Home » Carniville


A game design, development and publishing project with young people.

Age range: 8 – 19
Settings: schools, after school clubs and youth clubs, most with special educational needs and other disadvantages.


Game Genre

A point-and-click style adventure game, with

  • a variety of environments to explore
  • hidden objects
  • puzzles
  • mysteries
  • interactive dialogue with text and spoken performance

With graphics in a variety of media, animation, soundscapes, sound effects, music.


Old. Dingy. Decaying. Carniville is a world of its own, a carnival out of space and time.

But within each moth-eaten, desolate tent there exists a world of dreams, a paradise belonging to one child – a manifestation of their most powerful fantasies.

Except it isn’t a dream – it’s a nightmare from which they can never awaken.

Carniville is owend and controlled by The Ringmaster.

The Ringmaster is a champion, a guardian. He grants children’s wishes, and creates wonderful fantasy worlds for them. He liberates them from their boring existences and let’s them live forever in their personal idyll.

If you think that sounds more like Hell than Paradise, you would be right.

But The Ringmaster isn’t evil, he’s just powerfully deluded.

The Children

Trapped in these supposed fantasy worlds, the children gradually forget who they really are. All they retain of their real life is a terrible sense of loss. And sometimes they just sit and weep.

And so, from each tent in Carniville, there flows a small rivulet of tears. And all across Carniville, these rivulets meet, creating streams of tears, eventually flowing into the River of Tears and then going over a waterfall into the Pool of Tears.

The Waxwork Museum

Whilst the children live out their lives in a never ending “fantasy” land, the Ringmaster stores their bodies in his Waxwork Museum.

Next to each person, there is a sign with information about them, including their age when they arrived in Carniville, and how long they have been here. This can be anything from a few months to many years. With some there are also personal possessions or momentos from their former life.

Each Tent has its own visual and gaming style, as decided by the young people who are making it, for example:

  • a steampunk castle ruled by a rusted iron dragon in the classic point-and-click style
  • an Atlantean world with direct movement and puzzles
  • an underworld platformer
  • a hand drawn acrobatic dog
  • a top-down racing game
  • outer space
  • a side scrolling monster truck