Cardboard Computer

Games by Jake Elliott, Tamas Kemenczy, and Ben Babbitt. We're currently working on Kentucky Route Zero, a magical realist adventure game about a secret highway in the caves beneath Kentucky, and the mysterious folks who travel it. Acts I-IV of Kentucky Route Zero are available now.

‘A House in California’ is a finalist for the IGF 2011 Nuovo Award!

December 20, 2010

Some Nuovo finalists

‘A House in California’ is one of 8 finalists for the Nuovo Award at the 2011 Independent Games Festival! The Nuovo award is a category of the IGF designed to “honor abstract, shortform, and unconventional game development which advances the medium and the way we think about games.” I’m totally thrilled to have the game next to some other awesome finalists like The Cat and the Coup, Nidhogg, Dinner Date & some others new to me that I can’t wait to play. I also feel very honored to know that the game was played & appreciated by the Nuovo Award jury, whose roster reads like an art games syllabus.

Hope to see you at GDC in March! If you’re going and would like to meet up, drop me a line!

A House in California

October 31, 2010

A House in California is now available for download on Windows, Mac, and Linux along with source code:

Pre-Order limited edition hard copies of ‘A House in California’

September 15, 2010

A House in California is finished! It will be in the Learn to Play exhibit this Friday at Euphrat Museum of Art in Cupertino, and also in the Meaningful Play conference in Michigan next month. I’ll be releasing the game as a free & open source download on November 1st.

I’m also experimenting with a new release model; the game will be released in a limited edition (of 50) hard copies with nice packaging and additional artwork and writing, available for pre-order now on Kickstarter. The fundraising goal is set to the amount it will cost me to get materials for the limited hard copies. I’ll release the game free & open source whether the fundraising succeeds or not.

Hummingbird Mind

August 6, 2010

Screenshot of Hummingbird Mind

Hummingbird Mind is a short visual novel / interactive story about distraction, daydreaming, and working from home.

Play it now in your browser!

‘A House in California’ Gameplay Video

June 9, 2010

Here’s a short video of the gameplay in ‘A House in California,’ which shows Lois exploring a few different rooms. The game will be released in late June or July 2010 Update: I’ve shuffled my schedule around and I expect this game to be released at the end of October 2010.

And here’s a new still:
Still from A House in California

Music from ‘A House in California’

June 1, 2010

Cardboard Computer is currently working on three different games. I like to work on multiple projects at once, switching organically between them to follow inspiration and freshen my perspective. I’ll be sharing more information about all three games as they develop, starting with some music for an adventure game called ‘A House in California’.

Read more »

Pokemon Trainwrecks

May 21, 2010

Last night I participated in a two-hour game jam called “Themed Trainwreck Thursdays,” hosted by Glorious Trainwrecks. Glorious Trainwrecks is an online community/wiki/forum for game developers, with the stated goal of “bringing back a time when you didn’t care so much about ‘production values.’” The hallmarks of their games and game jams are quick turnaround, playful abjection, and a DIY ethos.

Read more »

Hello! Cardboard Computer!

May 19, 2010

Hi! I’m Jake Elliott and this is the home of Cardboard Computer, a new independent game studio. This site will feature posts about upcoming games, tutorials for the technologies we work with, and articles about other developers’ games that we’re thrilled about!

Cardboard computer is experimenting with a somewhat nontraditional organizational structure. I will be the only “employee,” and will work as a game developer (designer and programmer) on various projects with different collaborators (contractors or project-partners). I’m planning to be as transparent about this process as I can: its mechanics, its successes and its failures. So to start that off, I’d like to lay out a few goals that I have for Cardboard Computer and our games:

Develop non-violent games

I’m most excited about developing games that engage with themes of friendship, collaboration and community. There are already tons of games about war! I’m not opposed to the use of games to engage with serious subjects like war or violence, but I feel that there’s a lot of other territory to explore.

Release game code as open source

Free/Libre open source software has been a very important component of my life as a developer; I use open source software at every stage of my projects (Emacs, GIMP, Git, Firefox, Linux, etc). I’ve also learned a tremendous amount from reading other people’s code. So while I hope Cardboard Computer will grow to be a business and we will be selling games, we’re going to release the source code for these games under a very permissive open source license. The way we release this code will probably depend on the specific game and the conditions of its sale, but I’ll do my best to be transparent about that process too! I’m also excited about developing games “in public” on source code hosting platforms like GitHub.

Engage with the communities

I have a blogging schedule mapped out for this site that includes technical tutorials, and also articles about games by other developers. I hope that these tutorials and articles will help Cardboard Computer contribute to the various intersecting online communities that have formed around game development (which have been so valuable to me) and also keep us connected as an active part of the conversation.


I’ll have more details about Cardboard Computer’s first few games soon! To keep updated, you can follow us on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook, or subscribe to the RSS feed of this blog!

Also I’d like to thank my friend jonCates for coming up with the name “cardboard computer” and my friend Jeremy Lowther for the awesome header illustration!

Almost there!

May 12, 2010

Cardboard Computer is a new independent game studio! This blog will start to kick off in just a couple of weeks with news about our games in development, tutorials & how-tos for the technologies we work with, and reviews & thoughts about other independent games. It’s exciting!

Ready for games LOL

all posts

7Notes on the TV Edition

19Act IV Available Now!

6Act III Available Now!
10Act III Progress Update.

7Kentucky Route Zero, Act I available now

17‘Kentucky Route Zero’ new trailer

11Ruins Special Edition available only this week
15Balloon Diaspora
7‘Kentucky Route Zero’ trailer

20‘A House in California’ is a finalist for the IGF 2011 Nuovo Award!
31A House in California
15Pre-Order limited edition hard copies of ‘A House in California’
6Hummingbird Mind
9‘A House in California’ Gameplay Video
1Music from ‘A House in California’
21Pokemon Trainwrecks
19Hello! Cardboard Computer!
12Almost there!