In Game Design, Sometimes You Have To Fake It 'till You Make... The Gunstringer

Illustration for article titled In Game Design, Sometimes You Have To Fake It till You Make... emThe Gunstringer/em

Some of the best ideas are born of strange, stressful circumstances. Case in point: Twisted Pixel's inspired and highly enjoyable new Kinect game The Gunstringer. To hear Twisted Pixel CEO Mike Wilford and chief creative officer Josh Bear tell it, the two of them came up with the idea for the game… during their pitch meeting with Microsoft.


In a terrific write-up at Joystiq, the two men describe showing up to Microsoft to pitch a new game idea for the just-announced Xbox Kinect (still called "Project Natal" at the time). It was a big opportunity for their studio, but after seeing Kinect in action, they immediately realized that their idea wouldn't be possible using Kinect's tech.

And so, right there in a Washington Tex-Mex restaurant, the two came up with a new pitch... while in their pitch meeting.

"Mike's kind of chatting with other Microsoft people, and I'm like, frantically looking around the restaurant just trying to think of ideas," Bear said. "To my left, there was this painting of a skeleton cowboy and I looked at it and just — literally — I was like 'OK: Skeleton cowboy that needs to get revenge on posse ... marionette. Fuck it.'"


We've all been in situations like this before—maybe we didn't do the reading for class and we have to think on our feet to save face. But I can't imagine going into a meeting with one of the largest video game publishers in the world, thinking you were ready to do your thing, and then suddenly having to wing it. Let alone having your new pitch get accepted!

It's nice to see that even in the carefully controlled, focus-tested realm of AAA game development, it's still possible to fake it 'till you make it. All it takes is a lot of creativity and a little luck.

The Three Terrifying Minutes That Created The Gunstringer [Joystiq]

You can contact Kirk Hamilton, the author of this post, at You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.

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Honestly the Kinect is an absolute failure in my opinion.

Worse than the 3ds.

3ds has great games like starfox street fighter zelda mario and others.

Kinect Has 2 main good games: dance central and the gunstringer.

Then you have the generic wii rip offs and the games that would be easier to play in real life.

3ds has buttons, a touch pad, accelerometers, and an analog stick (soon 2, right kotaku?).

Kinect has no buttons, no imagination, no originality, and serious control lag.

When I think of the 3ds I think of some shovel ware, but some classic remakes and potential for great first party games (like the Wii)

When I think Kinect I think of a mountain high "$20 games" bin at walmart and then start to go into a psychotic rage at how microsoft made the dumbest fucking controller gimmick ever.

3ds lived up to some e3 hype (3d effect can work well, some solid titles have been released)

There was no e3 hype for kinect (remember the glowy poncho circ de solei thing?), and it didn't even live up to that.

I put my faith in microsoft, and now i kinda wish i bought the ps3...