The road to video game success has been a long, convoluted, yet unexpectedly successful one for Stewart Butterfield. After designing an online game with his wife in 2004, Butterfield ran into problems obtaining financing. So, in a desperate move, he and his wife designed a different website to finance their game: Flickr, which just happened to become the world’s best-known photo sharing website.
After leaving Flickr in 2008, Butterfield formed Tiny Speck with several other ex-Flickr developers to publish their original game, Glitch.
The New York Times interviewed Butterfield in today’s edition:
Glitch is what gamers call a massively multiplayer game, which lets many people play online at once. In Glitch, characters, or avatars, appear onscreen in a fantasy world, inspired by and wood block illustrations, that includes giants, chickens and underground mines.
“Everything is a little weird and crazy,” Mr. Butterfield said as he showed off the game at the company’s office here.
Mr. Butterfield, who spent three years at Yahoo before leaving, said the proliferation of broadband access and cheaper open-source software made his return to video games more feasible. “We’ve been thinking of it for such a long time,” he said.
Currently in development, Glitch is set to be open to the public in spring of 2011. The game focuses on collaboration and creativity, and aims for strong social aspects. It’s built in the style of a classic side-scroller, but has levelling up, skill-building features like an RPG.
To see some preview videos, artwork, and read updates on the progress of Glitch, visit the game’s homepage here.