Remi talks about their student project, Puddle
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Interviewer: I’m here at the Game Development Conference in San Francisco and with me today is a special guest at the IGF Student Showcase. How about you introduce yourself?
Remi: I’m Remi. I’m a programmer on this project. I am here with the rest of the team because we won the Student Showcase and are a winner. And the project is called Puddle.
Interviewer: What’s the game about?
Remi: The game is about controlling your fluids through a world like a chemistry lab. You need to use a game pad to tilt the world and make a very quick flow through the world and make it through from point A to point B.
Interviewer: How did you come up with this idea? What inspired you to do it?
Remi: Actually, the idea just came up from a desire to play with fluids and also to revive some kind of feeling we had playing with chemistry sets and this kind of thing.
Interviewer: And so, once you did it, was this a class project or was this outside of class?
Remi: Yeah. Actually, it was our first job project at the end of our school in France. The goal of the exercise was to make a game that is playable in 10 minutes by a person that isn’t used to playing games. So, the game is actually really short in its design, but we are planning on editing it and making models.
Interviewer: So, what were the challenges to actually make it accessible to anyone who’s never played a game before?
Remi: Actually, we first wanted to do really simple controls and a really simple level design so it would be easy for anyone to understand the game and have a really quick feeling about how to play.
Interviewer: Did you do user testing while you were developing this? What were some of the surprises, and what were some of the changes you had to do to actually make it easy?
Remi: Actually, we made level on top for these games. So, our level designer when he was making the levels, he was able to ask people around the school to play it fast. He was making levels. So, each time the person was coming and the level designer, Martial, was seeing that there was a problem, he would fix it really quickly. This way we were able to do some really heavy play testing.
Interviewer: Did you test this among both men and women, or was it just anyone in your class?
Remi: Yeah. Actually in our class there were enough women, but it was like around 10. And we have 15 in our class, but I don’t think it really matters for that.
Interviewer: I was just wondering if the response was different. Also, in terms of technology, what did you use because the goal was to make this as simple as possible, but it looks like you need a controller, an Xbox controller.
Remi: Actually, we used Xbox controller mainly because the triggers you see on this require energy, so you can just press [?] and it was half of the maximum.
Interviewer: Did you have to use a physics extension for this, or did you use…
Remi: We used a 2D physics engine for the main simulation, but we had to plug in our fluid physics into it.
Interviewer: How did you handle the fluid physics?
Remi: Actually, we found a research paper. I was able to look on the Internet [?] involved in making it. So, it was very interesting.
Interviewer: And what’s next in store then for the game and for you guys in terms of…
Remi: Actually, we found a contract with a French game studio to release it by the end of the year on Xbox Live Arcade.
Interviewer: How nice.
Remi: Yeah. It will be a really exciting experience for us.
Interviewer: Do you have any other games planned aside from it, or are you just focusing on this?
Remi: Actually, this is only one of the games that were made by our class. In our first year there was 18 other games, and now we are in second year, and we are also working on projects. So, yes, we have other projects, but we can’t show them here right now because they’re not finished.
Interviewer: Where can people find out more information about this game? Do you have a website or anything?
Remi: Yeah. We have a website. You just have to type P-U-D-D-L-E-game.com and that’s it.
Interviewer: OK. So, it’s P-U-D-D-L-E-game.com.
Interviewer: Thank you very much.