Hello. This is the point where I’ve come back from a press trip and tell you what I managed to do during my wait for the plane home! This time: The Science Behind Pixar exhibition at the California Science Center!
RPS Feature Mike Wazowski!
RPS Feature Seafaring sketches
Burly Men At Sea [official site] sailed onto my radar at Rezzed earlier this year. Part of the Leftfield Collection, the game offered a beautifully stylised tale about three bearded brothers going off on an adventure. The reason I was particularly excited was, more than any other game, the demo I played seemed to capture the essence of children’s story books and translate that to the screen in a way that felt natural.
To find out more I spoke to one half of the development team at Brain&Brain, Brooke Condolora and asked her to share snippets from her sketchbooks and from across the game’s development.
Take a peek after the jump, and click on any of the images to see a larger version.
RPS Feature What you'll see Unter the Zee
Sunless Sea‘s [official site] first expansion, Zubmariner will be released on 11 October bringing with it new ports and cities to explore and tales to be told. Or as developers, Failbetter, put it: “agonising choices presented in beautiful prose.” But it wasn’t the beautiful prose which caught my eye in recent dev blog entries, it was the undersea (or rather, Unterzee) flora and corals. That’s why I’ve been asking Failbetter CEO and art director, Paul Arendt to tell me a little more about how the art works in the game.
For the images in question, just use the left and right arrow keys on your keyboard or click the arrows just next to the pictures!
“Can games be art?” It’s a question I spent part of yesterday complaining about while brandishing a forkful of jacket potato. I used to engage with the debate on those terms but it’s so unhelpful – a strange grab for cultural legitimacy by association. When it comes up in such an explicit way it tends to feel like the games industry has smeared itself with makeup, stolen its mother’s heels and is trying to get into a club it’s heard is super important using a fake ID.
That’s why I was curious to read The Great Art Upgrade by Paolo Pedercini. It’s an infodump/transcript from the Art History of Games keynote he delivered back in 2013. It covers off the main points of the conversations which were taking place (and still are) in mainstream and games media but then it flips over, focusing on what art has been doing with games over the most recent decades.
Our Adam might have enjoyed Pippin Barr’s Let’s Play: Ancient Greek Punishment in 2012, but didn’t answer one big question: was it… The A Word? Y’know, The Big Chinscratch. The Great Hmmmer. The Old Wallhanger. The Inherited Necklace. Art. Was it Art? There can be no doubt about the free new Let’s Play: Let’s Play: Ancient Greek Punishment: Art Edition Edition.
It’s got ‘Art Edition’ right there in the name, for starters. This time, as you play Prometheus scaring off the eagle pecking out his liver for eternity, you’ll find the game hanging on a wall, and its frame reflecting your webcam-captured face back at you. Just like real Art you see in real galleries!
I like Secret Habitat. I like it an awful lot. I’ve been playing this latest from Strangethink Software for a fortnight and I keep returning to see more but it’s taken me this long to post because I want to do right by it. Oh, this’ll have to do! Secret Habitat is wonderful and special, okay?
It’s a free walking simulator on a procedural island covered in procedural art galleries with procedural layouts and procedural wallpaper and procedural collections of procedural artwork with procedural names by procedural artists, accompanied by procedural sound exhibits.
RPS Feature Artist's Block
I have made more progress on my cup of tea in the last five minutes than I have in clicking on the Tate Worlds download link for an André Derain Minecraft map. The map forms part of a Tate project which sees artworks from its collection inspire Minecraft worlds and experiences. The reason for my reluctance is that I’ve only just stopped crying over the one based around Christopher Nevinson’s The Soul Of The Soulless City. It wasn’t moved-by-art crying either. It was horrified, panicked sobbing – a visceral reaction to claustrophobia and lifelessness.
As Julie Andrews once advised, let’s start at the very beginning…