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This Just Got Real - March 11th, 2010

Given the state of my nerves at the moment, I’d say that the big day has finally arrived. But for the uninitiated:


I think that anyone with an interest or a stake in the future of independent games should watch the awards. Also, anyone dissatisfied with the selection of games at retail stores. Or anyone who suspects that video games have an insane amount of potential as a medium, if only someone could figure out how to tap into that. This awards show is for you.

For my part, I’ll be the one on stage handing out awards to people far more talented than me. I’m co-hosting the awards with Kyle Gabler, who designed World of Goo. I haven’t made my World of Goo yet. But together, we did write a bunch of lame jokes that we hope somebody laughs at.

See you all tonight!


SEXY TIME - April 24th, 2009


In this frighteningly public video of the GDC Game Design Challenge, you may learn way too much about me. But then again, that’s why you’re here, right?

P.S. For the rest of the week, I had to deal with Steve Swink saying, “So, I hear you like ultimate frisbee…”

P.P.S. Heather and I wrote the talk at Jon Blow’s place, over tequila and chocolate, while he was trying to debug PC Braid. So, like, if the game breaks, it’s okay if you blame us.

Well this is awkward - March 31st, 2009

They say you never forget your first time. As it turns out, the story of my first time at GDC is now inseparably tied to the story of…um…another first time.

It all started on Monday. While having lunch with Heather Kelley, I learned that she had been called in as a last-minute replacement for Kim Swift in the Game Design Challenge. She was lamenting the topic of the challenge: “My First Time.” In other words, she had to design an autobiographical sex game. I helpfully chimed in, “Why don’t you make it a game about counting ceiling tiles?” And suddenly I was a part of this.

Fast forward about two days. We pitched our idea in front of 500 people, and somehow it went amazingly well. They laughed through most of our minigame ideas, particularly the one where you adjust the tracking on a VCR so you can go back to watching “Akira.”

Maybe we resonated with the audience more than I thought, because we ended up winning. It was exciting, and grand, and the applause was truly a moment of my life that I won’t forget. Then we were presented with an inappropriate deck of cards as a prize, and I thought that was the end of it.

And then Forbes picked up the story.

Followed by the Onion AV Club. And CNN. And some other people who I never expected to take that much of an interest in the sex lives of game developers.

It’s all been very overwhelming. Overwhelming and…I’m trying to think of a word to describe how I felt when my parents gave me with a framed copy of the Forbes article. Awkward doesn’t quite capture it.

Anyway, the rest of the week was magical as well. I was incredibly nervous for my indie rant, but it went spectangularly well (Public speaking protip: take off your glasses, because it’s hard to be intimidated by a big beige blob). I had people congratulating me for the rest of the week, and I went through the rest of my business cards pretty quickly.

Running parallel to all the business stuff were some of the best parties I’ve been to in years. And so much indie love. It’s got me really stoked to be working on my game again.

Oh yeah, my game…