ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — It’s not often that a hobby ends up in a museum, but local artist of seemingly infinite shades, Eric Wilder, has accomplished that feat.
Late last year, Wilder put together a Game Boy game based the chapter “The Sin” of the hit space western “The Mandalorian,” set in the Star Wars universe. Now, a copy of that game — now printed on a playable Game Boy cartridge — is entering the electronic games collection at The Strong Museum of Play.
That collection is studied by the International Center for the History of Electronic Games.
“The Strong is pleased to accept a homemade game from local artist Eric Wilder into the collection for preservation,” said Andrew Borman, digital games curator. “The game, based on the Star Wars Mandalorian television show, is a great example of hobbyist game development and helps the museum tell a broader story about electronic games design and history.”
“I woke up one morning, and I wondered if I could one on my own,” he said.
Sure enough, with a liberal amount of searching around, he will able to find the software, and tutorials he needed to start started, along with some atavistic knowledge of BASIC code from a computer science class or two.
His first game design venture wasn’t the “Mando” game; rather it was as a “meta” game, where the player would interact with the environment of a design firm, while they waited for a client to come back with feedback on a project. A process Wilder is quite familiar with.
“I just wanted to create a little environment where you could play around with The Mandalorian, Baby Yoda, stuff like that,” he said.
Weeks later, he has moved from just creating a single environment to making levels, adding in shooting mechanics for the player and enemies, space ship battles, and new characters.
The Star Wars universe is a sprawling and massive universe, with lore, characters, and settings abound. “The Mandalorian” is no different. That made Wilder focus on which story to use.
“The one that I’m working on is going to follow the plot of the chapter ‘The Sins,’” he said. “I thought that (episode) was a great scenario where you can jump in, and there’s a lot more action involved. It also takes away the complication of taking away other characters.”
He also says that throughout the game, he will be added new characters and new ways to interact with the environment that are his original ideas, and of his own design.