Posted on Nov 23, 2023Read on

Take the cursed pill, THIS CURSED MACHINE playtest brief

By: JOJOKaikai

From: @AW_Research

AI Summery

Take the cursed pill. You will go you will return not in the war you will perish. THIS CURSED MACHINE is a fully on-chain sci-fi body horror fulfillment center simulator game developed by Moving Castles. The game conducted playtesting during AWAssembly in Istanbul, with sign-up forms for early access released on November 9th and October 16th. There are currently 7 levels in the game, and players need to synthesize specified items to pass each level. Players take on the role of Stumps, surgically enhanced workers fulfilling orders for TCM, requiring them to reverse engineer complex material trees and program production processes.

The game tutorial provides players with insights into the gameplay, explaining how to synthesize items, manage production chains, and navigate increasingly complex levels. Players must strategize and optimize their processes to complete tasks efficiently and compete for a spot on the leaderboard.

Moving Castles has also created games like Eat Drain Arson, an on-chain game promoting cooperation and competition among players through resource collection and crafting, and GO.LEM, an on-chain team vs. team governance fighting game.

Moving Castles' vision extends beyond games, aiming to create decentralized institutions financed, owned, and governed by their own members, fostering community participation and creativity. They envision a new media type that combines public participation, community governance, and decentralized institutions to offer greater freedom and creativity to community members.

From Eraserhead to This Cursed Machine

THIS CURSED MACHINE is an fully on chian sci-fi body horror fulfilment center simulator game developed by the Moving Castles.

THIS CURSED MACHINE conducted playtesting during AW Assembly in Istanbul.

Moving Castles first announced the upcoming playtest for 'THIS CURSED MACHINE' on October 4th.

And on November 9th and October 16th, they also released sign-up forms for early access to 'THIS CURSED MACHINE'.

Game Story Setting

In a future world dominated by the tech giant TCM (This Cursed Machine), an eerie fulfillment center exists where Stumps—surgically enhanced workers—are employed to carry out various tasks. You are one such Stumps, living within your own "Pod" (container) and sustaining yourself by consuming bugs.

Your mission is to reverse engineer intricate material trees based on orders from the Supply Chain Unit Manager. This entails unraveling the complexities of how products are manufactured and programming production processes. It's not a straightforward job, as it requires delving deep into the entire production chain, involving various machines and fluid processing procedures.

This world is composable, not only narratively but also on a technical level. TCM is constructed as a part of a larger hyperstructure, with players and developers contributing interfaces, mechanisms, and lore. The entire world is like a self-contained realm made up of intertwined machines and bodies.

In this world of alienation, you are not just a cog in the machine; your body itself becomes a metabolic gear within this colossal apparatus. You must design metabolic machines by constructing and connecting various devices to combine and process fluids. Your body no longer belongs to you but becomes an integral part of the entire production process.

The story is rife with depictions of technological and bodily alienation. Each Stump is a product of TCM's modifications, with their bodies and consciousness gradually merging into this terrifying production system. TCM's hyperstructure is a vast network woven from machines and bodies, a world full of horror and the unknown.

Amidst moral dilemmas and challenges to self-awareness, you continually grapple with the quest to escape this fulfillment center shrouded in technological nightmares. It's a narrative exploring the boundaries of technology and humanity, a tale delving into the choices and reflections of humanity when confronted with the repercussions of advancing technology.

About Moving castles

Moving Castles is a game studio for the tactical research and development of autonomous worlds.

In April 2023, Moving Castles announced their successful migration to MUD II.

Moving Castles has developed three games, Eat Drain Arson, and GOLEM. Currently, they are developing THIS CURSED MACHINE, and they are co-producing Network States with their friends Small Brain.

Eat Drain Arson

Their first fully on-chain game - Eat Drain Arson - was part of the first ever aw residency back in 2022 using MUD on-chain game engine, and held a playtest on Discord On December 4, 2022.

Eat Drain Arson is an innovative game built on blockchain technology. Eat Drain Arson is a game built on the blockchain, aiming to create a virtual world where players can freely explore and interact.

Unlike traditional games, this game doesn't provide players with predefined actions or narratives. Instead, it immerses them in a world with a set of constrained rules and observes what they create.

The characters in the game are programmable agents capable of executing repetitive actions such as resource collection, crafting, and interaction.

One of the goals of the game is to burn as many resources as possible to achieve a common objective, promoting cooperation and competition among players.

The game employs data-generated narratives, using player actions and events in the world to construct the storyline, making each game session unique.

Diversity and Openness: Players are free to develop and add new actions, rules, and resources, expanding the diversity and complexity of the game.

Eat Drain Arson encourages players to experiment, trying different strategies and playstyles, thereby fostering innovation and exploration in the game.

The recape of the first cycle of EAT, DRAIN, ARSON.


