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Interview: Petri Purho (Crayon Physics Deluxe)

FEBRUARY 14, 2008

An informal chat with Petri Purho, the developer of Crayon Physics Deluxe.

Hi Petri, how about a little introduction for the readers before we begin with the questions?

Well, I'm Mr. Purho and I'm probably the best known for being the guy behind Crayon Physics. Also I've made couple of other lesser known and more sucky games, which I've published on my blog: Kloonigames.

Do you keep count of how many experimental games you've released so far? Any favorites besides Crayon Physics?

I think there are now 17 games (I'm not sure), and there have been a number of favorites besides Crayon Physics. I seriously like SM Word a lot, but apparently I'm the only one. :) Pluto Strikes Back is probably my other favorite and Amazing Flying Brothers is quite fun also. And I really kick myself in the head every once in while for making Daydreaming in the Oval Office.

What's the status of Crayon Physics Deluxe, any updates on that? Will you be releasing it as shareware or freeware, and when?

Officially the status of Crayon Physics Deluxe now is release 13. Don't know what that means, but that's the official status. The game is in the works and I'm still the only developer doing it. Hopefully it will be out sometime, but it could take a while. I'm planning of releasing it as an shareware and I don't have clue when it's ready. I seriously don't.

After I get back from GDC I'll write some kind of status report on Crayon Physics Deluxe, as there are a lot of people who have been emailing me about it and asking if anything is happening because I haven't blogged about it. I just figured it's better to keep your mouth shut than to yap all over the place like you're Peter Molyneux.

You'll be headed for the GDC in a few days' time. What are you looking forward to the most?

Meeting all the fellow indies. I mean I get to meet Cactus, Joakim, Dylan, Ron, Tale of Tales folks, Sean Chan, Cryptic Sea guys. And hang out with Kyle and Phil... It's gonna be fun.

I probably forgot someone, but there are so many people in the finals. :)

Who are your favorite indie game developers?

Of the top my head Kyle Gabler, Jonathan Blow, Jonathan Mak, Cactus, Joakim, Phil Fish (Fez just stole my heart).

On that topic, have you played World of Goo, Braid, Everyday Shooter, Noitu Love 2 and Fez?

I've played Braid, Fez, World of Goo, and tested Everyday Shooter (I wish I had a PS3). I can tell you those games are going to rock when they come out; I'm sure there will be an indie revolution.

Name your favorite game from cactus.

Mondo Medicals, Psychosomnium (I had to check how you spell that) and Seizure Dome. Also I enjoyed Clean Asia, but it was too hard for me.

Which are your favorite IGF final entries? Any picks?

Don't tell the other developers, but my favorite would be World of Goo. But if they ask I'm loving Audiosurf and Synaesthete also very equally. And Gesundheit! also.

Seeing that Audiosurf is now available on Steam, and you've mentioned that Crayon Physics Deluxe will be shareware, have you considered taking the same distribution route?

Well that would be a good option, but I haven't heard anything from Valve yet, so if Gabe is reading this email me.

When you've started out Kloonigames, how long did you plan to stick with the experimental idea? How many more years of experimental games can we expect?

Well I was quite pessimistic at the time I started out Kloonigames. I thought I'd be very happy if I made it through the first year. And honestly I thought I'd quit there. But it kinda grows on to you. You can't go over 30 days without making a game. It's impossible. :)

Don't know how long I'll keep on doing it. Probably as long as my life allows me to.

Have you noticed any other developers attempting the same?

Well I found out that someone had ripped of some of my blog posts and was running a very similar blog. Then there's the other rapid developers, but honestly I think the rapid development comes from the CMU's Experimental Gameplay Project.

Are you happy with the response for the site?

I've been extremely happy with the response. It's been much much better than I could have ever hoped. I never thought I'd go to GDC. Let alone be an IGF finalist there.

What do you think of IGF itself? And the indie games development scene?

I think it serves it's purpose well. I heard some criticism about some art games not making it to the finals. I assume they were talking about The Zoo Race. And if that's the case then I agree with the criticism. The Zoo Race should have definitely been nominated for every category.

Seriously, I'm all for the art games. I honestly like them and I wish they would get more exposure. If there was an art game conference/exhibition somewhere I would definitely want to go there.

Played any good indie games lately? Anything deserving of mention?

The last two games were Sean Chan's qrp and Mark Johns' Shit Game. I liked both of them, but for different reasons. :)

qrp especially was very inspiring, but somewhat limited. I'm not sure I figured all the there was to figure out about it. Also I finally played Passage properly and I enjoyed it. My late games collection is quite artsy. Especially with Shit Game being there.

We're two weeks' away from the end of the month. Any ideas of what you'll be creating next? Do you plan to release the updated version of Grammar Nazi before GDC or after?

Yeah I've been planning of doing (and actually I've worked on it already) a game about web hosting companies. I had to quit working on it, because I was afraid I'd never get my files back from my ex hosting company if I released it :) My lawyer told me to say that the game has nothing to do with the hosting trouble I had couple of weeks ago. I did Grammar Nazi as a replacement game. I originally meant to do it 2 hours, but that didn't work out too well. :)

I'm hoping of releasing the (Grammar Nazi) update before GDC. I was actually supposed to work on it today, but then you harassed me into giving you an interview. So you're to blame for it being late. :)

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About The IGF

UBM TechWeb (producer of Game Developer magazine,, and the Game Developers Conference) established the Independent Games Festival in 1998 to encourage innovation in game development and to recognize the best independent game developers.

The competition, now in its 13th year, awarded a total of nearly $50,000 in prizes to deserving indie creators in Main Competition and Student Competition categories at the IGF Awards Ceremony, held in March 2010 at the Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA, as one of the highlights of the Game Developers Conference.

The Independent Games Festival will return in March 2011 at GDC in San Francisco - look for more information soon. [More information...]

About The IGS

Featuring lectures, postmortems and roundtables from some of the most notable independent game creators around, the Independent Games Summit is a yearly event, with iterations thus far taking place in March 2007, February 2008, March 2009 and March 2010 at Game Developers Conference.

UBM TechWeb (which curates the IGF and runs GDC) plans to continue and grow the Independent Games Summit in subsequent years. [More information...]