Wednesday, February 16, 2011

In the spotlight - 1

We thought it would be nice if we gave our posts a more personal touch by introducing a new series. We call it "In the spotlight".

We asked someone whom you're probably not very familiar with, to step into the spotlight and share with you some of his feelings about the project. The writer of Delicious, Mr. Ed Kuehnel.

I don’t have nearly as many good childhood memories as I’d like. This was my thought as I sorted through the multitude of fond ones related to me by the good folks at Zylom Game Studio, who had just hired to me to work as a writer on the sixth installment of their beloved Delicious series, Emily’s Childhood Memories.

The anecdotes were gleaned from employees, friends, family members and other fans of Emily’s. They spoke of chasing fireflies, roasting marshmallows, summer vacations and happy holidays and were largely ones I had never experienced firsthand. I’m thirty-eight, and I am not by nature very nostalgic, but I had signed on to the project was determined to do my best. You see, I pride myself for my work on lighthearted titles, and the Delicious series was tops on my list of games to work on after finishing up another project for Eindhoven called Heart’s Medicine, a game with a decidedly dramatic theme but with similar gameplay.

As part of my preparation for working on Heart’s Medicine I played most of the Delicious series over the course of a day or two. I fell in love with its whimsical characters, absurd situations and endearing message of family and friendship. Truth be told, I’m not only a fan of Emily’s, I’m also a little jealous. Her parents, while not perfect, are supportive and loving. Francois would do anything for Emily, and Angela…well, Angela is Angela.

Ernest Hemingway once said that, “The first draft of anything is…” Well, I won’t repeat the exact quote. Suffice to say that my first attempt at shaping the stories and dialog in Emily’s Childhood Memories did not reflect the tone one felt reading the anecdotes that helped to inspire it. So l tried again. And again. Eventually, (and I can’t take all the credit) the game took shape into what you see now.

Everything happens for a reason. I have a loving, caring wife and two small boys. My mother lives in farm country and my father, now retired, is anxious to spend time with me and his grandsons. Exploring Emily’s past was a wonderful experience, on that I’ll treasure always. More importantly, the flood of memories, while not my own, have inspired me. I can chase fireflies with my boys at my mother’s house in farm country. I can (and have) taken my children camping to roast marshmallows over a campfire. We can make daisy chains with in the backyard and my wife and I are taking our children to Ohio in the summer to see her family. As with Emily’s Childhood Memories, everything has come full circle and for that I am eternally grateful.

-Ed Kuehnel


  1. This was such a nice entry, I don't know why no one commented it...
    It's cool knowing how the people involved in the game feels about it, really, thank you for sharing this!

  2. Really touched...thanks for sharing :')