Glitchy cityscape creates moody moments via pixelation

t- e ni hтm-are of·`a c   ty ▯ th_ught 'i kиe w

t- e ni hтm-are of·`a c ty ▯ th_ught ‘i kиe w [ page] is a moodpiece by Pol Clarissou. I’m assuming it is pronounced as “The Nightmare Of A City I Thought I Knew” but young people and their linguistic trickery mean I’m not going to stake my life on that. (I have no idea how old Pol and I are relative to one another, but the other day I mentioned Livejournal and felt ridiculously out of touch with Young People). Nightmare is part of Ambient Mixtape 2016 – a project where developers were given the same first-person camera controller and the theme After Hours with which to work.

Nightmare is this glitchy, shimmery nighttime cityscape with towering buildings, rushing cars and the sploshing and splashing of rain. As you move the landscape becomes pixelated. You have to stop to reorient yourself and let the world slide back into a comprehensible shape. Even then, you look at the buildings and start to notice a shiver of pixelation pass along the world. The overall effect is of a character struggling to focus and a world which may or may not be real.

For me it was a bit like drunk nighttime London in winter, but not Christmastime when I first spawned in. Maybe somewhere around Westminster where the tube exit spits you out into a world populated by those elongated lit windows of the Gothic revival. Or maybe it’s Kingly Street which runs parallel to Regent Street and Carnaby Street, just south of Oxford Circus.

There are also elements of that unreality you might know from standing on platforms and suddenly becoming aware that there’s nothing standing between you and the tracks. The tube train actually arriving and waking you out of that troubling reverie was something I remembered when investigating the cars which run through Nightmare. If you get close they zoom past as a flash of headlights and the world pixelates for a few seconds – it’s that strange rush of unreality I associate with those moments on the tube platform. Or maybe it’s closer to that swirl of dead leaves and plastic bags or the splash of puddle water a fast car can leave in its wake.


  1. Ghostwise says:

    The author was born in 1992 or 1993, if that helps. Or even if it doesn’t, now that I think about it. Which does feel vaguely unfair. Why can’t things be more accommodating ? It’s not that hard. Things suck.

    • inspiredhandle says:

      In your things are unfair/ things suck vein, can I just add that the tube is the most disgusting, oppressive, dehumanising thing that has ever existed underground. It is the only thing on earth that is made worse by getting stoned. Fuck the tube. *spits*

  2. Kefren says:

    I’d actually like to play a game that looked like this but without the blurring when I moved the mouse. Reminds me of the colour schemes of many 8 bit games – black background, then mostly one bright colour against it, like this yellow. Games like:

    Nosferatu link to

    The Great Escape link to

    KnightLore link to

    Needn’t automatically be a shooter. Maybe the game could be an explorer, or a section of free-roaming in between levels – Deus Ex or Blade Runner going for atmosphere rather than fidelity.

  3. MUZBOZ says:

    Hello everyone, these look lovely! I’m getting into this crusty aesthetic myself, based partly on my love of old films, arthouse cinema, David Lynch, experimental films, etc.

    If you’re into this night glitchy scratchy stuff, you might like my ProcJam entry, “Werewolf in the Wild”.
    link to

    • inspiredhandle says:

      Seen the RPS bit on it the other day. Looks fuckin mental. ?