“Buggy Enough To Have Richness”

The guy who wrote the most gleefully chaotic coin-op game of my childhood talks about building “Robotron: 2084”:

[blockquote source=”Edge Online”]

He went on to suggest that those rotten anchovies were the game’s bugs. “I found this out several years after we released, but we had this thing called the ‘Mikey bug.’ At the beginning of a ‘brain wave’ due to an initialisation error, they will all seek out Mikey, rather than the nearest human. So if you can keep Mikey alive, not rescue him but fend off the brains, you have a huge bonus opportunity… but you also have to keep one enemy alive so you can collect the points. One wrong move… it’s all gone.”

“This was not programmed into the game,” he said. “It’s an emergent behaviour. Some of the coolest features of a game can be bugs; you have to be skilled enough to make sure the program doesn’t crash, but is buggy enough to have richness.”