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Personal Games Resource List Sticky

A topic by Vaida created Dec 04, 2015 Views: 16,872 Replies: 18
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Since itch.io is full of very interesting personal games, I thought it would be the best place to post something like this. I would love to learn more about the subject myself, so suggestions are welcome! :)

This is meant as a comprehensive list to help game developers make "personal games" (loose term for games that focus on autobiographical experiences). Some of these links relate to experimental and innovative games more broadly. Hope you find them useful! :) Big thank you to everyone that contributed <3

EDIT 23.12.17: removed two links in Where to begin? that weren't working anymore.

Where to begin?

What is Twine? For Developers

Twine, the Video-Game Technology for All

Examples of Personal Games

Gravitation (Jason Rohrer)

Cibele (Nina Freeman)

Dys4ia (Anna Anthropy)

Memoir en Code (Alex Camilleri)

What Now? (Arielle Grimes)

With Those We Love Alive (Porpentine)

Homesickened (Snapman)

STEALTH (Jill Seale)

Air Pressure (Bentosmile)

Aubergine Sky (Jonathan Whiting)

Distance (Austin Breed)

Cigarettes (Austin Breed)


Games Could Learn a Thing or Two From Confessional Poetry's History

The Year in Anti-Games


The Beautiful Art Program (Tale of Tales)

Just Making Things and Being Alive About It: The Queer Games Scene

queer as in fuck me – a design manifesto

What to read

Designing Autobiographical Games

How four keys can create a spectrum of feelings

Games that heal

This 'empathy game' reveals a real challenge for indie games

How do you measure the success of an autobiographical game?

Cibele showcases the expressive power of autobiographical games

Nina Freeman's Anime Sex Quest

Games As A Two-Way Conversation

Where to read


Forest Ambassador


Critical Distance

Haywire Magazine

Animal - Game Plan

What to watch

Systems, Stories, & Shenanigans

Designing Monument Valley: Less Game, More Experience

Free Indie Games: Curating the DIY Revolution

Empathy Games

Conveying personal & universal truths through game design

Four perspectives on personal games


Create Something You'll Never Show Anyone Else

Perfectionism is just fear in a fancy suit

Mastering Your Motivation

Events / Competitions

The Interactive Fiction Competition

Different Games Collective (NY)


how to make personal games


woah. that hit home in many ways. thank you for sharing!

this sounds so cool but the link is dead :(

how to make a personal game (archive.org)

thank you!

You're welcome. (I was about to click off the first page, thinking...that's it? But if you hover your mouse over the blue words, it'll take you to the next part...like a game!)

Moderator (2 edits) (+2)

Oh my. How did I miss this thread so far? Now I have reading material for the whole weekend. And if you'll excuse the self-promotion, I keep a Tumblr about the new artistic forms that are cropping up in gamedev, and the tools that enable them. Inevitably, the topic of personal games crops up over there more often than even I realize...

P.S. For what it's worth, Kindness Coins is an example of personal game I happen to like, right here on itch.io. And Coming Out Simulator 2014 has an intriguing beginning, but I haven't played very far.

Glad you found something for you in the thread! Your blog has lots of interesting links, I'll have to make sure to go through it soon :)

I can't believe I forgot about Coming Out Simulator. Haven't yet tried Kindness Coins, so thanks for that!


Do you think Imaginal would count as a personal game? Because if so, I think it would be a pretty good example.


I think it would be limiting to define personal games too tightly - if you feel that it's one, then it is :) I checked Imaginal out, I love how it gives players a space to reflect in; the gameplay isn't really that important imo, it's just there to give you something to do while you think about the questions that pop up. I'd say it's definitely personal. Thanks for the heads-up! :)


Nice article on the Telegraph about personal games, called Personal issues: Inside the fascinating world of interactive biography!

Deleted 2 years ago

there's so many great resources out there. :)

feel free to contact me about anything specific relating to these types of games!

Feel free to use my games Tranxiety (RPG), Binary Distortion (VN) and Queered Static (Twine) as examples of personal games :) Thank you for the resources!


great list! highly recommended reading too: http://www.instarbooks.com/books/videogames-for-humans.html

That book is so insightful and diverse, good recommendation! <3

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Very interesting, thanks for the list. Saved a ton of articles to read later.


Very innovative. By the way it is time for the developer to make come awesome personal games.

Some very interesting stuff but a LOT of links are out of date now. An update would be great.