Home Improvisation Preview

by Marcus Jones on March 28, 2015

I've put together a variety of IKEA furniture during my lifetime, but I never truly found it fun until playing Home Improvisation. Initially started during the 48 Hour Global Game Jam, the game has grown considerably since then through the efforts of developer The Stork Burnt Down. Envisioned as a game from the theme of "What do we do now?," Home Improvisation truly encapsulates it to its core.

Playing the game is straightforward and simple – a box arrives with a picture of some piece of furniture, players click on it, and it dumps the pieces out. From there, what players do with the pieces is completely up to them. It's literally a case of "What do we do now?" brought to life considering there's no directions to follow, and the pieces can be attached to each other in any configuration you want. Pieces themselves click together via predefined joint points, but the actual process of putting them together can take any shape or orientation you please. Once enough pieces are used, the system automatically delivers the next box, dumping a completely new pile of stuff to dig through.

Here's where the game becomes truly interesting – there's a hammer available to break apart already connected pieces, including "completed" ones. You can break old stuff apart to mix it with the newly delivered box, creating odd contraptions and bizarre art statements that resemble something like a piece of furniture. At one point, I made what looked like a torture rack and exercise machine combination from a coffee table and an end table, and my bookshelf was a work of art in itself (it held a book…on the bottom shelf).

The game features full controller support, which is arguably easier to use than a mouse and keyboard combination, based on rotating and elevating pieces around the room. Not only that, it supports up to 4 controllers, since, you know, 4 players can "work together" to build a nightmarish room of avant-garde furniture. Throw in the hammer to break things apart and building furniture together, much like real life, quickly becomes a cutthroat adventure.

The Stork Burnt Down is hoping for a May 2015 release for PC on Steam. There is a possibility of the game utilizing the Steam Workshop for potential new downloads, but the game is expected to have different rooms within an average house, allowing furniture shenanigans to go down in just about every room.

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