RE:BIND

You know what’s coming.
(SkiFree – Chris Pirih, Microsoft 1991)

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?

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(Sky: Children of the Light, thatgamecompany 2019)

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?”

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File:Buche de Noel (Yule Log).jpg
Ho-Ho-Hoh no. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

Hello Dear Reader! It’s that time of y- Decade, again, just checked my watch- Again?? It’s OUR FIRST RE:BIND HOLIDAY SEASON. What a wild ride it’s been since we started in January!

To celebrate, we’re doing something a little different. Prior to kicking off our most important titles of the decade, we have reached out to our community to solicit their thoughts.

Now, I know you’re all eager to dig into that nice wooden cake up there.. so without further delay…. Let’s BEGIN!

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Brooke Maggs (@Brooke_Maggs on Twitter), one of the narrative designers on Remedy’s CONTROL (2019)

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.

The transcript of our interview follows below.

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Parallax Software’s DESCENT (Interplay, 1994)

“And here I thought indentured servitude ended in the 21st century”

Material Defender, DESCENT II

Parallax Software’s Descent was one of the first games pioneering a different kind of flight sim- ‘6DOF’ or ‘Six Degrees Of Freedom’ was the central gimmick employed to garner hype and attention towards the ‘mine-sweeping’ shooter epic. But how free really are you when confined to tight corridors packed full of prowling killer drones, ready to rip your ship in half? Descent dropped us deep within the confines of not just the cavernous guts of dense mining operations, but the very inner workings of inequality itself.

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It’s become something of an in-joke within the greater games community that Nintendo is not an entity to be trifled with. Between DMCA notices against ROM sites and fangames utilizing their IPs, attempting to tango with the corporate monstrosity has a predictable end. It makes sense from a business perspective: Nintendo doesn’t want anyone marring the oh-so-marketable franchises they’ve produced over the years, and they certainly don’t want anyone accessing their creations without paying for them, regardless of the ability people have to legally play them.

Enter the bootleg. Where demand was not met by the official channels of distribution, pirate groups took it upon themselves to fill the niche. Creating their own cartridges with ripped games implanted, these groups would sell their wares on a black market at a far more affordable price and with a greater selection than typically available in these areas. Naturally, the companies these pirates were profiting off of were none too pleased with their actions.

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AI Dungeon 2 – By Nick Walton

This article was written using AI Dungeon 2, a procedural generated natural language narrative generator, prior to it going offline. Stitched together from multiple playsessions, it seemed appropriate to use the game to talk about itself as an experiment.

You are Emily Rose, a detective living in Chicago. You have a pistol and a police badge. You enter the forest where you believe the criminal you’re searching for fled to. Suddenly, you hear a gunshot behind yo

move to Seattle

You turn around and see that the man who shot at you is still there. He’s standing right behind you with his gun drawn.

“I’m sorry,” he says. “It was an accident”.

visit seattle

You walk into the city of Seattle and find that it has changed since you last saw it. The buildings are taller, and people are more active than they were when you left. There are even signs of violence here. A few bullet holes can be seen on the walls of some buildings

rent an apartment

You go to the rental office and ask for an apartment. They tell you that they don’t accept new applicants until tomorrow morning. You decide to wait until then. After all, you’re going to need your sleep

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