Some game-makers want you to feel empowered when you play their creations. Other would love it if you felt wonderment. Matt Lopresti gets excited if the people playing his experimental puzzle game Split Tree argue with each other or get embarrassed.
I interviewed Lopresti—who’s currently at Telltale Games after having previously worked on pretty/snarky portable puzzlers Glow Artisan and ASYNC Corp.—at New York University’s No Quarter event, where he showed his game alongside Killer Queen, Bennett Foddy’s Speed Chess and There Shall Be Lancing. Split Tree is confusing at first, looking like an odd riff on Tetris. But, suddenly, it dawns on you that something very different is happening as you play. Lopresti explains the motivations behind Split Tree in the video above. It’s the kind of game that makes people playing it squeeze next to each other and get loud, then quiet, and then loud again.