Posts Tagged ‘Proteus’

A Psychogeography Of Games #5: Ed Key

This is article 5 of 6, adapted from my Psychogeography of Games series for London’s Videobrains. If you enjoy this, please consider backing me on Patreon, where there’ll be a zine of these texts coming out in the New Year, plus an exciting new project announced soon(ish).

In the months running up to the walk, Ed has sent me the occasional email, each time with new ideas for route near where he lives (and grew up) in Cumbria. The night before, we spread an OS map out on the table and he points out wild swimming spots, walks he went on with his parents, places not explored yet. Jack, a black and white cat, sits on top and bats at Ed’s finger each time he places it down. In the end we decide on Borrow Beck, in Borrowdale. The walk doesn’t look far on the map.

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A Microholiday Album From Proteus

I was going to write about the plantlife in Proteus [official site] or something along those lines but then I went back and… it didn’t feel like quite what I wanted to express today. Mostly I’ve gone back to just thinking about how lovely the game is, even when you strip out the movement and sound. Obviously it would be better with both but here are the screenshots from my season cycle in Proteus today. It felt like a microholiday so I guess this is my microholiday album, if you’d like to take a look. Autumn and winter are by far my favourite seasons. Spring and summer are lovely, but autumn is magical and I’d totally forgotten about the aurora.

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Weave Songs, Remake Worlds In Proteus Composer’s Musical Adventure/Toy PANORAMICAL

Otherworldly walking sim Proteus [official site] is very much an RPS favourite: a dreamy, good-natured, no-pressure place many of us retreat to when the shooting and the jumping and the icon-collecting gets too much. Half the reason for Proteus’ joyfully calming effect is David Kanaga’s prettily ambient soundtrack, and how perfectly it fits the evocative, wooly-edged art. In PANORAMICAL, which occupies a place between game and music tool, Kanaga’s compositions move front and centre.
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Forest of Sleep Looks Like No Other Game

When the first images and GIFs of Forest of Sleep [official site] tumbled out last week, all we knew was that it was “an experimental storytelling/adventure game inspired by Russian fairytales.” That plus its development being led by Proteus‘s creator Ed Key was quite enough to catch our interest, though the new details and GIFs I’ll outline below do much to solidify it.

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Musical Wandering: Porapora


Come on, that’s enough. You’ve had enough. It’s noon. Get up. Get out of the house. I’m going for a swim, and if you’re still there when I get back, I’ll be sorely disappointed. We follow a strict Victorian physical code here, you know: a brisk walk, a dunk in some nice cold water, then a seven-course lunch once we’re all back. Don’t pout. Oh, at the very least, do go for a virtual walk. It’ll still enrich you, and might help you shake your grumps off if you’re playing the delightful Porapora.

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Self-Interviewing Devs: Proteus And “Walking Simulators”

I've returned to this particular Proteus island many times. But am I simulating walking or exploring or wandering or dreaming or?

I’ve discovered a novel way to conduct interviews: tweet vaguely about something you’re interested in, then wait for two game designers you like and respect to have a chat about it and send you the logs. I carefully laid my bait: “I use ‘walking simulator’ warmly and earnestly. I adore walking around looking at stuff and reflecting. Walking is great! Sim it to the max.”

The trap snared my chums Ed Key and Ricky Haggett. Ed created walking simulator Proteus while Ricky is working on Hohokum, a dicking-about sim for PlayStations which might, with fewer puzzles, be called a walking simulator. Unsuspecting, they discussed Proteus, the ‘genre,’ exploring and wandering, and what a “walking simulator” even is. Afterwards they decided “Just email it to Alice,” rather than blog about the chat themselves. “She can turn it into ‘news,'” they said. Suckers!

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A Dark New Dream: Proteus Modded Into Purgateus

It's in the trees.

If Proteus is the warm yet anxious dreams one has after a Tuesday night with a bottle of fizzy wine and a Princess Mononoke DVD, then Purgateus may be what happens after a Friday night of listening to witch house while scrolling through Tumblr blogs, you know, that sort with lots of triangles and pale ladies draped in black. The mod turns Ed Key’s walking simulator into a new dream, still bound by the same rules but with a new look, a new sound, and certainly a new tone.

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A Game And A Chat: FRACT OSC’s Richard Flanagan

FRACT OSC is a musical passion project that’s been strumming light riffs on the backing track of RPS’ Official Exciteosourchestra for years. It’s a first-person explorer set in a pulsating dance floor paradise of smooth synths and devious puzzles. Our kind of thing? You don’t know the half of it. Alec, however, came away feeling slightly let down, so I invited creator Richard Flanagan to defend his design choices. We’ll discuss criticism of FRACT’s bold, beautiful world, music as an integral part of the design process, the personal nature of the game, Myst and other first-person puzzlers, and HEAVY METAL. We’re kicking off at 12 PM PT/8 PM RPS TimeTune in below.

Update: We’re done! Tons of interesting discussion about puzzle design and musical toys and METAL. Watch it all below.

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Square-Enix Wants Other People To Make Their Games

The troublesome burden of being an IP rights holder is starting to get to Square-Enix, who just can’t take it anymore. The publisher has announced the Collective, a sort of combination of Steam Greenlight and crowd-funding that’ll enable game devs to pitch ideas to the company. If, after 28 days, the game has gained enough support from the people then they’ll allow you to take the pitch to IndieGogo. Now you’re probably thinking that people can do that anyway so what the hell, Square-Enix? They can, that’s true. But Square are doing this so devs can pitch to work with “older Eidos IPs”.
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Staying Humble: Proteus’ Origins And Ed Key’s Next Game

Proteus is a warm, soothing bubble bath for the soul. The lo-fi first-person explorer lets players loose on an island that’s one part rainbow dreamscape and another chirpy chiptune music maze. Basically, it’s what I imagine nature lovers believe the outdoors to be, even though every real-life forest, hill, and tree is actually made entirely out of spiders. And yet, for all of Proteus’ high-minded inventiveness, it certainly didn’t start out that way. Creator Ed Key had to learn some very important lessons about, er, not being Skyrim before his first independently developed game traded bullets for butterflies, and – despite Proteus pulling in a fair deal of money – he’s trying very hard to keep them in mind for his next game.

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