In early 2023 during the AW hackathon, Moving Castles developed GO.LEM, an on-chain team vs. team governance fighting game inspired by 'Swords and Sandals' and other sources. Each GOLEM in the game has a governance model that players can customize for more efficient or fun mechanics. The more players control a GOLEM, the more powerful it becomes, but it can be challenging to make it follow orders. The project, completed in 5 days, featured over 2000 procedurally generated 3D characters, off-chain communication allowing players to see each other's cursors, and a beat 'em up game developed in MUD2 featuring all the GOLEMS using the default BIG DEMOCRACY governance mode.

About Background/Histroy/Mission

Moving Castles is a novel media format and organizational model aimed at combining public participation, collective agency, and decentralized governance to create modular and portable multiplayer miniverses. This innovative concept draws inspiration from digital communities and guilds that have increasingly migrated their social and cultural activities to semi-private digital spaces, chat rooms, and Discord servers. Moving Castles envisions transforming these social spaces into decentralized institutions financed, owned, and governed by their own members, harnessing their potential.

The name 'Moving Castles' is derived from the iconic Studio Ghibli film 'Howl's Moving Castle,' where the castle is a nomadic patchwork of different spaces held together by the will of its inhabitants, capable of transporting itself to different worlds as needed. This name symbolizes diversity, creativity, and fluidity, which are central themes throughout the concept of Moving Castles.

(Sketch of a Moving Castle made up of modules, with additional character design by Parrr Geng.)

The principles of Moving Castles, including collectiveness, portability, modularity, and interoperability. Moving Castles are described as collective machines controlled by governance mechanisms, allowing low-barrier participation and customization by communities.

In their vision, Moving Castles represent modular and portable multiplayer miniverses inhabited by communities that use them to manage their lore, ecosystems, and economies. They provide a blueprint for these worlds and the collaborative media format that can emerge from within them. Moving Castles emphasize customization and interoperability, encouraging communities to create, share, and reuse game content components.

(Moving Castles allow the interchangeable combination of parts in a modular fashion, such as for example: A) raw API inputs B) collective governance such as voting C) resulting web3 outputs.)

Moving Castles aims to establish a new media type that combines public participation, community governance, and decentralized institutions, offering greater freedom and creativity to community members. Their goal is to create democratically governed institutions where various collective interests, from political goals to fandoms, can be expressed and advanced. Through multiplayer miniverses, they transform communities into collective vehicles that can freely switch, collaborate, share, and interact, creating a new form of media and organization that merges collective agency with public participation.


About Team


Co-founder of Moving Castles, he delivered a speech titled 'What Happens Next? Emergent Storytelling in Autonomous Worlds' at AWAssembly. In his speech, he explored how autonomous worlds challenge the traditional division between author and audience, revealing new forms of decentralized storytelling.


Arb, Co-founder of Moving Castles, had two presentations at AW Assembly.

Alongside 0xhank, delivered a speech titled 'Large Language Models as Myth-Making Mechanism' at AWAssembly. During their session, they presented insights gained from using ChatGPT to automatically generate lore for their collaborative project, Network States.

ARB and Agnes presented another speech at AW Assembly titled "Bugs In, Sludge Out: Production Circuits As Composable Game Loop." This session delved into their work on crafting a digital physics system built on composable logic for Moving Castles' game, "This Cursed Machine."

Rasmus, Core contributor to Moving Castles.

Manus, Core contributor to Moving Castles.

Agnes, Core contributor to Moving Castles.

Game Tutorial

Official Playtest link update:

If you have people that you think should test this game, send them this form:

There are currently 7 levels in the game, and players need to synthesize specified items to pass each level. When all levels are completed, the game will rank players based on their total time spent.

Enter the game link and start with the BLINK or . command

Level 1 task requirement: ENERGY ⇒101

Use the HELP or H command to view the available commands for the current level:

CONNECT is used to connect the production chain to produce various items.

DISCONNECT is used to disconnect a link in the production chain.

ORDER is used to view the requirements of the current order, i.e., the items that the player needs to synthesize.

BLINK is used to skip some animations.

HELP is used to view the available commands.

Use the CONNECT command to connect BUG DISPENSER ⇒ YOU to increase ENERGY.

When ENERGY reaches 101, the level is completed. Enter the BLINK or . command to proceed to the next level.

If you fail to make the connection in a timely manner, your ENERGY will gradually decrease. When ENERGY decreases to 0, the player will die.

Level 2 task requirement: PISS ⇒ 1000, BLOOD ⇒ 1000

Hover the mouse over the icon, and the screen will display the input and output for that production step. We can see that YOU receives input from BUG and outputs PISS and BLOOD, which are the goals for this level.

