Jason Roberts was once a software engineer who did some pencil drawing in his spare time. Having never made a game before, he left his job in 2012 to work full time on a project that would involve thousands of drawings, absurd design challenges, five years of his life, and all of his personal savings. The end result was the award-winning and critically acclaimed game Gorogoa.
A tour of the complex and interlocking design challenges involved in making Gorogoa. What were the basic themes and the inspiring fantasy that gave rise to the core mechanic? What were the narrative challenges involved in telling a story without language, in which time and space are broken into fragments and constantly recombined? What were the artistic challenges in a game where visual design and puzzle design were hopelessly tangled together? The talk will answer these questions through a high-level look at the meaning and formal properties of the game's mechanics, as well as detailed accounts of how individual puzzles and scenes were constructed.