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Giada Zavarise

3 weeks ago

Feature: Kaleidoscopic.

How a comic book author is making a platformer that looks like his art

Jesse Jacobs is famous, but you've may have never heard of him. That's because he's not a game developer, but an award-winner comics author known for his intricate, colourful art style. Go read his comics, if you want to dazzle your eyes. Read Safari Honeymoon, about two newlyweds exploring a dense jungle full of weird creatures. Or read Crawl Space, about a troubled teenager who…

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1 month ago

Feature: I swear it's not Fire Emblem.

Vestaria Saga I: War of the Scions review

Look, do you like Fire Emblem? If so, do you believe the series peaked with the release of Thracia 776, twenty years ago? Well, if that's you, then great. You're gonna adore Vestaria Saga I: War of the Scions. On the other hand, if you've never played a tactical RPG of this broad type (think Disgaea or Banner Saga) before, it might be wiser to…

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Feature: The shape of sounds.

Videogame subtitles could learn a lot from comic book lettering

Being a comics letterer is not a real job. Or at least, that’s what most people believe. After all, letterers only have to make balloons and fill them with the words written by someone else. It sounds so simple - a job a computer should be able to do automatically. I mean, they basically do already, 'cos these days letterers don’t even have to write…

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3 months ago

Feature: Drr…Drr…Drr.

The digital urban legends of Junji Ito, and the games they’ve inspired

I first encountered Junji Ito's comics when I was a teen lurking on imageboards. "Storytime!" someone would announce, and we would all gather around the digital campfire to read some badly translated manga scans. Comics lasting only a handful of pages, quick to read and quick to share in those times when the internet was slower and darker. Perhaps you read some of them too.…

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Feature: I hope the furries are happy

Blacksad: Under the Skin review

For reasons unclear to me, detective work seems to be a popular choice for enterprising animals keen to enter the gig economy. Indeed, creatures of all kinds have been sleuthing it up recently - just this year we had the pleasure of meeting a Goat Detective, a Frog Detective and a Raccoon Detective, and we heard about the arrival of the Chicken Police. And now…

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Feature: "I made this game to […] worship the devil" - stephen, caught on tape, exclusive.

A Panel Shaped Screen meets thecatamites

Stephen "thecatamites" Gillmurphy is a familiar presence in RPSland. In the past years we covered many of his games, from the blood-soaked RPG Space Funeral to the Kafkaesque Murder Dog. His latest game, 10 Beautiful Postcards, is a wandering simulator about exploring hotels — and like all his games, it's wonderfully weird. But where does this developer get inspiration for his ideas? Are DRUGS the…

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4 months ago

Feature:

A Panel Shaped Screen Adventure: You see a new article on Rock Paper Shotgun

It’s the newest instalment of A Panel Shaped Screen, a monthly column about the way comics and games influence each other. The article promises to tell you everything about interactive webcomics. What will you do? > Click on “read the rest of the post”

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5 months ago

Feature: The Disgaea of action platformers

Indivisible review

This here is a game with one of those plots. You know how it goes: our hero — a hot-headed girl called Ajna, in our case — lives in a peaceful fantasy village. One day, the forces of evil arrive, destroy everything, and kill the hero's beloved mentor figure. The hero then sets out for revenge. During their journey they unlock hidden powers, learn shocking…

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Feature: Get ripped

A Panel Shaped Screen: remembering the sprite comics of the mid-2000s

If you're a digital artist, or have a friend who is a digital artist, then you're intimately familiar with the dread associated with the following phrase: "Your job looks easy, the computer draws everything for you!" Art is not a game, but games can help produce art. In the hand of capable webcomic artists, games can become brush and canvas and muse, and be ripped…

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7 months ago

Feature: Small creators, big ideas.

A Panel Shaped Screen: the disjointed universe of Lightstep Chronicles

Every writing class has an over-enthusiastic writer. You know the type. All his writing exercises are set in the same elaborate setting: the fantasy world he has been working on since he was sixteen. He’s currently writing his debut novel, the first in a trilogy. He already has three more trilogies planned out. He also plans to make a videogame about this cool side-character, and…

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Feature: Okay but did you buy the straight to DVD spin-off movie?

