Carrion: you are the alien blob monster

This looks like fun: in Carrion, you play an alien blob monster, hunting and devouring humans in a failing space colony.

Via Boing Boing:

In most examples of sci-fi horror, a desperate human protagonist must evade, hunt and vanquish the unspeakable alien creature. But what if you were a horrific amorphous nightmare blob, crawling around the red-cast darkness of a failing space colony in search of prey to devour?

This is the premise of Sebastian Krośkiewicz’s “Carrion”, and it looks amazing. Part John Carpenter’s Katamari Damacy, part Shoggoth simulator, all gore, the prototype animations depict a claustrophobic industrial scenario with our hero sliming and slorping around its terrified human victims.

It’s early days, by the looks of it …

See Sebastian Krośkiewicz’s Twitter page.

Stone Story RPG uses text-based animation

Stone Story is an RPG with clever text-based ascii animations, combining old-school visual style with current-day gameplay.

From the developer:

Stone Story is an RPG set in a dark and vile world. The game’s fluid ASCII art is painstakingly animated in plain text by a single insane game developer. Currently in closed alpha, the game features 6 locations to explore, 4 boss fights, mind-blowing ASCII cutscenes and plenty of loot to discover. Much more content is planned once the project reaches beta.

The casual play contrasts with the retro visuals, providing a unique experience that blends nostalgia with modern design principles. One of the game’s defining mechanics is that you have no direct control of the player character. You choose what items to equip and which locations to visit, while an artificial intelligence does all the exploring, combat and looting. An expansive item crafting system allows you to combine otherwise disposable items–rewarding experimentation and making full use of all the gathered loot.

StoneStoryRPG.com

Via Boing Boing: New role playing game has clever text-based ascii animation.

Stone Story: whirlwind wand

Hook

I have not played Hook, but it looks interesting:

Hook

Via Rock Paper Shotgun:

The idea is that each level gives you this abstracted circuit board-looking diagram. There are lines and connecting points and overlapping straight and hooked pins. When you press the big black circles they activate the circuit board and retract any of the pins which are connected at the time. The catch is that the pins are layered so trying to activate them out of order will mean tugging ineffectually at pins whose removal is blocked by others.

I’d describe it as zen circuit board kerplunk and across the fifty levels I’ve played I sort of zone out, concentrating on lines and connections. You can try to remove multiple pins with a button press if you’re feeling flash or you can go one by one. The more you solve the clearer the board gets as extraneous circuitry is removed. I’ve only had one situation where I’d made the puzzle impossible by removing something vital to another circuit.

Edutainment failed me

Treasure MathStorm“… it felt like being told you had to eat your vegetables before you could have a single bite of weird, unappealing fruitcake.”

— Aroon Karuna

Many people … look back fondly on legitimately-entertaining educational games like Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? and The Oregon Trail. But the Learning Company games my parents bought me were marketed to and designed for parents and educators, not children. Rather than marrying learning to play, they crudely grafted educational material to rudimentary “game”-like behavior.

For children forced to play such games, it felt like being told you had to eat your vegetables before you could have a single bite of weird, unappealing fruitcake. You’d typically have to suffer through some convoluted fractions or a reading comprehension portion before you could be “rewarded” with a small slice of entertainment. The message ended up being that education was supposed to be a slog, not something you’d want to pursue for its own sake.

[Source: BoingBoing]

Shelter 2

“Things got heavy when I played this animal-mothering game.”

Leigh Alexander

In 2013 there was a game called Shelter, where you played a badger ushering your cubs to safety from predators and forest fires and other peril. I avoided it, because from what I heard the appeal was supposed to be how bad you felt when one of them inevitably died.

In the just-launched Shelter 2, you now play a mother lynx. You, the player, get to name each of four different-colored kittens — that’s after you guide the expectant mother through the dark, away from the wolves snapping at her heels, to a hilltop den at the base of a tree. If you succeed at raising any of them to adulthood, the game promises, you can then carry on their lineage.

… The very worst part was the day they came out of the den on their own and began to follow me. Just then I remembered the sound of the wolves on the day the babies were born, and nothing could make me continue playing.

Created by Might and Delight Studios. Available on Steam, GOG.com, and Humble Store.

California lawmaker proposes colleges offer video-game design

The LA Times reports:

Assemblywoman Marie Waldron (R-Escondido) has introduced legislation that could someday have California universities offer a degree in creating and designing video games.

“Video game design is a growing industry that is in need of a highly skilled workforce,” Waldron said Monday. “These are well-paid jobs for a young generation that is struggling for economic opportunities. We should work with the entertainment industry to make California a leader in this rapidly growing field.”

AB 255 would create the digital arts pilot program in the California State University and California Community College systems. Waldron hopes to work with the gaming industry to tailor the program to their need for skilled workers.

[Source: LA Times]

See also AB 255 @ openstates.org

William Gibson on videogames

William Gibson Battlezone“It seemed to me that what [players] wanted was to be inside the games, within the notional space of the machine.”

… I remember walking past a video arcade, which was a new sort of business at that time, and seeing kids playing those old-fashioned console-style plywood video games.

The games had a very primitive graphic representation of space and perspective.

Some of them didn’t even have perspective but were yearning toward perspective and dimensionality.

Even in this very primitive form, the kids who were playing them were so physically involved, it seemed to me that what they wanted was to be inside the games, within the notional space of the machine.

The real world had disappeared for them — it had completely lost its importance.

They were in that notional space, and the machine in front of them was the brave new world.

William Gibson interview @ Paris Review

Gibson is speaking of the early 1980’s — the era leading up Neuromancer.