Shifting Forest is a Palo Alto -based game development workshop. We focus on immersive, nuanced, narrative and/or atmospheric experiences with a strong imagination component. Most of our work is non-digital and easy to play.

About specific product lines

Idea Games

Idea Games are creative group games for poking at ideas. They are a bit like a serious version of party games. They take no preparation and require only:

  • Paper, often many small pieces of paper
  • Pens or pencils
  • Sometimes playing cards
  • Sometimes counters or tokens
  • Usually a table or shared surface
Story Games

Story Games are group storytelling activities that do not involve roleplaying. Like Idea Games, they can be done at the drop of a hat with few props. Story Games tend to involve some combination of writing, speaking, and improvisational performing. Typical equipment includes:

  • Paper, sometimes in small pieces
  • Pens or pencils
  • Hardcovers, clipboards or some other surface
  • Sometimes an open area for performance
Alternative Larp Formats

Make-believe is a fundamental human need, and we believe it’s also the future of entertainment and education. Mastering our imaginations is crucial to citizenship.

Live action roleplaying is a wonderful medium for make-believe, and there is a wealth of ways that it can be grown. For example, there could be innovation in ease of play, social relevance, recent understanding of psychology and team dynamics, adaptation to technology, and countless other factors. Check out our alternative larp formats for inspirations in different ways to larp– and if you have alternative formats, please let us know!

Parlor Larps

Parlor Larps were launched in 2005 as the first commercial live action rpgs playable by small groups in a simple space such as a living room. The mission of Parlor Larps is to serve as highly inclusive, plot-intensive larps that are extremely easy to start playing. (Now keep in mind, however, that this was by the standards of 2005– at the pace of today’s entertainment and standards of breeziness, they do take a bit of prep.)
Parlor Larps require:

  • 4-5 hours
  • 1 Director
  • 4-8 players in addition to the Director
  • A living room
  • Sometimes easily accessible household props, such as blankets or cups
  • About an hour of preparation by the Director: half to read the module, half for physical setup
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