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by G. Christopher Williams

12 Jan 2016


Republique is an episodic stealth game. Originally released on iOS, it has made its way to Steam as well.

Republique is a game set in a surveillance state, the titular “Republique”, and its stealth mechanics are driven by a simple interface in which the player doesn’t so much control the main character of the game, a young girl named Hope, but instead takes control of cameras and views Hope through them. You can instruct Hope about where she should move and where she should hide by “looking ahead” of her, leap frogging from camera to camera throughout a government facility and making strategic decisions on the basis of the information gleaned from the cameras. It is the system being used against itself.

by Nick Dinicola

8 Jan 2016


Prune is an iOS game about trimming and shaping a bonsai tree as it grows, angling it out of the shade and into the sun, so that it can bloom. It’s a simple premise that gets wonderfully tricky at times, with your tree twisting around obstacles like a snake. What’s even more wonderful, though, is the wordless, visual storytelling that emphasizes hope, life, and the beauty of little victories against overwhelming darkness.

by Scott Juster

7 Jan 2016


If you’ve spent any time in the modern software world, you’ve probably chased that elusive concept of “delight.” Whether you’re making an enterprise analytics suite or a twitter client, it’s not enough that your tool simply performs its function or even that it’s conventionally beautiful. You want people to be happy when they use it. 

It’s the reason that you hear the little pops when tapping around from icon to icon in the Facebook mobile app or why refreshing your feed is done by tugging downward until new items pop up. The motions made to accomplish these things are fairly intuitive, but they’re also feature little aesthetic touches that please some very basic corner of your brain.

by G. Christopher Williams

6 Jan 2016


Image of a Terra Mystica board from Boardgamegeek.com

When it comes to tabletop board gaming, I currently have a crush on Jens Drögemüller’s and Helge Ostertag’s Terra Mystica. Terra Mystica is a strange creature of sorts as far as the strict definition of a Eurogaming goes. In board gaming circles European board games (as opposed to American board, also known to hardcore board gamers as Ameritrash games) are known for being light on thematic and narrative elements and heavier and more focused on the systems and mechanics that define the game’s play.

In regard to many of its systems, Terra Mystica does seem like a Eurogame. However, it has a fantasy theme (highly unusual for a Euro) and it has players take on the roles of different fantasy races, each with different abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Such potential for lack of balance is more common to often more thematically oriented American games in which playing out a role is often more important than absolute fairness and balance.

by Sean Miller

5 Jan 2016


Seth Indigo Carnes, Flux Poetics, 2011

In January, I’ll be teaching a course at Portland Community College called “Apps as Art: Learn to Code Apps that are Artistic”. At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, as far as I know, this is the first course of its kind being offered in the world. Thus far, enrollment has been good, and it looks like the course is a go.

Part of the course’s novelty is the newness of the medium that we’ll be focusing on, the mobile app. I’ve written previously about the medium’s promise, as well as some of the reasons why the range of work currently being done in it is so sparse. Digital art has been around for almost as long as computers have been. Internet art has existed since the ‘90s. But due to the mobile app’s youth, and the perceived barriers to entry, it’s still the Wild West.

//Mixed media
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It's Okay to Ask for Help in 'The Witness'

// Moving Pixels

"Looking up a solution isn't a sin. The only sin is not understanding that solution when you do.

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