Why, so nice of you to ask. My Name is Lucas Courtney, a gameplay designer and programmer currently based in Stafford and coming to the end of my degree at Staffordshire University.
“a gameplay designer ay? what does that entail?”
In essence I sit with a pad and paper and try to come up with new and interesting ways for players to experience virtual worlds and interact with each other. Usually this involves developing ideas with colleagues and then spending the following weeks trying to get things working nicely.
“Groovy, what kind of stuff do you make?”
I’ll try my hand at anything to be honest, I’m not a massive fan of regurgitating old ideas so the games I enjoy making the most are those which I can add my own quirky twist to.
“But if I had to push you for your favourite style?”
I’m a big platformer fan. I think its a style that’s pretty open to include a lot of new ideas and mechanics, one of my all time favourite games being of course Psychonauts which I think shows quite elegantly how diverse environments and mechanic sets can be applied to such a simple formula.
“Psychonauts? Oh god, does that mean your one of those Tim Schafer fan boys?”
‘Fraid so. The classic Lucas Arts adventure games of the nineties were some of the first games I played and still have me coming back for more. I love games that place narrative at the forefront of their design rather than just concentrating on how many polys they can fit on the screen at once.
“But so few…none of your current catalogue of games has any real, deep story behind it”
This is something I’ll be looking to change in the very near future. So far I’ve been focusing on beefing up my programming and gameplay design skills which has left me with very little time to create any real running story behind them. If I’m going to do it, I’m not going to do it by halves. Watch this space.
“Your games all look pretty simple asset wise, I notice you have some sort of fixation with blocks”
You are an observant one aren’t you? This is pretty much down to the same reason I gave to the lack of story. I’ve only got so much time between learning new toolsets, studying university modules and working part time and the blocky aesthetic is an easy one to build up in short amounts of time.
“You’ve got a lot of excuses”
You’ve got a lot of questions.
“Ok, last question. If you had time and money behind you, what would you do with it?”
Besides spending a year cruising the Bahamas?
Something bright, colourful and fun. I’ve always thought remaking ‘The Hitch hikers Guide” into a 3D adventure would be brilliant. Or maybe some sort of iPhone/Android adventure game series. Whatever I’d do it’d have to be fun with some sort of vague ethical agenda. Nothing preachy, just to get players thinking rather than pointing a cross hair at a load of vertices and pressing a button.
“Nothing much like what you’ve made so far then?”
I thought that was the last question? I’ve enjoyed and am proud of everything I’ve created so far and those kind of games will always be my meat and veg. What I’d like to work on is kind of like a Lobster dinner in comparison.
“Anything else to add?”
errr…Cake is great and… winners don’t do drugs?