Beginning May 23, Google officially launched a new YouTube series called "First Person" which is intended to inspire Google Play and Android developers through stories told by top game developers on the platform. The series centers around various aspects of the creative process undertaken by those creators. However, it also takes a deep dive into what it took for those individuals to attain success, putting the focus on the dedication and struggles sometimes experienced throughout that process. There are a total of three videos already available in the series right now, for those who want to just start watching and more are sure to follow.
Google kicked things off with a video centered around Ashly Burch, who is one of the co-creators behind another YouTube series called "Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin'?" That series delves into video games with the goal of "preserving the playfulness of games" and is well worth a look. However, Burch has also been involved in game-making, providing the soundtrack for the lead protagonist in "Horizon Zero Dawn" and for Nebula from "Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series." Beyond that, she previously won an Emmy for her role in Adventure Time. Throughout Burch's First Person video, that voice-acting theme is presented in a way that shows how the skill can provide character attachment and immersion for the users playing a game. Moving to the second clip, Google puts the lens on creating genuine relatable experiences in mobile games via Vassiliki Khonsari. Khonsari is a co-founder of iNK Stories and of the mobile game "1979 Revolution" which was released to Android in 2016. Her latest game is a VR title called "Fire Escape," which puts players in the position of a murder witness in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Khonsari's video brings goes over how she brings in the elements of real-world Brooklyn when directing the creation of mobile gaming experiences that have a deeper narrative.
Last but not least, Google passes the series over to Bennett Foddy - who is a video game designer and instructor at NYU’s Game Center. He's also well-known as a leading developer on the Humble Originals title "Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy" and the Noodlecake Studios Inc.'s Android title "QWOP." Foddy's presentation goes a bit further into the darker side of game creation, discussing the work required to create a challenge and toy with audience emotions. Specifically, Foddy discusses his role in deliberately providing players with the specific sense of frustration many gamers are looking for in more challenging titles. Given that it's a difficult line to walk between alienating the audience and using frustration to provide a sense of achievement, it's an interesting process to explore. However, above everything else, each of these videos and likely future videos provides a key insight into the thought processes that go into creating a brilliant and popular title. That's going to be important as the technology continues to advance and the mobile gaming industry expands. There may be plenty of great games for Android but making something truly sensational requires inspiration, creativity, and hard work. With any luck, the next generation of inspired creators will be geared up and ready to go thanks, in part, to this series.