maandag 23 maart 2009

Indie summit


In the indie-summit I watched three short presentations on design and development.
The three designers at the microphone where ‘Cactus’ (I was in the War), Petri Purho (Crayon Physics) and Dylan Fitinger (audiosurf). All talks where very entertaining and above all interesting.

They all talked about constraints. Cactus builds his games in four hours (although this is only the development part), and both Petri and Dylan limit the time they will work on a game before its published. Petri is well known for his Kloonigames and Dylan publishes on his site bestgameever.com.

Limiting the time is only one possibility. For Audiosurf, Fittinger borrowed icons from other game interfaces without knowing what the icon was used for in the original. Only after deciding on the list of icons that would be in the game he started working on what the icons would mean in the game.
These constraints, if chosen well, encourage creativity. It is important though that the constraints are for the core activity. As Fittinger put it: “coding with your toes is just annoying.”

Also all three discussed the function of making prototypes. Petri compared prototyping as foreplay because most guys want to skip it, baking prototypes proved him to be very useful.
First it is a way of testing your idea: will it work.
Secondly it is a good way to get the bad ideas out of your system.
And last but not least making a prototype will give your more and better ideas for the game.
crayon physics was based on a prototype for a physics game with lemmings…!

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