Kim Swift and Eric Wolpaw?! OMG! WTF? ROPLAIBC?!!?!

My day at work just got awesome. I know that seems implausible, but while I was diligently looking busy, trying not to fall asleep, and wishing I was cool, I came across a link to an interview at Gamasutra with Valve’s Kim Swift and Eric Wolpaw. Now, anyone not familiar with Gamasutra probably doesn’t know that every one of their articles is enormous, irrespective of subject matter. It could be an article about Mario’s overalls (red or blue? RED OR BLUE, DAMMIT?!!?!) and it would be four pages long. And we aren’t talking about a measly paragraph split up into one-word shards to increase ad views. We’re talking about four substantive—or at least long—pages on the Mario haberdashery. So when I clicked through to the interview, I was ecstatic but not surprised to discover that it is eight pages long. Man! I am so excited to read it this afternoon in my cubicle once I get home from work tonight.

legoportal.jpgSo you don’t recognize the names Kim Swift and Eric Wolpaw? They are some of the lead geniuses behind Portal, the best game to come out of the Valve stable since… well… um, Valve released 3 genius products all at once, so figuring out the timing on that is a little tough. In Portal, you pretzel the very dough of the space-time continuum to break free the shackles of a hubristic artificial intelligence. At the same time that it presents a fascinating game mechanic, it’s also creative and funny. Kim Swift was Portal‘s lead genius designer, part of a team that Valve wisely recruited straight out of video game college or something. Eric Wolpaw was the game’s lead genius writer. He used to scribe an Internet site called Old Man Murray, then got all fame-splattered helping Tim Schafer turn Psychonauts in a comedy gatling gun.

Anyway, if you too love joy and beauty, read the Gamasutra interview. As hinted before, I haven’t actually read it yet myself, but judging by interviews conducted with Kim Swift and Jeep Barrett and Eric Wolpaw a while ago at Rock, Paper, Shotgun, it should prove to be fourteen roads toward awesome.

By the way, if you’ve never played Portal (although you should), and plan to in the future (and you should), the interview may be somewhat spoilerific.

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