Over the past 6 weeks we’ve developed 5 short games using a lua based engine called Perlenspiel. Perlenspiel was designed to give you the bare-bones needed to create a game, but allow you to use scripting to shorten development time. All you get is a grid, 1 line of text at the top, the ability to change the color/glyph of a pixel in the grid, keyboard/mouse inputs, and a time function. It doesn’t allow for any real art so developing the game is creating the code, but most importantly design.
The schedule for the course was you would A. Given some parameters, B. 4 Days to design and build a prototype, C. A playtesting session to show you any errors/needed changes, and finally D. 3 Days to polish he game and turn it in. Limited time made us be very conscious of the scope of what we could build and most of the parameters were restrictions on what we could/couldn’t do. This really focused all of us in the class on design, and allowed for some very different and creative games to be created. You can find the games made during this time in the Games section.
This course was definitely my favorite course I’ve taken at WPI, and I truly miss the time when I was able to quickly design and develop games like I did in this course. I’ve been unfortunate that I haven’t been able to go to Game Jams (I always have a fair amount of work, most of the time developing another game), but I understand the allure of such events. It’s said that every person in the game industry has a few ideas for the “perfect game” that they want to make. While I do enjoy game development and programming, the freedom of game design was a truly fantastic experience.