[casual_games] Software Toys Industry?

Matthew Ford matthew at fordfam.com
Thu Jan 12 14:53:46 EST 2006

I'd venture to say some interest has always been there but it does not
always break out into the news. Various museums have done game- or toy-like
art installations and there has been some reporting of that over the years.
There is some really neat stuff and I bet if you google "art game museum" or
the like you will find it eventually.

I can't say I see a big upward trend, but I'd certainly encourage you to
keep looking as I'm sure there are opportunities floating out there. 

One trend in your favor is the viability of casual games which allow an
artist to directly make, or more easily find someone to help make, a simple,
artistically driven game by using a framework such as PopCap or Flash. With
just "tech lite" many artists can communicate their ideas more easily than
before and make money from the result by using the casual game channels.

Related is the rise of games which use music and rhythm. There have been
some huge hits such as SingStar and Dance Dance Revolution, which in turn I
think made the environment more friendly for Electroplankton.

Project Rub on the Nintendo DS has some interesting uses of visuals and
sounds in a toylike manner. There is a website for that you can check out
quickly. www.projectrub.com .

Slightly related, you may want to look at the early games of www.gamelab.com
which always impressed me with their quirky, retro-pop art and sound. Some
of their early stuff seemed to be just as much about making nice visuals and
sounds as they were about gameplay.

You might also want to check out some of the stuff for the PlayStation 2's
EyeToy. Some of that was purely visual and toy-like and I bet more can come
of that.

Offlist I'll send you an email contact for a game designer I know who is
linked between games and art here in Brisbane.

Good fortunes!

--Matthew Ford, matthew (at) fordfam (dot) com

-----Original Message-----
From: casual_games-bounces at igda.org [mailto:casual_games-bounces at igda.org]
On Behalf Of Jason Van Anden
Sent: Friday, 13 January 2006 1:19 AM
To: IGDA Casual Games SIG Mailing List
Subject: [casual_games] Software Toys Industry?

I have been developing a soft-game/art/toy hybrid that is similar in
its principle to "Electroplankton" just reported on in Wired:


Electroplankton evolved from art installations, as does the thing I am
currently creating (and almost ready to release).

Is Electroplankton an exception - or is the industry starting to reach
out to fine/studio artists for fresh ideas?  As a an artist, I am
usually a bit intimidated about making contact because the two resumes
I have are for art and the software industry, not specifically related
to the games industry.

I started lurking on this list after a game I wrote as art was
reported in Wired last year ("Farklempt!") - and to my complete
surprise got a bit of attention in the games press.

Suggestions super appreciated.

Jason Van Anden

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