Just what do you think you're doing, Dave?
Kirby's Epic Sound

Kirby's Epic Concept


If the mark of a successful game is the expression of a unified design concept, then Kirby's Epic Yarn is the most fully-realized game I've played this year. It's an absolute marvel, full of cohesive ideas, imagination, and craftsmanship.

I've spent a week studying the game, examining its components and trying to figure out how and why they work together so well. With your indulgence, I've decided to devote a few posts to Kirby's Epic Yarn in an effort to explain how the game unifies its key elements - visual design, levels and mechanics, and music - into a production concept that envelops the player from the opening screen to the closing credits.

I realize we generally reserve such scrutiny for ambitious games that 'deserve' it: the Fallouts, Far Cries, and Fables of the game world. I'm motivated to study a game featuring a little pink blob made of yarn because I believe it's useful to consider the work of talented artists unified around a coherent vision, regardless of genre or media. Poets study Mondrian, not because they want to be painters, but because they want to understand abstraction. Kandinsky believed the color yellow sounds like a middle-C.

I'll return later today with an essay devoted to Epic Yarn's soundtrack (with lots of samples you can listen to) and the pivotal role it plays in the game. I hope you'll come along with me this week. I think it'll be fun. Pink puffy patchwork fun. :-)