Skip navigation
Help

Peter Molyneux

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /var/www/vhosts/sayforward.com/subdomains/recorder/httpdocs/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 33.

Screen_shot_2013-03-21_at_4

Richard Garriott, the space-faring developer who created the Ultima series and recently announced his return to games with the successful Shroud of the Avatar Kickstarter project, has come out swinging with some harsh words for his peers. "I've met virtually no one in our industry who I think is close to as good a game designer as I am," said "Lord British" in an interview with PC Gamer. "I'm not saying that because I think I'm so brilliant. What I'm saying is, I think most game designers really just suck, and I think there's a reason why."

Continue reading…

0
Your rating: None

Curiosity

Curiosity - what's inside the cube, the long-awaited mobile debut from Peter Moylneux's 22Cans studio is now available on the iOS App Store and Google Play a day ahead of schedule. So what's it all about?

Deconstruct the cube, reveal the secret

The game is essentially the deconstruction of a giant cube that hides an even bigger secret inside. The secret will be revealed to the person who gets to the center first. The cube is made up of over 60 billion individual "cubelets," and tapping on one removes it and reveals another underneath. Until every cubelet from a layer is removed you won't be able to move onto the next. Obviously, 60 billion taps is a bit much for one person to handle, and that's where things get interesting. In...

Continue reading…

0
Your rating: None

Peter Molydeux Twitter account

Wired has published an intriguing dual interview with legendary game designer Peter Molyneux and his Twitter doppelganger, @PeterMolydeux, telling the story of how the parody account helped jump-start the British designer's career. Having made his name with classics such as Populous, Theme Park, and Black & White, Molyneux was acqui-hired by Microsoft in 2006, where the ill-fated Fable series gave him a reputation for ambitious promises that never quite came to fruition. But tweets from @PeterMolydeux — which specializes in posting outlandish game ideas — helped him to resist the temptation to dumb down for corporate palatability and pushed him to quit Microsoft earlier this year, starting a new independent game studio called 22Cans....

Continue reading…

0
Your rating: None

Located on a rather nondescript industrial estate in a suburb of Leicester you'll find an equally nondescript warehouse unit. Nestled amongst the usual glut of logistics companies and scrap metal merchants, the building in question once housed a firm that was poised to dramatically alter the world of interactive entertainment as we know it, and worked with such illustrious partners as Sega, Atari, Ford and IBM.

That company was Virtuality. Founded by a dashing and charismatic Phd graduate by the name of Jonathan D. Waldern, it placed the UK at the vanguard of a Virtual Reality revolution that captured the imagination of millions before collapsing spectacularly amid unfulfilled promises and public apathy.

The genesis of VR begins a few years prior to Virtuality's birth in its grey and uninspiring industrial surroundings. The technology was born outside of the entertainment industry, with NASA and the US Air Force cooking up what would prove to be the first VR systems, intended primarily for training and research. The late '80s and very early '90s saw much academic interest in the potential of VR, but typically, it took a slice of Hollywood hokum to really jettison the concept into the global consciousness and create a new buzzword for the masses.

Read more…

0
Your rating: None

molydeux gama.jpg[An offhand tweet from a Double Fine programmer snowballed into one of the largest global game jams ever. Jam co-organizer and Game Developer EIC Brandon Sheffield looks at how it all went down.]

Well, it happened. What began as an offhand tweet from Double Fine gameplay programmer Anna Kipnis has snowballed into one of the largest global game jams, and I can safely say it was a resounding success.

Not three weeks ago, Kipnis wondered publicly on Twitter why there hadn't been a game jam based on the tweets of Peter Molyneux (Fable, Populous, Black & White) parody account @petermolydeux. This came after Molyneux himself responded to one of Molydeux's tweets, causing a bit of an internet meta-explosion. The singularity was upon us!

But Kipnis took it a step further - if Molyneux can take this seriously, why shouldn't the rest of the world? Responding to Kipnis' original tweet were Patrick Klepek, Chris Remo and I. We four became the defacto organizers of this movement, which we imagined would happen in the Bay area, with a few close game developer friends.

I made a Google document to sign up potential developers, and we tweeted it out. Within an hour, we had over 70 responses, and realized at least 20 of those were from the U.K., and several were in the U.S., but outside the Bay area.

