Brother NatureJune 19, 2013 by Jonathan Levstein
Last time, we talked about Ponycorns; a jam game that was made by a father and his daughter.
Today, we talk about Brother Nature; a jam game made by a son and his mother.
If you hang around Toronto’s indie game scene, you’ve probably met Alex Bethke before. Tall and usually grinning, he’s a game development veteran. Last May though was the first time he had made a game with his mother, Kathryn Grimbly.
Last May, local non-profit Dames Making Games held a weekend game jam called “Mother, May I?”. This was Alex’s excuse to get his mother into game making. Using the jam’s name and what Alex liked to call a “reverse Ponycorns”, he decided that this was his chance to make a game with his mom.
The team split up as follows: Alex would code/design while Kathryn would illustrate/design narrative. The audio would be coming from local talent: Troy Morrissey. Kathryn Grimbly, having been a graphic designer/artist turned teacher, was not shy when it came to producing great artwork.
The jam did come with the usual pitfalls though. Kathryn was producing very detailed artwork on paper that, when transferred to the game, was scaled too small to see the details. So they left a little frustrated on Saturday night. Alex said “goodnight” to his mom around 8pm.
But then at around 1am, Alex received an e-mail from his mother. Inside, was the artwork that is used in the game. Her inspiration coming from playing with the idea of the game’s name: Brother Nature.
so playing off of male vs female, nature vs structure, organic vs crystal
From there, the game grew into its current form.
When asked if he would do it again:
I’d definitely do it again. It was a fun experience.
Kathyrn and Alex
We love this story and want to hear more! If you’ve made games with your children/parents or know people who have, then please, let us know.
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