We sat in on Jon Blow’s extremely packed Experimental Gameplay Workshop today. Jon and company discussed a number of user-submitted and found games, and broke them down into categories. I would have liked to hear more discussion of the themes as opposed to just finding about how the games work, but overall, it was pretty sweet.
Here are links to the games (a bunch of them have already been on TIGSource), and some quick notes about each one:
Cursor*10 – We covered this one on TIGS. The guy (not the developer) (EDIT: actually, it’s Maxis’s Chris Hecker) did a great demo of it, though.
Timebot – Ditto.
Braid – Man, it was awesome to finally see this in action. David Hellman‘s artwork looks superb! Jon showed off a “parallel worlds” mechanic that’s similar to the one found in the other “replay” games. In one example, your parallel self jumped into a pit of spikes to get a key to you (waiting on the other side of the pit).
The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom – This game adds some interesting things to the same basic idea… you can create time paradoxes and there’s a certain mode where your parallel selves become your enemies.
Lost in the Static – This game was based on one of Squidi’s ideas (don’t worry, Squidi, you were mentioned in the presentation!).
Space Giraffe – This was fun. Jon Blow showed us a bunch of levels and said he felt the game didn’t do well because the fact that obfuscation was part of the gameplay wasn’t made apparent to the player from the beginning. Later, someone asked Jon if Jeff Minter was thinking about obfuscation, or if he just thought it looked cool. I don’t think there was any consensus on that point.
Wrath of Transparentor – Hell yes! Matthew Korba demonstrated this B-Game and gave TIGSource a nice mention as well. The crowd ate it up!
La La Land 4 – A fucked up Game Maker game that also got some big laughs!
Line Golf – This is a golf game based on Line Rider that lets you make/play your own courses. Looks pretty entertaining!
Crayon Physics Deluxe – The IGF Grand Prize Winner! Petri mentioned that he didn’t add score/time to the game because he wanted people to be creative with their solutions. He then showed us some levels and some of the crazier solutions to them. Great presentation and well-deserved win!
Audiosurf – Dylan Fitterer played the Team Fortress 2 theme song, as well as “Killing in the Name of.” It’s cool that you can now say you “played” a song!
Bernie the Pyromancer – This is a neat game that’s not available for download yet (as far as I know). You play a fire wizard who wants to burn villages down. You can click on flaming houses to shoot the flames out and try to spread them to nearby things. There are exploding cows, which is a nice touch (and they’re handy for spreading flames long distances).
Stars over Half-Moon Bay
Stars over Half-Moon Bay is Rod Humble’s latest game, which is inspired by a drive he took near Half-Moon Bay (up here in Northern California). I don’t want to spoil the gameplay for you, but the theme is creativity and how it feels to be creative. I think generally this one is more palatable than The Marriage (your taste depending).
David Hellman presented the first two games in this category, comparing the “two worlds” concept to the famous drawing that looks like either a young lady or an old woman.
Yin Yang – Another Squidi idea (allegedly)! Not much more to say about this, really. NO REALLY.
Shift – Similar idea, one character.
Alex Austin’s Shadow Game – This one is really early in development, but the concept is super cool. It’s a 3d game where you play as a jumping ball trying to reach a green platform. To get to the platform, you have to switch to the ball’s shadow (and then play as it from a 2d perspective). Alex Austin is the badass programmer for Cryptic Sea.
(Photo Source: Dan “Data” Tabar)