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Dev tells story of ibb & obb, latest indie gem coming to PSN

28 March 2013

The wealth of indie titles announced for PlayStation 3, PS Vita, and PS4 at this week's Game Developer's Conference is truly stunning. Exemplary games like rainTerraria, Blacklight: Retribution, Spelunky, Primal Carnage: Genesis, LIMBO, and Zombie Tycoon 2 are all coming or moving to various PlayStation platforms, but that's not even the tip of the iceberg. Yet another potential indie gem has been detailed, and this one will land on PlayStation Network before you know it.

The game is ibb & obb, a colorful, cooperative platformer that will launch in May for PS3. The game's development head, Creative Director Richard Boeser, took to the official PlayStation Blog earlier today to discuss the long journey of bringing ibb & obb to gamers' hands. That journey began with Boeser's college graduation. As the finishing touches were being placed on his Industrial Design major, Katamary Damacy released on PS2, and Boeser started to witness a shift in the gaming landscape. The experienced Unreal Tournament modder was glad to see original, creative ideas finding a place on store shelves.

The change inspired him to based his graduation project on game design, and it all started with--what else?--an Unreal Tournament mod. "I inverted the gravity in the bottom half of the screen, made the character flip upside down and fixed the camera to the side so it looked somewhat like a platform game," he explained. "That first prototype didn’t look like much, but it already told me two important things: The continuous flow of falling up and down feels really nice. [And] You can reach unexpected places, which makes it suitable for puzzle design."

From there, iteration and new ideas brought a simple concept of alternating gravitational forces to greater heights. "At the end of my graduation I had a playable prototype, about the length of one level," Boeser remembers. "Hoping to find some attention for the game I submitted ibb & obb to IndieCade and to my surprise they selected it for their E3 2008 showcase."

High honors for a man with no professional development experience, but Boeser wasn't ready to let nerves stand in the way of success. "This was my chance and I booked a ticket to Los Angeles," he professed. "Being there at the E3 felt really great and weird at the same time. Weird because I didn’t really know what I was doing. I had no plan and mostly just wanted to find out if the world was interested in ibb and obb."

Interested, it was. At ibb and obb's E3 2008 booth, a man approached Boeser with numerous questions and a great interest in the product's long-term potential. The two talked at length about ibb & obb, but it wasn't until later that Boeser realized the man was from Sony Computer Entertainment, and held a great interest in bringing ibb & obb to PlayStation.

After more than a few development years, the fruit of Boeser and his studio Sparpweed's labor will come to bear this May. When it does, you'll get a firsthand look at what one man can accomplish with passion, creativity, and a good idea for a game.

For more on ibb & obb, check out the prototype history video above and stay tuned to PSU.com for breaking news on the latest indie darling to grace PlayStation 3. ibb & obb may also come to PS Vita--we'll bring you details as we hear them.


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