My second attempt at video and I am very pleased with the results! In case you missed it, this is indie art game Plug & Play:
Originally released way back in 2013, KAMI (Japanese for “paper”) is a beautiful, origami-inspired puzzle game by State of Play. Here’s the release trailer:
Like so many games I’ve bought and promptly forgotten, I discovered KAMI during a Steam sale, but only began playing it earlier this week. I couldn’t have rediscovered it at a better time, honestly. For reasons various and sundry, I’ve been feeling a bit anxious and fidgety all week. KAMI has been my happy, little, paper-folding oasis in a desert of uncertainty. My lighthouse at the shores of doubt. My metaphor in a metaphor of a metaphor. Look how much more erudite I am just for playing it!
I tend to enjoy a lot of big budget, AAA, exploding-dragon-mounted-machine-gun types of games; and tend to play them to completion, often spending hundreds of hours on a single title. This doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy quiet, quick, little, indie games. On the contrary, I enjoy them very much. It simply means I rarely have time to play them.
But, right now, there’s nothing in particular I’m committed to playing. [Honestly, beyond Uncharted 4 and the annual franchises, my roster is blank for the year.] So, I’m making time to go back and play the games that slipped through the cracks. I’ll be posting and/or live streaming these games, just in case you missed them too.
Today I played How Do You DO IT? created by Nina Freeman, Emmett Butler, Decky Coss, and Jonathan Kittaka at Global Game Jam 2014. In this free browser (or Steam) game, you play as a precocious little girl attempting to understand the logistics of sex, with little to go on other than the car scene from Titanic, some stuff your friend Mia told you, and two plastic, anatomically incorrect dolls.
How many times can you do sex before your mom comes home and catches you?
I did sex 103 times and I didn’t even get caught:
Not a terribly deep game nor one that warrants repeated plays, but it was certainly amusing and, ahem, relatable. It’s nice to see developers taking risks with chance-y subject matter, even if nothing explodes.
Or does it?
In upcoming ICYMI posts, I’ll be playing LYNE, The Novelist, KAMI, The Deer God, Plug & Play, Social Justice Warriors, and The Way of Life. Follow me on Twitch to catch a live stream or here on the blog for the posts. And, please leave a comment if there are any other games you think I need to play!
Elegy for a Dead World is indie developer Dejobaan Games’ new “game about writing fiction” – a side-scrolling exploration game in which you travel to dead and distant planets to craft your own stories about the civilizations that once inhabited them. You then share your stories with other explorers, whose own journals are published for mutual perusal/review.
As game premises go, it’s certainly a novel one! But, I must admit I was initially skeptical. In fact, my knee-jerk reaction was pretty similar to Bart’s after a visit to the dentist:
Still, as more details surfaced about the game, I became increasingly curious.
From a recent conversation with indie game developer and “games industry polymath” August Zinsser…
Question: How do you feel about the prediction that indie games are merely a “flash in the pan” and that the games industry at large cannot sustain this many indie developers?
Listen to this gamer story (4 min, 01 seconds):
Or, read the transcript:
I think there’s some truth to that, but I think it’s an oversimplification. It comes down to the price of art.The price of artistic media, I guess.
For me, it’s kind of like music. Way back in the day when music was, like, new, I guess, it didn’t really have any value because it was ahead of culture and modern economies and so forth. Now, I’m talking, you know, tribal music and drums and that kind of thing. And then once economies became sophisticated enough, you had things like, you know, the classical music era. And you had some composers there that could start to make a living off of that, but they were really like performers. But then, with the advent of recording, that was basically an explosion in the golden age of music. And you had the relatively small number of people who had enough talent and access to recording equipment to produce these records and the records became this thing of really high value. Really in the last 10 to 20 years, as the cost of producing those records went down, so many people could do it and it flooded the market and then music became this thing that most people can acquire people. And a subset, well, a subset of some people even believe it should be free. And, I guess I don’t know where I stand on whether music is intrinsically valuable or not, but the fact of the matter is the market says that because the cost of acquiring music is really, really low, the price, if you want to actually charge people for it, needs to be about the same. I mean, this is basic supply and demand.
Experimental game developer, co-creator of Hotline Miami, and all-around really cool guy Jonatan “Cactus” Söderström was kind enough to let me ask him a bunch of questions. Here are his awesome responses.
Hi, Cactus! Could you say a little bit about yourself for those who don’t know you?
My name is Jonatan Söderström, I’m 28 and have been making games for ten years. At first I focused on short freeware projects, and managed to create around fifty games. Now I’m mostly working on bigger projects together with Dennis Wedin via our “studio” Dennaton.
What’s your earliest memory of video games?
My earliest memory of games is my dad suggesting that he’d buy us a NES for christmas. I was around four-five I think and I had no idea what a video game was, I thought it was something like a flipper game and found it very uninteresting until I actually got it. At first we only had Super Mario and I really liked it. I started drawing my own games on pieces of paper and cut out characters that could move around on the worlds I had drawn.
What’s the most fun you’ve ever had playing a game?
That’s a hard one. I was really absorbed by Half-Life the first time I played it. I remember buying it because it had all these press quotes on the box saying it was a great game, but I wasn’t really very excited about it. I usually played darker (and a lot more mindless) games like Blood 2 and Requiem Avenging Angel. Long story short, I was blown away by the seamless storytelling, the AI and generally the mature handling of it all. So, either that or playing the old Lucas Arts adventure games with my friends and family.