Alexey Pajitnov - Tetris: Past, Present, Future
June 28, 2010 Page 4 of 4
I was reading an interview with David Jaffe, the original creator of God of War, in the new EGM. He's talking about the fact that, while there's a great proliferation of multiplayer games right now -- to simplify what he's saying -- they all tend to be very similar. They only touch one aspect of multiplayer, and there's room to grow. So, I get the sense that you'd like to open up a new avenue, maybe, a new way for people to look at multiplayer, with the mode that you'd like to make.
AP: Exactly, because it should be not the mechanical or formal kind of joy for people in the game; they should really share the joy of the game, and really help each other or really find each other. I mean, not just doing what they do but look at what the opponents do. That's my point.
I think that social games like Facebook are sort of working on that, but I think the interaction is pretty shallow still.
AP: Well, we have no rush, I think. Eventually, we'll move to there. [laughs]
It's not so much about technical limitations as it is about evolution of design, do you think?
AP: Absolutely. Games are much more psychological product rather than technical. I knew it for my entire life. That's what helped me to stay in the industry. [laughs]
[laughs] Now, are you working on this with your own studio? Or is it just you working on it?
AP: Well, for the last five years, I am not engaging in work very intentionally, in staff. I am kind of on early retirement. [laughs] I just do it for my own joy, time to time.
That's kind of cool, though. Does it free you up to do it at your own pace and to sort of just make the logical leaps rather than feel the pressure?
AP: Yes, exactly. That was my goal. For many, many years of intensive work, and finally, I got to that point.
Do you think that having more freedom to explore concepts would allow the evolution of games? Having more time? Usually things are made on a product cycle -- 18 months, typically.
AP: Well, yes. it really liberates your mind and probably... I will be able to come up with something really cool in the future, yes. [laughs]
I have Tetris on my iPhone, and I bought the original Game Boy in 1989 with Tetris. Everyone has bought multiple versions of Tetris in their life, I think, at this point, over the years. It's kind of a must-have.
AP: [laughs] Good! Do you enjoy playing with your finger, without a keyboard?
I like it better with the regular control, honestly, than the touch control.
AP: You're much more safe with your movement.
Well, you know, because you're moving in the cardinal directions.
AP: I feel like the iPhone is a really good version. They did a great job. But I still have some [reservations]. I'm not certain that with my tap, the piece will be turned, you know? [laughs] It was a little bit more slow than when I play with the regular keyboard.
I think we're learning as the iPhone sort of takes off, while the touchscreen interface is great, it's not 100 percent suited to everything.
AP: Well, yes. I feel the version is great. I really enjoy it. But still, if you ask me, what platform I would prefer to play, I'm still on computer.
Not Game Boy?
AP: No, mostly on computer. Game Boy is fine, but you know, I lost it many, many years ago.
I have the DS version as well, so that's kind of the same area. For me, Tetris was always synonymous with the Game Boy. It stayed with it all the time.
AP: I agree, yes.
Do you have a good relationship with Nintendo, still?
AP: Absolutely. Yes. We do, and recently, we had a very good Wii version of Tetris. What's really overwhelming was the different variety of the game, and the core game is very good. So, yes, we're fine.
Image of Alexey Pajitnov on page 1 taken from Wikipedia, originally created by Flickr user Eunice Szpillman. Used under Creative Commons license.
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