I’ve continued to fine tune and added some new art (art courtesy of Rachel Morris) to the game I started at (and which won!) the Parson’s x BabyCastles game jam last month, Coral. There’s a lot more I hope to do with this game, and I’ll likely update the demo as I go.
Click through the picture to give my latest demo a whirl! (I’ll host this stuff on this site directly in the future, once I finish building this site completely)
A big game I co-designed, The Escort Quest, recently won the audience and judge’s vote for Best Game of the DC Games Festival. Grant and I are super thankful to everyone at the festival and everyone who helped with this game along the way. Most of all I’d like to thank Grant for putting the game on in DC when I couldn’t make it because of work, and our original and always helpful class collaborators, Andrew and Eszter, as well as the professor in the class the game was originally conceived in, Kevin Cancienne.
[This was a featured blog post I wrote that was originally published on the front page of Gamasutra.com on 10/19/11]
With each passing month, social games are growing. Growing in userbase, growing in revenue, but possibly most of all, growing in ambiguity. The term “social game” is pretty vague. Most board games involve far more social interaction than games on Google+ or Facebook! However, since sites like those have become the most pervasive locations for online social interaction, “social game” has come to mean any game played on a social network. With everyone and their mom, kid brother, and next door neighboor on Facebook these days, just who is the “social gamer?”
Statistics and stories from the last few years demographically place the average social gamer as an aged 43 female. (See this Gigaom piece that references a PopCap survey.). However, this assessment is far from set in stone, and new data, research, and surveys are constantly reexamining the social game audience. One is a RockYou survey (shown below) that attempts to frame the social gamer as a younger, more male, and more achievement-oriented player; three things that go against what almost anyone whose studied the demographics before would tell you. What is unfortunate about both studies is that they establish a fairly static precedent of the current social game audience. Now, being aware what a specific community of players is currently attracted to is not at all a negative. Marketing depends on it. However, in that strategy lies the the unpleasant feeling that social games are already being designed specifically for the historic demographic of the social gamers, when instead they could be branching out into untapped demographics.
This past weekend I worked on a new, random game idea at the Parsons x Babycastles game jam. I ended up pursuing a rather odd, Bennett Foddy- esque game, I called Stones. The game revolves around pressing odd, interveaving combinations of keys to levitate stones into sets of sockets. Using balance and strategy, the player must float all the stones into position at the same time to complete the level.
I made the game in 48 hours in Flixel, and was lucky to get helpful advice from great designers like Charles Pratt and Naomi Clark along the way. I feel really honored to have won the jam, and I’m going to keep working on the game over the next week in order to slip it into the IGF Student Competition, since this is my last year I can qualify for it.
You can play the game jam version of “Stones” here .
So “The Escort Quest,” a big game I co-designed, was recently featured in the Big Games Program at Indiecade 2011. It was a remarkable experience, and I’ll be writing more on that whole weekend shortly.
However, I’m just announcing here that the next stop on the game’s tour will be Come Out and Play San Francisco. Check out the festival site here and stop on by if you’re around SF on November 4th or 5th.
Grant Reid, my co-designer on The Escort Quest, and I recently wrote a piece profiling the development process of our big game, The Escort Quest, from its inception to it’s invitation to participate in the Big Games program at Indiecade 2011. Check it out here (or click through the image).
UPDATE: I Managed to run 35.8 meters (* $5.45 pledged) to raise $195.11 for charity!!
(To informally pledge, scroll down to the bottom and comment “YOUR NAME : Donation $ / meter”)
Hey, everyone! The NYU Game Center is currently hosting an amazing 24-hour videogame playing marathon, called “Play On” to support the incredible charity, Child’s Play. The whole thing is streaming and you can donate at any time here.
For my small, silly addition to this event, I’m going to do a QWOP marathon charity run.
What is QWOP? Well it’s an innovative game by Bennet Foddy where you control a runner’s individual calves and thighs to try and make him run as far as possible without falling. You can play it free in-browser here to get a sense of it and it’s extreme difficulty.
At 6:30pm on Friday September 2nd (Today). I’m going to play QWOP for one hour straight. I’m going to pledge to donate 50¢ for every meter in my longest run of the hour. Hopefully it will be live streamed via the site. Now, I’ve only played the game for probably about 20 minutes total in my life, and my longest run is 13.5 meters. I’m hoping that with an hour straight tomorrow, I can beat that by at least a decent amount.