Posts Tagged ‘Blendo Games’

Blendo On Quadrilateral Cowboy, Experimental Games

“Twentieth Century Cyberpunk.” That’s Quadrilateral Cowboy’s elevator pitch, but “hacking that’s not just some awful minigame” would work just as well. I played Blendo’s latest during PAX, and my heart grew three sizes that day. Also, my brain turned into a copy of William Gibson’s “Neuromancer.” I quite like it, is what I’m saying. Afterward, I sat down stood in a deafeningly loud convention center corner with dev dynamo Brendon Chung, and we discussed Quadrilateral Cowboy, Thirty Flights Of Loving, how to tell a good game story, and the difficulties of integrating such things into, well, games. It’s all after the break. 

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Hacking Done Right: Quadrilateral Cowboy

I think I have every right to consider myself a master hacker. I mean, videogames told me so. Let’s look at my qualifications: I can arrange electric pipe mazes, solve obnoxious word matching puzzles, and make my way through colorful, LED-hued node spiderwebs. That’s right, governments of the world. You know you want me to lock down your security systems for you. Nice and tight. Mmm-hmm. OK, that got weird. But anyway, let’s be honest here: hacking minigames tend to have zero basis in reality, and often end up feeling annoying, awkward, and out-of-place. In Blendo‘s  (they of Gravity Bone, Thirty Flights Of Loving, and Atom Zombie Smasher fame) Quadrilateral Cowboy, however, hacking is the entire game. So, how’s it work? Incredibly well, if the demo I played during PAX is any indication. 

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Dear Videogames, Stop Telling Me Everything

When I beat the absolutely wonderful Thirty Flights Of Loving over the weekend, I had precisely one immediate reaction: “Wait, what just happened?” I cannot even begin to tell you how much that excites me. But then I decided to write an article about it, largely because one of my greatest passions in life is defying nonsencial figures of speech. At any rate, Thirty Flights Of Loving packs loads of information into not-even-30-minutes with hardly any dialog or exposition. But, in some ways, it’s even more of a supposed “un-game” than, say, Modern Warfare 3. I mean, all agency is illusory. Without spoiling anything (note: that’ll happen a little bit after the break), you’re along for the ride – and that’s it. In a couple bits, it doesn’t even matter where you walk. The game will just jump-cut you to your intended location.

So why is it one of my absolute favorite games – and yes, I one hundred percent believe it’s a game – of the year? Because it made me think about what happened. No, scratch that. It required me to think.

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Wot I Think: 30 Flights Of Loving

Like its predecessor Gravity Bone, Blendo Games’ Thirty Flights of Loving is a short-form tale of cool criminals in a cuboid world, told from a first-person perspective with a hyper-compressed, non-linear narrative that focuses only on the drama and comedy, not the filler. Here’s what I made of it.
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Boney Fide: 30 Flights Of Loving Arrives

What's his job?

I’m currently pretending to be a robot who turns into a big red lorry, otherwise I would be ALL OVER Thirty Flights of Loving, Blendo Games’ mini-sequel to the incomparable Gravity Bone. Folks who helped start Idle Thumbs’ kicks have already had access to this tale of cuboid, supercool spies for a little while, but it’s now available either direct from the dev or via Steam. Obviously the former is a better way to show your appreciation, but the latter comes up slightly cheaper – £3.59 rather than £4.13. I am sure it will be money well-spent either way. It is of course highly unprofessional to judge games without having played them, but I am SUPREMELY CONFIDENT that this will be excellent. You can tell by the way I’ve randomly and childishly capitalised words in this post.
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Gravity Bone’s Sequel: Thirty Flights Of Loving

Hooray! A sequel to Blendo Games’ delightfully inventive cubist spy mini-opus Gravity Bone. Thirty Flights Of Loving appears to be dripping with the same visual and sonic style as its most excellent predecessor.

Double-hooray! It’s being made in conjunction with the good folk behind the newly-resurrected and much-missed Idle Thumbs podcast! Lob ‘em $30 via Kickstarter to help them get their show back on the road (though at $105,000 raised to date they’re in a pretty happy place already) and you get Thirty Flights before anyone else does. If you don’t want to do that (admittedly, it’s a high price if you’re not primarily there for the podcast), the game will be released separately later.

Triple-hooray! The first-ever trailer for it is below.

Quadruple-hooray! Includes pseudo-Jeff Goldblum-based action.

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IGF Factor 2012: Atom Zombie Smasher

And so our series of interviews with the finalists in this year’s IGF continues… High-speed, high (un)death toll strategy game Atom Zombie Smasher is up for the Excellence in Design prize at this year’s Independent Games Festival. Here, we chat to Blendo Games’ Brendon Chung about his origins as an indie dev, how people are creating their own narrative arcs in AZS, and his answer to the most important question of all.
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Level With Me, Brendon Chung.

“Level with Me” is a series of conversations about level design between modder Robert Yang and a level designer of a first person game. At the end of each interview, they collaborate on a Portal 2 level shared across all the sessions – and at the very end of the series, you’ll get to download and play this “roundtable level.” This is Part 4 of 7.

Months before releasing Atom Zombie Smasher to acclaim, Brendon Chung exploded onto the indie scene with the stylish FPS sketch Gravity Bone – but before then, us loyal followers (“Chungers”) had already been enjoying his short-form forays into FPS-dom for years. His Barista series, especially Barista 2, is proof that Brendon was doing this “indie FPS” silliness long before any of us. Damn.

(Be advised, there are substantial *SPOILERS* for Barista 2 and Gravity Bone, which are both freeware, so you should play them.)
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Wot I Think: Atom Zombie Smasher

Released a couple of weeks ago and picking up a good buzz amongst People Who Know, Blendo’s Atom Zombie Smasher is a high-speed kinda-strategy game about the end of the world, and one government’s attempt to stop it. You’re the government. Stop it. I’m the games reviewer. Here’s what I think.

I didn’t smash anywhere near as many zombies as one might have expected. This is because a) Atom Zombie Smasher is hard and b) ‘avoiding’ is a whole lot more important than ‘smashing’, it transpires. This is not, at heart, a game about killing – it is a game about helping people to run away as efficiently as possible.
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Atom Zombie Smasher Is Out, Also Demo

The heroic Blendo Games (Gravity Bone, Flotilla) have released Atom Zombie Smasher, which is a game about killing zombies. But no wait come back! – don’t judge things by the zombies and the really unattractive screenshots. Instead take a look at the trailer below, and then, warmed by the light humour within, head over to the Blendo site and download the demo. I think you might be okay with this. Really. Play then judge.
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