Boing Boing 

Recently on Offworld: export Spore to Maya, Sam Raimi's Warcraft, low-tech shoegaze

sporemaya.jpg
Recently on Offworld the first bits of games news have started to trickle in from Comic-Con, as Alien Hominid creators The Behemoth announce that their Xbox Live Arcade hit Castle Crashers is coming to the PlayStation 3, as they also show off more videos of the chaotic-cuteness of their upcoming multiplayer party Game 3 (with a retro-lounge soundtrack by Combustible Edison). We also saw the developers at Maxis open their game even wider and include the ability to export your Spore creature to Maya or any Collada-supporting 3D package (above), fully mapped and posable, to do with it what you will, saw Evil Dead director Sam Raimi tapped to make a World of Warcraft movie, and saw Cartoon Network series Metalocalypse coming to PSN and XBLA courtesy developer Frozen Codebase. Then we wrapped up a very musical Wednesday with yet another chiptune tribute album on the horizon, this time 8-bit covers of The Prodigy, listened to cancer charity CD Songs for the Cure including tracks by World of Goo creator Kyle Gabler, and, best of all, discovered a new, free EP by local favorite low-tech shoegaze band Tree Wave. And finally: a NES made of paper and James Kay's papercraft Game Boy bird, and our 'one shot's for the day: Commander Video's glitch ritual, and a gorgeous tribute to Chrono Trigger.

Recently on Offworld: rapid prototyping time lapse, Experimental Gameplay Wii-bound, headbanging for love

katamarihome.jpg
Recently on Offworld, Crayon Physics creator Petri Purho showed us a fantastic time lapse video of what it looks like to rapid prototype a game in seven days (including Team Fortress breaks), watched the latest footage of the multi-part harmonizing in Rock Band: Beatles with newly confirmed tracks, and saw Sega announce a new Wii Fit Balance Board enabled Super Monkey Ball. We also watched Namco's bizarre puppet show video for PS3 collection Katamari Forever, and saw Katamari's Prince -- as well as the PS3's PixelJunk series -- coming to Sony's Home virtual space (above), and found an unofficially fashionable Tetris T-shirt. Finally, we saw the World of Goo and Henry Hatsworth devs behind Experimental Gameplay Project collaborating on a new WiiWare game, and our 'one shot's for the day: soft-shaded 3D pixelcrafter Dotter Dotter does more Super Mario, and Die Gute Fabrik tease a game where a couple, by "synchronising their headbanging, reach new planes of heavy metal love."

Recently on Offworld: 8-bit Weezer, more ASCII Portal, first person Zelda

weezer8bit.jpg
Recently on Offworld, One More Go columnist Margaret Robertson reflects on why Final Fantasy XII is a game she can't help but return to, for its ability to let you "get closer to the ultimate goal of being a perpetual killing machine, a super-efficient, zero-emission, friction-free engine of domination" -- a loop of "preparing, witnessing and fixing" that's "one of the most compelling I've encountered in games." Elsewhere we listened to (on repeat, all day) Pterodactyl Squad's 8-bit Weezer cover compilation, which is already being heralded as one of the best chiptune introduction and gateway collections ever assembled, and watched the first video of the iPhone's retro-future shooter Space Invaders Infinity Gene. We also saw 10 more minutes of Cymon's ASCII Portal, every bit as mind-warping as the last, found new images of Björn Hurri's pixel-catburglar that we even moreso hope ends up a game, saw IGF winning backward-shooting rhythm game Retro/Grade coming to the PS3 with Rock Band guitar support, and dug further into one of the artists behind Uniqlo and Namco's awesomely designed Pac-Man 30th anniversary T-shirts. Finally, our 'one shot's: the original Legend of Zelda goes first person, falling in love with the majesty of colors from the cthulu-an perspective, pen-marker-magic sketches of BioShock, and gorgeously quick-sketched views from the world of Shadow of the Colossus.

