“Never judge a book by its cover” so the phrase goes- a piece of wisdom that normally offers a lot of insight, but sometimes you run into a gem that throws conventional wisdom out the window. Despite having very little gameplay thus far, You and The Night feels absolutely worth bringing your attention to.
In many ways, it’s distinctly reminiscent of what you might get if you dropped today’s retro horror craze into the rusty blender of an old diner at the edge of town with some David Lynch VHS tapes.
Edutainment…. EDUTAINMENT! a frankengame meant to EDUCATE, striking cringe into the hearts of all young gamers everywhere, shudder. The only thing we’ve ever traditionally learned from school is the many ways which lessons are painfully dull, to the point that games like Frog Fractions have famously riffed on their ineffectiveness.
But what if we could envision a world that was different? A world where you could have fun….. AND… learn something, without making a mockery of both the subject and you as a person?
With the release of the hyped final entry in the most recent Star Wars trilogy, eyes have turned to the lackluster reception and immediate backpedaling present in the subtext. With numerous concessions made to comply with fan backlash since the first entry, heated debates about the appropriate level of fan service, the responsibilities surrounding a reboot or revival, and arguments on who should helm one of the most established contemporary pop media franchises, has finally culminated in one tumultuous yawn. Not quite a failure, not quite a success- just a lingering bitter taste in the mouth of those with expectations cultivated beyond reason. The impossibly high bar of quality demanded induced by runaway marketing strategies, artifically assembled as a sort of bulwark, a last ditch defensive effort by media corporations against cynical counter-culture.
It becomes increasingly self-evident with every passing year that we have an ethical obligation moving forward to examine the conditions that lead to this scenario, there are many lessons regarding the future of interactive media, film, and commercial games and the toxic influences that pervade each respective industry. As hardware innovation and novel inspiration reduce to a simmer, an uneasy sense of doubt begins to take root in the institutions we take for granted on a daily basis. The audience’s enthusiasm that has driven us unquestionably to this point begins to run dry- suddenly, the glamour has worn off and we’re no longer impressed with the emperor’s new clothes.
Where will the next decade take us when we can no longer coast on established success and the familiar momentum of presumption? after all, ‘He who controls the spice-‘ waitaminute, wrong franchise!
There was a kind of magical sensation, a sort of delightful glee that would wash over you when, at the edge of Computer Store, you found a powered-on IBM Windows PC. As it towers over you, you hover your mouse over the start menu and your cursor grazes over an icon, firing a nerve impulse the strongest you’ve felt since hiding in a dark room during a game of hide-and-seek, or burning your hand for the first time.
That icon is for SkiFree – each session you’ve ever played has felt as exhilarating as though you could feel the wind in your hair. What a funny game it is, to briefly grant you unlimited freedom, only to cruelly snatch it away in the claws of that terrifying entity, the Abominable Snowman himself. Is this what people older than you considered “fun”, you think to yourself? “Who is this for?”
Games as a Service has been a much discussed experiment established by the AAA industry, one that has been wildly successful. As the arms race of technical advancements forever bloating development budgets races onward and the tightening of development cycle lengths to meet growing profit demands continues, games release at a dizzying flurry that is at once suffocating yet celebratory. Each year, a new pantheon of titles are added to the record, miles of scripts that inspire and renew, or simply experiences that last wordlessly; a breeze of mechanics and flow fusing into a torrent of fleeting endless memories.
“But,” the corporate mind may ask, “how do we make this profitable for us, a massive corporation wielding the labor of hundreds within our hand? How can we ensure consumers will flock to our products and save their purchasing power for more of what we have?”
Beneath the gaze of the luminescent orb, Moralia Mooncharmer fixated on its glow. Amongst the entities moving about this glade, sculptures grew massive underfoot. A dance played out here; one of celebration and sorrow, a mournful jubilee for the celestial sphere. Here, in this momentary sliver of life, a peace echos distant across the plains, a cry for Luna.
At PAX West 2019, the RE:BIND team sat down in person with Brooke Maggs of the Remedy Team to chat about the inspirations and stories behind their newest game, CONTROL. We’re thrilled to have had the opportunity to sit down with her and talk about her experiences coming into the project and hashing out the finer details of what makes Remedy’s narrative style so refreshing.