The Chenny is a weird small game that I made during Nordic Game Jam 2013 with my friends Mattia Traverso, Danny Calleri and Alex Camilleri. We didn’t really want to make an “all-Italian team” at Nordic (which, if you didn’t know, is an event held in Copenhagen, Denmark) but since there was very good chemistry, we ended up sticking together – and we made a game.

The theme of the jam was Grotesque, and after a bit of internet research we decided that there’s nothing more grotesque than a face whose muscles and facial features are twisted so much that he/she becomes unrecognisable. We started messing around with a polygonal face in Unity, with a script by Danny which allowed us to move the vertices of the polygonal model by using an Xbox Controller:

An early face of the kid (named Chenny)
An early face of the kid (named Chenny)

In the end game, the kid is a girl named Chenny who wants his father to buy her an ice cream. Since his father doesn’t want to, she starts crying and making sad faces to convince him. The player has to use all of the Xbox Controller’s controls (levers, buttons, d-pad, triggers) to make Chenny’s face look like a target face shown in the background. At the end of three rounds, the father will either bend, giving Chenny the ice-cream (the player has won), or smack her (the game is lost).

I personally think The Chenny is one of the most experimental and spontaneous games I’ve made, and I guess I have to mostly thank my teammates for that.

When returning to Nordic Game Jam after two years (!), we discovered by chance from another jammer that a famous French YouTuber called Squeezie had made a video about our game The Chenny that has 3,5 million views (and counting). Apparently he found it weird, fun, and as grotesque as we wanted it to be.

You can download The Chenny from Unicorn7 (requires an Xbox Controller to play).