Rock Band opens track creation/sales to home musicians, indie bands

rockbandcover.jpg
A surprise announcement and massive game-changing news for musicians: developers Harmonix have just announced The Rock Band Network, a new initiative to let home users and indie bands create and sell their own Rock Band tracks through the game itself, in partnership with Microsoft's XNA Creators Club. We've got all the first details on the program, which is due to launch in closed beta by the end of the month, over at Offworld. I'm with the Band: Harmonix opens Rock Band track creation, sales to Xbox 360 home users

Recently on Offworld: insanely twisted shadows, iPhone Portal, Wii-injuries

insanelytwisted.jpg
Recently on Offworld we watched what surely must be the game trailer of the month: an extended look at animator Michel Gagne's upcoming Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet (above), with some of the most striking art direction and animation we've seen in games for some time, cut to black metal band Dimmu Borgir's "Blood Hunger Doctrine", which shouldn't work but absolutely fantastically does -- it's a must watch. Elsewhere we saw one fan's attempt to recreate Portal on the iPhone and the latest look at tiny-planet shooter Max Blastronaut, found the latest two gorgeously designed official Team Fortress 2 T-shirts, and listened to a wicked live remix of the theme song to The Silver Case -- the first PlayStation adventure game from No More Heroes and Killer7 creators Grasshopper Manufacture. Finally, we found a new on-demand publisher for budding board game designers that lets you piece together your pieces, upload your own artwork, and sell the game directly through the site, spent our first day on the Wii Sports Resort, which ended in broken glass and a trickle of blood, and our 'one shot's for the day: the gorgeous girls of Nintendo punk, a Metal Gear packing slip that's just a box, a fantastic new Darkstalkers montage, and, best of all, beautiful and very French pixels for what we genuinely hope is a new catburglar game.

Recently on Offworld: space invaders evolved, Excel raves, Left 4 (Shaun of the) Dead

marioglitch.jpg
Recently on Offworld we saw things living in places we didn't expect, like Taito's fantastic looking formerly Japanese-only vector-sharp retro-futurist mobile phone game Space Invaders Infinity Gene making a surprise visit to the iPhone, demoscene group Braadworsten Brigade bringing a mini-rave to your copy of Microsoft Excel 2003, and Subatomic's iPhone tower defense hit Fieldrunners coming as a PSP downloadable. We also saw our first inside-the-gallery shots of French guerrilla artist Space Invader's NYC art exhibit, including his Rubik's Cube recreations of Daft Punk and Velvet Underground album covers, found no less than 100 brilliant 5-second art/glitch videos based on 'old video games' (above), and followed the latest in the copyfight between iPhone dev Mobigame, IGDA board member Tim Langdell, and anyone who has ever thought about stringing together the letters E-D-G- and E. Finally, our 'one shot's for the day: Florian Hufsky's pixel pirates, and, best of all, the world of Shaun of the Dead meeting the world of Left 4 Dead.

Recently on Offworld: Post-It shooters, 8-bit Animal Collective, orgasmic game history

post_it_shot_03.jpg
Recently on Offworld we had a mini-#musicmonday as French chiptuner Je Deviens DJ en 3 Jours assembled friends to create Da Chip! -- a free compilation album of Daft Punk covers done on "vintage game systems", while another scenester, Dr. Zilog, put together an 8-bit cover of Animal Collective's certifiable hipster hit My Girls, with a low-res filtered version of the video to match (and a bonus MGMT cover, to boot). Elsewhere we saw Crayon Physics creator Petri Purho debut his first entry into the relaunched Experimental Gameplay Project with Post I.T. Shooter (above) -- an IT Crowd-referencing low-res shooter rendered entirely in faux-hand-animated Post-It Notes, completing the game -> Post-It animation -> game circle. Finally we watched an indescribable video telling the orgasmic, ultra violent history of videogames, saw James Barnett -- the artist behind the previously featured 'fauxvist' paintings that made Matisse-ian landscapes of Fallout 3, Half-Life and Team Fortress -- offer prints and originals for sale, took a last look at the Ghostbusters content coming to LittleBigPlanet, and our 'one shot's for the day: Capcom's Darkstalkers in glorious Paul Robertson pixels, and Bit.Trip mascot Commander Video, Meat Boy style.

