Wpg Free Press: Alum creates new gaming system
The first time Dan Messing saw the curious contraption, it wasn’t much to look at: just a circuit board and some wires, he recalls, along with a black-and-white screen that his coworkers at software company Panic really liked.
It was just a proof-of-concept, really. The device hung on an ambitious idea: could this nimble Portland, Ore., company create a new video game experience, in a handheld system unlike anything else on the market?…
Four years later, it has evolved into the Playdate, a quirky game system that’s earning international buzz months before it hits the market. It has a local connection: Winnipeg’s Messing is part of the core five-person team that is bringing Playdate to life.
Winnipeg “does a really good job” of encouraging growth in the sector, he says, through networking groups and organizations such as New Media Manitoba. There’s enough talent in the city, he adds, that there’s no reason the Playdate itself couldn’t have been born here Maybe some of its offerings still can.
“I’d love to see some local people lend some of that talent to making Playdate games,” he says. “It’s kind of perfect because the barrier to entry is low, the games can be small in scope, and honestly it’s just kind of fun, especially if you’re used to working on much larger games. I’d love to help out with that in any way that I can.”