terça-feira, 10 de maio de 2022


Prepare your smartphone! Today is the grand premiere of my new game: STENA was launched in the Google Play (and soon will be launched in App Store)! Check the trailer below and download for free, now!

I discussed a little bit of the game’s gaming design process (errors, prototyping, wireframes etc.) in this post. But, in this one, I want to talk about the creative process, or, in other words: where did the idea for this game come from?

The year was 2016. I was living in Bratislava (capital of Slovakia) and writing my doctorate thesis in a partnership with Paneurópska Vysoká Škola. In my free time, one of my favorite things was to walk and visit pubs in the old town (or “Staré Mesto” in Slovak language). One day I was in my favorite pub, Zbrojnoš, watching an ice hockey game on TV. One important detail: I’m not a sports fan, but ice hockey is a national passion in Slovakia, so I decided to understand the game better (I even went to Ondrej Nepela Arena to watch the Králi team from my university play).

Trying to discover the mysteries behind ice hockey, two things caught my attention: how difficult it is to put the puck inside the goal and the possibility to skate freely in the whole space (including behind the goal). So, I had an idea: a PONG game with ice hockey rules. Well, that was the starting idea, but the final product is very different. One day I started to sketch some wireframes and created this very first version: a game for two players with rotating paddles where the goal is to hit the center of the opponent's engine.

Well, too complicated. I started to simplify the idea. I started to think about one-player experience, mobile media experience, fast games, and minimal design. So, the rounded space appeared in front of me. I drew a circular arena with different kinds of risks and obstacles. The final touch: the game must be punitive and hard in a way that only games like DARK SOULS can be. =)

I showed more detailed wireframes to my friend Jakub and asked him: “is there any Slovak word that represents, at the same time, the idea of wall, protection and shield?”. He answered: “Yes! STENA is the word”.

So, this is a detail from the creative process of my new game! Always pay attention to small details around you. Always keep a notebook with you. Game ideas are always around, ready to be materialized.