Indie Tech Talk 26: Itay Keren & Julia Keren-Detar

Teaching with Puzzles: Tutorial Design in Mushroom 11

When:

2015-04-09 at 7PM

Where:

Game Innovation Lab, 5 Metrotech Center

Making the tutorial for mushroom 11 was a challenging task. With its new mechanics and controls, the game had to teach players the basics, such as moving, shaping and splitting, before ramping the difficulty up. The developers chose to avoid text and hand-holding almost entirely, in favor of using puzzles to teach first time players. Itay and Julia will go over these puzzles, demonstrate their design and evolution, and discuss the lessons they learned (and relearned) as designers.

Itay Keren is a Brooklyn-based indie game designer, author of upcoming experimental puzzler Mushroom 11 (IGF 2014 Excellence in Design finalist). Previously, after years as server development lead, Itay quit his job to pursue his childhood dream of making games. Since then he was involved in many successful titles, and later opened studio Untame with his wife Julia, debuting with award-winning rope physics game Rope Rescue.

Julia Keren-Detar is a game designer and developer based out of Brooklyn NY. Currently she is the creative director for Untame, a husband and wife household studio. She is working on Mushroom 11 with Itay Keren, Simon Kono and Kara Kono, contributing to the game design. She’s worked on several casual and indie titles including Untame’s award-winning mobile game Rope Rescue and Arkadium’s hit Facebook game Mahjongg Dimensions Blast. At Arkadium, she was a senior developer at the R&D department, prototyping and designing dozens of games. Julia is also an avid quilter and a hobby game historian.