What Games Mean To Me

Art Games Life

What Games Mean To Me

Before I can really talk about what games mean to me I think it is important to provide a brief amount of background on where I am coming from on this personal subject.

I began developing a love for both drawing and programming as a young child and have spent countless enjoyable and priceless hours on those activities over the years. I caught the art bug bad in the late 70s after encountering Speed Racer on TV and the first Star Wars movie.

I filled page after page in my father’s art journals with little car race and space battle scenes. I remember him taking a lot of time showing me how to draw and even how to do flip book animations on the corners of the journal pages.

Even before we had a home computer my parents started sending me to Radio Shack computer camps at age six for programming in LOGO where I would get very familiar with that friendly drawing turtle and pen up and pen down. Then when I was about eight years old my parents got our first home computer. It was a TRS-80 but we only had it for one night–the salesman from Radio Shack called back to say they had received something better and wanted to know if my father wanted to upgrade.

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Robot Reaction now available on iPhone

Games

My Flash game Robot Reaction is now available for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

You can play the free Flash version of the iPhone game at robotreaction.com and buy the game for 99 cents in the App Store. I worked on the iPhone version in collaboration with One App At A Time.

The goal is to try and blow up as many robots as you can in ten fast paced rounds. There are six different robot types which all explode in different ways.

Here is a gameplay video of the iPhone version in action:

64 Important Games From Video Game History

Games

Spacewar 1961

I’ve spent some time over the last week helping my good friend and fellow game designer Jeremy P Bushnell compile a list of historically important video games.

Jeremy has been teaching a Writing course at Boston University on the topic of “Playing Games: How Video Games Work and What They Mean.”

In his discussions with the students about the concept of historical analysis: analyzing video games based on how they “fit” into the context of a developing timeline of games, he had a chance to create an initial list of about 40 games.

This list was then passed around between our friends and associates as well as being shared with his two classes of about forty students total.  Jeremy encouraged his students to confront and challenge the games on this list as well as suggest ones they felt should be included.  They even got to write persuasive papers as an assignment to get a game included on the list.  If the argument was convincing enough they even received some extra credit for making the list.

Jeremy and I discussed some of the more convincing papers and kicked our thoughts back and forth on what made these games historically significant. It was a lot of fun and very interesting to get to consider where videos games have come from (with Spacewar in 1961) up through to the present day.  It was a challenge to pick games not for being good or popular necessarily but for their historical significance.

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Worderfall – New Flash Game Released

Games

Worderfall Main Menu

I have just completed a new Flash game called Worderfall this month with my good friend and fellow game designer Jeremy P. Bushnell.  This time around it is a word game that utilizes an extremely large database of valid English words.

The concept is a fairly simple one.  You have three minutes to create as many high scoring words as you can.  The game increases pace with each minute that passes.  There are a ton of game statistics that are tracked as well for those who would like to improve their scores or at least measure their progress.

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Angry Caverns – My Entry for Ludum Dare 15

Games

This past weekend I participated again in the 48hour ‘from scratch’ game development competition known as Ludum Dare. It was the 15th such event run since early 2000. This time around the theme that won the voting rounds was Caverns.  I created a Flash game for the competition called Angry Caverns which you can play here in your browser.

screenshot-v1-menu

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