Alghrab is a one-of-a-kind alt.ctrl game, where you try to beat an arrogant animatronic crow at its own card game to earn a prophecy! Created with an entirely custom display table that doubles as storage, custom deck of playing cards, and over 200 voice lines, this animatronic crow comes alive to taunt, jeer, and poke fun at the player as they try to push through Alghrab’s web of tricks. With over 1700 combinations of fortunes, what will Alghrab see in your future?

Alghrab was created as an entirely solo project over the course of 8 months, with a voice actor hired later on in the development process to voice the crow.

I was inspired by the phrase “haunt an object”, where you take an ordinary object and breathe life into it as though a ghost was inhabiting the selected object. Alghrab started as a cheap halloween prop, that I stripped apart and augmented with brand new features and custom components.

The first version of Alghrab was a simple interactive fortune telling machince, since I knew that crows naturally played into mysticism and omens. However, I am extremely skeptical about any type of fortune telling or mysticism, so my solution was to create fortunes, but were fundamentally based off of facts about crows. This gave the fortunes a unique flavoring that can only be felt with this game, and inspired a lot of the bird’s personality and behavior.

From there, I took another look at the design, and constructed a simple card game based around detecting the crow’s lies, inspired by word games like Green Glass Door, while maintaining the fortunes and personality for the crow that had been developed.

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