Recently on Offworld: driving bear sims, gallery hung Halo 3, @petermolyneux2

envirobear.png
Recently on Offworld we got a number of indie surprises, as our early Gimme Indie Game featured favorite Enviro-Bear 2000: Operation: Hibernation made a sudden appearance on iPhone as Enviro-Bear 2010 (above). Inarguably the best game about bears driving cars (prove us wrong!), it's an even better game on the iPhone than the PC original, and quickly became both a weekend favorite, and an immediate viral hit. We also saw Saelee Oh and Anna Anthropy's artXgame Octopounce -- the best of the games originally released for Giant Robot's Game Over/Continue show -- released for free, and were able to watch the entire hour-long meeting between Passage creator Jason Rohrer and design vet Chris Crawford for German TV program Into the Night With. Elsewhere, Nintendo announced plans to make its early LCD Game & Watch games available as handheld DSiWare downloadables, Valve released a new look at the rainy days of Left 4 Dead 2, Capcom brought Street Fighter II CE to your web browser, and Bungie turned your best Halo 3 screenshots into canvas-printed fine art. Finally, we got a sneak peek at all the Ghostbusters appearing in LittleBigPlanet, found our new favorite fake-twitter-follow poking gentle fun at Natal and Milo at @petermolyneux2, and our themed 'one shots' for the day: the ESRB's impossible task at rating Scribblenauts (with imagined steak/baby/lion violence), and Scribblenauts-themed Street Fighters.

Recently on Offworld: classics reborn, self-evolving games, Sackboys for sale

huntersack.jpg
It was a return-to-classics kind of day on Offworld, with Bethesda releasing their early first-person/open-world RPG Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall as a free download, and with the revivification of both Team17's classic Amiga shooter Alien Breed as a fully 3D affair, and the former FASA designers at Smith & Tinker giving MechWarrior a fantastic looking full reboot for PC and Xbox 360. Elsewhere we started to take our first look at the weird worlds of Galactic Arms Race, a self-described 'space Diablo' with a twist: all of the weapons in the game are designed by AI and are evolving over time based on the aggregate behavior of all the game's players, with some spectacular and unexpected results; and got a guide to the rest of this summer's Xbox Live Arcade releases. Finally, we bought our own custom Left 4 Dead Sackboys from the crocheter himself (above), saw Fangamer go all Anderson and release a browsable version of their fan-made Mother 3 guide for free, and our 'one shots' for the day: a plush member of Rhythm Heaven's Glee Club, and Cooking Mama, and Cooking Samus, and Cooking Zelda, and Cooking Lara...

Recently on Offworld: hyper-scale war, experimental gameplay, WoW Peggle

frobotheader.jpg
A game developer that's been tirelessly evolving what they hope to be the most all-encompassing soldier sim doesn't exactly sound like typical indie fare, argues columnist Jim Rossignol, but their indie-style ambition is there and is typified by their latest, Arma II. See as proof: the collection of videos Rossignol includes in his column, which may be some of the most spectacularly hyper-real Offworld has ever seen, with gratuitous 200 v. 200 plane low-flying dogfights, suicidal jet pilots, and tanks v. chicken battles. That indie spirit continues elsewhere as the creators of World of Goo and Henry Hatsworth return to their roots and re-launch the Experimental Gameplay Project with disco-dancing Robotron games (above) and surprisingly compelling generative evolutionary worm sims, with more new games to come every month. Elsewhere we saw, of course, the mind-blowing Portal in ASCII video, the upcoming European debut of chiptune showcase Blip Festival, watched German TV pair up a games design vet and a new champion of art gaming for a lengthy discussion, fan-made Chrono Trigger T-shirts, and upcoming shirts for indie favorite Cave Story. Finally we saw World of Warcraft-themed Peggle now downloadable as a free standalone game, and our usual 'one shots': Left 4 Dead via LittleBigPlanet, Hello Mario & Luigi, an awesome tribute to Monkey Island's Guybrush Threepwood, and Castle Crashers in Lego.

Video: Portal, re-made in ASCII

asciiportal.jpg
Over at Offworld, we've just dug up what'll probably be the most mind-bending video of the week: the first look at Joe Larson's 'demake' of Valve's PC/Xbox 360 hit Portal, rendered entirely in ASCII. Its best trick that puts it a leg up on the 2D Flash version: a 'through the portal' view that recaptures everything that made the original game so awe inspiring to experience for the first time (also: its simple 1-character companion cube, and the Donkey Kong tribute toward the end of the video). Watch the video on Offworld.

