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by Kris Ligman

26 Oct 2010

It was just a couple months ago, in one of my school’s many theaters, that someone announced that a member of our screenwriting faculty, none other than Jack “Top Gun” Epps, Jr. himself, had recently penned a video game adaptation of his popular 1986 film. Our faculty were clearly proud, congratulatory as they might be over a coworker’s newborn son, but something was off about the incident. Namely, that I myself got caught up in the enthusiasm.

“Oh, I should check that out when I get home,” I thought.

“Wait,” I said a second later. “Why?”

by G. Christopher Williams

25 Oct 2010

Image of Fei Long from Gizmag

This week the Moving Pixels podcast crew discuss how gamers are taught to play.  We discuss the effectiveness and ineffectiveness of game tutorials, revisit consideration of the game manual, and generally think about how game tutorials and other forms of learning effect the gameplay experience.

by Nick Dinicola

22 Oct 2010

Commentary tracks are considered a standard special feature for any DVD, some even offer multiple tracks. For games, this kind of look behind the scenes is still treated as something rare, usually reserved only for “special editions.” Yet, they’re slowly becoming more common, so perhaps it’s time to point out some of the successes and failures, looking at two cases in particular: Alan Wake, and The Secret of Monkey Island 2: Special Edition.

by Scott Juster

21 Oct 2010

In the waning months of 2008, I learned that an upcoming patch to PixelJunk Eden would make significant changes to the game’s rules.  While it wasn’t exactly a problem of biblical proportions, I did feel a sense of anxiety about how the changes would affect my little digital paradise.  I was faced with the options of either forfeiting online features in perpetuity or racing through the gardens before the patch was deployed.  Partly out of stubbornness and partly out of principle, I vowed to finish the game in its original form.  With only days to spare, I managed to swing, grip, and jump my way to victory.

In addition to giving me an unexpectedly enjoyable meta game to play, the experience awakened me to increasingly common problems that arise when studying games.  How do we analyze games that change over time and games that are re-made?  Games are subject to ports, re-releases, updates, and patches.  What kinds of artistic and interpretive issues are raised by this plasticity?

by Rick Dakan

21 Oct 2010

I’ve been out of touch for a while, stranded in London with the world’s worst internet connection. Please, please, hold back your tears. I managed to survive my ordeal thanks to a seemingly endless battery of amazing sights, wonderful theater, fancy meals, and late night sessions of Civilization V. But now I’m back home and happily reunited with both my couch and my gaming consoles, and I’ve got some catching up to do.

I had a couple days to dip into Enslaved and Comic Jumper and Halo: Reach, but none of them were quite holding my attention the way that I needed. Halo came closest, with its familiar gameplay and exciting action, but I’m playing that online co-op with my brother (We’ve played every Halo game together in co-op. It’s how we show our love), so I can’t dive into it whenever I want. To be honest, I was sort of restlessly flailing around, not quite satisfied.

I didn’t know it at the time, but the cure for my homecoming blues was just around the corner. Tuesday morning, fueled by a morning of coffee-drenched arguments with some nutso’s conspiracy theories about the Bilderberg Group, I marched into Best Buy with a chip on my shoulder and restless trigger fingers. An hour later I was in the Wasteland of the Mojave, searching through ruined buildings for old pilot lights and bottle caps. Fallout: New Vegas, baby. I’m home at last.

//Mixed media

Indie Horror Month 2015: 'Dark Echo'

// Moving Pixels

"Dark Echo drops you into a pitch back maze and then renders your core tools of navigation into something quite life threatening.

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