Haley's Art Blog

Assignment 1: Conditional Design

When I initially considered this Conditional Design project I got stuck on the idea of a game. Perhaps it is because Conditional Design participants are called players, or because many of the designs reminded me of a giant game of pen the pig or sprout. My mind went straight to a launching, shooting drawing game. I could imagine, and even played a few, competitve launching games, but the end result had no emergent properties (it most closely resembled a still of angry birds). After many fruitless attempts I let the game idea go and began sketching. The game I came up with is called tree, and this is how it works:

Initial set up:

  1. Play with any number of players.
  2. Each player has a pencil and a colored pen. 
  3. Player 1 uses their pencil to draw a trunk, this is a line that fills the paper and must be a straight line. 
  4. Player 2 draws a large organic shape around the top 3/4 of their trunk line. The shape may extend above the top of the tree. This shape must have a width throughout that is at least as wide as 1/2 the trunk line length. It should enclose a large portion of the paper.
  5. The players take turns.

Each turn a player must draw 2 branch lines (these are always straight lines) with their pencil. The branch lines can be either of the two types:

  1. The first branch line can begin on any part of the trunk line. 
  2. The second branch line emanates from the end of any line (besides the trunk line). 
  3. Branch lines may not extend beyond the organic shape enclosing the upper trunk.
  4. Each branch line, both on the trunk and starting from other branch lines must have between 2 and 5 lines emanating from their end point, unless there is no more room to draw branches.
  5.  When there is not enough room to continue drawing on a branch the branch is finished, and the players pause. The player who finished the branch draws a single leaf with their colored pen at the tip of this branch. The player then draws again on the same trunk, if they finish another branch they draw another leaf and go again. If they do not finish another branch play returns to normal.
  6. Play until every branch line is finished, or until you get tired.

I do not have access to a camera, so I played the game on dabble board with a friend back home in Portland. Due to the tedious nature of the dabble board we did not get very far, but I think the general idea is apparent. 


For those of you, like myself, who desire a gaming objective this can be a competitive game. One wins by drawing the most leaves.