Today on Offworld: killing zombies softly, LucasArts Steamed, Devo meets Space Invaders

totdbanner.jpg
In her latest One More Go column, Margaret Robertson argues that Sega's long-underappreciated and entirely absurd Typing of the Dead (above) -- the game which sees players destroying zombies by typing words rather than firing bullets -- is especially brilliant because it lets us do something increasingly rare and magical in the games industry today: press buttons with our fingers. Elsewhere on Offworld there was a lot of good news for old games, as classic LucasArts adventure games are returning to Steam with full XP/Vista compatibility, Atari Museum releases the source code for more than a dozen classic Atari 7800 games, and Nintendo is re-releasing Toshio Iwai's brilliant art/music DS crossover Electroplankton in downloadable form. We also saw Ghostbusters coming to LittleBigPlanet, preorders open for Machinarium, the game soon to be likely the best non-LucasArts adventure of the year, and the first look at Positech's Gratuitous Space Battles, his self-described "tower defense with space fleets", which is every bit as gloriously gratuitous and perfectly scaled (with scores of tiny gnat-like fighters protecting motherships) as the title promises. Finally, our 'one shot's for the day: a hexquisite pixel-art exquisite corpse, the many faces of space invaders, Scott C's Devo meets Space Invaders print goes on sale, and Eliss, Steph Thirion's brilliantly abstract iPhone game, goes on sale for $0.99 for a few more days.

Recently on Offworld: Twitter in WoW, trains in games, Clockwork Orange in 8-bits

WowTweetCraftUI.jpg
Recently on Offworld we found a rapid-fire set of developments to kick off a long weekend, including the launch of TweetCraft which is, as you might imagine, World of Warcraft's first in-game Twitter client (above), and which ensures that you'll never have to leave the comfort and still irresistible allure of Azeroth. We also watched the first 17 minutes of Double Fine's hard metal adventure Brutal Legend, as narrated by LucasArts legend Tim Schafer, and saw indie devs Polytron finally officially announce that their debut game Fez is headed to Xbox Live Arcade in early 2010. We also found two pair of custom Legend of Zelda low-top sneakers, Donkey Kong played on the side of a building in Post-Its, a website completely devoted to the mis-uses of trains in games (!), an upcoming unmissable chiptune showcase in Montreal, and finally understood the gnawing wolf-at-the-door drama of spending $17,500 on a single NES game. And finally, our themed 'one shots' for the day: Wii Fit as an Atari 2600 game, and, even more wonderfully, an Atari 2600 version of A Clockwork Orange (and Dostoevsky and Kant and Proust [!]).

Today on Offworld: war-driving for treasure, cloud gaming, Dylan in The Sims

treasureworld1.jpg
Today on Offworld we took an extensive look at Treasure World (above), the just-released DS game that turns the ubiquitous cloud of Wi-Fi signals around you into collectible treasures -- it's easily one of the most magical game experiences we've had in a while, and expands into an equally amazing array of synced up social-site achievements, and, of all things, a mini-music tracker that lets you compose by arranging your scalped booty. Elsewhere we looked at the first live demo of cloud-gaming service Gaikai, which shows Spore, World of Warcraft and Mario Kart being played, in-browser, from a server 400 miles away, and Microsoft's just-launched Kodu, the 21st century LOGO-like Xbox 360 game that teaches principles of programming logic with simple sentence-structure syntax and lets you build and share up to 4-player minigames. We also stumbled across Crazy Planets, a new Worms-like Facebook game that makes a fighting unit out of you and your friends, and watched the first tech demo video of Robotology from N+ developers Metanet, which, eventually, will be a parkour/grappling hook mashup of Mario Galaxy, Shadow of the Colossus, and Umihara Kawase (!), and, finally saw Bob Dylan's hard-livin' invade The Sims.

