Great Cascade

Great Cascade addresses the problems plaguing open-world games

Open-world games nearly always have choices—where to go, what to do, what side of the law to fall on. In one of Bethesda’s sprawling ones, like Fallout 4 (2015), you practically have the freedom to do whatever you want, by which you quickly learn means that you can kill whoever you want. In the highly-scripted, morality-questioning Red Dead Redemption (2010), while you can ride horseback across dusty horizons, some of its missions hurriedly devolve from this into frustrating plights of killing decent people. This is the open-world taint. Hence, game maker Brett Johnson, of the one-man Seattle-based game development studio Seamount Games, seeks to…


Find a disturbing truth when rummaging through the wreckage of a home

Forsaken is a game that posits a creeping question: what do your dwelling and possessions reveal about your character? It employs you as someone who is sent to declutter and clean up abandoned houses. The one you get to mouse over is an omnishambles; a putrid disarray of residential flotsam. As you rifle through broken drawers and punctured mattresses you find items—handcuffs, scissors, packets of pills, a dildo—and are asked to choose from three possible reactions to each in order to build a vague idea of the previous owner. “Is this to hide fingerprints?” or “Is this for work?” read…


People play Europa Universalis IV and Crusader Kings 2 an average of 190 hours, or 136,800 Flappy Bird lives

In news that is probably only surprising to people who have not been sucked into their vortex of systems and emergent narratives and lusciously illustrated maps, Paradox Interactive is reporting that their flagship games Europa Universalis IV and Crusader Kings 2 tally an average of 190-hour playtimes. “I see the amount of hours players sink into our games as hard evidence that gamers want freedom,” Johan Andersson, Paradox’s studio manager, told The Escapist. He’s right. Both games have fairly steep learning curves but the converted come away with wild eyes, telling stories that you just don’t hear about from other…