Electron Dance reader Ketchua brought Cradle (Flying Cafe for Semianimals, 2015) to my attention many years ago and something about its look stood out. Its release last year seem to go largely unnoticed although Adam Smith gave it a glowing review on Rock Paper Shotgun.
Cradle is gripping, featuring a complex sci-fi story that is serious and unexpectedly bleak: but holy Jesus it has some problems.
On the theme park island of The Witness, you solve puzzles. Solving puzzles leads to more puzzles. Keep working. Keep digging. Keep solving. Again and again and again. But this process cannot continue forever. Where does The Witness end? And why?
At last, it is here: The Unbearable Now is a spoiler-filled interpretation of The Witness (Thelka, 2016) that’s been months in the making. It is laced with a few choice expletives, but definitely no gore. Or nudity.
Watch the film below or direct on YouTube.
- Futilitris, Twinbeard Studios
- Braid, Number None
- Sokobond, Hazelden & Lee
- The Talos Principle, Croteam
- Full Bore, Whole Hog Games
- The Last Mimzy
- The Karate Kid
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day
- Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- The Matrix
- The Witness Consciousness - Vashishta Cave Talk With Anand
- MBSR Widening the Circle Video
- Worakls "Toi"
- N'To "Trauma" (Worakls Remix)
- Fauré Requiem Op.48, Angus Dei (perf. by The Sixteen)
- Worakls "Salzburg"
- Edvard Greig, Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op 46, Anitra's Dance (perf. by Metropolitan Philharmonic Orchestra)
- Edvard Greig, Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op 46, In the Hall of the Mountain King (perf. by Metropolitan Philharmonic Orchestra)
- b.lakes "Cemetary Walk"
- The.madpix.project "Bad Chick"
- Edvard Greig, Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op 46, Death of Åse (perf. by Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra)
- Howlround "A Viewless Sea"
- Mikael Fyrek "Bathing in a River of Discordant Music"
- Push-Pull "Liquid Mountain"
- Lecyr "Luminautore"
- Teho "Ade"
- Rémy Bourgeois "Nostalgic Memories"
- Rémy Bourgeois "Few Minutes of Us"
- Boris Brejcha "Lost Memory"
- Taming the Inexplicable, Liz Ryerson
- The Meaning of the Witness, Sean Han-Tani-Chen-Hogan
- The Witness: What It Means, Jeff Grubb
- The Witness - A Great Game That You Shouldn't Play, Joseph Anderson (YouTube)
A video essay on Minecraft's survival mode.
Proteus indulges the fable of the “simple life” where we co-exist peacefully with the ecosystem. It asks me to lose myself in the majesty of nature and its joyous, playful manner is beguiling... but the code protects the island above all else. We cannot even take a blade of grass or petal of a flower with us and we leave no footprints behind. Violations of Proteus law are forbidden. Nature is immutable. Nature is God.
Watch the video here or direct on YouTube.
- Video by Joel Goodwin
- Minecraft, Mojang
- Proteus, Key & Kanaga
- Mountain Men, History Channel
- Space 1999 "Breakaway"
- Space 1999 "Dragon's Domain"
From the album Minecraft - Volume Beta by C418:
- "The End"
- "Ballad of the Cats"
Perhaps you’re at home. Perhaps you’re on a train. The location doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you’re enjoying your current favourite rogueish-type-like. You think you’re on top of your game, got all the enemy moves figured out. Yeah, baby, you know what to do.
And then something goes horribly wrong.
You just click, click, click quickly through three moves in one go, as if you’re trying to beat the computer before it gets in a countermove.
And of course you don't get to be quicker than the computer because the game is turn-based. No, you get to die. You die, because you were stupid.
You’ve just experienced a brain phenomenon I call the roguerush. What the hell happened there?
This month we're celebrating FIVE YEARS of Electron Dance!
Welcome, welcome all. Today I present the most definitive of lists, the one you’ve waited five years for.
This is the nine most popular posts on Electron Dance.
Maybe you've had nightmares like this too. Finding yourself stuck in the middle of an impossible nowhere with no hope of getting back to the safe and familiar. I stared at the unending maw of the ocean, a handful of sand teeth poking through the surface. This did not look like the kind of world I could survive in.
I discarded the desert island world and asked for another. This time I was presented with trees. Pigs. Snow-capped mountains. A pond.
And then I began playing Minecraft (Mojang, 2011) for the first time.
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.
Look, this is going to be a short post as I am still working on resurrecting my PC. The above image from Watch Dogs (Ubisoft Montreal, 2014) snowballed on Twitter this month. Perhaps the one with 2,000 retweets is the original although I've found a mention of this unfortunate juxtaposition back in June on the Giant Bomb forums:
How about after his tear jerking moment at the grave, you are immediately presented with a "Vault" prompt on the tombstone. I hoped over my niece's grave 4 times, having a good laugh at how silly it was.
It's true. Over the grave of the protagonist’s niece hovers a ghost. A ghost called Vault. This means we can finally discard that monstrosity ludonarrative dissonance and instead write the game vaults the grave.
It’s a brilliant example of where systems clash with narrative intent but... also misses the point.
This is an appendix to the Where We Came From series.
For Mercenary, author Paul Woakes, has created what can only be described as a world simulator. The first release using this technique is sub-titled "Escape From Targ".
– Mercenary: Escape from Targ instructions
Paul Woakes’ debut title on the Atari 8-bit home computer was a tense and memorable re-imagining of Battlezone (Atari, 1980) called Encounter! (Novagen Software, 1984), using vibrant raster graphics instead of the flickering green wireframes of the Atari arcade original. It quickly became a favourite for Atari owners who liked their action games to be fast and responsive.
Shortly after, hints of Woakes’ followup title began to seep into the news sections of computer magazines. What could Atari owners expect next from a developer whose first title had conquered the action genre?
A first-person 3D open world offering intrigue and complete freedom to explore a planet.
But I'm going to add a little bit more here, a Quarries anecdote from the weekend. Minor mechanical spoilers.