In winter 2020, after a hybrid (digital & non-digital) game night with a large group of friends, Marco Hoffmann decided to write a little drawing party game that would cater both small and large groups of players. Why? Some of his friends once again had to wait and watch because the digital party game they were playing only supported 8 players – not really fun if you're meeting to play together.
This was both the beginning of acureus' signature game "Draw & Guess", and set the foundation for our vision to create social games that support a large number of players. Here are our published projects!
Cave Guessers - RELEASED
Cave Guessers is a casual and creative guessing game with multiple game modes for up to 16 players – now available on Steam!
The game features 4 different modes that all require players to tickle their brains and find creative ways to explain a given prompt.
In Watch your words players are asked to describe a prompt without using specific words, but anything they type is immediately set in stone! Oops! Did you just start typing a forbidden word by accident? Unfortunately your watcher noticed and your prompt is discarded. Once a guessing player enters the correct word, a point is scored and a new prompt is sent. Collect as many points as possible before the time runs up!
In Break it Down players cannot type words to explain their prompt – but they can choose concepts to describe it. A book might thus become a rectangular object of small to medium size, made of organic material and found in terrestrial locations. Hm.. that could also be a wooden board! But no sweat! To narrow it down, guessing players receive a clue for the category, along with a hint of the length of the hidden word.
In Shadow on the Wall players cannot use words at all. They try to explain their prompt casting shadows with objects and using coloured lights! Guessing players now have to recognize the hidden word based on the shadows shown. Definitely one of our most challenging game modes!
In One or none all players know the prompt right from the start – except one. That player has to try and guess the prompt in just one try, but thankfully they get help from their fellow players. Those provide one-word hints, while trying to avoid duplicates. The guessing player will only see hints that are truly unique… or none, if no eligible hints have made it through.
Finally, in What’s that Tune? players can show their musical expertise! Each player selects a song that they then try to hum, whistle or clap for their fellow players. Don’t worry, it’s enough to know only a few seconds of the song, and if a note was too high or too low, just move it to a better position. Guessing players hear the final result and then choose from several potential answers.
Can’t choose which mode to try and play? Just combine any of them to a tournament!
Draw & Guess - released
Draw & Guess is a casual and creative drawing game with multiple game modes for up to 16 players – currently available on Steam!
The game was released in March 2021 and massively gained in popularity in summer 2021 when it was discovered by influencers in China. Since then, more than 2 million players have bought a copy of the game, and more than 10,000 users play it every day.
The original game includes two game modes: a Charades-style drawing mode and the main mode, “Chinese Whisper”.
In the first mode one player draws while all other players guess.
In the main mode, all players draw at the same time and then guess the drawing they have received. They then pass their guesses to the next players, and in turn draw the guesses they receive. Don’t expect the original prompt to go through – usually things go wrong somewhere along the way, and the rabbit you originally submitted may well have turned into a turtle surfing a wave.
In the last few months we have worked hard on other new modes and settings, currently available in public beta:
Lobby Drawing mode, to give players an indefinite amount of time to create amazing works of arts, alone or with others (and they do!!)
AI mode which allows single (and up to 16) users to draw and have our specially trained AI guess their drawings!
Pixel mode, invisible mode (your lines slowly disappear), gravity mode (your lines drop to the bottom), more brush sizes, a shape tool, a bucket tool, full RGB palette, greyscale palette, export and import of lobby drawings, (…) to name just a few!
All the while we have not shied away from difficulties, and have prioritised technical innovation over developing comfort:
Unlike other drawing games, Draw & Guess drawings are based on vector graphics, supporting lossless scalability – while posing challenges when it comes to features like fill. But this did not stop us, and we can now proudly say we have created a vector-based bucket tool!
Our latest milestone achievement was the successful training of a Machine Learning model! It now recognizes almost 500 labels, from simple concepts like “tea” to more complex ideas such as “playing the zither to a cow”.