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The Old Man of the Sea

Proteus is a beautiful game by Ed Key with no goals except admiring natural features and exploring a procedurally generated island [some spoilers in videos], modeled loosely after the open land near Key's parents' home in Cumbria. The game also features "reactively mixed" ambient electronic music (think 'chiptune Boards of Canada') composed by David Kanaga, which changes and shifts according to your physical context. Though only in v0.1, it has already won critical accolades, as well as an award for The Most Amazing Indie Game at A MAZE 2012.
posted by p3on on May 31, 2012 - 50 comments

Minecraft in Spaaaaaace!

Starforge is a game of mining, building and survival. Sound familiar? Wait until you see the video. It's free to play, and the alpha/tech-demo is downloadable right now. (Forum, sub-reddit). Notch approves. [more inside]
posted by empath on May 31, 2012 - 38 comments

"Then he hit a demon. Then he hit another demon. Then he hit the demon again. Then he hit it again."

Slo’ugh froze suddenly, gazing at his three new sets of gloves with an unblinking intensity. All that moved, for three long, silent minutes, was his eyes. They stared at first one pair of gloves, then the other pair, then the third, and then back to the first and then to second and then to the third and then to the first again and then to the second again and then to the third, and so it repeated. After a time, Slo’ugh shook himself out of his mysterious reverie and pulled the first pair of gloves onto his huge, meaty hands. He scowled, and immediately removed then. The second pair saw the honour of being donned by his heroic hands, but were similarly dispatched. On went the third, and then Slo’ugh froze again. Stared again. He grunted, and decided ultimately on the first pair.
-- The Saga of Slo'ugh - An Unofficial Diablo III novelization.
posted by empath on May 28, 2012 - 56 comments

How was your day, honey?

Gamer Mom is a short piece of interactive fiction about a mom who plays games, and her family that doesn't. [more inside]
posted by empath on May 25, 2012 - 70 comments

If you liked the verbal portion of the SAT, but hated the monster portion...

Kingdom of Loathing creator Jick and the rest of the Asymmetric crew have spent the last four years developing a new game. Next month, the beta for the game is coming out: Word Realms! Make sure to watch the video, it's full of hilarity. [more inside]
posted by Night_owl on May 25, 2012 - 28 comments

The guide to implementing 2d platformers

Having previously been disappointed by the information available on the topic, this is my attempt at categorizing different ways to implement 2D platform games, list their strengths and weaknesses, and discuss some implementation details.
posted by Artw on May 24, 2012 - 33 comments

Taxpayer Entertainment Ltd

Curt Schilling, a former Major League Baseball pitcher, retired with an eye toward making games. His 38 Studios bought Big Huge Games, some big-name talent, and got started with Kingdoms of Amalur... with the help of a $75 million guaranteed loan from the state of Rhode Island (not without controversy). The game was good but not great and sales were likewise good but not great. Not great enough to cover the payments on a $75 million loan, anyway, not to mention payroll, and Rhode Island is likely on the hook.
posted by gilrain on May 18, 2012 - 169 comments

Evil is Back

You may have heard that evil is returning to Sanctuary tonight. Your Diablo 3 launch day preparation guide includes opening cinematics, a cartoon, the story so far, a primer on the new Auction House (now with real money), and build guides for the Demon Hunter, Barbarian, Monk, and Witch Doctor. Since no one at Blizzard beat Diablo 3's Inferno difficulty, death is guaranteed.
posted by Avenger50 on May 14, 2012 - 311 comments

7 Hungry Hippos were harmed during the making of the film.

In the official video for "Get By" by Delta Heavy, animator Ian Robertson found new ways to 'play' with some familiar games (scroll down for entertaining Production Notes). Robertson's previous works include the stop-motion "Lyrical Spread" and "A Beard Film" and the live-action "The Phone Box".
posted by oneswellfoop on May 10, 2012 - 5 comments

Lexcavator

"Lexcavator is an arcade/word game for Mac, PC, and Linux. The goal: guide your guy (@) deeper into an infinite of letters by clearing words from the board! Multiple game modes, detailed record-keeping, online global leaderboards—there's something here for everybody! Pay what you want (even $0, if you are so inclined)." [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by davidjmcgee on May 10, 2012 - 13 comments

