Whew!  Glorious Trainwrecks recently held its most massive event to date, the Game Developers Conference Pirate Kart (Pirate Kart V).  It was exhibited in San Francisco at GDC Play from Tuesday to Thursday of this week, with the major game creation event held the last week of February.

Holy shit, I made so many games.  Twenty-five in all!  Unlike other Pirate Karts, this one had a lot of submissions before the weekend and about 200 after the weekend.  The incredible Mike Meyer and Jeremy Penner put together a kiosk that continued to receive games as they were posted while people were playing the Pirate Kart.  Truly extraordinary.  As of right now, there are a total of 1,008 games in the collection (it’s supposed to close soon and contain those games in a final version), and I submitted my final one with four minutes remaining until GDC Play closed.  And that game, Bulb Boy Infinity, was one of the last to be played at the show.

Some of the games turned out pretty well and some were a bit unsatisfying.  However, I didn’t make a single game that lacked some idea I wanted to explore.  Each of these represents some gameplay or design concept I wanted to fiddle with.  It was an exhilarating experience overall, both for my creative development and for connecting to the community.  It’s been a while since I’ve felt so plugged into a community, and the folks on the side of the indie games community who hang out around Glorious Trainwrecks are some of the best.  I’ve also been examining why it is that despite my other creative and academic interests, game-making has been the most proeductive and constant in my life.   In the coming weeks, I intend to post some reflections on my history with video game design, some ramblings on games as creative expression, my perspective as a hobbyist developer, and commentaries on each of my twenty-five games for the Kart.

In the meantime, here’s my list of games contributed to Glorious Trainwrecks.  If you’re going to play just one, I’d recommend Ghost Witch, a game I’m so happy with, I’m thinking about developing it as a larger, more polished game once I’m done working on Ruins.  If you’ve got a friend, maybe try Koi Puncher: Championship Edition.

I want to thank Jeremy Penner, Mike Meyer, and everyone else instrumental in the staging of this and the other Pirate Karts for giving me one of the most fulfilling creative and community experiences in my life.  It’s been beautiful, and I look forward to wrecking more trains with this crew into the future.

Meanwhile, for the first time in two weeks, I’m gonna spend a little free time not making games.  Just a little.

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About John D. Moore

Writer, cartoonist, filmmaker, and student of Japanese language, literature, and cinema at the University of Utah.

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