Soren Johnson

Designer Notes 32: Asher Vollmer

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Designer Notes 32:

Designer Notes 32


Asher Vollmer
In this episode, Soren interviews independent game developer Asher Vollmer, best known as the designer of Puzzlejuice and Threes. They discuss why paper prototypes don’t always translate well into video games, whether a game should take up 100% of your brain, and how he feels about the Threes clone 2048.

Games discussed: The Secret of Monkey Island, Leisure Suit Larry, Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast, Active Worlds, Furcadia, The Misadventures of P. B. Winterbottom, Semi-Automatic, Puzzlejuice, Tiny Wings, Threes, 2048, Guildlings

 

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Jedi Knight 2! I still occasionally wear the T-shirt I got for pre-ordering the game. Great game for LAN lightsaber fights at school. I remember disliking an update to lightsaber combat that adjusted the collision detection so parrying became easier. Fights became longer and less cutthroat. I was dimly aware at the time that there was a good lesson about what designs to polish and what not to polish.

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When the question of the origin of "blink" came up, as a verb to describe short-distanced teleportation, I thought of a precursor that still gets brought up: "to jaunt." I first saw it used in SuperGiant's Transistor. The earliest usage of "jaunt" I know of is Alfred Bester's sci-fi novel Tiger! Tiger! (aka The Stars My Destination), which came out in 1957.

Great episode as usual, by the way! I'm going to play some of Asher's games now : )

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