Browsing posts from: Yestin Harrison

VR screenshots are square, so it’s hard to get something both representative and sensibly-proportioned. This, we think, gives a good first impression.

A Piece of the Universe, which will henceforth referred to as APOTU for brevity, is a VR diorama developed by naam, wherein the player explores, as the title suggests, a little piece of the universe, learning about its absent resident and discovering the strange reality contained within. It spoke to a number of us, affirming that VR can produce something truly special and heretofore impossible. We had the good fortune to sit down with naam on video call and conduct an interview, and it’s our pleasure to share a transcript, full of insights about APOTU and beyond.

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Consider a video game, in the abstract. Knowing nothing of it, save for that it is, in fact, a video game, what inference can be made about the player’s objective? At this level, the constant is, approximately, invert some transistors somewhere. Nothing between the player and those transistors is yet implied; the imposition of artistic will or complex structure is not yet given. What we can say, however, is that a game implies play, and we do happen to be dealing with a game. To quote:

The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.

Carl Jung, Psychological Types, CW vol 6. #197

This is as good a place to mention it as any: This piece is really best read after Part 1, so feel free to click here if you need to catch up.

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Of course it has a level editor, but we’ll get to that.

DROD is, at every turn, a hard sell. Mind, this is not for lack of ingenious, deceptively simple design, of boundless character and charm, nor of literal hundreds of hours of play across its main story. No, it has all of those in spades; rather, it is as World’s Greatest Salesman Danforth Strout freely admits:

Can confirm personally, on both fronts.

Gushing about DROD to any coherent effect is worse than trying to get someone into your favourite obscure band, or, in other terms, it’s as tortuously difficult as the game itself. How, then, shall we do this legacy, spanning across 28 years at time of writing, justice? Where, oh where, dear reader, shall we start? Per the wisdom of Maria von Trapp, why, where else than the very beginning?

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