Posts Tagged ‘Proteus’

10 of the most relaxing games on PC

Relaxing games

Navigate the gallery by clicking on the left and right arrows or use the left and right cursor keys on your keyboard!

Real life is rubbish sometimes, and there’s nothing that video games can do about that. But I know that if I’ve had a particularly tough day at work, then sitting down at my PC and visiting a different world can often be exactly what I need to unwind.
Read the rest of this entry »

The 23 best bite-size games for busy lives

I am dad, hear me whinge. Too many games, not enough spare time, for all my non-work hours are spent kissing grazed knees, explaining why you cannot eat the food in that cupboard, constructing awful Lion King dioramas out of toilet roll tubes and being terrified that the next jump from the sofa to the armchair will go fatally wrong. I’m lucky in that my job to some extent involves playing games, so by and large if there’s something I really want to check out I can find a way to, but I appreciate that there are many long-time, older or otherwise time-starved readers for whom RPS is a daily tease of wondrous things they cannot play.

Now, clearly I cannot magically truncate The Witcher 3 into three hours for you, but what I can do is suggest a few games from across the length and breadth of recent PC gaming that can either be completed within a few hours or dipped into now and again without being unduly punished because you’ve lost your muscle-memory. Read the rest of this entry »

A Good Bundle offering 151 games for cheapo

The bohemian sewer of neon lights and indie games known as Itch.io has posted a huge bundle of games from over 100 different creators, pointedly called A Good Bundle. It’s got a lot in it. Gone Home is in there, Catacomb Kids is in there, Proteus is there, The Novelist is there, Killing Time At Lightspeed is there. And a bunch of smaller games of note too: NORTH, Windosill, Raik, FJORDS, The Old Man Club, Depression Quest, Capsule… jeepers. The asking price for the whole stash – a potentially overwhelming 151 games – is 20 United States dollars. There’s another motive behind this videogame Voltron though. All of the proceeds are going to the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood.
Read the rest of this entry »

Alice And Pip: What Is (And Isn’t) A Walking Simulator?

Alice and Pip have been off wandering their way through digital worlds from Proteus to Sacramento and are now hobbling towards a shared definition of a walking simulator. Find out what conclusions they’ve reached and why their definition categorically does not include Dear Esther!

Pip: Alice, when I asked you to recommend me your favourite walking simulators so I could go on some digital expeditions what would you say were your criteria?

Alice: That… they surfaced readily in this trash heap of a memory? Which meant they struck me for some reason. I think I picked walking simulators with a spread of form and tone, all quite different but all games where you can mostly just walk around. Some fun! Some colourful! Some spooky! Some so linear they’re literally on rails.

Read the rest of this entry »

BioShock, Firewatch, Dishonored & More: How Well Do Non VR Games Work In VR?

I’ve got two VR headsets in my inappropriately small home, and I spend more time feeling guilty that I’m not using them than I do using them. Conceptually I love the tech, and I sporadically have a fine time with ‘experiences’ – i.e. virtual tourism to real or made-up places – when it comes to games-games I’m yet to get all that much out of it. But what about non-VR games rendered after-the-fact in VR? Could this be the full-fat virtual reality gaming I’d imagined when these headsets were first announced?
Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Proteus?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

It’s a challenge to effectively portray the peculiar emotional effect of playing Proteus [official site]. Perhaps the flagship entry in the RPS-celebrated ‘walking simulator’ genre, it’s a pixel painting of seasonal wonder.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.
Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Musical Wandering: Porapora

Pretty.

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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!

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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”.
Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Goodness: Humble Bundle 8 Has Hotline Miami, Proteus

I wish people took me seriously every time *I* put on a chicken mask.

You know, I never really thought about it before, but I think Proteus and Hotline Miami are videogame inverses. One’s about languidly strolling around a neon-bubblegum dreamscape paradise while the other’s about blink-and-you’ll-be-on-the-receiving-end-of-it murder in an entirely different kind of neon-bubblegum dreamscape “paradise”. They are one anther’s bizarro twin, eternally opposed but forever intertwined. Also, they’re in the latest Humble Indie Bundle together, which is neat. And neater still? Probably the fact that they’re joined by Little Inferno, Awesomenauts, Capsized, Thomas Was Alone, and Dear Esther. Yeah, eight is pretty great. Or something.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Proteus

Ed Key and David Kanaga’s Proteus has been floating around for a while, almost finished, almost finished. But now it finally is, and up on Steam, and I’ve been playing it on a loop. A game I really didn’t get the first time I enjoyed its pretty colours on a GDC show floor, now makes complete sense to me. Going in, I had no idea what to expect. Coming out, here’s wot I think.

Read the rest of this entry »

Proteus Gets A Releaseus Dateus At Lasteus

Just a short post as I have to go and do a thing with vegetables and a knife and a saucepan, but I can’t not mention that Ed Key and David Kanaga’s wonderful ambient exploration/sorta-music game Proteus finally has a release date for its finished version. January 30th is that date, which it means it’s just over a week until we can discard our beta versions and noodle around in a new, expanded version of this quietly psychedelic dream-forest.
Read the rest of this entry »

Ambience In Action: Proteus Live

We’ve posted surprisingly little about audio-visual wunderkind Proteus, which I suspect is to do with the fact that, as a primarily sensory experience, it’s far more difficult to describe than it is play. Certainly, Ed Key’s ambient exploration game has at least three staunch fans in Castle Shotgun – myself, Jim and Adam – and it would be remiss of us not to encourage any and everyone who is introspection-inclined to play it.

Of course, to do so involves spending money on the current unfinished version without being entirely sure what you’re in for – no demo as yet, alas – so as an alternative why not watch Ed and the game’s musicman David Kanaga play Proteus live on stage at GameCity last week?
Read the rest of this entry »