Today on Offworld: glum busting, retro Soviet arcades, domestic violence

glum500.png
As seems to be the case time and time again, indie devs have given us some of the best in surrealist/dreamscape gaming, and the latest -- featured today on Offworld -- is Justin 'CosMind' Leingang's Glum Buster, an intricately constructed PC pixel platformer that is as traditional as it is relentlessly alien -- think Eric Chahi's Another World/Out of this World -- and is being sold via an altruistic charity-ware setup. It'll certainly go down as one of the finest indie developments this year.
russiansubgame.jpg
Elsewhere we took a fantastic look inside Moscow's Soviet Arcade Games Museum via their new Art Lebedev (he of the Optimus Maximus OLED keyboard) designed website that not only gives us near-pornographically beautiful shots of previously unseen 70s era Soviet arcade design, but also recreates a number of the games in Flash to play directly on the site. We also played Noonat's Queens -- a game built for a competition dealing with the theme of 'domestic violence' that manages to cleverly skate the thin ice there, and fell in love with Puit Wars, a micro/massive pixel wargame that proves hiphop emcee Aesop Rock should be making music for games, followed Nintendo DS cult puzzler star Professor Layton on Twitter, and took a new look at the mysteries of SUPERBROTHERS' rustic pixels in his Kurosawa-inspired Alpinist.

Recently on Offworld: Everything is Pixelated

playered.jpg
Recently on Offworld neo-retro nostalgia has ruled the roost, with things like a box-art tribute to the 8-bit Lost game that never was, the zen-like recursiveness of 'Playered' (above) from the creator of the 8-bit Keyboard Cat, the latest look at the building blocks of Fez, and the low-bit d-pad block-tracer insanity of the WiiWare's latest Bit.Trip game. Even better, we got a patch that will replace the lead character in your standard Super Mario Bros game with American Elf comic artist James Kochalka, listened to the latest NES rom flyer for NYC's ongoing chiptune showcase Pulsewave, and, finally, stepped away into more polygonal territory to take a deeper look at how Hand Circus's upcoming iPhone platformer Rolando 2 is leading some of the smartest social gaming campaigns in the App Store.

Recently on Offworld: Steve Jobs, Serious Heroes, gaming's longest beards

korgds10plus.jpg
There was no discernible reason why Japanese developer AQI should have to parody Steve Jobs to announce a new version of their portable Korg DS-10 synthesizer, which makes the fact that they did (above) -- and pulled it off with pitch-perfect style -- all the more fantastic, and sets a high bar as one of the cutest game announcements in recent memory. Elsewhere on Offworld, we saw more game/music crossovers, listening to the latest and most accessible chiptune/downtempo/glitch sampler for San Francisco's DUTYSTYLE III show, happening tonight at 8pm (check the post for full details), and finding Open Emu, a new modular Mac emulation system that's a boon for budding 8-bit VJs, as it lets you control both the visuals and the play of emulated games with audio and MIDI. We also saw that early-oughts cult classic shooter Serious Sam (which shipped with our favorite cheat-mode of all time, turning gibs and blood splatter into hamburgers, fruit, and bursts of blooming flowers) was being remade for Xbox Live Arcade, and that EA/DICE's similarly tongue in cheek free-to-play shooter Battlefield Heroes had quietly gone live, and will likely be taking up the majority of our weekend (as it should yours). And our 'one shot's of the day: the mathematical beauty of building pixel Invaders, the aching shoulder-slump of BioShock 2's original Big Daddy concept, the certifiably longest beard in gaming's history, and, of course, Michael Jackson, in memoriam.

Recently on Offworld: is the Xbox 360 the last console you'll ever buy?

JamesBarnett_Megaton.jpg
Ragdoll Metaphysics columnist Jim Rossignol wonders if Microsoft has already basically won the battle for our living rooms, with the E3-announced convergence of upcoming Facebook, Twitter, Last.FM, and current Netflix integration in the Xbox 360, and whether, in the future, "rather than having to release a new console, the 360 just gets cheaper, and makes more sense to more people, because it does something that it didn't do before." Elsewhere we released a new hi-res Offworld Gallery featuring the paintings of James Barnett, who's coined the term 'fauxvism' for his Matisse-ian takes on in-game panoramic landscapes from Half Life, Team Fortress and Fallout 3's Megaton (above), and got even more neo-classical with indie devs Tale of Tales intend to take on Oscar Wilde's Salome in interactive form. We also got a double dose of Tetris developments with a wicked video on how Tetris blocks are made, and saw the game get its first pair of designer toys courtesy BE@RBRICK makers Medicom, saw new pets for your custom-printed World of Warcraft figurine, and, finally, were as surprised as anyone to find one indie iPhone developer release a clone of one of the original indie hits: thatgamecompany's flOw. Finally, our 'one shot's for the day: LittleSoundDJ, the keyboard, and the worst Wario image you'll never be able to unsee.

