INDIE GAMES SUMMIT: PLAY CACTUS’S LESSONS ON THE ART OF 4 HOUR GAME DESIGN
Cactus is a name I haven’t mentioned nearly enough on Offworld (in fact, the last time I gave him his due was in 2007 when his Clean Asia and Protoganda: Strings topped my top 5 freeware games list).
Apart from being one-eighth of last week’s Game Over/Continue indie dev/art crossover team, he’s one of the indie scene’s… well, prolific is too tame a word, and attention deficient sounds far too pejorative: let’s just say that Crayon Physics creator Petri Purho’s PC desktop is a photo of Cactus saying “while you were slacking off I made three more games,” and realize that it’s funny because it’s true.
From the grain-filtered 8mm stylings of his shooters to the terrifying Lynch-ian void of his Mondo series to the candy striped sunburst pixels of his upcoming games, he possesses one of the most singular and distinct visions in the scene, and manages to keep that consistent despite the jackrabbit pace with which he takes on new projects.
That’s why I was so disappointed to have missed the first half of his over-capacity Indie Games Summit session (until I convinced a volunteer I’d just stepped out for a bathroom break), though what I did see was every bit as uniquely him as I’d expected. Managing to make all the sweat and tears of game creation look like melodramatic trifles, his dual underlying message of keeping-it-simple and going-with-instinct was one of the most inspiring of the two days.
And now, though it doesn’t have the narration to match (there is a bootleg video torrent making its way around the internet, however), you can play through his fantastic presentation slides (created, of course, in GameMaker software itself) by downloading his just-uploaded executable (.zip here) and get a taste of his flavor before moving on to tackling his prodigious back-library. Get more of a sense of the surrounding lecture by flipping through TIGSource’s write-up here.
[As a further bonus, at the end of the lecture Cactus played through a series of games he found inspiring, which indiegames has helpfully cataloged here — see especially I Was In The War.]
Cactus 4 Hour Game Presentation [zip, via CactusSquid]
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