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Characters within LEGO Universe | NetDevil/The LEGO Group (2010)

2020 has been a landmark year for a host of reasons I do not have the time or emotional energy to get into right now, all except for one: the 10th anniversary of NetDevil’s brick-based MMO, LEGO Universe.

As a kid and as an adult, I adored and continue to adore LEGO and The LEGO Group. LEGO.com was the first website I ever saved as a bookmark, and for a while it was even my homepage any time I’d open up my web browser. …


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The Hex — Daniel Mullins Games

In December of 2018 I interviewed indie developer Daniel Mullins about his as-of-then two released titles, the suspense puzzler Pony Island and the cross-genre whodunit The Hex. I thought the audio of that interview had been lost to a hard drive failure, but a few months back I discovered a copy of the interview on a thumbdrive. …


An encounter with the xenomorph in Creative Assembly’s Alien: Isolation

I love science fiction — if that wasn’t obvious from a great many of the Spotlight videos I’ve made for Subpixel. And since October 2020 marks the 6th anniversary of Creative Assembly’s Alien: Isolation, I knew I needed to to make something celebrating — I would argue — the best videogame adaptation of Ridley Scott’s seminal horror film. If you thought I was going to say “seminal science fiction film” — go watch Blade Runner. Alien is horror with sci-fi elements, just like Ghostbusters is comedy with sci-fi elements.

Now those of you familiar with the name Creative Assembly probably know the UK-based studio for their unendingly popular real-time-strategy series Total War. A studio that made its name on real-time-strategy may have seemed like an odd pick to helm a first-person, survival horror game set in 20th Century Fox’s Alien universe, and when Alien: Isolation was announced, I’ll admit I was one of those people. But once Alien: Isolation landed on store shelves in October of 2014, it quickly became obvious that Isolation was not only one of the best interpretations of Scott’s universe, but also the most authentic. So how did Alien: Isolation come to be? Well the road to Isolation was a long one, in no small part due to the projects that preceded it, which I will do my best to summarize now. …


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One of the most important parts of any videogame is the intro. Now, originally this article was about one specific videogame, but I discovered that a few years back someone else had made a video about this particular game, and their script was nearly identical to the one I’d written — at least as the bullet points went. So, instead of just putting this story out there and potentially being accused of plagiarism, I decided to broaden the scope of this script into one more generally about good videogame intros, why they’re important, and how to execute them well. It’s more frustrating that this is actually the second time this has happened. I had been sitting on a script for a video about PREY’s GLOO Canon that I was going to release for the anniversary of the game, but then Gamemaker’s Toolkit swooped in with a video that was beat for beat all the same points in my script. …


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“Whatever you now find weird, ugly, uncomfortable and nasty about a new medium will surely become its signature. CD distortion, the jitteriness of digital video, the crap sound of 8-bit — all of these will be cherished and emulated as soon as they can be avoided. It’s the sound of failure: so much modern art is the sound of things going out of control, of a medium pushing to its limits and breaking apart. The distorted guitar sound is the sound of something too loud for the medium supposed to carry it. The blues singer with the cracked voice is the sound of an emotional cry too powerful for the throat that releases it. …


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This article was originally released in video form by Subpixel on August 31, 2020. I wasn’t really planning on posting this here like I’ve done for previous scripts I’ve written for Subpixel, but given that Nintendo just announced an HD rerelease of Super Mario Sunshine as part of Super Mario 3D All Stars, I’m publishing this extensive document here for all of you fine folk.

In August of 2002 — a legally adult and impossibly distant 18 years ago — Nintendo released Super Mario Sunshine upon a salivating North American audience. Directed by Yoshiaki Koizumi and Kenta Usui; written by Makoto Wada; with original music by Koji Kondo and Shinobu Tanaka; and featuring the vocal talent of Charles Martinet as Mario; Jen Taylor as Princess Peach; Kit Harris as F.L.U.D.D.; Scott Burns as Bowser; and Dolores Rogers as Boswer, Jr.; Super Mario Sunshine has since become the third best selling Gamecube title behind Super Smash Bros: Melee and Mario Kart: Double Dash. So for the game’s 18th anniversary I decided I’d give it a replay and do some reading up on its history in order to make an informative retrospective review of what I recalled as one of my favorite Gamecube titles. …


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I’ll begin with what I think is probably most important for the sake of this story: I really enjoy, and have always enjoyed No Man’s Sky. But — as is well documented, perhaps more so than nearly any other game in recent history — the No Man’s Sky that released four years ago this month was very different from the No Man’s Sky that was shown off before release.

While I found great enjoyment and relaxation exploring the world of 2016’s No Man’s Sky, I — like many other people — could not help but feel like I was playing an entirely different game than the one shown to the public two years prior. …


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Pony Island | Daniel Mullins Games (2016)

Pray, for devils have no reason,

Satan waits to curse your ways.

Have you seen it in his eyes in the sunset?

Have you wondered if he’s laughing when you play?

Life is a game and the stakes will remain the same.

Now you’ve gotta choose, is the devil gonna win or lose again?

- David C Hope / Steve Walsh | Kansas Song for America, “The Devil Game” 1975

For two hours in January of 2016, I recorded a “Let’s Play” with a friend of mine of Daniel Mullins’ Pony Island, an indie title about an arcade game designed by the Devil. Unbeknownst to us, the player character was not the only one trapped playing Pony Island. For two hours in January of 2016 we too were trapped playing Pony Island, as Daniel Mullins — thought by us at the time to be just another indie game developer — became the Devil of his own creation, compelling us with each new bit of gameplay or narrative to not just set the game aside and complete it later, but to play it through to the very end. …


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This story was published concurrently in video form by Subpixel.

Before the launch of Destiny 2’s Shadowkeep DLC in September of 2019 we posted a video about how the ever evolving story and environment of Destiny 2’s Dreaming City was the current pinnacle of Destiny’s narrative content. …


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This story was originally published on Gameumentary.com on Aug. 25, 2017. It is republished here as part of our Authors’ Archive series.

Hot off the release of E-Studio and Raw Fury’s Tormentor X Punisher, the Los Angeles-based developer and I sat down for a chat about Samurai Gunn, Tormentor X Punisher, and Blyth’s work on the indie darling of 2016, Hyper Light Drifter.

Throughout our interview it was clear to me that Blyth had a mind for the little details, a trait he apparently acquired not from the world of gaming, but from the world of animation.

“Before I did games I was a hobbyist animator. Animation is still something I keep up with a lot. I’ll go frame by frame through great anime scenes and stuff from Western animation. You can learn so many animation secrets if you do that. I’m always reading animation books and examining that kind of stuff,” said Blyth. …

About

Jake Theriault

Video Editor primarily, lots of other things secondarily.

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