Electron Dance

Electron Dance Highlights

22Aug/188

The Glory of the Infinite Sea

This is the first part of the Subnautica Season. This essay contains spoilers for the early hours of Subnautica and describes the limitations of the game’s environment.

John Lilly

The guy who says he can talk to dolphins

Said he was in an aquarium

And there was this big whale

Swimming around and around in his tank

And the whale kept asking him questions

Telepathically

And one of the questions the whale kept asking was

"Do all oceans have walls?"

“John Lilly”, Laurie Anderson

In the beginning, there was the escape pod.

And lo, it was good. It was so good, I wanted to live inside the pod forever. However, my rations consisted of two weetabix. For dessert, a slice of starvation.

There was no choice but to leave the womb so I popped open the overhead hatch - and beheld the great glory of the infinite sea.

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Filed under: Longform 8 Comments
21Aug/180

Side by Side: Anyball

Side by Side is a video series on local multiplayer games. This is the fourth series, episode 4 of 11.

Knowing the rules of the game is so yesterday. Every time you play Anyball, the game smashes together a random set of rules then asks the players to figure it out. And maybe the first player to do so will win? As Joel Goodwin of Electron Dance and Gregg Burnell of Tap-Repeatedly show, there's something a little Foddyesque, of purposeful chaos, to Anyball. Anyball is still in development - but this episode should certainly whet your appetite.

If you enjoy the series, please like our videos and subscribe to our channel.

Watch the video here or direct on YouTube.


14Aug/180

Side by Side: Tuned Out

Side by Side is a video series on local multiplayer games. This is the fourth series, episode 3 of 11.

Tuned Out is a cornucopia of simple little competitive games. But if you're doing poorly at the game, you can just change the channel and play something else instead! Joel Goodwin of Electron Dance and Gregg Burnell of Tap-Repeatedly are here to tell you all about Tuned Out which is still in development.

If you enjoy the series, please like our videos and subscribe to our channel.

Watch the video here or direct on YouTube.


8Aug/188

The Laboratory of Logic

This is the thirteeneth part of The Ouroboros Sequence, a series on puzzle games.

In the “secret” addendum video to The Unbearable Now, I briefly mentioned I liked how the panel puzzles in The Witness (Thekla Inc, 2016) felt like little laboratories. That is, each puzzle was a self-contained experiment and it was practically encouraged to review them.

In fact, most logic puzzles can be framed as laboratories in the same way, but few games embrace this as well as The Witness.

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7Aug/180

Side by Side: Muddledash

Side by Side is a video series on local multiplayer games. This is the fourth series, episode 2 of 11.

It's true, you've always wished to play a game where octopi race around crazy levels desperate to be the one who arrives at a party with a present. Well, Joel Goodwin of Electron Dance and Gregg Burnell of Tap-Repeatedly are pleased to introduce Muddledash in which this very thing happens. One snag: there's only one present!

If you enjoy the series, please like our videos and subscribe to our channel.

Watch the video here or direct on YouTube.

1Aug/180

Side by Side: Regular Human Basketball

Side by Side is a video series on local multiplayer games. This is the fourth series, episode 1 of 11.

We're returning to a shortform format for this series.

In the first episode, Joel Goodwin of Electron Dance and Gregg Burnell of Tap-Repeatedly throw levers of giant robots in an attempt to win Regular Human Basketball! It might look gentle and slow but it's really nothing of the sort. Let's shoot some hoops!

If you enjoy the series, please like our videos and subscribe to our channel.

Watch the video here or direct on YouTube.

 

31Jul/1814

Discussion: The Rogue and The Artiste

This month's newsletter is a bonus episode of The Ouroboros Sequence (sign up if you want to read it):

A gloom hangs over an unsolved dance puzzle, a dread we might be in Turn 1 Dick Move territory. You made a mistake several steps back... and now it’s unfolding right in your face.

Dear subscribers, if you feel like chatting about anything at all from the newsletter, please speak your mind in the comments here.

30Jul/183

Penetrate the Night: The Movie

And while you’re mulling these questions over… grind will see you through. Grind is easy. It asks no questions of you. It offers routine. It promises progress. Keep all the numbers rising, players love their sultry numbers. But they are a mere illusion of progress, a distraction from the frustration. And there… there is the trap.

Here is the next Electron Dance film, a theatrical re-enactment of Penetrate the Night, which considers the addictive qualities of Cultist Simulator (Weather Factory, 2018).

Watch the film below or direct on YouTube.

 

FEATURED GAMES

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SPECIAL THANKS

  • Andy Durdin
  • Gregg Burnell
  • droqen
25Jul/1819

Repetitive Strain

This is the eleventh part of The Ouroboros Sequence, a series on puzzle games.

Chromatron 4

Sooooo… I was trying to put together a few words building on some of the Ouroboros comment discussions. It started out as a short thought experiment but I kept expanding on it until I realised this was sort of a deep dive. Welcome to inside baseball, puzzle edition.

Do not think of this as My Magnum Opus Thesis of Puzzle Design but just a guy trying to get a handle on certain concepts. I’m happy to be shot down, have a contradiction identified or be told I’ve forgotten something.

Let's talk about the “laboriousness” of turn-based logic puzzles, because if a puzzle feels like hard work, you’re more likely to throw in the towel rather than complete the thing. The idea of a puzzle as a chore keeps coming up. Compare the "laboriousness" of Sokoban to something like a contemporary laser reflection puzzle.

But what do we mean by laboriousness? What causes it?

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15Jul/1812

Virgin Lands

This is the tenth part of The Ouroboros Sequence, a series on puzzle games.

Opus Magnum

In the last two Ouroboros essays, we’ve talked about how puzzle design iteration is innovative and examined a particular design lineage.

In this article, effectively the final part of a trilogy on puzzle innovation, I want to head away from well-worn genres and talk about designs which feel more fresh.

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