Mild Peril: Tests of the Turgid Fields


  1. Save cherished homestead
  2. from watery incursions
  3. move land; redirect torrent
  4. alas, all trees must remain


On an evening in the latter part of March, a middle aged man was walking home from Shaston to the village of Marmot. The evening being bright and the weather clear, safe for now from the vicissitudes of the variable spring weather, in the distance could be seen the dales and downs heaped up around his humble cottage. But the continuence of this appealing prospect was threatened by the changing physiognomy of the region, promising torrents to which no end could be prognosticated.

To save his home from the water, he would have to dig.

    About Mild Peril

    Mild Peril was conceived, designed and built in a week as part of /dev/fort x.

    At a /dev/fort, around a dozen people retreat to an isolated location with no internet access, and work together to make something new for the internet. Previous forts have produced Spacelog, Be Habitual and Earth Lens. This fort, we made a game.

    Mild Peril was inspired by Paul Pod’s experience of managing the flow of water across his smallholding in Wales. Few of us had any experience making games (or any experience at all of hydrology), but learning by doing is one of the fun parts of /dev/fort.

    We began by experimenting with several game mechanics, playing jury-rigged board game versions made from post-its and purloined scrabble counters. Once we’d found a promising approach, we split into three groups: one to build the game engine, one to design levels, and one to design the game’s UI.

    The engine team created algorithms to model the water’s flow and ebb, balancing complexity with intuitive acquatic behaviour. At the same time, the UI team found a way to represent the game field that was suitably playful and iconic but also conveyed the information needed to solve each puzzle.

    By Saturday morning, we had a working version of the game running in browser. Despite regularly being sucked into playing instead of building, the team resolved bugs and added in the final elements over the weekend. Andrew even found time to make a parallel version of the game in Unity.

    /dev/fort x was Andrew Godwin, Ash Berlin, Dai Vaughan, George Brocklehurst, James Aylett, James Coglan, Kat Matfield, Mazz Mosley, Paul Pod, Ryan Alexander.

    Now, why not play the game?