Wayward Manor, the overdue video game that Neil Gaiman wrote, now has a release date: July 15!
Set in a 1920s Victorian Gothic pastoral estate, Wayward Manor focuses on the plight of a ghost whose hope of a peaceful after-life is interrupted by a remarkable cast of intruders. Awoken from his post-mortem slumbers, our ghost must find ever-more inventive and brilliant ways to scare them away. As the ghost learns more about the living characters, he also learns more about his own death and after-life, and the danger they are all facing.
Dice-shaming: for when your stubborn, disloyal polyhedra refuse to behave (see also). Dang, I hope this becomes a thing! (via Seanan)
The original game of Werewolf, also known as Mafia, is a party game of bluffing, paranoia, and wild accusations invented (appropriately enough) in Soviet Russia in the 1980s. It pits a small number of Werewolves (who know each others’ identities) against a larger group of Villagers who have no information; the Werewolves select a Villager to kill each “night” (while everyone’s eyes are closed), and the entire group votes on a player to lynch as a werewolf each “day” until one team or the other prevails. Jon Seagull reviews a much-improved version.
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Etsy's Ha Ha Bird made this brilliant $23 Konami Code Necklace, made from black-engraved 3mm mirror acrylic. It's 18" long, with a magnetic clasp.
Chalk artist Chris Carlson sends us this astounding stop-motion animation of his 3D chalk drawings of Link from Legend of Zelda, popping out of two-space and having a mischievous adventure in our world. I can't even begin to imagine the amount of labor that went into drawing the frames of this animation -- bravo!
Cubicles and Careers is a new webseries from Fantasycon's Murray Triplett and Greg Johnson that brings us to the gaming table where fantastic monsters gather to role-play at working in mundane offices, making saving throws against being noticed by their bosses when they sneak in to work late. Looks like fun!
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Makies, the 3D printed toy and game company, has launched FabLab, its inaugural game! FabLab is a free game for people eight and up, through which you create and customize a character and its accessories, which you can also get as real-world, one-off, custom-fabbed objects. MakieLab, the company that created FabLab, was founded by my wife Alice Taylor, and so I've had an inside view into the process by which the game and its back-end -- which includes a remarkable toolchain for turning 3D game-objects into printable items -- came into being. The Makies here in London are fantastic, and they've done brilliantly with the game, if I do say so myself. Please give the game a try -- and tell your friends!
Makies FabLab! Out Now! | Makie.me
Anita Sarkeesian has posted Women as Background Decoration: Part 1, the latest installment in her Feminist Frequency Tropes vs Women in Video Games critical video series. Gamers are insanely (and I mean that literally) threatened by Sarkeesian's analysis, which is carefully and closely argued, and backed by solid scholarly research.
Every one of her interventions, starting with her original kickstarter, has been met with vicious, violent smear campaigns that contain some of the most stomach-churning overt misogyny you're likely to find this side of a mass-murderer's manifesto.
If you don't believe me, just hang out in the comments for this post, which will shortly be filling up with dudes mansplaining why Sarkeesian is a con artist, why games whose story rewards players for murdering prostitutes are only jokey-jokes, why feminism is a giant lih-buh-rul plot, and so forth. As the husband of a retired nationally ranked pro gamer and the father of a daughter (and as a human being), these guys scare and depress the shit out of me.
Women as Background Decoration: Part 1
Stephen sez, "Around 13 years ago, I wrote a GPL video game called Project: Starfighter. It is a multi-directional shoot 'em up, with an intricate plot and a diverse cast of characters. Since its release, the game has been ported to a great number of platforms, including the Xbox, Pandora, and Sony PSP. It is now maintained on Sourceforge."
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Flash Point: Fire Rescue is a co-operative game about firefighting for 1-6 players. Both its difficulty and its complexity are hugely adjustable, such that it’s suitable for anyone from families with elementary-age children to groups of adult gamers. Where Escape: Curse of the Temple is frantic and breathless, Flash Point is deliberate and tense. Jon Seagull reviews.
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BBC presenter Kate Russell's first science fiction novel is Elite: Mostly Harmless, a novelization of the classic video game Elite, whose production was successfully kickstarted last year. One of the backer rewards was to have yourself gruesomely murdered in the pages of the book, and six lucky fans are now enjoying their deaths:
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Kawasaki's Warehouse arcade, near Yokohama, is a fantastically detailed, gritty recreation of the old walled city of Kowloon, near Hong Kong. The Tokyo Times photos depict a place that's like a fevered Gibson dream, and note that there's an accompanying, spooky soundscape. This is going on my must-see list for our next Japan trip.
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Frank Wu writes, "Brianna Wu gave this awesome talk at AltConf a couple days ago about sexism in the gaming industry. No punches pulled. Discussions of all the %$#@ girls have to put up with just to do their jobs, and what we all can do to help."
challenged game developers to create games in tiny playfields of 32x32 pixels or less. As the creator of 9x9 pixel RPG TinyHack
, this is a microgenre dear to my heart. I played through a bunch of the entries, and here are my favorites.
Lands of Lorez is a grid-based action RPG in the style made famous by Dungeon Master. Ingeniously simplified controls, including a zero-confusion combat system and map. With stunning art that really takes advantage of the low-resolution limitations, it among all the titles felt the most complete. I'll be hitting this one over and over again.
Pocket Venture does likewise with the Japanese-style computer RPG genre. It also has great graphics and music, too--it's amazing how much detail is packed in--and look and feels like classic Final Fantasy fare. There's already a dungeon and a town to explore, with more to come. The random battles are quite a grind.
The Wish is a simple exploration RPG, but creates a strong sense of place and mystery with excellent pixel art and moody audio. Movement speed is slow, though, and tedious combat brings it to a halt. But the atmosphere makes it unmissable.
Low-Rez-Dungeon is quite similar to my game, but is far better: a more complete minimalist action-roguelike experience. The creator plans to add random dungeon generation, too.
Origin is a Monster Land-ish platformer with colorful graphics and nice simple mechanics, but needs its world filled with ... something.
Cmd & Kill is perhaps the most spectacular technical achievement to emerge from the jam. An implementation of a Command and Conquer-style 90s RTS in 32x32 pixels. It's just about playable, too, with simple, effective controls and recognizable units. Good sound design helps cue player awareness and imbue it with genuine Westwood feel. 32p Tycoon is a similar demake for the Railway Tycoon genre, but I'm not smart enough to figure it out.
Samurai Assassin is a fast-paced action slice-em-up that's fun to play and stylish. It would probably be better if it had a larger playing field, though.
I couldn't figure out The Pyramid Gate, but it was trippy and creepy, so I approve. Likewise, 1024 Dread is a dark, raycasted 3D horror game that puts the player in a dark maze being pursued by a shadowy figure. It was far too scary for me.
Others that kept me engaged included Lowrez Drop, an addictive Tetris-like puzzle game, Guns, Beats and Dragons, a SmashTV-style shoot em up, and LowRez Runner, like Canabalt but slower and more forgiving.
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