Gartic Telephone Guide

Gartic Telephone is an online game that mixes Pictionary with the Telephone game (the game where you whisper into the next person’s ear all the way round the group and compare the original phrase to what was whispered). This game is the visual version of that: where you draw what you see, and guess what you saw!

Play alternates between drawing a word/phrase and guessing what those drawings are depicting. Play passes round the group, until we can compare what the original phrases were and what we ended up with.

Ideally use a tablet with pen or computer with mouse for ease of drawing. But you can use a smartphone or a laptop with a trackpad as well. Don’t worry if your pictures aren’t precise, that’s half the fun, and two £10 Love2Shop vouchers will be awarded as prizes for the funniest misunderstandings.

Stay on Zoom. In the chat, you will receive a customised URL to join a private game of Gartic Phone with NPDC21 delegates only. You can copy and paste it or type it into your web-browser. Do not just go to Gartic Phone’s homepage as that will enter you randomly into a public room.

The webpage will say “You’ve been invited to join a room”. Choose your icon and a name. If you want to be considered for a prize, make your name identifiable (i.e. your first name and second initial). Click “Join”.

Your name will appear on the left-hand side in a list of players. Wait for others to join the game. If the link time’s out, and it says the room is no longer available, just refresh the browser to re-join. The host will start the game.

Once the host has started the game, it will say “Start a Story” with a textbox underneath. The website will have autogenerated a phrase to draw. If you like, you can type in your own instead. Please remember any suggestions must follow our conference code of conduct and include no offensive or explicit material. Click done and wait for the timer at the top right to run down. The phone will start to ring when time is almost up. 

You will now see a blank piece of paper and on top the phrase you have to draw. Use your finger, mouse or a tablet-pen to draw. The interface is like Microsoft Paint. When you join you will be automatically using the pen tool in black colour. Choose colours on the left, the shape tool and “undo” button are on the right, and change the thickness of the pen on the bottom left.

Click “Done” on the bottom right when finished, or your drawing will be submitted automatically when the timer runs out. Remember, the phone will start ringing when you’re running out of time!

Now you have to guess what the other person has drawn. Look at their picture and type in at the bottom what you think it represents. Click done when finished, or it will be submitted automatically when the timer runs out.

Play will continue to alternate between drawing and guessing until everyone’s had a chance to draw or guess your original phrase. The turn tracker is on the top left.

Now it’s time to compare what everybody started out with and how much the message got confused! The host will share a gallery with you comparing the pictures to the guesses as they happened round-by-round. These will be saved as PDF and at the end we will award prizes to two individuals with the funniest single drawing and the funniest scenario guessed!