Use the CONNECT command to connect YOU ⇒ WAREHOUSE to transfer PISS and BLOOD. Since YOU outputs two substances, we need to connect YOU ⇒ WAREHOUSE twice. The first connection outputs PISS, and the second connection outputs BLOOD. Note that before making the second connection, the first connection needs to be disconnected using the DISCONNECT command.

Transfer PISS

Transfer BLOOD

With that, you can proceed to the next level.

Level 3 task requirement: CAFFEINE SLUSHY ⇒ 1000, CLUB MATE ⇒ 1000

From this level onwards, the game will start to become more complex. Use the HELP or H command to view the available commands, and you will find a few new commands:

BUILD is used to construct production nodes in the game (which can be understood as processing places for substances).

DESTROY is used to undo constructed production nodes.

MPA is used to view the synthesis roadmap of game items.

CLEAR is used to clear all content on the console (the left sidebar in the image).

Use the MAP or M command to view the synthesis roadmap, which shows the synthesis paths for various items. There are a few blacked-out areas in the map, and players need to infer the content in those areas themselves. Let's start with the first item that needs to be synthesized, CAFFEINE SLUSHY, which is obtained by inputting PISS and BLOOD into MIXER. This can be expressed as CAFFEINE SLUSHY = MIXER(PISS, BLOOD), and subsequent item synthesis methods will be represented in this format.

Use the BUILD command to construct a MIXER and connect YOU ⇒ MIXER (PISS), YOU ⇒ MIXER (BLOOD). Note: YOU ⇒ MIXER can be connected to two lines simultaneously because the input side of MIXER requires two substances. Finally, connect MIXER ⇒ WAREHOUSE.

Continue to produce CLUB MATE. We can see from the MAP that CLUB MATE = CLOOER(CAFFEINE SLUSHY), so all we need to do is disconnect MIXER ⇒ WAREHOUSE and connect MIXER ⇒ COLLER ⇒ WAREHOUSE to produce CLUB MATE.

With that, you can proceed to the next level.

Level 4 task requirement: MONSTER ⇒ 1000, PRIME ⇒ 1000

Looking at the map, it can be observed that: MONSTER = BOILER (BUG), PRMIR = BOILER (CAFFEINE SLUSHY)

Connect the corresponding nodes according to the previously mentioned operating procedure to proceed with manufacturing.

Transfer PRIME

Transferring MONSTER, it's crucial to note that the connection route I used in the diagram is BUG DISPENSER ⇒ BOILER ⇒ WAREHOUSE. The original connection from BUG DISPENSER ⇒ YOU is in a disconnected state, meaning that the connection method in my diagram will cause ENERGY to gradually decrease. Therefore, when playing, be careful not to let ENERGY reach zero, leading to game failure.

Of course, if you want ENERGY to consistently increase during the game without gradually decreasing, there's another method. You can use the SPLITTER in the BUILD section. The SPLITTER has one input and two outputs. Connect the input to BUG DISPENSER, and the first output to YOU, ensuring a continuous supply of ENERGY. The other output connects to the BOILER for material production. The drawback of using the SPLITTER is that the output rate of a single output is only half of the original, thereby affecting your completion time.

With that, you can proceed to the next level.

Level 5 task requirement: PLANT ⇒ 1000, SLUDGE ⇒ 1000

Examining the map, it can be observed that SLUDGE has various synthesis methods. Players can choose the synthesis route they consider the fastest. I chose SLUDGE = DRYPER (PRIME). However, PLANT does not appear on the map, indicating that PLANT is hidden in the black areas of the diagram. Players can discover the substances in these black areas through their own experimentation, which is quite simple. In this tutorial, to save some space, I'll just share my own synthesis method with you.


Transfer PLANT


With that, you can proceed to the next level.

Level 6 task requirement: CIGARETTE JUICE ⇒ 1000, M150 ⇒ 1000

All the items needed for synthesis in this level are located in the black areas of the map. Therefore, before completing the initial clearance, you need to identify all the substance names in the black areas of the map. Here, I'll share my own synthesis method:





With that, you can proceed to the next level.

Level 7 task requirement: ERASERBABY ⇒ 1000

In the final level, there will be a noticeable increase in difficulty, and the synthesis method for ERASERBABY will be relatively intricate. In this level, the same substance may be used multiple times, requiring the construction of multiple SPLITTER. As a result, the final structure will be quite complex.

I'll just share my own synthesis method.





At this point, you have successfully completed all the game levels.


After completing the game, players need to choose a name for themselves. If you manage to finish the game in a short enough time, your name will appear on the final leaderboard.

As of the completion of this tutorial, here is the current leaderboard ranking.

If you want to complete the levels quickly, a recommended method is to pre-write the optimal synthesis route for each level on paper and then follow the roadmap while playing the game.

If you don't want to spend time figuring out what substances are in the black areas of the game map, you can also directly refer to the official Github material synthesis table. Use this table to reverse engineer an optimal synthesis route.