We realized quickly that a single spreadsheet couldn't contain this jam - it was bigger than us. We moved to an "organizers thread" on Facebook, and the rest is history. Over 900 developers signed up to take part in jams in almost 35 cities across the world, from the original U.S. site in California's Bay Area, to the U.K., to Israel, to Mexico, to Finland, to Australia, and beyond. More developers jammed on their own in solidarity from their homes.

How the heck did this happen? Why was it so successful? What can we do better next time (as it seems certain there will be a next time)? To get at a chunk of it, I'll write an abridged postmortem of the event, followed by my thoughts about the jam I ran in Oakland; the first #Molyjam to get a location, and the last to present its demos.

What went right

1: Organized like a jam

Everything came together organically, just like in a game jam itself. A few people started out with no concrete idea of what the end result would be, and people stepped up when they needed to. Jake Rodkin of Telltale came up with great t-shirt designs, as well as the "What Would Molydeux" jam name. Zane Pickett stepped up and created our web site, and organized our game submission form. Justin Ignacio of Justin.tv came in to help with our livestreams. The list goes on. When something was needed, someone stepped up to help.

We also had a number of generous sponsors. Unity, Game Maker, Gamesalad, and Construct 2 offered temp licenses of their engines during the jam (coordinated by Kipnis, among others). Individual cities got sponsors for food, locations, and more. The event had to happen, no matter what - and people made it so.

One of the smarter things we did was set a date early on. Not only did April 1 fit with our Molydeux theme, it happened to fall on a Sunday, meaning we could have the entire weekend to make these games. From the start, we had a date to work toward, and it was a hard deadline. This helped us get everything ready, and I have to say, it went off surprisingly well considering the accelerated timeline.

Everyone's overwhelming goodwill was very much in keeping with the theme of the jam, and there was positivity throughout. Every organizer sacrificed their time and energy for the greater cause, and I think I can speak on behalf of everyone when I say it felt amazing to be involved in such a crackling ball of positive energy!

2: Molydeux/Molyneux

"Peter Molydeux" signed on to the project immediately, which lent the jam legitimacy. The jam was based on his tweets, so participants had an instant idea of what the theme was, and the ability to think about what they might like to do. Molydeux curated some of his best tweets for those who didn't want to sift through everything, and we also got a Google doc of every one of his original tweets.

We had a solid vision from start to finish, and this really helped get things set up. There was no confusion about goals, no back and forth about theme, and no dissent - the reason new cities joined up was because they had already bought in!

The day of the jam, Molydeux even made us an introductory video, with closing words from Molyneux himself. And amazingly, Molyneux showed up at the London jam, giving an opening speech, and participating in the first day.

Who could have predicted that this would come full circle? Molyneux showed up to a jam based on a Twitter account making fun of his grandiose ideas. Why would he do such a thing? Because he correctly recognized that while this was based on a joke account, the participants actually do care about emotion in games. They care about making silly projects that might make us think differently about games.

In essence, this game jam encapsulates everything Molyneux himself has actually tried to accomplish over the years. Perusing the livestreams, every event seemed in keeping with the spirit of whimsy and emotional game making.

3: Popularity

My goodness, we got a lot of press about this thing. People were astounded that it was happening at all, and our success in making it happen was a self-perpetuating hype machine. Almost every day the core team of organizers would get a new email from a new city somewhere in the world that wanted to join in.

We fielded dozens of press requests. Friends outside of the industry heard about it. The massive popularity of the jam showed what power individuals and indies have in this industry now. It truly feels as though we have the power to make the games we want. So many amazing games came out of this jam, that people would absolutely willingly pay for.

Molyjam was in the global spotlight, especially since almost every part of the world had a jam going, inspiring local press to get involved. This means our message of emotion (and silliness!) in games, was actually spreading throughout the world. We weren't toiling in isolation, patting each other on the back and only seeing our own games.

Over 250 games have been uploaded so far, with more to come. Our results are bare, here for all to play and see. It really feels like this jam could have a lasting impact. Teams and friendships were formed, and those who couldn't join could hear about the process, or play the results. That's success.

