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Session Name:

Experimental Design of Shadow Physics


The premise of experimental design: find a unique, promising game mechanic and explore it as thoroughly as possible. Take as long as you need to fully explore the mechanic. Exercise craft and discipline. Remove all filler content. Never recycle ideas. Never waste the player's time. The real-life application of this simple premise is maddening, wearing, exhausting. Making a game this way is a test of stamina and will. Is it a worthwhile approach?

Steve Swink, creative director of ENEMY AIRSHIP, discusses experimental design methodology as applied to the development of games like BRAID, WORLD OF GOO, PORTAL, and SHADOW PHYSICS. And whether experimental design is a type of unhealthy obsession. And whether it will ruin your life and all your personal relationships. And why exercise and diet are keys to mind-expanding game design. And kittens.

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  • GDC China 2010
  • Steve Swink
  • Enemy Airship
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  • Independent Games