Sex Game

Psychotherapist and Game Designer Nicolau Chaud talks to Kotaku about his RPG Polymorphous Perversity. He has chronicled his experiences creating the game on his blog He has given earlier interviews here and here. Chaud is also the designer behind the controversial Beautiful Escape: Dungeoneer. (All links NSFW).
posted by dortmunder on May 9, 2012 - 23 comments

Player of Games

Iain M. Banks talks about his favorite games.
posted by Artw on May 9, 2012 - 72 comments

Your favorite dialog tree imperfectly matches the enviroment it allegedly pertains to

There’s no nice way to say this, but it needs to be said: video games, with very few exceptions, are dumb. And they’re not just dumb in the gleeful, winking way that a big Hollywood movie is dumb; they’re dumb in the puerile, excruciatingly serious way that a grown man in latex elf ears reciting an epic poem about Gandalf is dumb. Aside from a handful of truly smart games, tentpole titles like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Call of Duty: Black Ops tend to be so silly and so poorly written that they make Michael Bay movies look like the Godfather series. Taylor Clark's Atlantic profile of Braid creator Jonathan Blow has prompted some strong reactions. Are videogames dumb? Is hard to make them not dumb? Are most things dumb anyway?
posted by Artw on May 6, 2012 - 179 comments

Team Fortress Classic

Team Fortress Classic was a multiplayer mod for Half-Life 1. It featured a very unique gameplay element called a concussion grenade that allowed players to fly across the map at high speeds (learn about the history of TFC movement here). During the time it was played competitively, The Catacombs community put together Plays of the Week (Youtube Playlist) Some other videos: Skillout; Last Dinosaur 2; Logistica
posted by Cloud King on May 5, 2012 - 22 comments

Observing the "burn jita" player event

Observing the "burn jita" player event
posted by Cloud King on May 2, 2012 - 47 comments

Bye Bay Baby Bye Bay

Pirate Bay to be blocked By UK ISPs. "File-sharing site The Pirate Bay must be blocked by UK internet service providers, the High Court has ruled." [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Apr 30, 2012 - 400 comments

Zerg Rush

Zerg Rush (more)
posted by Artw on Apr 27, 2012 - 46 comments

Selection of Stories

A couple years ago, we had our Choice of Dragons and of Broadsides. Since then, the authors have released Choice of the Vampire, in which your newly made vampire (potentially a Lestat type, but just as likely a Creole watchmaker or an illiterate backwoodsman) navigates the 19th Century American South; the fantasy diptych Choice of Romances and Choice of Intrigues, in which your initial choices determine the gender normativity of the game world as well as the temperament of your hero; and, most recently, Choice of Zombies, a fleet game that concentrates on action, relationships, and high-stakes decisions.
posted by Iridic on Apr 27, 2012 - 13 comments

Judit Polgár

Judit Polgár is the greatest female chess player in history. The product of an educational experiment by her father, she was the first to break Bobby Fischer's record as the youngest-ever grandmaster - by which time she had already stopped competing in women-only tournaments. In 2002, she avenged an earlier controversial loss to Garry Kasparov - the first time in any sport that the No. 1 ranked female player has beaten the No. 1 ranked male player. At her peak, ranked 8th in the world, she became the first woman to compete for the World Championship. After several years of reduced activity spent raising her two children, Polgár returned to full-time competition - making it to the quarter-finals of the 2011 FIDE World Cup. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Apr 24, 2012 - 55 comments

Zelda Flipnote

Flipnote Studio lets you create animations with a stylus on Nintendo's DSi handheld console. Nintendo had a contest to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Zelda, and the quality of submissions was high (higher than this, anyway). Personal favorite: Michi from Japan's Duck Amuck homage. [more inside]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Apr 23, 2012 - 4 comments

Embrace the colour clash!

The ZX Spectrum's chief designers reunited 30 years on, discussing what became 80s Britain's most popular home computer and gaming platform, despite stiff competition from the technically superior Commodore 64.
posted by Artw on Apr 23, 2012 - 59 comments

Making Games

The Valve Employee Handbook [PDF]. An oral history of computer gaming, with Sid Meier (Civillisation I - V, Pirates!, Railroad Tycoon) and Ralph Baer (Pong, the Simon platform), from Vice TV's Motherboard. Also: interviews with classic computer game programmers: Eugene Jarvis (Robotron: 2084, Defender), Jeff Minter (Gridrunner, Revenge Of The Mutant Camels, Gridrunner, Llamatron) and many more, together with the Giant List of Classic Game Programmers. (Previously, a decade ago).
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Apr 21, 2012 - 28 comments

Gloomy Negative Automatic Thoughts PWND

"SPARX is an effective resource for adolescents with depressive symptoms. It is at least as good as treatment as usual, would be cheaper and easier to disseminate, and could be used to increase access to therapy. It could provide access to treatment for young people who may be reluctant to have more conventional therapy."

