This week—Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011, at 6pm, to be precise—I’ll be giving a short lecture on SpyParty and indie game development at UC Berkeley, and then we’ll do a playtest until they kick us out of the building. Speaking of the building, it’s Room 202 in South Hall.1 The lecture is free and is open to the public.
This is part of the Design Futures talk series, and I was invited by Elizabeth Goodman in the Halcyon Days pre-GDC+PAX East. She was nice enough to remind me that’d agreed to speak after I woke up last week.
I’m going to try something a little different for this lecture: I’m going to have two volunteers play SpyParty at the beginning of the talk, with one of the laptops projected onto the screen (yes, the audience will need to keep quiet), and have the audience spectate as Spy and as Sniper. I think this will be more interesting than me babbling about the game to describe it over static slides. I also think this will work better than a similar thing I’ve tried during previous lectures, which is me playing Spy against the entire audience as Sniper. That’s fun, but it kind of degenerates into everybody yelling at the poor sap holding the controller. Plus, I always win. 2
It’ll look something like this:
As for the lecture, since the talks in this series tend to be about capital-d Design, as opposed to games and game design, I’ll probably focus on my short and long term aesthetic goals for the game, the constraints and challenges it faces, how it fits into the indie segment that some of us are calling the Golden Age of Indie Games, and other high level things like that. I will most likely not be showing code samples.
After the lecture we’ll do Q&A, and then people can playtest. I will bring copies of the manual, although reading it online beforehand will let you jump the line, if there is one!
- I find it kind of awesome that the official page for South Hall at The UC Berkeley School of Information doesn’t actually have a map to South Hall, just its history and some nice pictures, so I had to look it up on Google Maps! [↩]
- It’s not clear if I always win because I wrote the game and I’m an awesome Spy, or if I always win because everybody arguing about who I might be usually takes long enough for me to complete the missions. I have, so far, been unimpressed by the Wisdom of Crowds, at least when it comes to sniping me. :) [↩]