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"The world's largest self-made video game"

From the age of 10, Robert Pelloni dreamed of an “ideal” video game. Whilst having coffee with friends one day, he began scribbling ideas on napkins. Five years later, he’d created what he suggests is possibly the world’s largest self-made videogame. Read more…

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From the age of 10, Robert Pelloni dreamed of an “ideal” video game. Whilst having coffee with friends one day, he began scribbling ideas on napkins. Five years later he’d created what he suggests is possibly the world’s largest self-made video game. In those five years Bob hardly left home, working night and day on his project, with no internet connection and virtually no social life, his bedroom floor strewn with papers.

Bob is basically a self-taught game designer. In High School he took an introductory class on C++ programming, though he had no previous training of graphics or game design. He first got a dot to move on a screen, then designed a character and got it to move. Soon Bob had his basic story ready. His 65-song soundtrack was recorded using sound waves, while sound effects were produced with objects and recorded with a microphone. Hence, the sound of footsteps was created using a real shoe. He reckons the whole thing cost him less than $10,000, whereas the average game today costs about $500,000 to make.

"Creating a video game is a collective enterprise"

Emmanuel Carré is a videogames fan working for French-based Ubisoft, a world leader in the sector.

While the graphics aren’t exactly sensational, I cannot but salute the amazing effort put in by the game’s designer. Creating something like that on a Nintendo DS is in itself a true feat. Yet, while the idea is indeed original, I can’t quite figure out the real purpose of the game. How does the player evaluate his performance? To me, it reflects more the vision of an artist, his life experience, rather than a new medium for videogames. I don’t think it’s possible for a single person to create a game. Today, designing a videogame is a collective enterprise, putting together a team of about 30 people. Furthermore, publishers need to privilege their own creators, while taking into account trends in the sector.”

"Big publishers are unable to take risks by experimenting... so I decided to do it myself"

25-year-old Robert Pelloni is the author of "Bob's game", which he single-handedly designed from his home near Detroit in the US. See his blog.

The game's story is about a character's self-development and discovery of life. Beyond performing in a series of minigames, the protagonist gets to meet some 200 other characters, each with their own complex personality. I've included a lot of my own personal philosophy, things that I realised during the struggle along the way. There's a lot to do with motivating oneself and sticking with a personal dream or passion. Big publishers are unable to take risks through experimenting, as it doesn't make business sense, at least in the short term. So I decided to do it myself and then present my innovations to publishers, showing them how things can be improved. People have been very excited about this. For them, it brings together innovative ideas in different fields, such as simulation and adventure games. I've been contacted by several publishers via my website. Yet, it's hard for them to make a decision, since there's no marketing data for this kind of experiment. I also plan to release a version for iPhone and the Android Google platform, where there is no publisher. "In any case, the skills I have acquired in making it will prove invaluable. I have loads of ideas to create new games and set up a little studio with friends.

Posted by Robert Pelloni, 12 September 08

 

Posted by Robert Pelloni, 12 August 08

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