Flower Powers: Origins: The Blog Post

Now that I'm getting back to work on the game, I figured I'd take a moment to write up a quick history of the origins of the game. Every year, Klei Entertainment hosts an internal game jam where everyone at the company stops what they're doing for 3 days and makes something. The goal of the game jam is to experiment and test ideas, and sometimes the prototypes even turn into full fledged projects (Don't Starve was originally a game jam game). I worked at Klei for 2 years and in 2013, for my first game jam with the company, I teamed up with Kevin Forbes (a programmer and creator of Don't Starve, and now Griftlands) and Gordon Moran (an artist, now working on the Kickstarter game For The King). We met the day before the jam to discuss what we were going to make. From the outset, we knew that we wanted to make a local multiplayer game, and that we wanted to make something sans violence.

After an hour or so of brainstorming, we had settled on a core mechanic of resource-collection that focused on risk/reward. There are two aspects of the mechanic that made the whole thing "work". First, each subsequent resource that a player scored (by bringing it to a goal area) in a short period of time would be worth more points than the last. Second, to make these big scores to be risky, we made it so that the resources trailed behind you and were steal-able by other players. With that decided, all we needed before we could get started was to settle on a theme and aesthetic. Initially, we talked about controlling boats picking up crates and bringing them to ports. While that narrative is easy to understand (in terms of what you're doing as the player), it didn't really support the non-violent and happy spirit that we wanted for the game. So, instead, we arrived at something inspired by the Flower Power movement of the 1960s (which was also the namesake). After that, we just had to actually make the thing, which I'll save for a later post...