A week ago over 5000 people streamed through the foyer of the Brighton Dome to see and build hundreds of amazing things at the first Brighton Mini Maker Faire. Luke and I went along with 2 laptops, a scanner and a pile of pens, paper, glue and scissors to make a video game with what felt like most of those 5000 people.
We arrived at 9:30 in the morning and were still working out how to plug out laptop in to the big plasma screen when the doors opened at 10:00. From then until the doors closed at 17:00 our table was a tornado of cutting, gluing, drawing and colouring as dozens of children and adults dived in to the task of drawing bosses for our shoot ‘em up with wild abandon. For a while my picture scanning, data wrangling and game copying efforts kept up with the stream of submissions and people were delighted to see their creations flying around on the big screen within minutes of their creation. Soon enough though, the stream turned in to a deluge and by midday I had a sizable backlog of pictures to process.
Despite working non-stop all day with only a 20 minute break to grab a milk shake and have a quick look around I ended up with a backlog of dozens of pictures at the end of the day. At that point another problem emerged: the game is designed to slowly get harder at each level, but with so many bosses to add the game would get impossibly hard before half of the bosses were seen. Realizing that I had a lot more work to do before the game would be finished I released an initial version at the end of the faire and collapsed in an exhausted heap at the after party.
All of this is by way of being a long winded explanation as to why “You’re The Boss 2” wasn’t finished a week ago. Last night I finally got around to scanning in all of the remaining images, tweaked the difficulty curve to make it possible to get to the end and released “You’re The Boss 2 Extended” which can now be downloaded here.
Despite being one of the most exhausting days of my life, it was also one of the most enjoyable. It was incredibly rewarding seeing dozens of children and adults alike delighting in creating something fun together and watching Thomas Truax perform with his DIY instruments while talking to a professional gingerbread house maker made for a truly magical end to the day. I’m very proud to have been part of the first ever Brighton (not-so) Mini Maker Faire and look forward to taking part in many more (although I might bring along a friend to help next time!).
I hope you enjoy playing You’re The Boss 2 as much as we enjoyed making it.
You’re The Boss Lives!
Back in 2005, while I was working on Second Life in Nottingham, before Linden Lab Brighton existed, I ran a workshop as part of the Screenplay “Boss Frenzy!” day at the Radiator Festival which allowed children to collaboratively create a computer game by drawing or making bosses with collage.
Dozens ...read more