Electron Dance

Electron Dance Highlights

27Nov/142

Side by Side DLC: Kompendium in Action

Side by Side is a video series on local multiplayer games.

In episode 3, Gregg and Joel talked about Kompendium by Michael Brough. Here's a tasty slice of DLC for the episode - Joel's children take on Kompendium!

Watch the video here or direct on YouTube. 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.

24Nov/140

The Conversation, 3: Win Cash Prizes

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 and in part two, the restrained ambitions of AAA.

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What is The Hit?

When I originally arranged to meet Dan Stubbs I thought of it as a GTA open world with a bit of dynamic narrative trickery, but as time went by, I realised I was trying to visualise a ten-dimensional object in my head: all I could see was a three-dimensional slice of the whole. Stubbs had said that giant AAA projects were “like a collection of different things” but that’s all I really appreciated of The Hit.

“I'm taking development at my own pace,” he told me, still in the coffee shop, forced to listen to an endless torrent of the 80's greatest hits. “So if you make your own world, I want you to put your own money up so that if people can beat your own story or win whatever goal you set, they actually have a reason to play it.”

Beat your own story. Or win whatever goal you set? This didn’t sound like the GTA open world with emergent narrative system I had pictured in my head... it sounded more player-authored?

“Whether they are winning pennies or a fortune, whatever, it doesn't matter. But I love the possibility of advertisers being able to have a ‘Cokeworld’ and you actually go there because you think you can win money. Or film tie-ins or something.”

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Time to talk about money. And ethics.

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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/147

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

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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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Filed under: Longform 10 Comments