Nominee | Best Student Game

Created by Sokpop Collective.

Each year at GDC, MFA students from the NYU Game Center interview the Independent Games Festival nominees, asking them three questions about their development process. In addition to this interview, you can read all the insightful interviews from 2017 here. These conversations, and much more, will happen when the Game Center returns to GDC in 2018. Learn more about the Game Center at GDC 2017.

Burgess Voshell: What main concept, image or question began this project?

Tijmen Tio: The aim of the design was to create organic fighting as opposed to systematic fighting.

Burgess Voshell: Describe a specific experience with another game or media that influenced you as you worked on Bamboo Heart?

Tijmen Tio: The inspiration came mainly from movies like “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “House of Flying Daggers” and “Hero”. As for other games, There are too many that inspire me! This scene specifically inspired me during the process:

Burgess Voshell: Is there a specific tool or methodology that you feel was important in shaping a unique characteristic of your game?

Tijmen Tio: I took a very small specific feeling that I wanted the player to feel and designed the game around that. It’s a style of game design that has helped me a lot in the past.

For example, the feeling was extreme tension when fighting desperately trying to survive. The player originally only had 1 life. Getting hit would result in dying and didn’t create that feeling. I changed it so the player has 2 lives. Players frequently get hit at least once in battles, creating the extreme tension as getting hit another time will end it.

Burgess Voshell is an artist, designer, and MFA student at the NYU Game Center.