It was this past February that Martin Kool (yes, the very same) sent out a tweet to developer Two Tribes to see if he could score some Edge swag for his son Zias’ upcoming birthday. Edge, in case you call a dark cave your home, is Mobigame’s multiple award winning puzzle game for the iPhone, and Two Tribes is who handled bringing the game to PC gaming service Steam last year.
As Martin detailed on his blog back then, he got a surprising response from Two Tribes founder Collin van Ginkel, who said he didn’t have much in the way of promotional material for Edge but wondered if Zias would like to create a level that would then end up in the actual game. You see, Zias is such a huge fan of Edge that he had a habit of making fully playable levels on his own out of Legos.
So, as you can imagine, the response when asking an almost 7-year old if he wanted to be an actual part of his favorite video game was an emphatic “yes!” and in early March Zias made the trip to Two Tribes’ Netherlands headquarters, and boy did he come prepared. From Two Tribes’ blog post about the experience:
That day was magical, Zias had an extremely detailed picture in his head about when which parts of his level should move and why those parts moved in the first place. He’d often pick up a specific colored block from his Lego level and while moving it around enthusiastically, tell me why and when that block should move. The music and graphics theme were decided even before he’d set foot in our offices.
We spent a good portion of the day sitting behind our level editor and pair designing his level. Due to some setup issues we could not run the level at the time, but Zias had no problem seeing how his level came to life even in the editor and he’d often correct me when I misplaced collision or didn’t copy his Lego level correctly. Overall, seeing the mind of a seven year old level designer at work was a very fun and interesting experience.
Zias’ enthusiasm about creating levels and the amount of intelligent though he puts into it is inspiring, and more than that it reminds me of the kind of things I myself was doing as an almost 7-year old and it makes me feel like an inferior human being. I’m fairly certain that Zias has a bright future in some sort of design field, whether it be video games or elsewhere.
The ‘Zias’ level should already be available in the Steam version of Edge, and according to a tweet from Mobigame the level will be coming to the iOS version soon as well. Congratulations to Zias on his level, and I honestly can’t wait to have my brain busted by an almost 7-year old’s creation.
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