Friday, April 11, 2008

David Perry keeps trying to friend me up on LinkedIn.

For a while I thought this was odd (not being a friend, ex-colleague or even an admirer of ex-Shiny boss David Perry), but then a friend told me he'd received a similarly bizarre request. We concluded that David Perry is currently on a linking spree, attempting to link to pretty much everyone in the games industry. So chances are if you read this blog, you're being friended up by David Perry. Fairly creepy, wouldn't you say?

David Perry (for those outside of the game industry) is known for founding the studio that created games such as Messiah and Earthworm Jim, and abandoning this same studio after burning his team into the ground to create such over-hyped mediocre shite as Enter the Matrix (a game made in collaboration with the Wachowski Brothers, in the proud tradition of film directors who have tried to "write" games and failed dismally).

Now David Perry seems to be some sort of one-man brand (see and spreading his David Perry wisdom around the gaming world as a consultant.

"Link me baby, link me..."

David Perry is one of many industry "personalities" around whom adoring hoards of hungry young game design wannabes flock, clamouring to be told the magic formula to "breaking in" to the game industry.

My favourite bit of advice about getting into the industry is probably Chris Crawford's essay,"The Education of a Game Designer". Crawford advises maturity, indie projects and a well-rounded education. I think it's pretty sensible advice.

But sensible is boring; let us return to David Perry and his advice. Namely, the David Perry Challenge!

Recently I came across a clamouring hoard ("plz plz i would do anything to break into teh game industry") who proudly asserted that he had embarked upon this "David Perry Challenge". Complete the challenge (or all 3 challenges, because reportedly there are of these challenges, though I haven't seen any details of the other two yet) , and you will be royally dubbed worthy of becoming a game designer by the great David Perry.

The challenge is a "test" whereby Perry will measure your worthiness by the amount of "passion" you demonstrate.

"I keep getting asked how to be a game designer... Many people don't realize just how much passion it takes. [...]

"I'm going to issue THREE MAJOR CHALLENGES to you all one by one. It's a PASSION test..."

And how is your PASSION tested? By playing the top-rated 100 games and documenting and reviewing them according to the David Perry formula.

That's a lot of PASSION.*

So there you are, wannabe game designers. Play and review 100 games, eat 100 pies, slay 100 dragons... or something. You will thereby demonstrate sufficient PASSION to be certified by the David Perry system for spotting game design talent.**

The really excellent thing about his Challenge is that if you spend 1,000 hours and $ to complete the Challenge, and submit the resulting doctoral thesis-length tome of a document (the quality of your analysis doesn't seem to matter - it's all about showing PASSION through doing it), David Perry promises to "put you at the top of [his] personal list for hiring".

And this inspires me (arguably a much lesser game designer than David Perry, but then again where would the future of the world's leading Pony game franchise be without the genius of moi) to launch the Kipper Challenge.

The challenge is this: adopt a developmentally disabled orangutan and groom it for hiring by David Perry.

And actually, the hardest bit about this would be finding the orangutan because orangutans are a protected species only to be found in the jungles of Borneo and Sumatra. I could've made it easy and specified a hearing-impaired cocker-spaniel, but procuring such an animal wouldn't require as much PASSION.

So I call upon wannabe game designers the world over, complete my Challenge and I will dub thee - with my mighty sword-come-pen - worthy of becoming a game designer. Once your urangutan is hired by David Perry you will sky-rocket to the top of my personal list for hiring. I will even add you on LinkedIn!

One could view that as a PASSION test, sure. But it may equally be classified as an AUTISM test.

**Or, looking it at another way, you will demonstrate sufficient PASSION to be certified insane by the Kipper system for diagnosing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

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