The Game Developer's Journal: Inspiration: A Potato with the Works, Leave Out the Pickles

Friday, October 31, 2014

Inspiration: A Potato with the Works, Leave Out the Pickles

A Boy and His Blob (2009). A Wii Adventure!

How many titles have you played that include watercolor art. Not many? Come to Facebook to see "The Amoeba Of Light" autumn hued backgrounds.

I hope you have been enjoying the exploration of where my game came from. Each week you’ve taken another step down the historic path of these five years of development.

The truth is, I could not tell you just how many videogames, books and movies have influenced “The Amoeba Of Light.” It would take up dozens of pages—without pictures! How boring.

I do, however, want to sprint through a non-exhaustive list—of games, specifically.

Okay, go!


They’ve affected us all, have they not? It’s a casual game, and so I’m not hype about it, but it is very possible that AngryBirds sparked the idea for Amoenu’s Slingshot mechanic. (Sadly, that feature won’t be in the initial release).

Super Mario Bros Series

Platforming. And everything about it. I’ve taken ideas unconsciously from these games, no doubt. Nintendo is like my Alma Mater in videogames.

Super Mario Galaxy

Galaxy in particular rubbed it’s ideas about boss battles onto me. Those ideas transferred to my game in the form of enormous, intimidating monsters that don’t have a life bar.

A Boy and His Blob

The odd thing is that I’ve never played this game. An even stranger fact is that I’ve wanted to for six years. And, yes, I have a Wii. Besides being uber cool in the art style, I saw in Blob a stripped-down simplicity that focused solely on the core mechanics. It got me rethinking what makes a platform game.

Unfortunately, I must stop here! But I have another topic to discuss.


There are some caked-on game features, if you will, I plainly dislike. They don’t even deserve the name “feature.” The “Amoeba Of Light” wasn’t just influenced by good ideas, but by bad ones too.

I am irritated at how institutions destroy realism in games. Like on-screen displays and things like that. Does it have to be "three lives and  game over"? Must we collect coins or some other virtually meaningless (excuse me…) trinket on each level? Should the level end?

All things I’ve thought about. Oh, and so much more. The staples I didn't want to see anymore (or the ones that were simply overused in my opinion) led me to use new methods to accomplish a similar purpose. Other times, I threw them out completely.

 Another thing I don’t like: non-violent games aren’t taken seriously.

A Boy and His Blob Screenshot from, "GamerTell Review: A Boy and His Blob for Wii," (C) 2014 GadgeTell LLC.

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