What went wrong

1: Organized like a jam

Not one of the original four organizers had ever organized a jam. None of us had even been to one (though Anna had participated in Double Fine's internal jams). So the fact that we were suddenly at the helm of an international event was a bit of a surprise. We did the best we could, but there was confusion at times. We fielded questions as best we could, but sometimes there simply were no answers.

That's when others stepped up to help, which was amazing - but we'll have a lot more experience doing this when we head into the next jam, and a lot more of the systems and processes should be in place.

Also, we all had our own jobs to do, on top of organizing this event. Anna Kipnis in particular put in long hours, and at one point became ill. As the event exploded, I was driving to Phoenix, and could only communicate via smartphone. Since we couldn't anticipate the event's popularity, we couldn't plan for it, and had to scramble to put things together. San Francisco didn't have a venue until three days before the event, for instance. Next time around we'll have it planned for scale from the start. We learned a lot through this process.

2: Fragmented information

We started out asking folks on Twitter. We graduated to a Google doc, but that grew unwieldy. We moved the event to Facebook, which worked for the most part, but not everyone has a Facebook account, so we also had an Eventbright signup.

In San Francisco, since they needed names in advance for security, Eventbright became the only signup that mattered. Also due to the crazy size of the event, San Francisco and East Bay had to split up. Oakland was originally the home of the whole jam, as we had gotten The MADE to agree to host us, but they can only reasonably hold 50 people.

Once signups ballooned to 225, San Francisco had to get its own event - but since this happened late in the game, it was hard to let everyone know about the shift, and many folks from the East Bay went to San Francisco, and many folks from San Francisco had to come to the East Bay due to the Eventbright scenario.

Again, in the future we'll be able to streamline this process, and get our venues set up far in advance. Under three weeks it was a pretty tough sell to begin with, but we also needed projectors, good internet, public transportation access, and late-night access. That we got venues at all is amazing.

3: Upload system

This one we're still working on. We haven't quite solved the problem of how to get so many games out to the public. As I mentioned before, hundreds of games are already available, but some were simply too large for our uploader, and the thing broke very early on in the process.

On top of that, it was getting flooded with requests, since people wanted to play the games. Popularity is a great problem to have, but it killed our web volunteers. As we figure out how to package up all the larger games, we'll be tweeting out how folks can find them, but it's unfortunate that not all games could be uploaded at the same time, to ride the wave of popularity. Again, this is something to fix for next time.

A word from San Francisco

San Francisco had the largest Molyjam jam in the world, with around 150 developers participating. So many games came out of the jam that the closing presentation lasted three hours. "We had a guy that came by and made a game during the presentation, that's how long the presentation was," Anna Kipnis told me.

The major success in San Francisco was the livestream. There were lots of antics, as Kipnis says, but the teams also did walkthroughs in the space, updating the stream about various developers' progress, and keeping the audience engaged, which is somewhat unusual for a jam. That caught on to other locations, which started doing similar things. "The internet was very supportive of the game developers as they were working," said Kipnis. "That I did not expect at all."

The team panned the camera a lot, and folks started to notice a guy with an orange hat. His name was Bill Kiley, and he was a musician - once the San Francisco jam showed some of his music, he became a mini-celebrity, with folks sharing his soundcloud in the chat. The team also interviewed some of the more famous folks in the crowd, and really created a sense of community.

The sunny side of the Bay

I was the organizer of the Oakland/East Bay jam, and I felt like we had a somewhat unique event. We had around 40 people across the whole weekend, though some folks filtered in and out. We managed to produce around 10 games, and everyone finished something, including one participant who made a fantastic game entirely on the last day, after showing up at 3 p.m.

What was really striking about the Oakland jam though, was the diversity. We had straight folks and gay folks. We had Black people, White people, Asian people, and Hispanic people. We had a very healthy distribution of men and women, including transgendered folks. The ages ranged from under 20 to over 40.

It may sound odd to point all this out so specifically, but I'll remind you that this was all happening within a group of 40. The diversity of the crowd was astounding to me, and if the Oakland jam were a microcosm of the industry, discussions of gender, race, and orientation in games discussions would be far fewer and further between.

