Posts Tagged ‘dead end thrills’

Sound Garden: The Aural Landscape Of Fract OSC


This is the latest in the series of articles about the art technology of games, in collaboration with the particularly handsome Dead End Thrills.

In the Tron-like synthesiser world of Fract OSC, dead code awaits the healing touch of the user. Towering polygonal geodes hide the tools for making music, and somewhere in each vast structure is a way to power it back up. Bringing it back to life, though, is often the other half of the puzzle. For that you’ll have to compose.

Phosfiend Systems’ first ‘proper’ game comes via an IGF award-winning prototype, backing from the Indie Fund, Steam Greenlight, but most importantly creator Richard Flanagan’s passion for synthpop and its hardware. His background in web and analogue game design doesn’t hurt, either. Indeed, perhaps the most striking thing about Fract OSC is how its synaesthesic interface – text and prompts are swapped for directional lasers and electro power chords – gets equal billing to its puzzling and exploration. Read the rest of this entry »

The Beautiful Game: Inside OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast


This is the latest in the series of articles about the art technology of games, in collaboration with the particularly handsome Dead End Thrills.

How better to celebrate 25 years of Mega Drive than on a site dedicated to PC games, via a game synonymous with Xbox-powered coin-ops? Not so fast, RPS! This copy of the seldom-bought PC version of OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast protects this feature. [Holds up empty hand.] No, wait, these copies! [Turns to empty shelf.] Aha! These copies! [Fires up empty web page.] Nngh! They were right here! Get this straightjacket off me!

Okay, so it’s not actually possible to buy this game any more due to expired Ferrari licensing. Not that it matters here. There’s always a fistful of reasons to talk about OutRun, not just the coincidence of Mega Drive’s birthday which I only heard about this morning. Read the rest of this entry »

On Edge: A Chat With Robert Briscoe


This is the latest in the series of articles about the art technology of games, in collaboration with the particularly handsome Dead End Thrills.

Robert Briscoe is obviously not the only great environment artist in games, and it’s a bit weird to say he has a singular portfolio after working on just two titles. What makes it a lot easier is if you think in terms of levels: The Shard, Jacknife, Reflex, Velocity (from Mirrors Edge and its DLC); The Lighthouse, The Cave, The Beacon (from Dear Esther). All masterpieces up there with BioShock’s Welcome To Rapture, Half-Life 2’s Point Insertion and – quick, think of something slightly less distinguished to prove worldliness – that level in Robocod made out of Penguin bars. Read the rest of this entry »

The Blind Night: Discovering MirrorMoon EP


This is the latest in the series of articles about the art technology of games, in collaboration with the particularly handsome Dead End Thrills.

The most baffling thing about my favourite game in recent yonks, MirrorMoon EP, is that its creators haven’t played Mercenary. Or Driller, Captain Blood, or any other those great computer games it so resembles. That the likeness is accidental is one thing, that it finds meaning in the game’s title and events another. On a strange planet in an unknown universe in what never seems less than a dream, your eyes keep returning to the MirrorMoon, a distant, identical world. Activating a series of strange relics and beacons, you build a bridge between the moons and start to walk across. As you approach the halfway mark, perhaps to meet a MirrorYou, the ‘dream’ is engulfed in light and back to your cockpit you go. Well, someone’s cockpit.
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New Adventures In Hi-Fi: Some Screenshots


This is the latest in the series of articles about the art technology of games, in collaboration with the particularly handsome Dead End Thrills.

Games move pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss them. The pretties this week come courtesy not of a particular game, nor indeed me, but of the Dead End Thrills Flickr group, a caravan of some 500+ ‘players’ who spend more time stopping games and looking around than they do actually playing. The times we live in.

With some 11,000 images in there, I wasn’t sure how best to approach this. (Drunk, obviously, but how badly?) I’ve gone for the easy option: a round-up of games and/or users that stood out over the last few weeks. What you’ll often find is that wrangling games into ‘screenshot mode’ has knock-on benefits for any PC gamer, so let’s see if that holds true.
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Dark Signal: The Origins Of FEAR


Update: A second conversation with Craig Hubbard revealed a few more details, so I’ve added them where appropriate. The section ‘Mergers And Executions’ now talks more about cut villain Conrad Krige and the game’s improbable original opening (a car chase), while a new section on its famous radio chatter has been added to the end.

In this second of three conversations with the Monolith veterans at Blackpowder Games, whose debut Betrayer is kind of available now, it’s time to look at FEAR: First Encounter Assault Recon. Well, it is if you do things backwards.
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Solar System: Inside Project CARS’ Galileo Engine


This is the latest in the series of articles about the art technology of games, in collaboration with the particularly handsome Dead End Thrills.

Grid 2 may have vandalised one for the sake of selling The Most Expensive Game Ever That Isn’t This (£125,000 plus whatever it takes to scrape that grotesque livery off), but gaming’s real answer to the BAC Mono is the hip, gorgeous, and ever so slightly mad Project CARS. With barely-legal performance for a game still in alpha, its exposed wishbones and dampers only add to the sense of crowdsourced cool. Mmmm, those naked springs.
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Monomania: Shades Of Old In Blackpowder’s Betrayer


The latest installment of an ongoing collaboration between RPS and Dead End Thrills brings you a look at the recently released Betrayer.

Just a moment while I stand and address the group. Hi everyone. *deep breath* I am a Monoholic. One whiff of vintage Monolith Productions and I’m back in the throes of a FEAR bender, or in a caravan park somewhere fighting ninjas disguised as Wiltshire police officers. And now this: Betrayer, an action adventure from six Monolith veterans born again indie and calling themselves Blackpowder Games. Quick, someone, chuck me that copy of Shogo or I’ll burn your house down.
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Zenomorph: The Art And Evolution Of Zeno Clash

This is the first in a weekly series of features about the art and art technology of PC games, in association with website Dead End Thrills. More from Zeno Clash II can be found here. Click the images below for biggies.

Punch me in my Salvador Dali and tell me I’m not dreaming. Did just fifteen people really make Zeno Clash II? Of course they did, it’s by ACE Team, the Chilean house of brothers Andrés, Carlos and Edmundo Bordeu. Making a game that actually seemed possible would be too easy for those guys, and maybe even lose the underdog cachet that makes their first-person brawlers so disarming.
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