Electron Dance

Electron Dance Highlights

24Nov/142

Side by Side: Kompendium

Side by Side is a video series on local multiplayer games. This is episode 3 of 15.

This week Joel Goodwin of Electron Dance and Gregg Burnell of Tap-Repeatedly take a look at Kompendium by Michael Brough. Watch the video here or direct on YouTube.

The series theme is the delightful "Adventures in your sleep" by The Blake Robinson Synthetic Orchestra.

19Nov/145

Careful What You Wish For

A presentation Maddy Myers gave in September at AlterConf 2014 went up on YouTube just a week ago. It's titled "The Objectivity Myth" and Myers talks about the need for gonzo videogame journalism which accepts that the writer is part of the story. I discovered this rather than this is what happened.

Below, you'll find the video and a brief response of my own.

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17Nov/144

Side by Side: Dueling Machine

Side by Side is a video series on local multiplayer games. This is episode 2 of 15.

This week Joel and Gregg take a look at Dueling Machine by Thatcher Ulrich. Watch the video here or direct on YouTube.

  • Dueling Machine is the inspiration for Spy Party
  • It requires two network-connected PCs and is a bit tricky to get working
  • We might have stretched the definition of local multiplayer
  • If you're enjoying the series, please like our videos and consider subscribing to our channel

The series theme is the delightful "Adventures in your sleep" by The Blake Robinson Synthetic Orchestra.

13Nov/144

The Conversation, 2: Hero Men

The Conversation is a retelling of my meeting with Dan Stubbs, who is developing the probably-too-ambitious-for-its-own-good game, The Hit. In part one, we discussed the squandered promise of the GTA open world model.

conv2-binfinite-columbia

As Belinda Carlisle belted out Heaven Is A Place On Earth from the coffee shop speakers, our conversation veered towards Bioshock Infinite.

“My favourite moment of Bioshock Infinite was a moment that wasn't a cutscene, wasn't a scripted moment,” said Stubbs.

“It was the menu?”

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11Nov/147

Side by Side: TENNNES

Side by Side is a video series on local multiplayer games. This is episode 1 of 15.

This week Joel and Gregg take a look at TENNNES by Jan Willem Nijman. Watch the video here or direct on YouTube.

  • We played the alpha build that was released for Sportsfriends Kickstarter backers
  • We did not figure out some of the game's cheatin' tricks
  • We did not try out the night and storm modes
  • An AI opponent is available for practice

The series theme is the delightful "Adventures in your sleep" by The Blake Robinson Synthetic Orchestra.

6Nov/145

Soundbite 1: Choose

Which one is The Stanley Parable?

Filed under: Soundbite 5 Comments
5Nov/140

The Conversation, 1: GTA is Proteus

conv1-gta-3-claude

“You look at AAA games and they're all about playing it safe,” he said. “They're all about taking something that already exists and remaking it in a slightly different format. Watch Dogs is GTA plus Deus Ex. It's because you're trying to raise X amount of money to make these things because they're so expensive. But nobody knows what the Hell videogames are.

“Nobody knows what they're making.”  

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30Oct/1410

Your Game Isn’t As Clever As You Thought

nac-spec-ops-1

I want to talk a little about games that subvert traditional mechanics at the expense of the player, that poke at the player's assumptions and maybe make an example of him/her.

Spec Ops: The Line (Yager Development, 2012) is the big, mainstream example which I already covered in some detail recently but what has brought the subject back is a conversation I've been having with Boson X developer Ian MacLarty about a jam game he made called Booot.

It's given me a different perspective on such subversions, a perspective relating to player education.

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29Oct/142

Counterweight 14: All Hallow’s Eve

IntoTheGloom 2014-08-17 19-42-31-64

In this episode of Counterweight, Eric Brasure and Joel Goodwin discuss three HAUNTED games for Halloween. The Rapture is Here and You Will Be Forcibly Removed From Your Home (Connor Sherlock, 2013), CHYRZA (Kitty Horrorshow, 2014) and Into the Gloom (Emmanuel Ramos, 2014). This is pretty much a spoilery podcast so, uh, sorry about that.

Contents

The Rapture is Here and You Will Be Forcibly Removed From Your Home (Connor Sherlock, 2013)

03:10 "There is a sense of menace about it."

04:30 "The actual environment you are in is interesting to run around in but the story bits just didn't seem to make much sense conceptually."

12:50 "As a cohesive whole, it doesn't really gel."

CHYRZA (Kitty Horrorshow, 2014)

15:10 "It's like one of those very odd horror stories where you really don't know what's going on... but it's a bit creepy and disturbing."

16:50 "I like it because it teaches you how to play the game very quickly."

21:20 "I need gameplay to justify why you're going to be listening to my story. I need the story to justify why you have to do this ridiculous game play."

Into the Gloom (Emmanuel Ramos, 2014)

25:40 "It reminded me a lot of playing games when I was a teenager."

27:50 "I gave up near the end because I found it quite frustrating."

37:40 "It's definitely a game where you have to take it on its own terms."

Download the podcast MP3 or play it right here in your browser:

References

You can subscribe directly to Counterweight via iTunes or RSS.

27Oct/140

When Is It OK To Spoil A Mechanic?

kompendium-extra-exuberant-struggle

My latest Rock Paper Shotgun piece went up a few hours ago. It contrasts Michael Brough's local multiplayer epic Kompendium with Alexander "droqen" Martin’s Starseed Pilgrim, highlighting how both games have a spoilery exterior that prevents you from talking about them in too much detail.

Here's an excerpt:

We were locked in a duel with unknown rules – so we talked rather than competed, exchanging theories about what we were supposed to do. Even though each game in Kompendium is a fight to the win, the ambiguity of its rules means players often start out in a cooperative struggle against a common enemy: the opaque system.

Of course, there’s a dangerous point after this where the fog lifts more quickly for one player than the other and they acquire the knowledge to win. I figured out “March Eternal” before Gregg did and had to consider whether to explain to him what I had figured out. I considered it and then I destroyed him.

Why not go and read it?