On creative game ideas (and a bit of nostalgia)

Yesterday I woke up in nostalgia-mode, remembering the good ol’ days of simple and fun computer games that filled up many hours of my youth.

In the last decade or so I have been very disconnected from gaming as most of it feels boring. Yes, there are great games out there, and yes, having great multimedia helps to create fantastic experiences. But in general, games “lost it”. That’s why I’ve been mostly interested in checking out the indie-games world, where lone programmers or small teams are working to bring out great games. The lack of resources is a blessing because, just like in the past, if you can’t make great graphics, you will focus on the gameplay. This results in really original games, which you can play for hours and hours just for the fun of it.

One of these games, that I found out yesterday while browsing /r/gamedev is Chroma, by developer Mark Foster. Take a peak at the video and be amazed with the idea. At first I didn’t understand what was so special about this platform game, only after a few seconds I noticed what was really going on:

One other developer worth keeping an eye one is Markus Persson (aka Notch). After developing the widely acclaimed Minecraft, he is now working on a new concept of game titled 0x10c.

Two giants of the game designing world I also keep track of are Will Wright (creator of the SimCity series and related simulators), and Peter Molyneux.

Populous-3-The-Beginning-and-Undiscovered-Worlds-log-1Peter Molyneux is, perhaps, my favourite. He created Bullfrog, one of the most important game houses of the 90’s, which created highly successful games like Populous, Syndicate, Theme Hospital, Magic Carpet and Dungeon Keeper.

After Electronic Arts bought Bullfrog, Peter created Lionhead Studios, which went to create more great games like Black & White and Fable. After Microsoft bough Lionhead (do you see a pattern here?), Peter is now in a new company called 22Cans, starting another god-game called Godus.

One more thing that makes me remember Peter Molyneux is the fact that I actually had a chance to add him on ICQ when he created Lionhead. I was learning C at the time, and had a chat with him. I don’t know how the hell he had the patience to put up with a newbie like me, but he actually taught me how to declare a string in C ^_^


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