dice roll dictated. 

                             Riley, I think your game has a lot of great ideas and structure. I am totally open to playing it again. Thanks for sharing it!

                             And to my other fellow storytellers, this game could totally work online. We were actually saying how it might be fun the next time we play to be in different rooms...connected only through our letters. 

                                                                                  May your correspondences ever be fruitful!


Thanks for this great short and sweet game! Perfect for these crazy pandemic days when many of us are isolated in our individual homes.  

I handpicked this for our usually live story game meetup. Last night an hour before our 1st attempt to online game, I started figuring out how to sequence game play and my hubby Tomes and I created a google doc. People enjoyed being able to  write in their names and info as well as see story basics right there and then.  

Our Canadian goose for the most part terrorized our modern day town. It robbed a bank of a bag of nickels, leading to one dear citizen to lose their job. It crashed an outdoor movie night and chased away customers from our local theatre. Kids walked around scared. But for a few, the goose's presence led to some positives. A bully denied. Family members bonded as they invented contraptions to deal with the aviary nightmare. 

Online story gaming is helping keep us connected, and games like this one is a gift. 

Just like learning to play an instrument (I'm learning ukulele), the tip is to go slow, as slow as you need to, and practice, practice, practice. So what I see some people do for practice is to hack a game you love or hack a bunch of them and mash them together.  For example, a friend took a game set in old England and changed the setting and character tropes to fit an 80's movie. I played both original and hack, and they're both terrific. Actually I loved the hack so much more because I know 80s more than old England.  So tweak a favorite game to fit what you're into, and then play the new game. It'll give you a sense of mechanics and pace, etc. 

It was a lot of fun helping you create characters and relationships for a juicy mystery that combines the 2 sources.  Like all the Thousand Thousand Islands offer us such a rich collection of artifacts and beings to play with. I enjoyed reading tales like The Woodcutter which offers us a sort of origin story for the cats of Kra-ching. I can't wait to play the finalized game. 

Thanks, man! We look forward to playing again witcha. 

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Yassss, do it!

I'm new to itch. I have yet to publish but have been  working on my 1st project page. It's been overwhelming and  confusing at times since there's a lot to read, design, and test out but  this post makes me truly realize that you and others before me have put so much work already into this site and into this community.  For that, thank you.  I can't wait to be one of your published designers. I'm so close ! ;)

In regards to  the open revenue sharing, I think it feels very collaborative, letting us the sellers decide what is right for us. Thank you for such remarkable generosity.  


Growing apart doesn't always mean saying goodbye forever. Sometimes, it just means that we let go for a little while and reconnect when we can grow together again. That was the story my partner and I ended up telling. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the openness of the table. As with many great Gm-less story games, I could envision the world around me especially the characters we played. I feel fortunate that the actual designer himself joined in the fun playing NPCs like the guard and our ward. 

Christian, thanks for sharing this game. 

Fun! Engaging! Thanks for creating and sharing this game. So glad Tomer introduced it to me and the rest of the table. We ended up playing a young inventor in a Ghibli-esque world where friendship was tested and self-discovery was prominent. I look forward to sharing this game at our local meet up soon!