It's a video game that teaches cognitive behavior theraputic techniques.
posted by MrVisible on Apr 20, 2012 - 17 comments

jmp TRIGSPIKES

Jordan Mechner has posted the source code for the original Apple ][ version of Prince of Persia to GitHub. (Previously.)
posted by Cash4Lead on Apr 17, 2012 - 61 comments

Human chess

Every other year since 1923, the town of Marostica in Italy has staged a recreation of a human chess game played in 1454 between two noblemen for the hand of the castle lord's daughter. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Apr 15, 2012 - 13 comments

A Serious House on Serious Earth

Arkham City Art Direction And Semiotics part 1, part 2, part 3.
posted by Artw on Apr 12, 2012 - 9 comments

The Atlantic Profiles Game Artiste Jon Blow

The Most Dangerous Gamer The Atlantic profiles game developer Jon Blow, most famous for creating the acclaimed and philosophical Braid, now working on "puzzle-exploration" game The Witness. Blow aims to make The Witness a groundbreaking piece of interactive art—a sort of Citizen Kane of video games...“Things are pared down to the basic acts of movement and observation until those senses become refined,” he told me. “The further you go into the game, the more it’s not even about the thinking mind anymore—it becomes about the intuitive mind.” (previously, previously)
posted by shivohum on Apr 11, 2012 - 74 comments

Dark Souls PC

Dark Souls, the critically acclaimed hardcore RPG released last year, is coming to PC!
posted by Cloud King on Apr 11, 2012 - 80 comments

36 Pongs

Pongs (browser game, Flash) is Pippin Barr's exploration of a tiny corner of the game design universe: 36 variations of Pong.
posted by nobody on Apr 11, 2012 - 12 comments

Indie Games! For Free!

"Hi, my name’s Terry Cavanagh [previously], and I’m an indie game developer. I started this blog in March 2012 to talk about the sort of freeware games that I find interesting, and to share those games with more people. Thank you for reading!" [more inside]
posted by davidjmcgee on Apr 10, 2012 - 15 comments

Four turns for a dollar. 500 turns for two dollars.

Filmmaker Nirvan Mullick (previously) makes the day of the nine-year-old proprietor of Caine's Arcade.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy on Apr 9, 2012 - 46 comments

The mathematical modelling of popular games by Nick Berry

H _ _ _ m _ n, Y a _ _ _ e e, _ _ t t _ _ _ h i p, _ h u t _ s & L a _ _ e r _ , R _ _ k , _ _ n d y _ _ _ _ , and _ _ r t s.
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear on Apr 7, 2012 - 28 comments

Monster's Den Chronicles

Monster's Den Chronicles is a turn-based Flash dungeon-crawler RPG with combat mechanics reminiscent of turn-based strategy game stalwart Disciples II. [more inside]
posted by whir on Apr 6, 2012 - 16 comments

Just One More Game.

Angry Birds, Farmville and Other Hyperaddictive ‘Stupid Games.' Does what it says on the box: plus, cute space ship graphics and exploding comments. [more inside]
posted by Stagger Lee on Apr 4, 2012 - 58 comments

"their purposes are entirely opaque to me, as are the purposes of so many others"

"their purposes are entirely opaque to me, as are the purposes of so many others" was the first (eerily self-descriptive) 'card' I got in Strategies, a bot in the tradition of Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies but with most content fed from horse_ebooks. Although, I think that is a quote from a terrifying Cronenberg student film, Crimes of the Future. The 'purpose' of this bot, according to the description is "for use when you're lacking inspiration, or make your own game of it."
posted by aretesophist on Apr 4, 2012 - 25 comments

MapsTD = Tower Defense + Google Maps

Mix tower defense games and Google Maps and you get MapsTD.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Apr 1, 2012 - 30 comments

“Digitize Her!”

