We're Thorny Games, an award-winning analog game studio out of Washington, D.C.
We make games that help people build worlds together. Much of our work centers on the power and playfulness of language; we love games that let people see new things about the world through how we communicate. Our games have won multiple Game of the Year titles and have been featured at SXSW, the Gen Con Ennies, and Indiecade. Our background is a mix of design, math and linguistics. We stuff this energy into making immersive games that are affecting, persuasive and fun.
Say hi at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Sometimes We Talk ...
We're always eager to spread the good word of play — be it for tabletop, language, RPG or larp. Here's a taste:
▪ GDC 2019: Lessons for Narrative Design from Modern Tabletop RPG
▪ Living Games 2018: Keynote
▪ 2018 Full Indie Summit: Language in Games
▪ Indiecade 2017: Language Game Design Microtalk
▪ Metatopia 2017. Game Evolution: The Process Of Design Iteration with Jason Morningstar
▪ 2016 GenCon Industry Insiders. Panels given include: Language and Games, Designing with Empathy, Gaming & Community, Improv for Roleplaying, Beyond Combat
Sometimes We Podcast ...
Or do an interview or two. Hear us chat it up about games.
▪ Talking Dialect with Antero Garcia
▪ Talk the Talk Podcast with Daniel Midgley
▪ Narrative Control Podcast with Sean Nittner
▪ Backstory (Hakan, Kathryn) with Alex Roberts
▪ Legal Moves Podcast with Zachary Strebeck