We had been testing the new Endless Forest community website for a few months already. Lots of players had found their way to it. And it’s becoming a really fun place with great artworks and stories created by the community.
So we decided to just give up our perfectionism and open the site as it is, in its beta state.
Have a look:
Only players of The Endless Forest can log in and post. But most of the content can be viewed by anyone.
We’ve been wanting to talk about the Russian studio Ice-Pick Lodge for a while now. Their 2005 game Pathologic is truly fascinating, even if it is “broken”, as John Walker put it.
Thanks to Rock Paper Shotgun we can now enjoy the game by proxy, through a grandiose triptych of a review, divided in Body, Mind and Soul.
A good read, especially with the new game, Tension, on the way.
Ice-Pick Lodge is one of those very few studios that make games from a deep artistic motivation. They don’t mess around with clever control schemes or gathering points. They have a story to tell and they use the interactive medium to tell it. Even if that means sacrificing the overrated “fun factor”. If games are ever going to become a mature artistic medium, this is where it’s going to happen.
How I wish Pathologic wouldn’t crash on my PC…
We met with Jenova Chen and the team at Thatgamecompany for the first time at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco last February. Their games Cloud and flOw had of course attracted our attention. And their new game under development, Flower, is looking very very interesting too. Unsurprisingly, we hit it off extremely well. But there was still much to talk about after the conference. An interview seemed like a good start to continue the conversation.
This was the fastest interview we’ve ever done. We hope you’ll find it as enjoyable as we did.
Photo by jenovachen
In discussions about emotions in games -and the desire to have more of them- we are quick to use the word art. But outside of games, art and emotion are not so clearly linked. In fact, a lot of -“high” or “fine”- art tends to provoke much weaker emotions in the audience than soap opera’s, Hollywood tear jerkers or romantic literature. The emotions provoked by the latter evaporate rather quickly, while the former can linger on for days, years. They can even change your life, as Rilke pointed out.
Since games are interactive, we are used to receiving immediate response to our input. When it comes to emotions, we probably expect the same immediacy. We want the game to grab us by the throat and force us to feel something. Will this exclude games from ever rising above the status of popular -“low” or “commercial”- art?
I guess the question is:
Does interactivity stand in the way of depth, of thoughtfulness?