What happens when one half of a development team goes on holiday and leaves the other, slightly agoraphobic half at home? In a roundabout way, it ends up in The Binding Of Isaac. That’s the origin of the game, the very moment that sent Edmund McMillen down into the basement to confront elements of his religious upbringing in a Flash game. Isaac’s odd story is told in this interview from the makers of Indie Game: The Movie. Want to hear about how Ed’s Team Meat partner Tommy Refenes’ holiday turned into a game of contradictions? It’s posted below, and it’s absolutely fascinating.
EDIT: The video was live when I wrote the story, and now it’s private. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
Posts Tagged ‘The Binding Of Isaac’
After Ed McMillen quietly announced The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth last year, the snazzy, SNES-style remake of the disturbing rogue-like has been fairly quiet. Almost as if it were locked in a basement, hidden from the judgmental gaze of society who wouldn’t be able to just stare at the awful, lumpen horrors it possesses. But it turns out I’m applying the game’s fiction to the development process, which is a huge error. I’ve still to see the game in action, but the atmosphere of the live-action trailer they’ve just released is pitch-perfect. Low-fi and utterly horrible. Please watch it with the lights on.
Read the rest of this entry »
RPS Feature “It really feels like Vlambeer"
Vlambeer is making yet another videogame like it’s their job or something. They have probably lost their minds, but we may as well reap the rewards. Originally a quick and dirty Mojam prototype dystopia-’em-up, Wasteland Kings is now evolving into a full-on action-roguelike (or “roguelike-like,” as designer JW Nijman describes it) with heaps of characters, procedurally generated locations, and of course, guns. In practice, that means you run from area to area, dodging and blasting circles around enemies in a desperate bid for survival. All the while, you mutate new, largely randomized powers and pick up better, stranger weapons. Sounds a bit like fellow action-roguelike The Binding of Isaac, doesn’t it? And while the inspiration is certainly there, Nijman insists that Wasteland Kings is millions of cracking, sun-parched miles away from a carbon copy.
The holidays are a time of indecision. Who should you visit? What ugly, uncomfortable seasonal sweater should you wear? Which deity(s) should you dedicate your hedonistic blood celebrations to (aside from Horace, of courace)? And, most importantly, what will you buy before/after your relatives shower you with socks or rocks or whatever it is that passes for a universal gift these days? But it doesn’t end there. Oh no. There are, after all, 927.45 trillion videogames to choose between, so you may as well just start sobbing and curl up in a fetal futility ball right now. Unless… no, no. That’s crazy. But maybe… no. It’ll never work. Ah, what the hell: bundles! Both Indie Royale and Humble Bundle have new offerings up, and they’re quite tempting, if I do say so myself.
I suppose it’s only fitting that, just as one of the holliest, jolliest, holiest of holidays begins to descend upon us, we’ve suddenly struck a blood-and-pus-spewing vein of Binding of Isaac news. First there was a completely mad (in a good way) looking Team Fortress 2 mod, and now Edmund McMillen himself has reclaimed the stage to present a hellish heap of details about the upcoming Binding of Isaac remake. In short, Nicalis – they of the recent Cave Story console remakes and NightSky – are handling the heavy lifting while McMillen cracks the whip from the lead designer nightmare throne. Non-Flash graphics, local co-op, and a Wrath-of-the-Lamb-sized expansion are the standout features, but it wouldn’t be Binding of Isaac without a million-billion other gleefully gruesome things. And on that front, McMillen and Nicalis intend to deliver.
Sometimes, modding is a delicate, subtle art – its inspirations many and nuanced, and its results unexpectedly evocative. It’s akin to the flap of a butterfly’s wings – barely even a whisper on the wind, yet capable of breathing pollen-dappled life into countless fields and genres. Other times, modding’s about taking one crazy and thing and cramming it into another crazy thing to make a third, orders of magnitude crazier thing. Which brings us to a completely insane Binding of Isaac mod for Team Fortress 2. The objective, so far as I can tell, is to do normal TF2 stuff (teamwork, friendship, murder) while also dealing with an onslaught of decidedly un-bound bosses. It looks completely wild. Traverse the break’s treacherous dungeons to check it out.
Four words all but guaranteed to win my attention: “a game about cats.” When said four words are twinned with the knowledge that the game in question comes from the creators of Super Meat Boy and one half of The Binding Of Isaac team, my attention becomes unwavering.
We know precious little about Team Meat’s Mew-Genics other than that it’ll be “randomly generated, strange and involve cats” so even a tiny, kitten-size scrap of detail is enough to cause a flurry of fluffy speculation. Today, that’s two new shots showing in-game characters.
Read the rest of this entry »
No, no, it’s not what it sounds like. Edmund McMillen hasn’t suddenly decided to beat the record for fastest “HD” remake treatment ever. This remake, to hear McMillen tell it, is very, very necessary. In short, have you ever noticed how Binding of Isaac occasionally chugs even on machines powered by blazing tech and unholy sacrifices to Shan’thulex, bloodlord of the night (and a small chain of mom ‘n’ pop PC hardware stores)? Well, that’s because it runs on Flash, and McMillen thinks it’s high-time that changed. That, however, is only the beginning of this remake.
