Twitter Charades v0.2

Remember that one time when I tried to make Twitter Charades? Like... last week? It's time to iterate, baby. Twitter Charades v0.1 was a learning experience. Here are the things that went wrong in that first test:

1. Waiting around for the other team to work out what their guess was really, really boring, and there's no need for that. Twitter can accommodate asynchronous play perfectly well. 

2. Coordinating multi-member teams was really, really hard, and non-ideal for the medium.

3. Some links popped up bit.ly malware notices -- not because there was real malware, but because in some cases the URL had been through more than one round of link shortening.

With that in mind, here are the rules for three distinct variants I'd like to try out. Please, please feel free to play a game or two, and please, PLEASE post comments on your result. Be as ruthless as you can! You can't make great games by turning a blind eye.

On Twitter, I'd appreciate it if you could use the #charades hashtag. I suspect this game would also be fun in other text-heavy media, like IM or G+ comment threads. If you try this out, I would love to hear how it goes. 

Annnnnnnd away we go.

Team Options

Classic Team Play - Equal-sized teams of roughly equal numbers of players compete.

Twitter-Native Team Play - Two "captains" choose secret phrases and give them to each other; each "captain" tries to get their own followers to guess.

Collaborative - Two players take turns randomly assigning themselves secret phrases and acting them out while the other player guesses.

Phrase Assignment Options

Classic Team Play - Assignment by a member of the opposing team. Teams brainstorm among themselves, either through Twitter direct messages or non-Twitter means, like Skype, AIM, or email.

Twitter-Native Team Play - Assignment by the captain of the opposing team, arranged as desired.

Collaborative - Self-assignment through an agreed-upon link randomizer, such as WikipediaIMDB Random TitleIMDB Random Name.

Win States

Classic Team Play - Alternating turns until a pre-arranged win score is met, with each team winning a point each time a phrase is successfully guessed.

Twitter-Native Team Play - Teams guess simultaneously; the team to correctly guess their secret phrase wins a point for that round, then both teams move on to the next secret.

Collaborative - Play to a high score: The most correctly guessed phrases in a chain, with no giving up.

Time Limits

These are optional. If you go with a time limit, start with ten minutes, to allow for players with lag or partial attention.

The Fundamentals 

1. When you are on stage, you may not type any words at all!  

2. You can link to images in place of pantomime.

3. The link must not have any tags or titles, and the word you're trying to convey must not be in the URL. The suggested method for this is to use Google images search, and from the results page, right-click and go to 'Copy Image URL.' The result should look something like this:

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTXUOJyjM8UbXsX9u8jDZLt15TjWYDUFnP70WaqJAznqoYvJpbS

You can also right-click and get the direct link to an image on Flickr. The link should look something like this:

http://farm1.staticflickr.com/1/345930_cb3a94ca77_o.jpg

TWITTER WILL SHORTEN LINKS FOR YOU. MAKE SURE YOU DON'T DOUBLE SHORTEN THEM.

4. The image can't be directly from or of the phrase you're conveying. So no using a still from the movie E.T. or a piece of E.T. fan art, for example, to convey E.T.

5. ASCII art and Unicode is also acceptable, ex. ♫ to indicate a song, or @-'--,----- to indicate a rose. 

Suggested Vocabulary

o)) sounds like
||| three words
.|. second word (of three)
,,, three syllables
.,. second syllable (of three)
!!! yes, that's it
~~~ almost, close but not quite
/= no, that's not it, you're on the wrong track
+++ you're getting closer, you almost have it before
--- you were closer before, back up some
{ link } the phrase is of the category shown in the linked image (a book, a person, etc.) 

And as before, many thanks to Ken Eklund and Sara Thacher for inspiration and logistical assistance!