Game Idea: Urinal Jockeys

by Darius Kazemi on June 21, 2005

in Uncategorized

So now I present to you an idea that I had for a game in the vein of an Indie Game Jam 3 “people interacting” theme.

One bit of human behavior that always fascinates me is the unspoken set of rules that dictates where men will stand at a row of urinals–say at a rest stop on the highway. The basic goal is that if the urinals are to be used to their maximum potential, but without challenging the sexuality of any of the straight male participants, and without offending any of the males’ rights to other men not seeing their willies, there must be one urinal empty between every urinal in use. We could program a nifty agent-based AI that meets this and a few other rules and unleash it upon interesting topologies of urinals (imagine an interstate rest stop designed by M.C. Escher or some such thing).

While that would be interesting in and of itself, we could add behavior like alpha males attempting to muscle out other males for urinal supremacy. We could arm everyone with weapons. Imagine seeing a giant war between males over the right to piss on one urinal or another: the camera pans back and you see utter chaos. It could be a pretty powerful satirical statement on war as a giant pissing contest.

Of course, I haven’t yet described a game, but rather a screensaver. The game would be leading your squad of intrepid men in the fight for urinal supremacy.

That said, I shudder to think what kind of search engine results are going to point to my blog now.


solipsistnation June 22, 2005 at 2:45 pm

It should totally be a puzzle game. You know, a particular layout of urinals, and various guys coming in to use them. Some of them will be uptight and not able to handle even one guy next to them. Some of them will be fairly relaxed and would be able to deal with peeing next to another guy. The rarest guy would be the pee fetishist who would actually prefer to be next to two other guys while peeing.

Each guy has a time rating for the amount of time they could ignore another guy next to them, and a rating for how much they have to go. The uptight could ignore one guy for, say, five seconds before they freeze up or freak out. The laid-back could ignore another guy for 30 seconds. The pee fetishists would be cool with, you know, however long it takes.

It would become an exercise in timing– guys enter the restroom and you have to find them a place where they would be able to finish peeing before they freak out.

The challenge would be in restroom layout. The ideal would be five urinals, so you could have the uptight guys on the ends, and another guy in the middle, and the occasional laid-back or fetishist in the second and fourth spots. But what if you’ve got two uptight guys who REALLY have to go (if they’ve got, say, 30 seconds of peeing to do but only 5 seconds of being able to deal with somebody right next to them) and only the second space free… They can wait a little bit, but not _too_ long.

You could make the restrooms more complicated, too– dividers between urinals could add five seconds to how long even an uptight fellow could deal with somebody next to him. Vandals could rip them out! And of course, John Wayne could come in, leading to the “Hey, you’re John Wayne!” problem if you put anyone next to him without dividers between urinals. (That’s a joke I heard once, and works better in person…) And the worst challenge of them all, transvestites coming in to hike up their skirts and use the urinals. Even pee fetishists have a hard time peeing next to a guy in a skirt with boobs and makeup.

Good thing I don’t have access to any way to program in Flash, or any artistic skills.

Daniel Lawrence June 22, 2005 at 4:42 pm

I like this idea, as I, like you, am also fascinated by unspoken rules in human behavior and in fact have given some thought, as brief as was (sorry for the horrible pun), to what rules governed urinal related behavior. I also like your comment about the statement a game (or screensaver) makes about war in general. Here is an additional idea or two: you could have a function in which if you or one of the men in your squad doesn’t make it to a comfortable urinal in a certain amount of time they wet themselves, this decreases troop morale a certain percentage; if it was someone in your squad the percentage would be less than if it were you (being the squad leader), in which case it would really hurt morale.

Just a thought. Props to solipsistnation for his ideas – they’re great, I could see it working a nubmer of ways.

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