Amidst all of the psychedelic wonderment to take place during the annual BLINK festival, a local bar is also giving patrons the ability to turn themselves into a pickle.
Homemakers Bar is now home to “Kind of a Big Dill,” a video game developed by local design agency We Be Team. Originally released during BLINK 2019 as a special attraction, the bar’s owner/operator, Julia Petiprin, has decided to let the pickle stay permanently.
“The crowd was going crazy,” she says of the game’s initial release. “Everybody at the bar was watching the game, taking turns. Strangers were playing with each other.”
From We Be Team’s website: “This game is an endless runner where three players work together to run for as long as they can. The only catch is that all three players control the same character! It’s impossible to survive on your own; getting a high score requires teamwork and coordination - plus a little bit of yelling.”
We Be Team is Chris Cliff-Perbix and Joshua Mattie, two Cincinnati-based artists who create print and web designs, produce videos, photography and video games. Their concept for “Kind of a Big Dill” is unique compared to most other games because instead of empowering the player by giving their character super powers and extra lives, the simple task of navigating obstacles that threaten to kill your pickle is divvied between three people. No single person has full control but their participation is vital to get a high score.
“Chris likes to make things hard,” Mattie says. “I would say punishing, but he says difficult.”
“I like to take agency away from the player,” Cliff-Perbix says in reply.
So, what’s the deal with the pickle? Homemakers Bar is known in part for its excellent pickleback shots — liquor, typically Jameson Irish whiskey, chased with a shot of pickle juice (if you’d like to elevate the experience, Petiprin recommends you try it with mezcal, which has a nice smokiness to it).
“The fact that it's a pickle is really funny,” Petiprin says. “It also ties into Homemakers because we've always made our own pickles since day one. ["Kind of a Big Dill"] is this fun way to highlight something that's on our menu that's kind of unique about Homemakers.”
The game is projected above the bar and the three custom-built controllers are far away enough to make it absolutely impossible for less than three people to play at once and stand any chance. If you can’t make it to BLINK this year but still want to play, you’ll be able to stop by Homemakers Bar with a few friends any time — or, if you didn’t bring a Player 2 or Player 3, perhaps make a new friend.