Archive for April, 2007

Wanted: Constructive Criticism

Friday, April 6th, 2007

While surfing the intertubes I bumped into this Miyamoto interview cover: Miyamoto gives advice to game-design hopefuls. Basically he had two advices for us wannabe game designers: get a good well rounded education (on topics other than games) and seek criticism for your games early and often.

So now I remembered that it’s been a good while since I’ve reminded you all that I’m actually seeking harsh constructive criticism on my games. Usually the amount of comments a game gets is my only true indicator how well I did with the game. More comments equals better game, less comments equal crappier game. Just look at The Divorce, it got one comment and one trackback before I revealed that it was an April Fools joke.

I’d actually love to hear what you think of the games, even if it’s not pretty. Don’t threat my games lightly just because they were created in less than seven days. On the contrary I hope you’ll feel more secure at bashing them, because I’ve only invested seven days with each one. It’s not like I’ve developed them for years and go all crazy when somebody says they suck.

Even if I don’t continue the development of a particular game, I’m still interested how would you improve the game to make it more fun to play. Or if there was something that irritated or bothered your gaming experience.

Actually I consider myself lucky that up to this point I’ve gotten two great reviews, where my games were critiqued in constructive manner. One was on the Moby Games for The Truth About Game Development by General Error. The other was on the Fun-Motion -blog for Pluto Strikes Back by Matthew Wegner. I’m grateful for both of the authors for taking the time to play the games and for writing the reviews.

Note: If you have game specific criticism, please write it in that game’s original post. Since there are multiple game posts pointing to this post as an example on what kind of feedback I’m looking, it’s sometimes a bit hard for an outside reader to figure what game you’re talking about.


Monday, April 2nd, 2007

My April Fools’ joke worked like a charm. The Divorce managed to fool some of my regular readers, most notably Bill of, who actually blogged about it 🙂 And I also got an much needed extra day of development for the Forbidden.exe.

So here’s my real 8th done-in-under-7-days experimental game, which is a bit different from my usual style. It’s an experimental horror game. So be warned, there’s harsh language, violence and other fun forms of violation. One could say that it’s an experimental violation game.

The idea for the gameplay came from my talks with Daniel Benmergui at the GDC. After the Nuances of Design session, we talked about the idea creating a game (for the Eerie Horror Film Fest), where the gameplay would communicate that feeling that you get from watching a good suspense / horror movie. So here’s a elaborate prototype of that idea.


Screenshot of Forbidden.exe Screenshot of Forbidden.exe Screenshot of Forbidden.exe

Download (8,7 Mb) (Release 1)

I recommend you read the readme.html.

Game Design, Code & Gfx: Petri Purho ( petri.purho (at) )

Music is from Brainsaw’s Music for the Paranoid Schizophrenic -album. The following tracks were used: 02. Gulag (Welcome to Hell – Part 1), 04. Gulag (Welcome to Hell – Part 2) and 06. Program Intermission. Big thanks to the guys for creating such a great and atmospheric music.

The songs are licensed under the: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike.

The track level_01.ogg which is played in the background of the games first level is based on cymbal_lo05.wav by schluppipuppie. It was used under the Creative Commons Sampling Plus 1.0 License.

The shriek sound effects are from river otter or weasel 2006-09-17.mp3 by stackpool and are also used under the Creative Commons Sampling Plus 1.0 License.

Thanks to Daniel Benmergui for helping me with the design and encouraging me to do the game in the first place.

Inspiration source: Experimental Gameplay Project.

Forbidden.exe uses: SDL, SDL_Image, SDL_Mixer and SDL_RotoZoom

The Divorce

Sunday, April 1st, 2007

Update: Don’t take this too seriously. This was an April Fools’ joke 🙂

Here’s my 8th experimental done-in-under-a-week game. I was inspired by Rod Humble’s The Marriage and decided to create my own abstract art game, where I crafted the rules of the game to communicate how I felt about my parents divorce.

The Divorce

Screenshot of The Divorce Screenshot of The Divorce Screenshot of The Divorce

Download (49 Kb) (Release 1)

The Games meaning
I recommend that you make your own interpretation of the games rules and their meaning, but here’s what I had in mind.

The bats are of course my parents. My parents are very long and thin, so this is represented by the shape of the boxes. The ball is an unwanted child of their marriage. I was quite young when my parent’s divorced so, that is represented by the size of the ball. Goal of the game is to score 10 points in court to ensure that the child doesn’t end up living with you.

Game Design, Code & Gfx: Petri Purho ( petri.purho (at) )

Physics model is based on Markus Ilmola’s tutorials.
Inspiration source: Rod Humble’s The Marriage.