Sometimes Great Game Ideas Come From Doing Dangerous Things
Sometimes you get game ideas from playing other video games, watching movies, or reading books. Sometimes you also get game ideas from launching toys into the sky with fireworks like Sid from Toy Story. During a Reddit AMA a few days ago the origins of the cheeky little rocket crashing simulator were revealed with tales of firing tiny aluminium men into the sky on real fireworks.
"It all started when HarvesteR was a young guy in Brazil playing with fireworks and turning them into rockets by taking out the explosive payload and placing little tinfoil figures inside which he called Kerbals. Ironically, the current game involves more explosive payloads than those fireworks ever did".
Harvester went on to explain the origins of the original 3 names of the Kerbals, as well as explaining that playing with fireworks might not be the best advice for coming up with game ideas, dang.
"The names for Bill, Bob and Jeb were the ones I could remember from the 'early days' of playing Kerbal Space Program with actual fireworks (please don't try that at home, I'm thankful to this day no one lost any limbs). When they were first added, they weren't meant to be any more special than other Kerbals, but because we didn't have a crew generator implemented, we hard-coded those three in as placeholders."
Kerbal Space Program is a lot of fun, and significantly less dangerous and illegal then shooting bottle rockets in your quiet suburban neighbourhood. Although you should totally go for it if you live off in the middle of nowhere (don't though).