What was it about this event that brought so many people together? Oakland is a very diverse place, which could explain some of it. But more than that, we all cared about making games, and we all cared about the content of these games. The ideas in these tweets were silly, but laden with good ideas and the potential for real emotional involvement.

And that appeals to people across all walks of life. To look at our jam, the problems of diversity in game development would appear to be solved. I can only hope to one day walk into any given game development studio and have it look like Oakland.

Thanks to every organizer and participant across the globe. This has been an amazing experience for all of us. We love you all, and I know we'll see you again.

Individual city organizers are welcome to add their local impressions in the comments below!

[This article was written by Brandon Sheffield on sister site Gamasutra.]

0
Your rating: None

imagine a game in which you play a book in the process of being read, nightly, by a lonely English teacher. Using a Kinect controller, attempt to alter your punctuation to guide his decisions and ultimate fate.

@PeterMolydeux operates a twitter feed of brilliant ideas, inspired by the thoughts and imaginings of an unspecified developer, which has been a source of intrigue and belly laughs since its inception. Just looking at today’s feed I see these startling visions: “Just imagine a kart game where you spend most of the game building one with your mother in a shed, you are the only people alive on earth” and “you play a baby in a pram and can only see your parent’s faces. Studying those faces deeply is the key to true progress”. This being the year of the Game Jam, a global 48 hour extravaganza will take place this weekend, exploring the visionary’s finest brain-eggs. Livestreams, chat and more await here.

0
Your rating: None

Would this have been better with a giant '2' crudely imposed in place of the 's'?
At this rate, everybody will soon see their favourite developer starting some kicks or kicking some starters. Brian Fargo, creator of Wasteland, the game that launched a thousand Fallouts, has espied the queue of well-regarded figures approaching their adoring audience cap in hand and is now seeking a cap of his own. It’ll be a comically large bit of headwear as he wants to cram at least a million dollars into it, which is the estimated cost of funding a Wasteland sequel. The game would be a PC release, with, according to the man’s own Twittertalk, a “complete old school vibe and made with input from gamers. Made the gamers way.” The gamers way often involves eating Wotsits until dawn but perhaps there are other ways and other gamers?

(more…)

0
Your rating: None

dog1.pngToday's collection of independent game links includes news, interviews, and developer announcements from around the 'net. (image source)

Shank 2: The Official Blog: An Unexpected Learning
"Immediately, we saw a huge improvement: players were much less likely to simply mash their way into a fight, and started experimenting with different moves and strategies. We would never have figured this out just by thinking and theorizing about the problem."

Randomnine: DOG [Cardinal Quest 2]
"Yup. I have added a dog to this game. It has created an EMOTIONAL CONNECTION. I am now Peter Molyneux."

IndieWire: Meet the 2012 Sundance Filmmakers #26: Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky, 'Indie Game: The Movie' "The film is about what it's like to create in a digital age. What it's like [to] create under the Internet microscope. How [it] feels [to] put yourself out there and expose yourself to the real-time social media feedback."

True PC Gaming: Dustforce Preview: Sublime Housekeeping
"The beautiful thing at work in this game is the balanced level of challenge that Super Meat Boy simply did not have; players are eased into the trials of the game in a challenging, yet comfortable learning curve."

DIY Gamer: Osmos Hits Android on Tuesday
"Hemisphere Games passes along word that their award-winning ambient title Osmos will arrive on the Android Market on Tuesday, January 17th for $4.99."

Armless Octopus: The Top 10 Xbox Live Indie Games of 2011
"You won't find any spurious Minecraft rip-offs or something that is impressive merely because it's like some other game, only not nearly as cool. This list represents everything that is distinctive about Xbox Live Indie games."

0
Your rating: None

We've had our say. You've had your say. But what about the people who made the games? What were their favourites of the year just ended? Yes, it's that time of year again, when we pester our favourite creators for their reflections and then watch them show us up with their witty and insightful explanations.

Read on to find out what the likes of BioShock developer Ken Levine, Lionhead founder Peter Molyneux, spaceship-loving Richard Garriott and Twisted Metal creator David Jaffe have to say, among many others. Thank you very much to everyone who took the time to contribute.

Dylan Cuthbert is founder of PixelJunk developer Q-Games, and one of the creators of Star Fox 64 3D.

Read more…

0
Your rating: None