VR is a controversial topic. For some, it’s a technological panacea, a wave of the future. Others, sometimes justifiably, see it as a hubristic cash grab whose saving grace is the occasional hardware innovation beyond pure novelty. After being subjected to a seemingly endless ouroboros of PR and hype campaigns, no one can be faulted for growing cynical or weary in the face of bold promises.
Nearing an extinction event unlike any we’ve ever experienced, humanity veers closer to collapse on a daily basis. Rising sea levels, record-breaking heat, and vanishing biodiversity are the hallmarks of modernity. Regardless of having reached a point of no return, life on Earth has been drastically and irreversibly blighted by the forward march of industrialization. Given the opportunity, mankind destroys without remorse, and for the most part, without concern for the future. Protection of ecosystems and sustaining life longterm become priorities for societies, should they wish to avoid crumbling.
Sometimes it just feels like the right time to stick a bucket under the waterfall that is itch.io, trying to collect something that catches your attention, makes you think, or just makes you pleased that someone out there is taking a particular direction. Without further ado…
Every now and then I sift through the Itch.io catalog and find a little gem that reminds me how sublime game design can be. It isn’t that the games are always spectacular or particularly innovative; rather, some have a nice finish like a perfectly brewed cup of tea.
As of late in games criticism, there’s a lot of discourse around accessibility, without really ever defining what that means. A lot of that debate is beyond the scope of this article, but something I find sorely overlooked in the discussion is how accessibility also matters with regard to reaching a broader audience, and how a good UI can make or break game feel.
Released as a very small indie title in 2013, boxlife is a first person exploration game. Presented in flat color, minimal texturing, and abstract geometry, you’re thrust into a world with one objective: leave. To do so, you need to collect four orbs and place them atop pedestals.
There’s a lot to be said about the Fallout series, and almost all of it has long-since been said. However there’s one aspect of the series, particularly its first 2 entries, that has been playing on my mind.
War….war never changes.
Far from a cool slogan, this phrase, though oft-misunderstood, helps to frame a larger discussion of games from a critic and developer perspective.
Once more we brave the breach to tie up loose ends and conclude our analysis of Christoph Frey’s The Space Between. Having given an overview of the literal narrative and dissected it, the piece begins to expose its underbelly, quivering and ready to burst, full of possibility.
Persistence is key when it comes to deconstructing the mysteries placed before us by a piece such as The Space Between. Plunging the depths of a work comes not just from consuming it, but savoring it, allowing it to overtake the palette and linger on the tongue. It needs a delicate touch to work through it, to parse the meaning between the walls. These endless constructions must be torn down for us to get to a deeper understanding of what it is that Christoph Frey wants to convey to us.
Continuing from Part 1, today we take a closer look at the themes underlying and supporting the stage on which Martin’s narrative is set. Within this Hell, hopefully we can uncover some greater truth to the game, and pick apart its architecture.
All artists bring themselves around to the same question time and again: why do I create? For some, it’s to express a greater emotion, one that can’t be tackled head-on, nor conveyed through ordinary conversation. For others, it’s the simple production of a commodity. One way or another, the artist puts themselves through the creative process and, typically, uncovers some greater truth about themselves. Whether that inherently becomes part of the work, who can say. But, time and again, coming out on the other side brings growth.
Throughout the personal computer revolution, the landscape was awash with architectures. Z80. 68000. PowerPC. SPARC. MIPS. Everyone wanted a piece of the pie, and innovation looked radically different across the board. By the turn of the century, however, the market had collectively settled on Intel’s x86. At a stretch, one may buy an Intel machine distinguished by, one: having a picture of a fruit on it, and two: the ability to run an operating system with a picture of a fruit on it.
It was inevitable that game consoles would meet the same fate.