Expand Dev Chat with Chris Johnson (2015-10-10)

12 Oct 2015 02:13:25 0
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A live chat with Expand developer Chris Johnson while Cheese plays through the latter half of the game (see below for discussion timestamps). Thanks to Bean and Nemoder for also joining the discussion! Contains late/end game spoilers.

Available DRM free on Humble Store, itch.io and Steam for Linux, Mac and Windows http://www.expandgame.com/

00:00:00 Cheese and Bean waffling about the game
00:00:35 Expand was developed primarily on Linux
00:00:41 Developer Chris Johnson joins stream chat
00:07:24 Cheese reveals his true platform bias
00:08:10 Discussion of determining appropriate difficulty for a game like Expand
00:09:32 Chris joins voice chat
00:10:11 Cheese helped identify and resolve a multimonitor windowing issue https://gist.github.com/Cheeseness/8a49668d0a43278b72b2
00:12:10 Discussion of checkpoints and pacing
00:14:04 Discussion of visual motifs and intentions
00:15:32 Playing and talking at the same time
00:16:18 Discussion of the way Expand handles "death"
00:19:09 Jonathan Blow's talk on prototyping https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISutk1mauPM
00:21:08 Reflections on the feelings that the game evokes
00:21:44 Discussion of approaches to level design
00:23:53 Thoughts on general game design sensibilities
00:25:02 Discussion of player feedback/observation and creators' closeness to their own works
00:28:50 Rami Ismail's Develop 2015 Keynote https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4HL4FYgRtA
00:31:37 Discussion of attitudes towards creative freedom
00:35:15 Discussion of ascribing value to games
00:41:25 "You don't have to be good at something to enjoy it"
00:42:28 Discussion of Expand's approach to challenge
00:46:03 How Expand handles world ordering
00:48:50 Discussion of achievements in games
00:52:34 Cheese goes off on a nerdy Red Dwarf trivia tangent to explain why he laughed at Nemoder's comment about achievements
00:53:43 Chris' recent experiences with non-indie game development
00:55:15 Discussion of discovering Expand
00:55:23 Expand's soundtrack, composed by Christopher Larkin https://christopherlarkin.bandcamp.com/album/expand-soundtrack
00:57:42 Discussion of experiences with conventions
00:59:42 Discussion of the Control world's design
01:00:58 Discussion of viewing vs playing Expand
01:02:35 More level design discussion
01:04:43 Expand's level editor http://steamcommunity.com/app/399780/discussions/0/490121928360597473/
01:05:44 CEGUI http://cegui.org.uk/
01:06:17 GWEN (made by Facepunch Studios) https://github.com/garrynewman/GWEN
01:07:41 Discussion of engines, tech, tools and ownership
01:07:45 Unity http://unity3d.com/
01:09:12 XNA https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_XNA
01:09:39 VIM http://www.vim.org/about.php
01:10:30 EMACS https://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/
01:10:31 Cheese lets out a gasp of excitement as the music reverses
01:17:19 OpenGL http://opengl.org/
01:17:20 SDL http://libsdl.org/
01:20:24 Polycode http://polycode.org/
01:20:38 LÖVE https://love2d.org/
01:21:43 Thoughts on the beginning of the final section of Expand
01:24:43 Transmission delays obscure Bean suggesting that it's appropriate for players to not remember everything
01:25:39 Everything Shall Come To An End http://cjohnson.id.au/games/game-jam-games/everything-shall-come-to-an-end/
01:26:02 Technical difficulties
01:27:07 Airscape dev chat stream https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uROY1dq4P0E
01:28:40 Discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of distribution platforms
01:28:41 Steam http://store.steampowered.com/app/399780/
01:29:28 itch.io http://hypernexus.itch.io/expand
01:29:33 Humble Store https://www.humblebundle.com/store/p/expand_storefront
01:34:34 Discussion of discoverability platforms and distribution platforms
01:38:10 Thoughts on Expand's and Everything Shall Come To An End's final moments
01:41:07 Discussion of future game development plans
01:43:40 Chris' website http://cjohnson.id.au/
01:44:18 Shit Abbott Said http://cjohnson.id.au/games/full-games/shit-abbott-said/
01:44:20 Discussion about Australian and global politics
01:48:57 Chris's other games http://cjohnson.id.au/games/
01:49:20 Moirai http://cjohnson.id.au/games/full-games/moirai/
01:49:36 The Cave of Ātman http://cjohnson.id.au/games/full-games/the-cave-of-atman/
01:49:49 More discussion of distribution platforms
01:51:53 Expand on Steam Greenlight http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=320572100
01:54:02 itch.io's randomiser http://itch.io/randomizer
01:54:51 GameJolt http://gamejolt.com/games/the-cave-of-atman/28540
01:54:52 Newgrounds http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/641898
01:57:46 Chris' recommended games
02:02:08 13 Gates (website down) http://ian.janasnyder.com/13gates.html
02:02:20 Discussion of 7DFPS http://7dfps.com/ http://cheesetalks.net/7dfps2013.php
02:04:22 Reflection http://ianmaclarty.itch.io/reflection
02:05:10 Chris will be at the Hacknet booth at PAX Australia this year http://hacknet-os.com/
02:06:06 Discussion of the Australian game development industry
02:12:29 Farewell to Chris

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