In this edition of "Half a Million Seconds" we stumble through the dark with Tyler Glaiel, developer of the IGF finalist Closure. His work is so awesome we're tempted to cut him down and count his rings. There's NO way a guy this young could make such an awesome game. Or is there? WE'RE OFF TO FIND OUT. TIMBEERRRRR!!!
EXTRA EXTRA!!!: Don't forget to vote for Dejobaan's Game AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! -- A Reckless Disregard for Gravity which is a finalist for the IGF Main Competition Audience Award and the Indie Game Challenge.
LEO JAITLEY Of DEJOBAAN GAMES: So who are you? We don't mean who you are on your fake ID.
TYLER GLAIEL: I'm Tyler Glaiel. I'm 19 years old and have been coding flash games since middle school (7 years now, wow), and only found out about the indie game movement about 1.5 years ago. I was like, "Hey that sounds kinda like what I was doing already." I've never held an actual job, so I guess you can say I've been indie since birth, but I do go to school (for how much longer, we'll see). My parents don't quite get it or why being indie is so appealing, ("you need a degree to get a good job", etc.) but they're gradually coming to terms with it. It's quite a trip and I love it.
LEO JAITLEY: Tell us about your workspace - are you a "work from home while watching Oprah" kinda dev, a "get out of bed and trudge through the snow to the office" kind, or something else?
TYLER GLAIEL: I sit on my couch in an expensive smelly little apartment, that I share with a roommate I rarely talk to, watching Family Guy while I work.
Work consists of browsing the internet for 6 hours while thinking about how hungry I am, then going "Oh shit I meant to get some work done", and then I get some work done. I work on a Mac which makes me kind of weird, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
LEO JAITLEY: You wake up on a Wednesday morning. Congratulations -- you have a full day's work ahead of you! What do you get done in the first hour? (Okay, go on and tell us about the subsequent 10 hours.)
TYLER GLAIEL: In the first hour I make coffee and drink it (and shower and put on pants and stuff).
Then I browse the internet for a little bit and catch up on the news that happened while I was asleep while waiting for the coffee to kick in. Then the coffee kicks in and I usually manage to get a ton of work done in the next few hours before deciding to eat lunch / dinner and watch TV or browse the internet some more. Then I go to bed and repeat. Not exactly the same when I have school though.
LEO JAITLEY: Would you classify yourself as more of an artist or a tech wiz? Master of biz? Maybe you do it all, tell us about it Jack...
TYLER GLAIEL: Ha! My art skills have been declining since I was 6. I can't even draw stick figures anymore. I do code and game design primarily, sometimes music, and even though I haven't gotten good at it yet, I'm doing all my own biz stuff right now.
LEO JAITLEY: We have a few favorite moments in our studio's history -- care to share one of yours?
TYLER GLAIEL: Getting into the IGF. Not much else to say there, but I'm still in a good mood 'cause of it. Also winning IndieCade, and having them show my retarded MTV Cribz parody on the projector. (Youtube.com)
LEO JAITLEY: Tell us about a game that inspired you to MAKE games.
TYLER GLAIEL: Sonic the Hedgehog. When I was little (like 5 or 6) my mom would bring home these industrial rolls of white paper which we could roll out on the floor and draw on, and I'd pretend I was making levels for sonic the hedgehog on them and draw loop de loops, spikes and rings on the paper, and then run through the levels in my head.
I also did "mazes," which started out as mazes you could navigate through, but I eventually got more creative with them and did things like, "you can't go through this door in the maze till you get this key and then you have to battle this monster and there's a teleporter here that brings you there etc etc etc". I kinda forgot about that childhood stuff for a while and then it came back one day and it was like "Woah, I guess I was doing game design as a child too". My parents only let me play games on weekends when I was young so I guess I had to use my imagination to fill in the blanks.
Well, we at Dejobaan think we've found our new method of level design, "industrial rolls of white paper," thanks to Tyler Glaiel, the youngest of the indie devs that we have handcuffed to our radiator and have forced to answer our questions. Check out Tyler's fantastic IGF entry Closure, playable here. While you're at it, check out some more indie developers in the rest of our "Half a Million Seconds" interviews, and our own IGF entry, Aaaaa!.