This proposal was accepted, commissioned and created.
After reading the proposal, click here to play Farklempt!


Rhizome 2004 Game Commission Proposal
Jason Van Anden - Artist/Programmer

Core Concept:

Managing ones' feelings is essential to getting along in the world. Keeping emotions inside can be just as damaging as just letting them flow. "Farklempt" challenges players to manage their emotional-health and maintain relationships through skillful manipulation of feelings against other players trying to do the same.


The interface is made up of two panes, the "Mishegas" pane on the left and the "Meshugina" pane of the right:

Mishegas Pane:

The Mishegas pane is the play space, and is made up of a cluster of roundish objects called "filn". Filn look like bubbles or balloons:

Each filn represents a feeling such as happy, sad, angry:

The filn inflate like balloons until the player deflates them. The player deflates the filn by clicking on them with their mouse. When a filn is deflated, it makes a sound appropriate to the type of feeling, and the amount it is deflated.

If the filn expands too much, it explodes, letting loose extreme, uncontrollable behavior, and repelling other Meshugen. For example, if an angry filn is deflated a little: it grumbles, if it is deflated a lot: it yells, if it explodes: it lets loose a frightening tirade of rage.

Meshugana Pane:

The Meshugana pane represents the player universe, and is populated by avatars representing each player called "Meshugen".

The Meshugen can be seen drifting around the Meshugana based upon how their player is manipulating it's Mishegas. Depending on how feelings are expressed or repressed, Meshugen will attract or repel one another. The sounds generated by the other playerís Mishegas will be heard in the background of their Meshugana.


Players earn points by the amount of time their Meshugen spend close to other Meshugen, determined by how well they inflate and deflate their filn. The player loses points when a filn blows up. The winner of Farklempt is the player with the highest score. A minimum of three players and two filn are recommended for an interesting game.


The concept for this artwork/video-game comes from my participation in ongoing group therapy, and the questions this has raised for me regarding how our behavior impacts others in the world around us. The software, sounds and graphics will all be created by me, infusing facets of my experience into this very personal artwork.


I have been developing similar systems in other projects for the past six years. I intend to leverage this experience into creating Farklempt. This game will be written in Java to be played online. The sounds and images used here are for illustration purposes, and will probably change. My experience as a senior software architect and visual artist will enable me to develop this game myself.


Upon acceptance of this commission, I will immediately start to develop Farklempt. I will have it ready for Beta testing by July 2004, with a production version completed by September 2004. I have not proposed this to any other funders. I am requesting $3,500 as my artist/developerís fee.

Work Samples:

Following are links to a selection of projects I have created. They are presented here because of their relevance to the creation of Farklempt:

Curriculum Vitae:


Yiddish Dictionary Online