…trying to explain game development to a six-year-old.

My little girl was playing my game Planitia, which, if you’re not familiar, is my Populous/Powermonger forever-work-in-progress game.

(She also has trouble pronouncing the name. She was calling it “Planishiwa” for a while, which is what I guess the game would be called in Japan.)

But the game she really wants is Star Kittens, which I’ve also been working on for quite a while.

Cue yesterday’s conversation.

“Daddy, is Star Kittens done yet?”

“No, sweetie, not yet.”

“Why NOT?”

“Because it takes a long time to make a game.”

“No it doesn’t!” Six-year-olds.

“Yes it does, sweetie. First you have to tell the computer all the rules of the game, and that takes time.” I scroll through the roughly fifty source files Planitia has and her eyes widen.

“So it’ll NEVER be done?!” To six-year-olds, ‘now’ and ‘never’ are the only time frames that exist.

“Yes it will, baby. I’m going to take Planitia and change it to make Star Kittens. I’m going to change the little men to kittens and change the land into a space station. Then you’ll be able to build a space station for your kittens. So it won’t take as long as Planitia.”

“So you’re going to change Planitia into Star Kittens?”

“Yes, baby.”

“But then I won’t be able to play Planitia any more!”