Electron Dance

Electron Dance Highlights

4Sep/12Off

The Yellow Pyramid

At A Distance montage

The first rule of Terry Cavanagh’s At A Distance is you do not talk about Terry Cavanagh’s At A Distance. The second rule is You Do Not Talk About Te-- wait, I got that wrong. The second rule is no smoking.

Gregg B and I took on At A Distance when I stayed over at his place in April. We’ve decided to talk about our experience and break the Fight Club rule. The following discussion is riddled with spoilers for At A Distance, including the ending.

HM: Okay, kick us off Gregg.

GB: I played At A Distance a little at the Eurogamer Expo last year but wanted to savour it in the peace and quiet of my own home with a friend. At the time I didn't realise it was an 'event' game. To be honest I expected to play it with my girlfriend but when you said you were wanting to pay me a visit it was an opportunity not to be missed. So after a while setting it up we started playing this thing. And it is a ‘thing’ because it's quite unlike anything else.

HM: I wasn't sure what to expect. It looked interesting - with a modern take on those ZX Spectrum dithered graphics seen in games such as Driller and Castle Master.

GB: Yeah you showed me those after we'd finished. It reminded me of screenshots I'd seen of 3D Construction Set for the Amiga or ZX Spectrum and little did I know they were created by the same developers of the Freescape engine and Driller.

HM: Let's explain how we played and what we worked out, right until the point where we “finished”. So there are two players with different screens. One playing "left brain" and another "right brain". Took us a little while to get the networking sorted out but it wasn't too much of a task. 

Read More »

28Aug/12Off

Seven People, One Podcast

Pippin Barr, AJ, Gregg B, Ed Key, Doug Wilson, Shaun Green, Joel Goodwin

This week I present an eclectic podcast assembled from material left over from the Cat's Away conversations. Forty minutes with seven different voices, containing a diverse selection of topics. Did you consider the parallels between the board game Space Alert and Johann Sebastian Joust? Is the fashionable "indie is punk" metaphor overrated?

Click onwards if you are interested...

Read More »

24Jul/12Off

Cat’s Away Chronicles V

The final part of a series of video interviews I conducted while my wife and children were away in Japan. Two days before they returned, I talked to Die Gute Fabrik's Doug Wilson, some dude who made some game called Johann Sebastian Joust.

Warning, this video contains A MYSTERIOUS SPECIAL GUEST IN THE BACKGROUND. Who is it?

Topics covered:

  • The challenge of selling Ramiro Corbetta's Hokra
  • Likewise, Joust
  • Playing Joust on the move
  • Spielplatz
  • The board game Space Alert
  • I playtest Mysterious Special Guest's work-in-progress game
  • I suck up to Doug by telling him the other interviewees were just sucking up to me
  • I am really fucking tired
  • ASTONISHING REVELATION: The Little Harbour Master's name
  • Sorry about picture quality, Doug asked do you want the light on and I said no because I was really fucking tired and wasn't thinking
  • The final Schafer vs Hofmeier deathmatch

Read More »

10Jul/12Off

Cat’s Away Chronicles IV

The fourth of a five-part video series. This time I hunt down Pippin Barr. He who hath made Epic Sax Game, Let's Play: Ancient Greek Punishment and The Artist Is Present.

Joel and Pippin in a park

Warning, this video contains two guys talking in a relaxed manner in a park. And:

  • Why did Pippin Barr start making games?
  • Was the whirlwind of media attention for The Artist Is Present delightful or damaging?
  • "I don't like working with other people" is a quote I will totally use out of context
  • I call out Pippin's games as "absurdist masochism" - he nods
  • I call Pippin's games "jokes" - he nods
  • I say his games have no win condition - Pippin stops nodding
  • Is making games more fun than playing them?
  • Schafer vs Hofmeier deathmatch

Read More »

12Jun/12Off

Cat’s Away Chronicles III

The third of a five-part video series. This time I harass Ed Key. Yes, Ed Key, developer of Proteus.

Warning, this video contains colours&music. And:

  • How Proteus is as much Kanaga as it is Key
  • Wait, how much detail is coded into this thing?
  • Proteus reference points
  • I say awesomestupidthing "games which aren't games" when the correct phrasing eludes and deludes me
  • Schafer vs Hofmeier deathmatch

Read More »

22May/12Off

Cat’s Away Chronicles II

The second of a five-part video series. This time I abuse the hospitality of Gregg B of Tap-Repeatedly!

Contains swearing, violence... actually there's barely any swearing. Although there is a suggestion of cross-dressing. What you will discover in the video:

I'm grateful to Gregg and Hailey for putting me up and putting up with me for two whole nights.

Relevant Links

Previous Episodes

The third episode was posted on 12 June.

17Apr/12Off

Cat’s Away Chronicles I

The first of a five-part video series. This week I drink myself into a stupor with Shaun Green and AJ of Arcadian Rhythms.

Contains swearing, violence and nudity. Actually there's only swearing. What you will discover in the video:

  • Why write about video games?
  • Why does AJ have a love/hate relationship with GameFAQs?
  • Cutscenes: to play or to skip?
  • How gamers on the fringe need the mainstream
  • The shocking truth that Shaun has a thing for Lyle Fernandez of Mindjack
  • Schafer vs Hofmeier deathmatch

Referenced links:

The second episode was posted on 22 May. Sorry about some of crackling on the audio; the rest of the series is crackle-less.