Where Tetris blocks come from

On Offworld, our Brandon's found out where Tetris blocks come from:
tetrisfact.jpg

You didn't think they just popped up on screen themselves, did you? Commercial animation by South Korea's WooDUS, who are also behind this vaguely Bubble Bobble-esque title animation.

Behind the scenes: How Tetris blocks are made

Discuss this on Offworld

Today on Offworld: the 15 games you need for your new iPhone

iphone3gss.jpg
As any new or vet iPhone owner will know, trying to wade through the App Store's overwhelming selection of games and apps is a daunting process, so we've whipped together this guide to the first 15 games you should seek out, with another 30 to consider (from a wider variety of genres [shooting, word games]) thrown in for good measure, which should hopefully better ease you into what the device has to offer. Elsewhere we looked at more iPhone games about to make their way to the store -- Hand Circus's trip into the savage/Indy Jones-ish wild in their Rolando sequel, and a revival of EA's classic board/strategy game Archon (which is indeed now live). We also saw Rockstar's formerly DS-exclusive Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars making the leap to the new PSP Go, new stickers from Offworld-favorite illustrator Jon Burgerman coming to LittleBigPlanet, hand-crafted drink coasters to commemorate the worst day of your gaming life, and beautiful new King of Games T-shirts celebrating Q-games' PS3 PixelJunk franchise. Finally, we listened to the chiptune remixes coming to the PS3 revival of Katamari Damacy, and our 'one shot's for the day: Fez, paused, and accidentally gorgeous long-exposure phone-cam photos of Galaga.

Katamari music remix -- Offworld

Over on Offworld, our Brandon's got exciting news about a remix of the music from the Katamari games, some of the coolest, most infectious video-game music ever recorded.

Kicking off a series of official posts for Sony's PlayStation blog on Namco's upcoming PS3 'tribute' release Katamari Forever, producer Kazuhito Udetsu relays a message from longtime series (and Noby Noby Boy) sound designer Yuu Miyake, who explains the process of collaborating with various Japanese acts to remix classic Katamari tracks.

Saying he wanted a split between 'organic' and 'electric' sounds, Miyake highlights oft-blogged NES-samplers YMCK and the chiptune swing of their "A Crimson Rose and a Gin Tonic" remix. Unfortunately, we don't get the whole track, but we do get enough to hear that it's going to be another must-buy collection.

Listen: YMCK remix classic Katamari for PS3's Katamari Forever

Discuss this on Boing Boing Offworld

Recently on Offworld

mtb_1.jpg
Recently on Offworld, One More Go columnist Margaret Robertson claims Sega owe her £400 for all the money she's sunk in to Sega's maraca-based rhythm game Samba De Amigo over the years, only to get something always broken in return. But still, she says, the original 1998 Dreamcast version, for its motion control and party-based underpinning's, it's "the most prescient project in videogame history", and she keeps returning because it's one of the games that continually showers her in praise. Elsewhere we rounded up some of the most recent iPhone developments (and wondered if we were over- or under-covering the platform): Steph Thirion's boldly original and relentlessly lovely Eliss gets a free Lite version for all to try, Mobigames' trademark-disputed futurist Edge makes a sudden and unexplained return to the App Store, and we watched with wonder the first two minutes of Rolando 2. We also saw art/film schlock reimagined as 8-bit games, including Lars Von Trier's Dancer In The Dark, and then discovered that there really will be a Von Trier game, as his latest and most controversial film Antichrist gets adapted for the PC, and listened to Bit Shifter's March of the Nucleotides. Finally, our 'one shot's for the day: the littlest big billboards in Union Square, and French guerrilla artist Space Invader does neoclassical artist Ingres in pixels (above).

