We're Thorny Games, an award-winning analog game studio out of Washington, D.C.

We make immersive games that help people build worlds together. Much of our work centers on the innate power and playfulness of language; we make games that help people see new things about identity and culture through how we communicate. Our background lives at the intersection of design, math and linguistics. We stuff this energy into making compelling games that are affecting, persuasive and fun.

Say hi at cactus@thornygames.com

Kathryn Hymes is 50% of the indie studio Thorny Games, where she makes games about language and cryptography. In her designs, Kathryn wants to tell stories in unorthodox, original settings. Full of math and computational linguistics, Kathryn is an active voice in the Indie RPG community where she aims to make games more approachable to new enthusiastic faces. She is a multiple time Indiecade FInalist and Award Winner, has spoken at GDC, and delivered keynote addresses at gaming conferences. She is also a co-host of the Game Design Round Table podcast and a 2016 GenCon Industry Insider. 

Kathryn owns a theremin and plays it badly. 

Hakan Seyalıoğlu is the other 50% of Thorny Games, an independent design studio of larps and RPGs that tells new and unconventional stories. In his design, he’s deeply explored what language means for us culturally and emotionally, and how it can be an engaging mechanic for play. A GenCon Industry Insider, a keynote speaker at multiple conferences, and co-designer of multiple Indiecade Finalists and Award Winners, Hakan hopes to spread the word of play. Hakan helps computers keep secrets and crack codes (a genuine cryptographer).

Hakan also really enjoys breakfast.

Play the steep and thorny way

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