Throughout the history of gaming there have been few games that have been as enduring as or as frequently imitated as Peter Liepa’s Boulder Dash. Over its lifespan the title has been released on over fifteen different systems, reproduced in numerous flash games and cloned by multiple would-be designers. Despite a seemingly simple concept, the game brought with it an addictive edge that only a handful of great games have ever been able to capture.
Another possible factor in the game’s incredible longevity and addictive nature could quite possibly be the random way in which the game’s levels were created. Nearly all games produced, puzzle or no, use specifically designed levels in order to provide the player with a challenge. Every aspect of the level is carefully planned and layed out. In Boulder Dash however, Liepa had a different philosphy.
“I was fond of using random generators to create as much of the caves as possible. I would then add a few walls and enemies to channel caves into specific themes. In general, I like randomness as a way to create game scenarios.”
Humoriously, considering the game’s Gilligen’s Island like longevity, when asked if he had any idea that the game he was working on would become such a huge success, Liepa replied, “No idea what-so-ever. I knew it was a good game, but [I] was more concerned about simply getting it published.”
But ultimately, regardless of the initial intent or expectations, Liepa has maintained a clear view of just what’s most important in gaming, remarking, “I’m happy that it connected with so many people.”