Dusty Sprocket: A Steampunk Videogame
November 11, 2010 by suzannelazear
Before I welcome today’s guest, we have some winners to announce.
Frist, we have the winner of the “Steampunk Reloaded” ARC:
Next we have the winner of the newest Grey Griffins book, “The Brimstone Key”:
And the winner of the set of Grey Griffins posters:
Congratulations! Please email me at suzannelazear (@) hotmail to claim your prize!
Today we welcome videogame designer Joel Carlson.
Joel Aaron Carlson is the owner of Mind of Motion Studios, an independent video game company with a focus on story driven gameplay and high quality artwork. 5 years ago he made the jump from the storyboarding in the animation industry to developing in the video game industry. His games have won numerous awards including Gametunnel.com’s ‘Graphics of the Year: 2006’ and ‘Players Choice Game of the Year: 2006’, as well as becoming a finalist in the annual ‘Slamdance Games Festival’. He currently resides in Irvine, California with his wife, Deborah, and frisbee-loving beagle ‘Gobbles’.
Steampunk: My Perfect Playground
by Joel Carlson
Alright, everyone! It’s time to make a strategy game about WAR! Soldiers are dying, tanks are exploding, and you’re sending legions of men to their deaths! Sounds like a fun-filled family-friendly title that’s to be enjoyed by both boy-and-girl young-and-old, right?
Not so much.
And that’s the big problem with strategy games. Their main focus is on a very serious subject. War and death. Though I love the strategy genre, and love creating strategy games, a game with such serious themes doesn’t really appeal to me. War is cold, dark, unforgiving, and I wanted to create a game with heart, vivid colour, and hope. So how could I make this jump?
Dusty Sprocket marks my second foray into strategy gaming, as well as my second foray into the world of steampunk. This is no coincidence! Steampunk has offered me ‘my perfect playground’ in three different and highly valuable areas.
If you go to a movie about about WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, etc, you enter with a lot of preconceived ideas of what’s about to take place, how it will be presented, and what the outcome should be. I hate that. I want to start with a clean slate when it comes to my presentation of war. There’s something magical that takes place in my mind when I enter a fantasy world. Whether it’s a book, movie, song, (anything!) that’s based in fantasy my brain switches to a new mode, and that mode is acceptance. For some reason my mind (and hopefully the viewer’s mind) says ‘teach me’. Teach me the rules to this world and I’ll accept them as the new reality. Of course, this is the PERFECT mindset for presenting a game. The viewer is already curious! One of the great things about the steampunk genre is that it’s not completely foreign either. It’s grounded somewhat in our own reality. So not only are the players asking for guidance, but they’re also accepting this new world not as some whimsical fairytale, but as a time that may have existed! Perfect!
I want to make the prettiest game there’s ever been about war. There it is. That’s my goal. I want the player to hug their tv/laptop as hard as they can, wishing they could just fall into the world I created and spend a warm sunny afternoon flying through the rolling hills on their little airship. When I think of steampunk I think of beauty and industry. Now what better theme other than steampunk has there been to bridge war and my quest for a beautiful environment?
Steampunk has offered me the freedom and direction to build the world of Dusty Sprocket. I can’t picture a better theme that so neatly combines fantasy, beauty, industry, mystery, and wonder!
Dusty Sprocket may be my second trip down steampunk lane, but I feel it’s the tip of the iceberg. I’m constantly inspired by the genre, and already have way too many ideas of what to do next in the wonderful world of steam!
-Joel Aaron Carlson
Become a Facebook fan @ http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dusty-Sprocket/133378786706868
For more of Joel’s artwork, check out www.mindofmotion.com