Earth, 2147. The legacy of the Metal Wars, where man fought machines—and machines won. Bio-Dreads — monstrous creations that hunt down human survivors... and digitize them!
In 1987, before he created Babylon 5, J. Michael Straczynski was a writer for Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, a live-action sci-fi show for kids. 24 episodes were produced. Straczynski wrote or co-wrote 14 of them, including multi-episode plot arcs. A line of interactive toys brought the battle into kids’ living rooms, and Captain Power was also one of the very first shows on television to feature computer animation in every episode. But in an attempt to appeal to both children and the adults who watched with them, the campy show included some concepts and scenes critics deemed too violent for children and lasted only a single season in syndication. The full run of the show has now been uploaded to Youtube. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 1, 2012 - 28 comments

No man is an island

Eke out a peaceful life in the wilderness in Make No Wonder, a new HTML5 game by MeFi's own Matthew Hollett. [via mefi projects]
posted by theodolite on Mar 29, 2012 - 106 comments

3DEverywhere

WebGL, the 3D technology that's associated with HTML5, continues to make giant strides in diverse areas:

  • Exploration of human anatomy: Zygote Body, released yesterday, and BioDigital Human, the successors to Google Body (previously)
  • World Visualisation: WebGL Earth, Nokia's 3D Map of the entire earth (previously). WorldWeather and The WebGL Globe, a Google project that displays all kinds of data. Also: Where Does My Tweet Go?
  • Games: browser ports of Team Fortess 2, Quake 3 and Rage (a developer’s diary). SkidRacer, an entire game in WebGL. Mini Mass Effect (not yet playable, sadly).
  • Musicals: Lights.
  • Tools: 3Notes.js, a visual scene editor. Developer documentation. More resources.

  • [more inside]
    posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Mar 28, 2012 - 27 comments

    Just because.

    BrowserQuest: Mozilla's Massively Multiplayer HTML5 Experiment
    posted by azarbayejani on Mar 27, 2012 - 54 comments

    See the hands of my offspring making windmills

    In celebration of the twentieth anniversary of They Might Be Giants' album Apollo 18, a group of designers have made a collection of interactive fiction games based on each track of the album.
    posted by Cash4Lead on Mar 26, 2012 - 59 comments

    I'm sorry!

    VGJUNK looks at "Gonbee no I'm Sorry", a strange Japanese arcade maze game released in 1985 by Banpresto and Sega that mocked notoriously corrupt former Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei "Shogun of Darkness" Tanaka, who was convicted in 1983 of taking 1.8 million dollars from Lockheed Martin in exchange for letting them sell planes to the national airline.
    posted by JHarris on Mar 24, 2012 - 14 comments

    The Joy of Falling Through the Floor

    Jim Rossignol, of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, explores the strange beauty at the edges and behind the scenes of video games. The article uses images from artist Robert Overweg. [more inside]
    posted by gilrain on Mar 23, 2012 - 17 comments

    "I heard human blood boils in space..."

    Humanity’s long war with the nefarious space-cat Kilrathi has been revived in the fan made Wing Commander Saga : The Darkest Dawn! [more inside]
    posted by stratastar on Mar 23, 2012 - 35 comments

    Giant Fighty Robots, take two!

    Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Attack is the 10th anniversary revision of Mechaton, a fast-paced table-top game of giant robot combat. Giant robots made of LEGO! [more inside]
    posted by Idler King on Mar 21, 2012 - 12 comments

    The Realm of Blade

    The Realm of Blade: Why Nintendo Will Always Rule.
    posted by Foci for Analysis on Mar 20, 2012 - 35 comments

    Science. Fun. Community.

    Water your brain so you can grow stuff in there.
    posted by iamkimiam on Mar 16, 2012 - 45 comments

    Dysfunctional and Co-Dependent

    "In short, the types of things that [tabletop RPG] players want are bad for the game."
    posted by griphus on Mar 15, 2012 - 64 comments

    "When a man is tired of Liberty City he is tired of life."

    Cities in dissolution. "It’s a game for anyone who has ever wondered what happens in the grandest house in town once the lights go out at night. It’s for anyone who has ever seen two men slumped at a hotel bar and wondered what other secrets are contained in such temporary lives. Thief is a game for anyone who has ever walked through a city at night and thought, which parts are still breathing and what does each seclusion contain." Rockpapershotgun's Adam Smith thinks about cities.
    posted by Sebmojo on Mar 14, 2012 - 8 comments

    When there's no more room in Hell, the consoles will walk the Earth.

    The Best 26-Minute Argument that Game Consoles Are Dying* [more inside]
    posted by d1rge on Mar 13, 2012 - 83 comments

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