May 152013

“It’s time to leave the debate as to whether video games are art or not behind. Instead, there is a need to consider how video games function as works of art, to ask whether game developers have properly grasped the nature of interactivity and to consider whether we as an audience really understand what it is about video games that makes them so compelling.

I invited three individuals to explore these issues with me — Jonathan Blow, creator of the critically acclaimed Braid and upcoming exploration-puzzle game The Witness; Erlend Grefsrud, developer at Strongman Games and ex-game journalist; and Dr. Grant Tavinor, a philosophy academic at Lincoln University who has written a book and a number of articles on the subject of video games.”

Read the whole article by Paul Walker…

May 072013

No game has ever sparked such a widespread debate about core game mechanics as BioShock Infinite did, Chmielarz says. Partly that’s because it’s a high profile blockbuster from a legendary game designer. “But also,” he adds, “exactly because there are these moments there when you get a slice of heaven, a taste of heaven, and you go, ‘Oh my god this is what games can be!’ And then it’s taken away from you for the majority of the game.
“But these moments are absolutely mind blowing – really really great – and you realise, oh my god, video games potentially can be so much more, so powerful.”

Read the article by Robert Purchese of Eurogamer based on an interview with Adrian Chmielarz here…

May 052013

“At the end of the day, the games you create – the art you put out into the world – is an expression of yourself. If you’re working as part of a team, however, that art isn’t just an expression of your own self, or even many individual selves. It’s an outward expression of your relationships, and who you are as a group of people. And these relationships are perhaps the most rewarding thing you’ll develop in your lifetimes. It’s worth finding techniques that help grow those relationships and in turn improve the games you can make together.” (Joel Burgess)

Read this article by Joel Burgess here….

Feb 262013

Art Game

Experience the exhilaration of making art you really believe in! Experience the agony of rejection by the curatorial team! Consider selling out and just making what people seem to want! Change your mind again and follow your dreams! Be a star of the art world! Be a horrible failure! Be an artist!

Play the game here…

Pippin Barr’s blog about Art Game

Read an article by Gamasutra’s Leigh Alexander on Art Game…

And play more of Pippin Barr’s games…

An interesting interview with Pippin Barr on one of his earlier games (also read the interesting comments!)…

Feb 262013 was formed in early 2011 to make awesome games for the masses. We don’t take pride in being the best, but we are.

We’re making these games for everyone to enjoy, so we also believe in open source to give people an insight if they want to.

(Thanks to Emanuel Plauder!)

Dec 282012

“Persona 4 Golden is a fantastic modernized expansion of a brilliant RPG that many will have missed simply because it released out of sync with its original console generation. Some of it’s low-tech PS2-era roots sneak through in places, such as the stiff-looking run animations and odd gestures, and some of the slower sections of the game feel like lulls in the action. It takes a while to really get started, as you spend the first few hours stuck in a linear sequence almost void of actual gameplay as the game slowly introduces you to its world and mechanics. But it’s a small hitch.
For those who allow themselves to become emotionally invested in the world, its characters and its events, this is an engrossing life sim with a gripping turn-based RPG story to keep you hooked, and a meaningful decision-based consequence system that introduces enough variables to warrant multiple playthroughs.
And if you’ve never played a Persona game now’s a great time to start; you’re missing out on something truly unique.” (Mike Jackson)

Read the review on InsideGaming Daily….

And a review on Destructoid

Und auf deutsch auf Eurogamer….

Nov 282012

“In the West we often forget just how traditionally Japanese Nintendo really is. This aesthetic choice might be seen as sloppy or arrogant in the United States, a failure to make a coherent collection of titles that explain the purpose of the Wii U through methodical demonstration.

I take it as a gesture of humility. Nintendo is stepping back, acknowledging that things have changed. That it can no longer make assumptions about what games are or what they should be. And that its players shouldn’t either. This gesture of humility is a serious and profound one, in that it also refuses to accept the game industry’s standard assumptions about the present reality of games as mobile, social, and free-to-play. Instead, Nintendo presents a substantial, costly effort as its pack-in title, whose overall message amounts to, “we don’t know either.”

So serious is Nintendo about this act, it has launched its console with an independent, downloadable title that openly mocks the current state of video games. Little Inferno was created by Tomorrow Corporation, a new studio formed by Kyle Gabler (of World of Goo fame) and Allan Blomquist and Kyle Gray (Henry Hatsworth).

The game is both cute and morbid: in a fictional city bombarded by snow for as long as anyone can remember, a toy company (also called Tomorrow Corporation) creates the Little Inferno Entertainment Fireplace, in which children can burn their toys to keep warm. The operation of this virtual fireplace forms the entirety of the game about it: a brick hearth appears on screen, upon which the player can set different children’s toys before igniting them.

Tomorrow Corporation provides catalogs of new toys, which can be purchased with coins earned by… burning more toys. Once purchased, the player must wait a period of time before they are delivered to the fireplace’s inbox, which visually mimics the iOS dock in a not-so-subtle jab at the Apple app economy.

Earning combos by burning objects together in response to a list of clues provides tickets that can be used to speed up delivery, which can take several minutes per item by the end of the game.

It doesn’t take much squinting to find Little Inferno’s tacit message: games have become pointless grinds, absurd hamster wheel exercises meant only to produce their own continuance, to offer just enough novelty to imbue players with curiosity sufficient to press on in the pointless art of clicking on (or burning) another object.

The simulation of a social game-style energy mechanic outside of the context of a free-to-play game with micropayments makes an adept point: sitting there, in front of the useless fireplace that is the television, waiting for progress bars to fill, yields a frosty chill. Is this what players and creators want, or what they have been settling for?

So self-aware is Little Inferno that it even mocks Nintendo as host. One of the game’s catalog of flammables, “1st Person Shopper,” contains video game-themed objects (including references to some popular indie games). Among the items in this catalog is a “handheld fireplace,” shaped more or less like a Wii U GamePad. Upon ordering this object to burn, the player — who probably purchased the virtual object whilst staring down at the GamePad instead of pointing a Wii remote at the television before him or her — can’t help but shiver with postmodern nuisance.”

Read the article here….

Dr. Ian Bogost is a scholar, author, and game designer. He is Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies and Professor of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Founding Partner at Persuasive Games LLC. As an author, he writes about videogames as a medium with many uses. As a game designer, he makes games for political, social, educational, and artistic uses. Bogost is author or co-author of seven books: Unit Operations, Persuasive Games, Racing the Beam, Newsgames, How To Do Things with Videogames, Alien Phenomenology, and the forthcoming 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10. Bogost’s videogames cover topics as varied as airport security, disaffected workers, the petroleum industry, suburban errands, and tort reform. His games have been played by millions of people and exhibited internationally. His game A Slow Year, a collection of game poems for Atari, won the Vanguard and Virtuoso awards at the 2010 Indiecade Festival.

Ian Bogost’s website