Experimental Gameplay Project

by Kyle Gabler; Parent: Kyle Gabler


Categories: Game

Tags: experimental, game, inspiration, usa



The Experimental Gameplay Project began as a student pitched project at the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University. The project started in Spring 2005 with the goal of discovering and rapidly prototyping as many new forms of gameplay as possible. A team of four grad students, we locked ourselves in a room for a semester with three rules:


1. Each game must be made in less than seven days,
2. Each game must be made by exactly one person,
3. Each game must be based around a common theme i.e. “gravity”, “vegetation”, “swarms”, etc.


As the project progressed, we were amazed and thrilled with the onslaught of web traffic, with the attention from gaming magazines, and with industry professionals and academics all asking the same questions, “How are you making these games so quickly?” and “How can we do it too?” Though we successfully met our goal of making over 50 games, we realized that this project had become much less about the games, and much more about the crazy development process – and how we could help others do the same thing. We wrote about this process in our white paper How to Prototype a Game in Under 7 Days.


After leaving school, we all went our separate ways, using the experience and prototyping skills we”d learned and applying them in large companies in the games industry.  Though separated, we continued to run the site from afar – holding a series of prototyping competitions, with winners gaining internships at various game companies. Eventually all of our attention was turned to pet projects: Kyle Gabler went on to create indie darling, World of Goo from his 4-day prototype, Tower of Goo, alongside EA veteran Ron Carmel. The two would later port the game to WiiWare, where it really took off, with the help of Allan Blomquist. Kyle Gray used the lessons he learned from the project to pitch and make the cult classic Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure for the Nintendo DS.