Recently on Offworld

fretnice.jpg
Recently on Offworld we saw indie devs Flashbang return with Crane Wars -- hands down their best game since Minotaur China Shop and likely to be the best indie game of the month -- which sees your staunchly union construction lot pitted against the loathsome scabs next door. It's very polished, very funny, and very well balanced between careful construction and wanton destruction as you fling flaming rubble into the scab lot to stymie their progress. Elsewhere we also took a belated look at Fret Nice (above) -- a former Indie Games Fest finalist platformer played entirely with a Guitar Hero guitar -- which Tecmo has picked up for Xbox 360 and PS3 release, and saw how the 3.0 firmware has officially unlocked the iPhone's future of connected, social gaming. We also read about the etymology of a seemingly endless list of video game characters, saw the fanciest new LED-lit Metroid figurine, and saw LittleBigPlanet go Druidistic, and had a lazyweb bullseye as we asked (and received!) a translation for this ultra-dryly funny and massively adorable Japanese 8-bit meme crossover. And our 'one shot's for the day: Portal's Aperture Science vehicles spotted on the roads of Sweden (!), and Skinny Ships' fantastic work-in-progress retro-Zelda illustration.

Recently on Offworld

bulbasore.jpg
Recently on Offworld we inadvertently had a very Mario day: in addition to Jude Buffum and Doctor Octoroc's wonderful 8-bit Keyboard Cat playing off a very unlucky Mario, we saw Greig Stewart's hacked up theremin that can play Super Mario Bros, and Justin White imagining -- in T-shirt form -- the inevitable Mushroom Kingdom retirement village, with all aged Mario stars wishing for a new 1-up lease on life. White also brought us Busted Up Pokemon (above), which brings illustrated truth to the ultraviolent cockfighting course we have forced our beloved pets to walk over the past ten years, and we got two more updates from last weekend's J.otto Seibold art opening at Giant Robot: a look at the paintings Seibold created based on his indie game crossover with Kyle Pulver, and video of that self-same game, Jottobots, being projected and played on the outside wall of the gallery itself. Finally, we saw a nice guide for indie devs looking to market themselves and their games on zero budget, and saw 5th Cell's handheld indie darling Scribblenauts give back to the fans, with a wallpaper-sized illustrated tribute to 'Post 217' -- the forum post that kicked off a wave of viral acclaim when a player wrote about how he had just (his emphasis) "TRAVELED THROUGH TIME AND JUMPED ON A DINOSAUR AND USED IT TO KILL MOTHERFUCKING ROBOT ZOMBIES."

Mario retirement tee -- Offworld


Over on Offworld, our Brandon's spotted this splendid "Mushroom Kingdom Retirement Village" tee.

T-shirt: the Mushroom Kingdom Retirement Village

Discuss this on Offworld

Recently on Offworld

mariodeathcrop.jpg
Recently on Offworld, we saw the latest best proof of concept mobile augmented reality game -- ARhrrrr -- (that's the name, not an interjection), a camera phone game from Savannah/Georgia Tech that lets you use green and orange Skittles as proximity mines to help fend off a zombie invasion. We also saw that French guerrilla artist Invader -- best known for his 8-bit tile mosaic space invaders tucked on buildings around nearly every major city -- will soon be invading New York City, and found another games-inspired gallery exhibit with Koshi Kawachi's reflections on the death of Mario (above). We also saw a Sesame Street Fighter T-shirt that's as great as it sounds, dug around the infamously lavish late 90s defunct digs of Dallas's Ion Storm, got a double dose of Bit.Trip with a behind the scenes look at the game and a franchise crossover with WiiWare's Super Meat Boy, and watched a video wrap of chiptune showcase DUTYCYCLE.

Recently on Offworld

RubberDuckZillaWebcam03.jpg
Recently on Offworld we saw Kevin Slavin -- co-founder of drop7 developer area/code deliver a fascinating speech on the future interplay of TV and games at the recent 5D Immersive Design Conference that's well worth a half hour of your time for its background on the company and its lesser known location/real world games, and the conjecture that 'any screen without a mouse ships "broken"'. We also saw the puppet-show insanity of the latest trailer for upcoming PS3 remake of the original Katamari Damacy games, spotted the newest Left 4 Dead mobile from the creator of the Team Fortress original, and saw new songs from the inimitable Spinal Tap coming to Rock Band. Finally we played a fantastic set of augmented reality web-mini-games from Poke London and LittleBigPlanet artist Rex Crowle (above), coveted gorgeously designed T-shirts from Japanese developer Hudson, followed the latest #fezfriday, and our 'one shot's for the day: David Cronenberg's 8-bit daydream, and Pokemon, pixel by pixel.

