About Us

Chain ReAction is a five-person team of artists, programmers, and designers from Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC). We are working with Games for Change to develop a transformational experience about global nuclear threat for the 2021 G4C virtual festival. We hope to spark a public conversation about the relevance of nuclear policy to everyday life.

As a team we are experimenting with the design affordances of mass play and the transformational power of group experiences, specifically as it relates to spreading awareness about nuclear threat. We will execute our interactive virtual experience at the 2021 Games for Change Festival on July 12 – 14.

Video Trailer coming soon!


  • Week 13: Playtest Feedback and Softs
    Week 13 proved to be rather tiring for the team. Following the playtest on the Saturday of Week 12, the team rushed straight into Softs on Monday of Week 13. Shortly thereafter, the team planned out the work necessary for the final playtest (scheduled Tuesday of Week 14). Rather than […]
  • Week 11/12: Narrative Playtest feedback and plans for the Hopin Playtest
    Due to the CMU break on April 15-16 (for Spring Carnival), work for weeks 11/12 was combined. Broadly speaking, Weeks 11 and 12 saw iterations as a result of the narrative playtest as well as work towards a Scaled up Playtest on Hopin. The goals of the Scaled-up Playtest are […]
  • Week 10: Playtest 2 prep and iterations or Creating Narrative that enables gameplay and transformation
    Following on the feedback from the last playtest, work on the project proceeded as follows in preparation for our next Playtest. The goals for this playtest are to evaluate whether the new narrative changes are distracting to players and to what degree players’ goals/actions are clarified as a result of […]
  • Week 9: Playtest Feedback, Iterations, next Playtest
    The Saturday playtest went fairly well (the playtest was delayed from Friday to Saturday since power outages prevented a teammate from participating at the originally scheduled time). Overall the takeaways were as follows:  Went well:  Players felt Transformed: All players expressed a newfound interest in the subject of US nuclear […]
  • Week 8: Digital MVP, Weekend Playtest prep
    Following halves and our encouraging conversations with experts Mike and Ananya, the team set its sights on a playtest centered on “putting a whole experience together for guests.” In some ways, the most useful outcome from the playtest would be the build put together by the end of it. Feedback […]
  • Week 7: Halves feedback, Experts, Google forms API
    Feedback was fairly positive to our progress so far, but did point out the apparent bias in the materials we had playtested with so far (i.e. the materials strongly support the struggles of the Downwinders community vs. the IR/justification perspective) as well as the problem of moderating 40+ players at […]
  • Week 6: Halves Prep, Paper playtest iterations, Digital MV
    Week 6 saw work split between prepping for our Halves presentation, adding features to the digital build, and making iterations based on paper playtests.  With regards to halves, the team organized our presentation primarily around our transformational and design goals. Following feedback from our faculty instructors we verbalized our transformational […]
  • Week 5: Paper Prototype and Programming Gold Spike
    Following quarters, the team focused on building a paper prototype and creating a programming gold spike this week.  In order to create a paper prototype, Kat made a first pass at the rules, character sheets, reflection sheets, as well as 8 or so sample “Artifacts” for players to view. At […]
  • Week 4: Quarters and Pitches
    Week 4 was a primarily reflective week given Quarters. Besides Quarters, the team also did a first round of pitching game mechanics to our client Raul. Based on that discussion, we narrowed down to a single mechanic/game concept to begin paper prototyping.  Starting with quarters, feedback for the team fell […]
  • Week 3: Finding a Purpose, SMEs, and Quarters Prep
    This week we focused on everything we needed to get ready for Quarters. Because of the shortened semester, Quarters is taking place in Week 4, so our goal was to flesh out the transformational framework to present to the faculty.  We had to answer the first question in the transformational […]
  • Week 2: Nuclear Threat domain, Audience barriers, Platform
    This week our team dove deep into subject area research to try and understand how we might answer the questions the Transformational Framework poses. Splitting up research work into different parts based on the transformational questions, we were able to make some exciting discoveries. Our client provided a starting point […]
  • Week 1: Setup, Transformational Framework, and Client
    We initiated this exciting project-semester with our first team member meeting, during which we discussed our backgrounds, skill sets, and questions for the project. We then selected Derek as our producer and scheduled the first meeting with our instructors, Dave and Brenda. Meeting with the Instructors: During the first meeting […]

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