Petri Purho, creator of the smash indie game hit, Crayon Physics, has kindly granted me an e-mail interview discussing the development of Crayon Physics. Petri also talks about piracy, DRM, life as an indie dev and much more.
How did you get started in developing PC games? Where did the idea for Crayon Physics come from?
I’ve always been into programming, so when I was doing my CS studies I applied for an internship at Frozenbyte and got the position. After working there as a part-time programmer I started Kloonigames. Kloonigames was and still is a website were I create a small prototype games that have been crunched together in a very small time frame. Usually less than 7 days. One of the prototypes I made was Crayon Physics. A game in which you could only draw boxes in. But it was interesting and people were excited about it. So I decided to take it a bit further.
I was making a prototype game called Daydreaming in the Oval Office. The game had a title screen had crayon drawings and I was making that title screen in Photoshop when I realized that I could programatically render crayon drawings. And that would allow a game in which you draw and then I realized that if you were drawing physics objects it would be like drawing with a magic crayon. That’s were the whole thing came together.
It’s like an RTS game. You need 3 resources. a) Money b) Time c) Motivation. And you have to fight to get all of those.
There are a bunch of small issues. Most of it graphics cards and drivers. The game requires a decent amount of texture memory and not all netbooks have that much.
Steam people contacted me even before the game was out if I wanted to sell the game through Steam. I said yes.
It depends on the distribution channel. But most of the are pretty open to having developers setup any price they see fit.
I like it, both as a consumer of games and as a developer of them. Retail seems like it’s an unnecessary step for developers and consumers. I don’t want to go to a store to buy something that I can buy immediattely from the internet.
There were talks about doing it, but it seems like a too much of work for very little gain.
I feel like everyone should release a demo of their game. Especially on a platform like PC which is open. If someone has doubts about your game and they’re not sure if they should invest in it or not, they can either try the demo or pirate the full game. Either way if someone wants to, they can try the game for free. Also I feel it’s better to give the consumer as much information as he needs to, when buying any product. And what better way to inform players how to the game plays than to give them a free demo.
It was really important in the development phase of things. Now I’m sorta well aware of the issues in the game, so mostly when I get feedback nowadays it’s things I’m already aware of.
I do. I did an extensive post-mortem of Crayon Physics Deluxe and thought about it long and hard on how to make the next game better.
I like PWYW. I actually experimented with it a year ago and sold Crayon Physics Deluxe for any price. It was a good experience and I learned a lot from it. I might do it again in the future.
I feel DRM is useless. It should go away and die.
Piracy on the other hand is a bit more complicated topic to talk about. It’s not as clear cut. I’m in the unusual position of being both a gamer and developer so I see the piracy discussion from both points of views. I thought that releasing a game would change my views of piracy but it hasn’t.
Derek Yu’s Spelunky. I’ve played that game for 2 years now and I still go back to it. He’s releasing the game on XBLA this year. That’s going to be insane. I tell you it’s going to become a classic game.
Currently I also play Minecraft, Space Funeral, Super Meat Boy, Fallout: New Vegas, Desktop Dungeons and Norrland.
I like Cut It and Men on the Flying Trapeze. I’m currently working on a RTS game as my main game. I don’t know if it will be released in 2011.
It was pretty awesome. Even though I wanted World of Goo to win and I felt a bit sad that they didn’t get the grand prize. But they won 2 awards that year, so they were happy.
Give it a try. Download the demo.