[Sup Holmes is a weekly talk show for people that make great videogames. It airs live every Sunday at 4pm EST on Youtube, and can be found in Podcast form on Libsyn and iTunes.]
Last week on Sup Holmes, we met Mike Kasprzk (full episode here), curator and organizer of Ludum Dare, the world's premiere competitive global Game Jam. It's a place where developers like Notch, Vlambeer, Farmer Gnome, Sophie Houlden, Terry Cavanaugh, and so many other awesome developers have cut their teeth on new ideas while building a name for themselves. Imagine if American Idol was about videogames and it had interesting themes and challenges, like who can sing the best while eating a white pepper or juggling kittens. That's Ludum Dare in a nutshell.
Outside of Ludam Dare, Mike has worked on a lot of well known games, including... Secret Agent Barbie on the GBA? To Mike's surprise, the game actually sold extremely well, better than at least one high profile GBA Mega Man game that Mike declined to name. I think we can chalk up the game's success in part to the way Mike and the rest of the development team handled the often bizarre constraints put upon them by the owners of the Barbie franchise. For one, they barred anyone from touching Barbie in the game in any way. That's a pretty severe limitation to put on the design of an action game, but as anyone familiar with Ludum Dare's themed challenges knows, limitations are often the key to inspiring creativity.
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