Designer Connor Sherlock designs games that defy the idea that to absorb and immerse the player has to take time. In the eerie, Lovecraftian The Rapture Is Here And You Will Be Forcibly Removed From Your Home, you have just 20 minutes to hurtle with painful slowness across a blanched plain beneath apocalyptic sky and an inexplicably-creepy hovering oblong before the world ends.
Sanctuary is also relatively-short—play it with headphones and be lulled into the silvery rhythms of a weird, dark wood and the knell of looming, mysterious structures, some of which move. There is an opaque mystery—to unseal a door—but I found Sanctuary so mesmeric I forgot to care about the gamey parts. I love its old-photo skies, the subtle effect of noise and scratch on my field of view.
I also like his Voice of Vamana, which calls you inexorably toward an alien vessel made of odd silhouettes, every step soundtracked by the worrying sound of your own shivering breath. It's fun to enjoy spaces that are designed primarily to be experienced, where "interacted with" or even "understood" take lower priority.
Check out Connor Sherlock's mood pieces on his online store, or read more about all his games on his site. Most of these works are available to explore for free, but the developer accepts donations toward ongoing experimental game development.
The Offworld Collection, presenting the very best features and essays from Offworld, is finally available to buy directly from Campo Santo for $40. I had the pleasure of designing and illustrating this splendid 250-page hardcover volume, but it’s the excellent writing, edited by Leigh Alexander and Laura Hudson, that makes it an essential buy. You […]
Zoya Street, curator of Critical Distance, offers slow reflections on the fast-paced world of digital play…
This week, our partnership with Critical Distance brings us reading on parenting via Tomb Raider, the utility of the word ‘gameplay’, and experiences from Nintendo ‘play counselors’ from the 1980s and 90s.
It’s a rude awakening for that rookie vacationer abroad when they try to plug in their gear for the night. Veteran jet-setters know that outlet shapes can vary wildly from country to country, which necessitates that most boring must-have for any world-traveler: A sackful of clunky power adapters. Awkward problem, elegant solution: The Twist Plus […]
Looking for a career in music behind the boards, either as a music producer or DJ? It’s a good bet that you’re going to be working with Ableton Live. Each new iteration of this powerful workstation gives the user more tools to create, and it’s just as well suited for the task of meticulous track […]
The graveyard of failed startups is littered with concepts that just got lost in translation. At its core, that’s what great front-end design is about: Making an app or website usable, translating its best ideas smoothly to the user. It’s a skill so broad there might be no one book or course that covers it […]