Electron Dance

Electron Dance Highlights

26Jan/1510

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Cat Videos

This is the second part of The Petri Dish trilogy. The first part was on the inexplicable anger of complete strangers.

cat stare

Imagine you are the editor of a television newsroom. Your viewers don’t have time to digest every news story because the world is a big place. It’s your job to prioritise and package this information, just give them the important facts. Your desk is cluttered with stories, some of which are still developing and the truth is unclear. Your gaze skims across them.

Boko Haram continuing to wreak mayhem in Nigeria. Death toll from fighting in Libya continues to rise. Fears that Russian troops are operating within Ukraine. IS continues to make gains in Iraq, forcing Obama to send the troops in, again. Unrest in Ferguson over the police shooting of Michael Brown. Bill Cosby is in the news, but not for good reasons. Greek government workers take down most of the country’s infrastructure in a protest against austerity. Women are dying in India after a mass-sterilization exercise goes badly wrong. European space probe lands on a comet – but will it stay there? Bird flu virus has been discovered in the Netherlands. The World Chess Championship is taking place. 18 people are killed by a fire in carrot packaging plant in Shandong.

I lied. You’re not an editor of a newsroom but a social media addict.

Every day you live the flood, your smartphone saturated with raw news, often lacking context, often buried in strong personal bias. No one is going to pay you to figure out the truth or decide what events are more important than others.

How do you deal with this?

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Filed under: Longform 10 Comments
20Jan/158

Side by Side: Get On Top

Side by Side is a video series on local multiplayer games. This is episode 9 of 15.

This week Joel Goodwin of Electron Dance and Gregg Burnell of Tap-Repeatedly lose their heads with Bennett Foddy's Get On Top, a sumo-em-up. Watch the video here or direct on YouTube.

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

17Jan/1518

As Good As It Gets

This is the first part of The Petri Dish trilogy.

I wasn’t sure if it was my kind of thing, but when IndieGameStand sent me an indie first-person shooter as their latest offering, I picked it up without too much thought. I didn’t realise it was an alpha until after I’d installed it. It was starting to bother me that I kept buying alpha games off IndieGameStand without realising it, somehow they never seemed to make that fact prominent enough, that the “sale” was actually an early access funding drive.

The game was a total twitchfest and I’m not very good at this sort of thing any more, my thumbs don't snap into place like they used to, but I made a good fist of it. My son was entertained for awhile watching me, but I always tended to flounder and die after a few levels.

Still, I like to follow videogame people on Twitter at random, just to inject a little unknown into my feed. If I find them offensive or frustrating, I’ll mute or unfollow and be done with it.

I followed the developer of the game... and he tested my patience.

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Filed under: Longform 18 Comments
13Jan/158

The Family That Plays Together

minecraft-family-mummy

Since becoming parents, my wife and I have been terrible at carving out special time to spend together. The last two films we watched together in the cinema were: Inception and Guardians of the Galaxy. If you check out IMDB you'll discover these films define a gap of four years.

Although we always talk over the serious events of today and the serious plans of tomorrow during the post-dinner cleanup, we inevitably end up doing things separately to maximise productivity and are rarely free at the same time. And as we exist in a perpetual state of near-exhaustion, if we do attempt to snuggle up in front of the TV in the evening, the warm comfort of another body means at least one of us ends up watching a dream instead of a film.

We just don’t seem to do things together any more. That is until Minecraft (Mojang, 2011) came along.

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Filed under: Longform 8 Comments
12Jan/150

Side by Side: Gravity Series

Side by Side is a video series on local multiplayer games. This is episode 8 of 15.

This week Joel Goodwin of Electron Dance and Gregg Burnell of Tap-Repeatedly have a go at Niall Moody's Gravity Series, a suite of games based on attract/repel mechanics. Watch the video here or direct on YouTube.

  • "Attract, repel, attract, repel, attract, repel."
  • "There may be more to be done here."
  • Due to the VAT changes in Europe, Gravity Series has been taken down from itch.io and is currently unavailable. Moody hopes to make it available again in the future.
  • 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.

23Dec/142

Top 10 Electron Dance Articles of 2014

spheresofchaos2012-3

Electron Dance is going to sleep for a couple of weeks! Read on to discover the top ten articles this year on Electron Dance. That's right, I've finally written a fucking top ten list. EPIC.

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22Dec/142

Side by Side: JS Joust on Windows

Side by Side is a video series on local multiplayer games. This is episode 7 of 15.

This week Joel Goodwin of Electron Dance and Gregg Burnell of Tap-Repeatedly have a go at playing Johann Sebastian Joust on Windows. Watch the video here or direct on YouTube.

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

20Dec/140

Links: Christmas Toast Anecdotes in HD

  • Are emotive anecdotes doing as much harm as good?
  • Are you one of those Christmas people?
  • Have you read that deeply-researched piece on the Deus Ex sequels that never happened?
  • What are the ethics of free-to-play design?
  • What does David Simon really think about The Wire being released in HD format?
  • How do you make toast?
  • Why do recent GTAs seem more unpleasant than earlier editions?

Find your seven click escapes below.

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Filed under: Link Drag No Comments
19Dec/141

Counterweight 15: Banished

banished-graphs
In this penultimate episode of Counterweight, Eric Brasure of Trekabout and Joel Goodwin discuss fiendish resource management game Banished (Shining Rock Software, 2014). Eric has 70 hours of Banished play under his belt, so he knows what he's talking about.

Contents

02:20 "You just like seeing the numbers going up and everything doing well"

03:40 "At it's core, it's very much a keep-these-people-alive sort of game"

04:40 "I like the fact there is no combat, it's not about fighting or defending territory"

07:20 "I was very concerned... that the other shoe was going to drop at any moment."

09:00 "So it is a very, very unforgiving game, but I think that's one of the reasons why I like it"

10:40 "It's amazing that this game was made by one person, frankly"

13:30 "That's a very controversial design decision actually"

19:20 "The game can collapse on you at any point, though"

25:30 "I never felt that it was the game's fault."

32:30 "I didn't tend to think of people as individuals but I tended to make stories of the town."

35:20 "You suddenly realise this little walk they do... is a significant amount of game time."

39:30 "And the game is just saying You know what? You're going to have to suck it up and learn."

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

References

You can subscribe directly to Counterweight via iTunes or RSS.

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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