JC: What happened was one player would tell me to do this and it would be more intuitive. It's all about control. So, I'd listen to them and change it and then two other players would say, "This sucks." (Group laughs) I'd change it back or find somewhere in-between - a compromise - and then, another guy would stand up and say, "Hey, you should do it the old way." You never really solve it for everybody. A friend of mine, who is an art major, said, "Why do you listen to anyone? You're making art and you make it for yourself." It's very conflicting. On one hand, you want a design that is a system you'd love to play yourself, and on the other hand, if you want to sell your game you have to compromise for others.
TL: I just want to say there are no statues of committees.
PD: On that note, Tom, you work on games with your wife. Evidently, this whole male/female duo thing is popping up on the indie scene. I don't know if any of y'all played Mount and Blade, it's a very high-quality indie game. I recommend everyone play the demo. It's being made by a Turkish couple; he does the programming and she does the graphics. Maybe that's the best sort of team mechanic you can have.
CB: I've got to know how that works in practice.
TL: Yeah that's funny. I didn't think we were the Partridge Family of videogames, but thanks for pointing that out to me. Both my wife and I are extremely opinionated and it's like two dictators running the same ship. There's a lot of yelling and screaming and crying - and then she talks. (Group laughs) But, uh, no, we both agree after the cussing and discussing [that] it's a much better product in everything that we do for our clients. Together, it might be the best teamwork. As a spouse, you come together because the other has strengths that facilitate your weaknesses, and vice versa. I think in a project that might be our ultimate strength.
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Patrick Dugan is the next Patrick Dugan. He's currently working on a tightly constrained, extremely stylized drama game for the Nintendo DS, and beginning to mess around with Storytron. Follow his scratchware autuership at King Lud IC.