One Doom fan, 300 hours, and one gargantuan level

The first time I ever made a Doom map I simply created a few rooms and hallways, then added a couple of enemies and some ammo. But Ben Mansell created something a little more complex with his first Doom map. After 300 hours and over a year spent on it, Mansell is ready to unleash Four Site into the world. A map so large it will take most players two to three hours to complete. Four Site is massive—essentially four decent-sized Doom maps put together. Each section has its own look and feel, and the pacing is unlike many modern Doom maps…


A game that uses a real floppy disk as its controller

It’s been a long time since I’ve used a floppy disk. Years and years ago I remember having a digital camera and having to load old floppy disks in it. Before that I would store small pictures and writings on a floppy disk. These days, floppies exist most in the form of save icons. But a game called Mr. Floppy is giving the old format a new purpose. No longer about storage, the floppy disk is now a videogame controller. “I don’t really remember the last time I used a floppy disk, but I had a Mac when I was young…


Help sad fruit people overcome loneliness in a new game

Have you ever bought a piece of food and for whatever reason left it out or forgot about it? After some time it begins to rot, dry out, or expire. Most of us would simply throw it away, but Agata Nawrot did something different: instead of tossing the spoiled food away, she was inspired to create Karambola—a strange and beautiful game about lonely fruit people. “I like strange concepts,” Nawrot told me. A village of emotional fruit people who are kidnapped by evil, magical birds certainly qualifies as a bit strange. The idea came from a single bulb of dry fennel that…


Dusk is how you make a ’90s shooter for today

Living in the Northeast of the United States, David Szymanski grew up surrounded by the eerie woods and old buildings that dot the landscape in that part of the country. This is an area of the U.S. where you can find what Lovecraftian scholar S.T. Joshi calls “The Miskatonic Region,” the setting for many of the author’s strange and disturbing stories. Since the age of 14, Szymanski has wanted to create a first person shooter set in this part of the U.S. Now 26, he is finally making that dream a reality with Dusk. “I’ve always been a huge fan of Doom/Quake-style FPSs,…


A new retro-style platformer lets other players control the monsters

Game jams are filled with sleepless nights. Designers and artists gather for a short period of time, like a weekend, then work non-stop to create something playable in that limited time frame. A game jam is an intense and challenging way to create a game. And yet, it’s how many fantastic videogames are born, like Surgeon Simulator (2013), SUPERHOT, and Nuclear Throne (2015). One of the latest game jam ideas turned retail release is Don’t Crawl, from Nick Belorusov and Vadim Dyachenko “Ideas that spring to mind at 4AM when waking up for a game jam, are rarely truly original,” Belorusov explained when…

Harold Halibut

Harold Halibut’s handmade world is a celebration of vintage animation

Like so many of the best ideas in history, the idea for Harold Halibut came from a dinner table  conversation. Onat Hekimoglu and others were discussing their love of old stop-motion films. Films like Jason and The Argonauts (1963) and The Valley of The Gwangi (1969). Hekimoglu, the lead writer, designer and composer, explained to me that the origins of his upcoming adventure game Harold Halibut are found in those films of the past. In an era before complex computer graphics, these films used stop-motion photography to create large-scale fights with skeletons, or to wow audiences with massive dinosaurs. Now stop-motion…

The Wild Eternal

The Wild Eternal wants to explore what it means to be lost

An elderly woman stands upon a tall cliff overlooking a foggy wilderness. The fog is so thick that only the tops of the tallest trees can pierce through it. There are also buildings, strange landmarks that dot the foggy valley below. They seem ancient and forgotten. This is where players will begin The Wild Eternal, standing on a cliff, looking out at a world that might just hold the key to ending the loop of rebirth. The Wild Eternal is being developed by a small team, just three people in fact. Two of these people are brothers: Casey and Scott…

Ian's Eyes

Ian’s Eyes will have you play as a guide dog for a blind kid

When you’re the “new kid” the first day of school can be extremely scary. I’ve been the new kid at a new school in a new town. You have to quickly figure out a large number things in a short amount of time. You’re trying to figure out the layout of not just the school but the town too. You are trying to memorize names and attach them to faces. Trying to desperately find someone to talk to, someone who maybe will be a friend. That first day of school in a new town as the new kid was terrifying.…

Slayer Shock

Calling all Buffy fans: A videogame made in the style of a vampire TV show

For most of the last decade it was zombies that seemed to take over videogames. Almost every game from forklift simulators to open-world cowboy experiences have had zombies show up in them. These non-living monsters are everywhere and their popularity doesn’t seem to be dying. But there is another undead enemy who deserves better representation in modern games—the vampire. There have been a handful of vampire-focused games in the last decade, but most of them haven’t been very good. And none of them have tried to recreate the feel of the fantastic Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997-2003) television show. Slayer Shock is doing…