Despite the constant flow of new games to try, be they the sort of grand strategy that devours weeks or tiny flights of fancy, there are some games more than a fortnight old that I still find time to play. The Binding of Isaac is one. Short, decidedly sour and extremely attentive to my desire for carefully controlled randomisation and odd loot, every journey into the basement has something to offer. We knew an expansion was on its way and now we know it’ll be here on May 28th. According to the trailer, it’ll also contain ‘more’ of just about everything.
Who wants a long look into the mind behind The Binding of Isaac? Edmund McMillen recently spoke with design3, a web portal offering education and advice for game developers, and the resulting conversation is wide-ranging, fascinating and what I believe must be referred to as ‘refreshingly’ honest. That’s as honest as the country pub with the shaded garden serving up the first beer of a summertime Friday evening after a day of fielding calls in a thimble-sized office cubicle. The interview runs for an hour and a half but is certainly worth sticking with if you have an interest in Ed and his games, the indie scene, making games of your own or the wider industry. They cover it all.
I still haven’t done everything there is to do in The Binding of Isaac and it’s one of the few games that I’ll happily revisit for achievements and items. I want every item and I want to kill every boss with every character. That’s why the news of an expansion fills me with pleasure and anxiety, although not in equal measure. The anxiety is tiny and might just be the standard white noise of dread that hums in my ears whenever I’m awake. The pleasure is immense. I always hoped Isaac would continue to sprout growths and the free Halloween update was ace. The next will require a small payment – it’s going by the name The Wrath of the Lamb and according to Edmund, it adds about 50% new content. More details below.
RPS Feature You better watch out, perhaps even cry
The first snow of the year made an appearance today, blanketing the world outside with the ghostly beauty of a whispered veil, as the fire roared, pressing freshly cut logs to the glowing bosom of its warming embrace and casting flickering shadows about the room. Christmas is a time for tortured and twee metaphor, that’s for sure, but it’s about much more than that. Above all else, perhaps, Christmas is a time for family.
Here’s an indie bundle with a difference – it doesn’t contain any games. Instead, the Indie Music Bundle it’s a collection of soundtracks from some of your favourite (assumption #1) indie games and some you have probably never heard of (assumption #2). As is swiftly becoming obligatory, the ten albums are available at a price of your choosing, although this is for one day only, being a Black Friday sale. The minimum price is $1 and if you pay at least $10 you’ll receive seven bonus items.
Of the ones that I know, the VVVVVV soundtrack is simply wonderful, and both Super Meat Boy and The Binding of Isaac, are quite enjoyable. The latter is in the $10 bonus items. Even if you opt to be stingy, for a dollar you’re sure to find something that you love (assumption #3). Everything is DRM-free and delivered as 320kbps MP3s. Take a look.
Hullo! I used to write on this site, and then I got very tired. I sleep most the day now. It’s nice. When I’m sleeping, I get my nurse to play podcasts. This is my favourite games podcast in ages. Roguelike Radio is a Roguelike-centric podcast which plays a different one every couple of weeks and does a show about it. In this case, however, they’ve got Edmund McMillen on to talk about Binding of Isaac. And it’s so brilliant, I almost managed to stand up. But my legs failed, and I was left sprawling hopelessly on the floor. I wish I had working legs and a functioning penis, though that’s probably too much information. But honestly, unless my critical faculties are as rusty as my cog-powered cock, this is a genuinely brilliant, wide-ranging interview about McMillen’s latest. Go listen! Meanwhile, I’m going to have a little lie down. Bye!
The devious wee sods. It’s always like this: the Humble Bundle announces its latest pay-what-you-want indie deal, so we duly post about it because the people should know and all that. Then, a few days later, they go and add more games to the bundle, so it seems wise to also post about that. They’ve got us by the short and curlies. Joking aside, clan Bundle’s machinations are becoming perhaps over-obvious by this point, and I do hope there will be updated rather than ritual tactics in future.
The most common complaint about The Binding of Isaac is that it doesn’t contain enough horrid things in it, being a rather delicate cocktail of blood, tears and poo. Thankfully, the Halloween update, which will automatically apply itself to Steam copies of the game by noon PST today, adds “20% more evil”. It says so in the trailer, which is gibbering madly in the sulfurous depths below, along with some details on what that extra evil is composed of, including new playable character Eve.
It only includes two areas of the game and a few of the items and foes, so may struggle to convey the randomly-generated wonder/horror of this shooter/roleplayer/matricide curio, but if you’re still confused about exactly what this game is, this will give you a broad sense of it.
RPS Feature The Chatting On Isaac
The Binding of Isaac is a roguelike-or-is-it/shooter/body-horror/religion-bating curio from Edmund McMillen and Florian Himsl. It’s… different. It’s nasty. It’s funny. It’s lightning fast. It’s cruel. It’s a lot of things, in one small and very cheap package. But is it any good? In the name of finding out, Alec and Adam gathered to discuss mutant babies, shooting human waste products, dicing with the devil and laser eyeballs.
Read the rest of this entry »
RPS Feature Super Sacrificial Boy
I’ve spent hours in a basement full of demented nightmare children, using my own tears, blood and urine to fend them off. That’s a lie. I’m not just fending them off, I’m going out of my way to seek them out and to kill them in case my murderous mother’s undergarments or shoes appear when I’ve reduced every living thing in a room to blood-pudding. Then I’ll be able to put on mother’s clothes and that will make my tears all the more bitter. The other children won’t stand a chance against me then. It’s The Binding Of Isaac. Here’s Wot I Think.