How we curated the games for the Blinks Community Set?
The team at Move38 is thrilled to be releasing the Blinks Community Set on Kickstarter this month. It has been such a fun journey working with amazing designers from the community that are pushing the capabilities of the system and creating new experiences. In my last post, I outlined a history of how Blinks games have changed over time and now I'm diving into what makes these games different and a whole lot of fun.
Each game in the Community Expansion has a different origin story, but they all share a common trait - the designers came to Blinks with a unique perspective. We’ve met them over the past few years at Game Jams, showcases, schools, and through the developer forum.
Paintbrush, created by Carol Mertz and Mary McKenzie, rethinks the arrangement game style, and adds a living component as the Blinks remember the contact they’ve made throughout the game. It’s a subtle but beautiful game that we knew we wanted to publish the moment they pitched it to us.
When Che-wei Wang first got his hand on Blinks, he knew he wanted to make a fast-paced timing game. Darkball is a real-time game that adds the unpredictability of a ball that makes its own decisions. It was also pitched to us privately, and came together super quickly from there.
Raid has a unique story in this set. Mark Mayer first posted the game on the forum a few months after meeting us at PAX Unplugged. The first time we played it in the office we knew it was going to be in the Community Expansion. He then brought in his friend Justin Baker to flesh out the world and look of the game, and worked with us to finalize the design for publication. The hidden information component has never been used in Blinks before, and I hope it inspires dozens more games like it.
When we sponsored Global Game Jam 2020, we thought we might be able to gather one, maybe two games for publishing. Instead, we left the weekend with a half-dozen games that were worth publishing, and three stand-outs that made it into the Community Expansion. Pirates & Lasers took Best In Show thanks to its super thoughtful gameplay, and its creative use of rearrangement mixed with dramatic state-changes and visuals. The team, Ian Cummins, Michael Cooper, Theo Johnson, and Priscilla McGann, had a diverse set of skills, and the game really reflects that multi-disciplinary quality.
Another standout from GGJ, Group Therapy takes a dead-simple idea (making a Blink “happy”) and turns it into a frantic, kinetic experience. The creator, Brett Taylor, was focused entirely on the moment-to-moment experience of the game. And even though it has no beginning or end, it’s incredibly engaging. The little moments of victory and defeat at the end of each game are crazy compelling, and make every 5 seconds of Group Therapy feel like a whole new game.
The last game from GGJ, Reactor, was created by Aaron Santiago and Spencer Kee, both fans of competitive games, and they brought that kind of thinking to the Blinks platform. Reactor is by far the most fiercely competitive game on the platform, and the unique use of rearrangement and signaling creates a natural rubber-banding between opponents.
It has been such a thrill to work with these talented game designers and we are so excited to be shipping out their games in this new Blinks Community Set.
There's less than a week left to reserve a copy on Kickstarter, if you'd like to be the first to get the new games.
All my best,