Recently on Offworld

iphonefeltpaper.jpg
Recently on Offworld, we watched the network TV debut of Microsoft's motion-controller Natal, took a TV trip back even further to see the original members of The State selling Game Boy Pockets, and saw both the start-stop unveiling of ngmoco's next iPhone first person shooter and the last look at the latest from Minotaur China Shop creators Flashbang: Crane Wars, due for release on Monday. Elsewhere we saw Reset Generation -- Nokia's fantastic flagship retro-referencing multiplayer strategy game for PC and their N-Gage service -- come to Mac, Linux and web portal Kongregate, took a new look at Apple's beautiful App Store data-viz Hyperwall, and saw a nice piece on the design process behind rebranding EA's Redwood Shores studios as 'Visceral Games'. And the day's 'one shot's: Platinum Games on designing guns to "look hot in a girl's hand", and Media Molecule offer a replacement for the default iPhone wallpaper (above) for a stitched-up felt LittleBigPlanet of your own.

Recently on Offworld

tricogallery.jpg
Are living virtual people the future of videogames? In his latest Ragdoll Metaphysics column, Offworld's Jim Rossignol uses E3's appearance of Lionhead's Natal-enabled project Milo and Kate to content that the great games race of the future will be "one not of simulating worlds in more detail, but simulating humanity with greater fidelity," and creating "someone interesting enough to keep players engaged, and to keep them coming back." Elsewhere we showed off an achingly gorgeous gallery of hi-res screenshots of Team ICO's The Last Guardian (above), another game which rests its premise on the fidelity of companionship between a boy and his new-found giant baby gryphon friend, and went hands-on at WWDC with iPhone publisher ngmoco's upcoming lineup, including Rolando 2, more virtual friends with the Petz creator's Touch Pets: Dogs, and multiplayer first person shooter codenamed LiveFire. We also saw the latest best indie point and click adventure, Little Wheels, saw a homebrew NES game inspired by puzzle/RPG favorite PuzzleQuest, got a little retro arcade history lesson re: Konami's 'Morning Music', and got sucked into a post-it pixel world with music video DEADLINE. And the 'one shot's for the day: Edge Magazine shows off its brilliant games-reference jam-packed pixel poster, and Douglas Adams and Infocom's Steve Meretzky pose for a promo photo in celebration of their early 80's classic Hitchhiker's Guide text adventure.

Recently on Offworld

jottobots1.jpg
Recently on Offworld we got the exclusive drop on Jottobots -- the next 'artxgame' from culture shops/gallery Giant Robot and Attract Mode -- which this time brings longtime Offworld favorite illustrator, artist, and They Might Be Giants collaborator J.otto Seibold together with indie dev and Snapshot producer Kyle Pulver. Their game is going on display this Saturday, the 13th at LA's GR2 gallery: head over to the post for all the details. Elsewhere we saw two more developments for budding indie devs: submissions open for Tokyo Game Show's mini-indie-showcase Sense of Wonder Night, and Collabs, a new subsection of game portal Kongregate that hopes to bring artists and musicians together with developers for future collaboration. We also saw beautiful(-ly nauseating) new screenshots of Valve's Left 4 Dead 2, and the first look at Sin and Punishment 2, the Wii followup to the basically legendary import N64 game from cult favorite dev Treasure, listened to resolutely 1-bit bleeps from Poland's Mister Beep, found a new Tetris construction T-shirt, and got what amounts to a heart-meltingly adorable Shadow of the Colossus/LittleBigPlanet crossover costumes, complete with tiny plush Wander hanging off the arm of an already downsized Colossus. And the day's 'one shot's: Harmonix re-create Abbey Road in plastic at E3, and one artist's attempt at creating box art for the wholly downloadable Art Style games.