Dear Esther

, , , , on March 10, 2012

Dear Esther is a short game in which the player walks around an island and experiences a story. As far the prior description goes, the island is beautiful, the atmosphere is thick with emotive music and sound effects, and the level design is polished to the degree of ocean glass. The narrative is unimpressive.
I took a bunch of screenshots, several of which are contained after the break.

Tale of Tales Interview

, on November 16, 2011

This interview with the two founders of Tale of Tales is interesting because they voice the small visionary corner of the games industry. More generally, they represent artists who side with the exploration of communication over commercial success, although as seen through the gaming medium, which has its own unique history and conventions that factor in to the above continuum. Much of what they say is brilliant and confusingly formed, some of it inflammatory, and some of it makes erroneous comparisons. I don’t even particularly enjoy their games (which you should try playing), but I’m very happy that they exist.

I’m just saying my misunderstanding of the games industry, as a non-gamer, coming in making games — I was taking the subject matter and the content in the cutscenes seriously. I was honestly looking for the stories that are on the back of the box, or the media, the propaganda, that they put out about the game.
I was thinking, “Oh, all this content is in there somewhere, and I just have to find it and I’m missing it,” whatever. When in actuality, no, they really want to make another fucking first-person shooter. That’s amazing to me. Still, to this day, I’m amazed by that.
I mean, they’re always talking about creative frustration, and I’m just like, “Why don’t you just make that thing you’re talking about? I don’t understand. Why are you making this other thing?”

The Graveyard is Free!

, on November 2, 2011

The Graveyard is free today on account of All Souls Day.

More Jonathan Blow

, on August 10, 2011

“I liked Myst and other games of that era but what I really liked were games that never existed,” he said. “It’s like there’s some really fucking awesome game like Myst that nobody ever made because it was filled with all of these illogical puzzles and stuff, right?” I didn’t follow.

Jonathan Blow tries hard to put the life back into videogames that mainstream titles forfeit with large development teams and forgo for profit– but this is simply what it means to be an indie developer. Putting aside that I think Blow succeeds, what differentiates him is his acerbic attitude and lack of clarity. I like that.
[quote via Kotaku]

Vinegar and Cinders

, , on June 20, 2011

Varia is the primary and sole artist working on an indie game called Cinders. The above (cropped) painting is Rabbit Heart.
On a different note, this is the wikimedia featured picture of the day (a castle).

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