David Lu spent 11 years working on an incredibly epic course for "Line Rider" — a video game where you draw lines on the screen to create a course for a little character riding a sled. Watch that video above and you'll see him ride the whole thing.
Lu wrote an equally epic post about his creative process. He outlines not only his design decisions — and shows his early sketches — but includes pictures of source material from which he drew inspiration, which included a lot of mathematic forms and low-rez early video games. Those latter two fields have a lot of overlap, in a sort of Platonic-forms fashion — the math being the aetherial immortal shapes, and the 80s games, their glitchy and worldly instances.
It's really worth reading in full — here's the beginning:
I remember when I first discovered Line Rider, that Flash game from 2006 with the simple premise of drawing a track for a sledder to ride on. I was immediately sucked into it, doing things like devising elaborate tracks for the rider to overcome, building worlds for the rider to explore, and manipulating the rider to perform stunts.
It had an odd universal appeal, quickly propagating through the internet and reaching many other teens who were similarly captivated by this toy. We gathered into a community and the Line Rider subculture was formed. We were young, creative, and imaginative, but we also had something to prove. We wanted to make impressive tracks, whether it be with highly detailed illustrations or by exerting fine control over the rider's movement.
In 2008, I set off to create the best track of all time, where I would demonstrate proficiency in every style of movement, create elaborate illustrations, and introduce new Line Rider ideas to the community. Of course, I was too ambitious and settled with releasing an unfinished version of the track. While it was widely praised, my vision wasn't complete, and I continued working on it sporadically.
Eleven years later, after I reversed engineered and recreated Line Rider, after I developed as an artist and explored all types of creative mediums, I finally completed the project and even went beyond my original vision, reclaiming the project to tell a new story.
I will never spend so much time on a Line Rider track ever again.