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Posts tagged “State of the Art”

Feature: All that shimmers

State of the Art: How Isaac Cohen uses shimmering virtual cloth to explore emotions

Over the last few months I've had a slow back-and-forth with Isaac Cohen – a game creator whose work caught my eye at GDC because it's got this wonderful experimental attitude to spaces and play. He also has these gorgeous textures and iridescent effects I haven't seen elsewhere. I wrote about my own experience of specific games Cohen made like Blarp and Warka Flarka Flim…

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Feature: The eerie beauty of the aurora

State of the Art: The Long Dark’s aurora

The coloured lights flaring across the night sky in the frozen Canadian wilderness were one of the most anticipated elements of Hinterland's survival game, The Long Dark [official site]. Since the Kickstarter we've known they would do more than brighten the night, playing a key part in the game's episodic story mode, but now they're in the game I find myself braving the uptick in…

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Feature: Design of a slime

State of the Art: The slimes of Slime Rancher

I've spent a looooooot of time with my slimes in Slime Rancher [official site] and watching them bounce and coo as they wiggle free of my corrals and wobble off like determined balloon-toddlers has been a delight. But how does one convert a ball into a creature with such a strong sense of spirit? How do you keep their little slime modifications from becoming a…

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Feature: A dark bestiary

State of the Art: The monsters of Prey

I'm only a little way into Prey [official site] at the moment but one of the most interesting aspects for me is the monster design. I love pausing the trailers to peer more closely at their glitchy, weird forms without worrying about being killed. The monsters in question are these hostile lifeforms which all come under the bracket of "Typhon" but there are different species…

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Feature: How its gorgeous scenes were made

State of the Art: Old Man’s Journey

Old Man's Journey [official site] caught my attention before release entirely on the strength of its aesthetic. It reminded me of board game illustrations, of children's books, of a particular Courbet painting, and of colour palettes remembered from trips to the sun-baked south of France. The game itself offered a touching tale told through environment and memory as an elderly man strapped on his rucksack…

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Feature: On fish and fairytales

State of the Art: How Edith Finch’s most memorable scene works

EDITH FINCH SPOILERS AHEAD. THIS IS A REALLY OBVIOUS WARNING SO CONSIDER YOURSELVES WARNED! What Remains of Edith Finch [official site] is a home exploration story – an anthology of the lives of Edith's family members – where playable vignettes tell you what happened to each of them. Each vignette is a distinct tale with its own mood, its own rules. Here I sat down…

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Feature: Rays of light

State of the Art: Chris Delay talks Scanner Sombre

Scanner Sombre [official site] is Introversion's curious LIDAR-inspired exploration game. It caught my eye last year at Rezzed because it had such an unusual art style - the only thing close to it is A Light In Chorus and that does very different things with the specks of colour which make up its environments. In Scanner Sombre you use a scanning gun to reveal the…

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Feature: Family gaming

State of the Art: Guild Wars 2’s art passes from father to son

Recently I had the chance to talk to ArenaNet (and thus Guild Wars 2) art director Horia Dociu about his work at the studio. One of the interesting things about his promotion to the role is that he succeeds his father, Daniel. As a result there's a lot in our Q&A which is actually just a touching account of a partnership/mentor/mentee relationship across two generations…

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Feature: Pond Life

State of the Art: The art of creating Subnautica’s flora

If you've spoken to me for more than five minutes, chances are I've mentioned Subnautica [official site]. It's an open world survival game set largely underwater on an alien planet. You explore biomes, collect resources and, as updates to the early access project add more content, start to piece together the story of the planet. I played huge amounts of the game before more significant…

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Feature: Flickers and flashes

State of the Art: Lights, action, razzle dazzle with League of Legends’ VFX

Visual effects in games intrigue me - they contribute so much to the flavour of a character or an experience but often they're at their best when you're not consciously registering them - they need to complement and harmonise and blend... In a game like League of Legends [official site] they need to communicate character, telegraph attacks, fit in with the established vocabulary of more…

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Feature: How its unique look was developed

State of the Art: Thumper’s Bio-Metal Art And Insects

Rhythm action beetle adventure-coaster Thumper [official site] is one of those elegant games with great core mechanics. I think a lot of people have been commenting on how it's made them feel or on the slickness of the interactions, but I wanted to zero in on the look of the game. It's this pared down bio-metallic thing, somewhere between a heavy metal album cover and…

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Feature: Seafaring sketches

State of the Art: Burly Men At Sea

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…

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Feature: What you'll see Unter the Zee

State of the Art: Sunless Sea and the world of Zubmariner

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…

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Feature: Architecture meets biology

State of the Art: The Visceral Style Of Scorn

When the Scorn trailer came out a couple of weeks back I was fascinated by its aesthetic. It has that potent mixture of architecture and biology which skims so close to revulsion but is also incredibly beautiful. It reminded me of conversations about abjection from art history, of ideas about transgressing bodily boundaries, of monstrous organs, dripping fluids... But I wanted to know what Scorn's…

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Feature: Burrowing into the artwork

State of the Art: The Elegiac Beauty Of Hollow Knight

Hollow Knight [official site] was a Kickstarter project I remember being captivated by because of the art style. It's all bluey greys and underground exploration to solve a mystery - kinda elegiac. There's a beta awaiting further exploration in my Steam library but I've only been able to dip in for small chunks of time thanks to a set of trips and other distractions. HOWEVER…

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Feature: Bringing a tiny city to life

State of the Art: Katherine Bidwell On The Models Of Lumino City

These are all photos I took at the exhibition - if you want to see the larger version just click on them. "All our games so far have had some element of handmade-ness to them but Lumino City has gone to the nth degree." Katherine Bidwell, co-director of studio State of Play, is taking me round the GameCity exhibition of their Lumino City game models.…

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