A Panel Shaped Screen: the confusing world of multimedia franchises

It was so much easier to just enjoy things back then. You know, then. The good old days. If you liked a game, you played it. If you wanted more, you looked for mods or became involved in the fandom. Once in a while, Hollywood would announce the movie adaptation of some popular game you liked, like Doom. Movies about games were always terrible, but…

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8 months ago

Feature: A spiritual experience

How not to cut trees in Woodcutter Simulator 2011

I am not a religious person, but I must admit some phenomena can’t be explained in a rational way. Like the inconceivable vastness of space. Ghosts sightings. The Brexit. Or United Independent Entertainment’s decision to release Woodcutter Simulator 2011 on Steam in the year of our Lord 2019. I discovered it by chance, a tweet by our dearly departed John Walker casually appearing on my…

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Feature: Yes, I'm confused too

A Panel Shaped Screen: the comics about living in a game that have inspired games

There's a child in front of a door. You know how the story goes. You know behind that door lies a fantastic world, and our little protagonist will get lost in it. You know the child will meet new friends and strange wonders, and will end up saving the realm. You know this because you read this story so many times already, the same plot…

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10 months ago

Feature: Boxes within boxes

A Panel Shaped Screen: screen shaped panels and games that play like comics

Drawing a comic book is like playing Tetris with narrative beats. You have to somehow put on a page everything the script requires you to draw, give the right amount of space to important moments, make sure the reader’s gaze flows naturally from panel to panel, and all your panels must look nice and clear but also in harmony with each other. So you, the…

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Feature: A-mazing

The best games from A Maze Festival in Berlin

I am not hip enough for A Maze, the international games festival held in Berlin. Like every game developer convention, its schedule is dotted with workshops, talks and games to play. But during the festival I also helped make a zine, learned how to not read tarot cards, got my nails painted, and helped deal with the byproducts of paper-shredding game The Book Ritual. There…

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11 months ago

Feature: Let's be adult(s)

A Panel Shaped Screen: porn with plot in comics and games

WARNING: basically every single link in this article is NSFW. Duh. Remember being fifteen and desperately looking for porn on the internet? Perhaps you googled basic terms like “boobs”, like the protagonist of You Must Be 18 Or Older To Enter. Or perhaps you held on to familiar characters, and searched for “Naruto hentai” on Newgrounds to play wonky flash games.

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Feature: Identity crisis

A Panel Shaped Screen: the comics and games that reimagined Disney

I played so many Disney games as a kid. It wasn’t really on purpose, it’s just that I was an avid reader of Disney comics, and sometimes they were bundled with games. Most were simple minigame compilations, parts of the Disney Hotshots series. Others were more elaborate, though they all felt nearly identical. Aladdin, The Lion King, The Jungle Book: the same impossibly hard platformer,…

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12 months ago

Feature: More than Marathon

Remembering old games on Mac is like visiting a lost world

My first videogame memory is about falling. I remember a blue sky and green land and some yellow rectangle where I was supposed to land, but couldn’t, because I was three or four years old and videogames were new and confusing. Unable to control my plane, I could only watch it spiral and crash. The game was Hellcats over the Pacific. I learned this only…

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1 year ago

Feature: Per aspera ad astra

A Panel Shaped Screen: Rediscovering Moebius, the artist who influenced Sable (and a million other games)

Talking about a game’s influences is always a tricky business. Sure, developers love to give long talks about the artists they admire. About their inspirations, the concepts they remixed, the idols they wish to surpass. But there’s a difference between the influences they are trying to evoke consciously, and the many-finned chimeras swimming just under the surface of consciousness. Take Sable, for example. When the…

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Feature: No rest for the Witcher

7 more games that could use a Geralt of Rivia guest appearance

I worry about Geralt. The Witcher series may be over for now, but this hasn't stopped Geralt from taking odd jobs here and there, slaying beasts in Monster Hunter: World, or stabbing folks in Soul Calibur VI. Is Geralt getting adequate retirement benefits? Have witchers unionized yet? I hope he can get some rest, or at least find more contract work that doesn't involve exterminating…

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