Electron Dance

Electron Dance Highlights

18Dec/1412

The Feng Shui of Minecraft

feng-shui-origins

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.

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16Dec/140

Side by Side: Barabariball

Side by Side is a video series on local multiplayer games. This is episode 6 of 15.

This week Joel Goodwin of Electron Dance and Gregg Burnell of Tap-Repeatedly get rough in the amazing Barabariball. Watch the video here or direct on YouTube.

  • "It's not unlike something like Crouching Tiger."
  • "Like Nidhogg isn't for your average person, Barabariball isn't for your average player."
  • "Whoosh! Oh, you've gone. Whoosh! Oh, you've gone again."
  • We played Barabariball as part of the Sportsfriends beta, although we first experienced the game at Eurogamer Expo 2012
  • 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.

13Dec/142

The Conversation, 4: Turn Off The Recorder

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, in part two, the restrained ambitions of AAA. and part three touched on financial success and multiplayer. This is the final part.

Moiety

Moiety

While we headed towards his flat, Dan Stubbs made a stray observation that perhaps Mike Bithell is “betraying” his audience making a Metal Gear Solid game when they probably bought into him for more Thomas Was Alone. But we didn’t discuss the problem of developers trying to buck their stereotype (like Chris Park from AI War to Tidalis) and focused instead on Metal Gear Solid, because Stubbs loved that game, even though it is well-known for, er, cutscenes.

Metal Gear Solid is pure opera,” he mused. “It has events that are so much larger than life and is fantastic because of it. People moan about the insanely long cutscenes but they're as much a part of it as anything else.”

“It's why people buy it,” I added.

“I think Metal Gear Solid is one of the best narrative games because it is so self-aware about what it is doing, about the fact that it is so completely ludicrous and over the top. But it's playful - and I think this is one of the most important things - there's far too many cutscenes that aren't, just portentous doom-laden things, where Very Serious Things happen.”

We crossed the road.

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9Dec/145

Side by Side: Tomb of Rooms

Side by Side is a video series on local multiplayer games. This is episode 5 of 15.

This week Joel Goodwin of Electron Dance and Gregg Burnell of Tap-Repeatedly get lost in co-op survival horror Tomb of Rooms. Watch the video here or direct on YouTube.

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

2Dec/146

Siteseeing: Clones, Simulations and Male Escorts

It’s been awhile since the last link roundup. This week, Link Drag is called Siteseeing.

  • When is a clone not a clone?
  • What does Slingo reveal about casual game design?
  • Why are professional computer simulations becoming more like games?
  • How do you run a store like itch.io?
  • What’s wrong with game journalism?
  • What does the male escort market tell us about sexuality?
  • Why am I watching this anime music video oh my god jesus god?

Find the links below.

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Filed under: Link Drag 6 Comments
1Dec/146

Side by Side: M.U.L.E.

Side by Side is a video series on local multiplayer games. This is episode 4 of 15.

This week Joel Goodwin of Electron Dance and Gregg Burnell of Tap-Repeatedly take a look at the legendary M.U.L.E. by Ozark Softscape. Watch the video here or direct on YouTube.

  • We played the original Atari 8-bit version of M.U.L.E. using the Altirra emulator
  • Supports 1-4 players
  • There is a free modern remake available on Planet M.U.L.E. that can be played offline or online
  • There was also a remake called Space HoRSE published over a decade ago, that was not allowed to take "M.U.L.E." name
  • 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.

27Nov/144

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.

conv3-minecraft

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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Filed under: Longform 5 Comments