- How did the concept for Roots come about?
Roots arose out of the SoundGameSpace course I took at CalArts, in which a group of us designed an unfocused Franken-game and took it, with great clumsiness, to the Maker Faire in San Mateo. I always believed the core mechanic I had offered of combining prefixes and suffixes to make new words could support something more ambitious, so I made sure my teammates didn't mind and then got to work redesigning from that starting point.
- What were some of the challenges you encountered turning Roots from concept to reality?
The win condition for Roots took over a year to design. Every mechanic I tried overshadowed the narrative exchange that made the game worth playing, and yet we needed something conclusive, something that delivered it from "writing exercise" to "competition." Months of playtesting with my Predicate teammates, particularly designer Jeremy Muljana, solved this problem.
I wrote about this a bit more for Black Clock's blog: http://blackclock.org/blog/2014/roots-a-game-of-inventing-words/
- What was the best part about working on Roots?
Definitely seeing the internet respond with such enthusiasm. As a freshman designer making his debut - and for Predicate as a young company - it's rewarding to receive such positive press, spark social media, and move quantity. The numbers validate so much work and self-confidence. We can do better, though. This can get so much bigger.
- What's your next project?
Predicate's next project is still confidential, but I have a series of freelance/personal things going on, the biggest of which is...confidential. I have work forthcoming in two Magic: the Gathering sets, lore assets assembling for Faeria.net, and my own novel chugging along in the background. I'm also singing with a group in Los Angeles, and getting started as a fitness/commercial model. This is a busy time.