Last Tuesday: How to Make an Art House Video Game

Jonathan McCalmont @ 20-07-2011

0. Bending the Knee to the Silver Screen

There is something incredibly endearing about video gaming’s continued inferiority complex with regards to film. Indeed, despite some experts asserting that the gaming industry is now larger than the film industry and blockbusters such as Inception, Avatar and Sucker Punch lining up to replicate the ‘gaming experience’ on the big screen, video game designers repeatedly bend the knee to films whenever they want to be taken seriously. You can see it in their tendency to ‘borrow’ characters from films and you can see it in the way that their cut scenes desperately try to capture that ‘cinematic’ look and feel.  This inferiority complex also filters through into how the video games industry sees itself.   Continue reading “Last Tuesday: How to Make an Art House Video Game”


Pixel-Bitching: L.A. Noire and the Art of Conversation

Jonathan McCalmont @ 22-06-2011

It didn’t take me long to realise that something wasn’t right.

As a devotee of noir fiction and a long-time admirer of both James Ellroy’s LA Quartet and Curtis Hanson’s L.A. Confidential (1997), I was more than looking forward to Team Bondi’s attempt to recreate 1950s Los Angeles using the Grand Theft Auto sandbox template. However, as soon as Ken Cosgrove was shoved into an interview room with a suspect and told to extract a confession, I knew that something was desperately wrong – not just with L.A. Noire, but with video games as a whole. After decades of investment in realistic graphics and physics engines, modern video games can perfectly recreate what it is like to shoot someone in the face… but ask them to recreate a believable conversation between two humans and they are at a complete loss. What we need is a revolution in the way that games portray social interaction. Continue reading “Pixel-Bitching: L.A. Noire and the Art of Conversation”


Citizen Denton: New Yorker profiles Gawker founder

Paul Raven @ 14-10-2010

Offered without comment, and via sources too numerous to link, is this profile of Gawker Media blog-mogul Nick Denton at The New Yorker. It’s simply a fascinating character study in its own right, though you could read it as an insight to the sort of attitudes and drives you need to make a blog network a paying proposition in the flux-plagued churn of The New Media.

Through Gawker, Denton wages war on self-regard—or presumed self-regard, as his cast of mind is both abstract and deeply tribal, inclining him to sort nearly all people into one or another category that could be judged full of itself. There is a well-travelled image of Denton on the Web, in which he is wearing a tuxedo and tilting a wineglass to his lips. The image bothers him, because it suggests a level of comfort and formality in his presentation that doesn’t accord with his self-image. Denton is tall and rangy, and has a famously large head that sits precariously on a thin neck and narrow shoulders, leaving the impression of an evolved brain that is perhaps a little too conscious of its pedestrian context. He looks perpetually unshaven, with gray stubble complementing his close-cropped, receding hair, which he teases casually forward. He is someone who likes and knows how to have fun—“Nick has a fairly strong hedonic streak,” his friend Matt Wells, of the BBC, says—but who doesn’t wish to be seen enjoying himself overly. “Hypocrisy is the only modern sin,” he likes to say.

Intriguing, and full of storyable ideas and character traits. Go read.


Fiction’s Forgotten Villains #2

Sarah Ennals @ 10-01-2010

Does Not Equal is a webcomic by Sarah Ennalscheck out the pre-Futurismic archives, and the strips that have been published here previously.

[ Be sure to check out the Does Not Equal Cafepress store for webcomic merchandise featuring Canadians with geometrically-shaped heads! ]


The Adventures of Phil Wade

Sarah Ennals @ 06-12-2009

[based on a true story, Sarah tells me – Ed.]

The Adventures of Phil Wade - Does Not Equal

Does Not Equal is a webcomic by Sarah Ennalscheck out the pre-Futurismic archives, and the strips that have been published here previously.

[ Be sure to check out the Does Not Equal Cafepress store for webcomic merchandise featuring Canadians with geometrically-shaped heads! ]


Next Page »