The pattern is much more conversational: you say something, the game says something back, then you say something, and so forth," adds Ingold. "That pattern helps players feel like they have agency and they’re being listened to by the game; it helps make the game look visually less intimidating - people definitely see text before they read it. And it has a collaborative feel: when it works well, it generates a rapport between player and game, with each building on the other’s input.

Jon from inkle talks about mobile, interactive writing, pace and design in '80 Days: Building the perfect text adventure for mobile' - Mike Rose, Gamasutra

80 Days is out

…and it’s Editor’s Choice on the App store!

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We’ve all been so blown away by the response to the game. Writing this game has been an extraordinary pleasure as well as a monumental task steeped in blood and love. Working with the wildly talented folks at inkle has been nothing short of wonderful. It’s genuinely incredible to watch people journey around the world we built together.

If you’ve been playing it (or even if you haven’t!), you simply have to check out Jaume Illustration’s incredible character art at his blog. His fantastical contraptions and stylish characters are, impossibly, even more gorgeous up close.

And Laurence Chapman’s adventurous and playful 80 Days suite can be listened to and downloaded from his website. It is currently on repeat in my house, and should be in yours too. 

Thank you everyone who has played, reviewed, tweeted, mutinied, romanced, adventured, sickened, swashbuckled, trysted and tarried with us - and here’s to more of you doing the same.

Looks like reading isn’t dead after all. :)

Wildstar, Character Design, Female Objectification, Sexual Dimorphism and Biology in Video Games

robothyena:

We need to talk about the character designs in Wildstar.

We need to talk about the character designs in all science fiction and fantasy franchises that feature non-humans.

Wildstar is a science-fiction MMO currently in beta, developed by Carbine Studios. The general thrust of Wildstar is something along the lines of Firefly, Star Wars, and Ratchet & Clank; not exactly a grimdark sci-fi thriller. The mechanical features look interesting and the art style, in and of itself, is really vivid—but what they’re doing within the style?

Well.

The NDA dropped on a bunch of Wildstar content and character creation videos are up. You can watch them all, but here I’m just going to focus on the Granok, Draken, and Mechari.

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This article is just utterly brilliant - it’s really hard not to see the sexist double standard in the exaggerated sexual dimorphism / anthropomorphification of the female “races” in science fiction and fantasy games (and in the genre as a whole) when it’s laid out like this. It really comes down to a bunch of people going “um, because it’s hot? I guess” which is just not good enough anymore, if it ever once was.

The writing here is excellent, painting pictures that the most expensive graphics engine simply wouldn’t be able to.

Passepartout’s internal monologue gives us glimpses into cities ravaged by conflict; wondrous inventions of steel and song; and bumbling, desperate, and intriguing characters who let slip snippets of important information.

Calling it a gamebook feels a little disingenuous. This is something more than a Choose Your Own Adventure, with each avenue you take changing the narrative in some subtle way.

Whether it’s picking up an extra suitcase and having to pay a little more, or making a remark with which Fogg disagrees, nothing has a straightforward outcome. The game feels all the more organic for that.

Harry Slater’s hands-on preview of 80 Days at Pocketgamer.

A fantastic first “preview-review” of 80 Days, which picks up on so many of the bits of the game that I’m particularly proud of. Passepartout is more changed by the world, than leaping in and changing. He does not get to play white saviour. The decisions and choices he is offered are often personal, private, set firmly within a wider context, but no less important for that. It can be more surprising and organic, I think, to play a game where you are not the only hero, where you can be part of the revolution but not its source. Where the world is vast and rich and full and turning as you make your way through it, and it does not always stop for you. It does not turn around you either. Where the people you encounter can be as lost as you are, as beautiful, as venal, as foolish and determined and ridiculous. Passepartout sees the world but doesn’t think he knows it, or owns it. His stories never go where they’re supposed to go, and how much fun is that?

Arm yourselves. Go to panels at Wiscon and claim the knowledge and language that will be your weapons. Go to sources of additional knowledge for fresh ammunition — histories and analyses of the genre by people who see beyond the status quo, our genre elders, new sources of knowledge like “revisionist” scholarship instead of the bullshit we all learned in school. Find support groups of like-minded souls; these are your comrades-in-arms, and you will need their strength. Don’t try to do this alone. When you’re injured, seek help; I’ve got a great list of CBT therapists, for any of you in the New York area. Exercise to stay strong, if you can; defend what health you have, if you can’t. And from here on, wherever you see bigotry in the genre? Attack it. Don’t wait for it to come directly at you; attack it even if it’s hitting another group. If you won’t ride or die for anyone else, how can you expect them to ride or die for you? Understand that there are people in this genre who hate you, and who do not want you here, and who will hurt you if they can. Do not tolerate their intolerance. Don’t be “fair and balanced.” Tell them they’re unwelcome. Make them uncomfortable. Shout them down. Kick them out. Fucking fight.

And maybe one day, when the fighting’s done, then we can heal. On that day, all of us will dream freely, at last.

“The future of Greece, it was becoming clear to all forward-looking men, lay with Western Europe, and the ruling class conformed within a single generation. We can see the process at work in a wonderfully evocative family group by Margaritis, which shows the grizzled paterfamilias in full evzone regalia, including decorations, and ranged behind him his three sons. They are not merely wearing western dress, but three distinct variants of it: on the left, a clean-shaven bohemian lounger in checked pants, three fingers thrust provocatively in his trouser pocket; in the middle, the full-bearded son in sober, buttoned-up black who is clearly destined for the role of hardworking family provider; and on the right, the highly unreliable-looking boulevardier, complete with waxed moustache and cane. Add to the mixture a formidable battle-axe of a wife and a clearly discontented daughter, and you have the cast of a peculiarly cynical play by Moliére.”
-Dry Light blog: notes on photography, landscape & Greece

The future of Greece, it was becoming clear to all forward-looking men, lay with Western Europe, and the ruling class conformed within a single generation. We can see the process at work in a wonderfully evocative family group by Margaritis, which shows the grizzled paterfamilias in full evzone regalia, including decorations, and ranged behind him his three sons. They are not merely wearing western dress, but three distinct variants of it: on the left, a clean-shaven bohemian lounger in checked pants, three fingers thrust provocatively in his trouser pocket; in the middle, the full-bearded son in sober, buttoned-up black who is clearly destined for the role of hardworking family provider; and on the right, the highly unreliable-looking boulevardier, complete with waxed moustache and cane. Add to the mixture a formidable battle-axe of a wife and a clearly discontented daughter, and you have the cast of a peculiarly cynical play by Moliére.”

-Dry Light blog: notes on photography, landscape & Greece

In this light, Kazemi and his bot-making friends can be seen as exploring a medium through which we now do much of our everyday business—and then rerouting the wiring that underlies that medium, in a way that moves us to question how we normally use it. By making works that don’t just take advantage of Internet technology, but use it to reveal the invisible rules of the Web, Kazemi may have found nothing less than a new kind of public art for the 21st century—changing, self-referential, and in its insistent randomness, oddly alive.

Moved!

You Can Panic Now, now with lasers. Alternatively, we moved from wordpress to tumblr! Expect more updates, and do change your bookmarks from youcanpanicnow.com to megjayanth.com - though the old URL will redirect here for the forseeable.

But seriously, watch out for those lasers.