This is a show about videogames, the people who play them and the people who make them. Each episode, a guest talks about the games that have shaped their life in one way or another. Games that have inspired them, games that have forged connections & games that have soothed wounds. Checkpoints!
My guest today is Iranian video game developer Mahdi Bahrami. Annoyingly young, Mahdi already has an incredible game under his belt with the release of Engare in 2017. A unique puzzle game inspired by Islamic art which also comes with a creation mode that reminds me of soothing afternoons of my youth spent making endless patterns with a spirograph.
We talk about the video game scene in Iran, how his puzzle game enthusiast mother is still a tough critic, his dad teaching him to program, moving to Holland to study game design and programming, how vastly different his cultural touchstones are to most people who work in games (he's never seen Star Wars and is fine with that), the ridiculous number of hoops he had to jump through to get to GDC, how bittersweet his first taste of video game success was, the huge popularity of FIFA in Iran, and the universal language of video games.
"To be international, you have to first be local."
PATREON - patreon.com/checkpoints
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Theme song by Samuel Baker
Art work by Craig Stevenson