Sunday, June 19, 2011

Authority figures in cactus games

I originally wrote this in October of last year, which is why it says "cactus released Dear Agent the other day." Also, the term "player" is used also to refer to the player-character of their respective games, as most of them have no names.

cactus released a new game, Dear Agent, the other day. It's a sidescrolling platformer, super low-res (which makes it a little hard to play/read, but I think it works), with destructible environments and a focus on conserving ammo and manipulating lava flows. It reminds me a little of his earlier game Krebswelte, although one thing it has that Krebswelte doesn't, and many other cactus games do, is an authority figure giving you orders. In this case it's the agent's father and superior, a man in a leather gimp mask who gives the agent orders, urges them to "remember your duties!", and signs off with an eerily intimate "hugs and kisses..."

It's an interesting spin on the idea of the unseen boss giving you orders by phone, especially when you consider the other authority figures in cactus games--many of which communicate to the player in a similar fashion, and almost all of which have nothing but disdain for the player themselves.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Best of Formspring

I originally posted this as part of a Best of Formspring collection on Livejournal. I've transplanted most of the relevant games-discussion ones here. 

Featuring: thoughts on background art in 2D games, Sonic Fan Remix and the "redesign trap," programming for beginners, mechanics vs. narrative, and (my personal favorite), thoughts on good "random" humor in games.