There and Back Again

I’m taking Mr. Jesse Schell‘s Game Design(ed) class this semester. As our first assignment, we were tasked with creating an improved version of Hopscotch. Here is my version.

“There and Back Again: A Hopscotch Tale” is a cooperative hopscotch game themed around Lord of the Rings. It is designed for nine players, but has handicap scenarios for less. The game is extremely difficult, and designed so that some players must fail for the others to succeed.

In playtesting the game was met with enthusiasm. The high difficulty was confirmed (which I attempted to tone down each iteration) but the result was exactly what I wanted – people were highly engaged with one another, encouraging each other and strategizing together to overcome the very difficult game.

I count this a success. We’ll see what grade I receive.

Guess I’m on the right track

In the latest episode of the Brainy Gamer podcast, Michael Abbot interviews Matthew Burns, producer on Halo 3 and Halo Reach. When asked about how to get into the games industry in 2011 (in the last 10 minutes of the episode), Burns mentions that university game design programs are a great way to go these days, and specifically mentions the ETC at Carnegie Mellon. He and Abbot then have a short conversation about game design schools, with Abbot citing an interview with Jesse Schell for the latest issue of Kill Screen Magazine. Burns says that large studios are happily hiring graduates of game design programs, and that the graduates are well-trained and competitive in the industry.

Awesome. Nice to feel like I’m a little ahead of the curve – I start at ETC in two days!