Portal and Quantum Conundrum dev Kim Swift: “There aren’t enough games out there that you can sit down to play with your kids.”


This E3 has been the industry’s most violent and adult: it managed a full ten minutes of Microsoft’s press conference before Sam Fisher started torturing a villain, even before E3 Hitman was punching sexy nuns in the face, while Far Cry 3 provided nipples, dead tigers and naughty swears in the space of five minutes. 

In that context, we asked the designer of the exceptional, fluffy and family friendly Quantum Conundrum Kim Swift about the direction the industry is taking. She’s not impressed. 

“There aren’t enough games out there that you can sit down with your kids and not be afraid of exposing them to blood, or harsh words,” says Kim, “or something scary that would give them nightmares the next day. I think there’s a happy medium: like Pixar who make movies thatare just as amusing for kids as they are for adults.”
Kim has seen first-hand how much fun games can be for families, in playtesting both Portal and Quantum Conundrum. “One of the things I really loved about Portal was the feedback we got, people saying “hey, I was able to sit down with my neice and nephew and they had a great time playing the game, and they would take turns at the controller. I hope that’s the experience people who play Quantum Conundrum will have too.”
“One of my favourite playtests was with his Dad and his daughter who was 11 or 12. Watching their dynamic and seeing them tear the controller out of their hands, saying “I know how to do it, let me play, let me play…”
Seeing kids and adults play together brought back memories of her childhood, says Kim. “I used to play games with my dad – as a designer that’s really influenced me in the type of games I make. I want to bring that experience to lots of other people.”
“When I have kids I’m don’t want to be horribly bored by Sesame Street games.”
Here’s the E3 trailer for Quantum Conundrum. It looks lovely.