Experimental Video Games

Yesterday we only ended up having one lesson – in the morning with Lucie – because Len is now the course leader and his two lessons have been moved to Friday, with another tutor.

Shaving can be hard enough, never mind deliberating over feelings about your job!

Lucie had us first research interesting historical facts about the city, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. She then asked us to think up and write down a brief explanation of a game idea, based on the information we had collected. Here is a little of what I wrote;

“As you build the city over time you encounter problems outside of the daily management of the city, so you may have plague outbreaks, invading forces and socio-economic issues among others. The aim of the game is to build the city to a better standard of living than is possible today; though you can play beyond the current day to build into the future.”

We then read out our ideas and Lucie wrote them down on the board. She then asked us to play some of the games found on the Molle Industria website and explained that these games are the work of Paulo Pedercini, an experimental games maker. After playing Unmanned we where asked to think of how we can reduce the scope and ambition of our original game idea, to turn into something similar to what we have played. Immediately I began writing and here is what I came up with;

“Tyne bridge builder with 2D sprites which involves simple physics simulation, resource management (people, materials, etc.) and dealing with the environment (tides, landslides, etc.) to successfully build a working bridge. Each level has you build bigger and more expansive bridges using more complex materials and with more frequent environmental problems.”

This was an interesting lesson and it made me think of how I can make smaller games, where before I had always written my idea’s as something I would look to do with the help of at least a programmer and an artist. I may even look into making the ‘Tyne Bridge game’ someday, as I think it’s a cool little premise for a small game.