pearl2
News

A VR short film has been nominated for an Academy Award

While last year the Emmy’s recognized the Oculus Story Studio short film Henry, this year another awards ceremony is taking notice of virtual reality—the Academy Awards. Pearl, a VR short from Google, has been nominated for the 2017 Academy Awards for Best Animated Short Film. Pearl, released in 2016, stands out among the 360-degree, mobile VR, and room-scale VR tales told by Google’s Spotlight Stories. The short is directed by Patrick Osborne, the same of the Oscar-winning short Feast, which screened before the Disney film Big Hero 6 in theaters. But Pearl is a different beast than Feast, because it plops the viewer directly…

Night in the Woods
News

Night in the Woods comes out February 21st, for real this time (hopefully)

I don’t want to alarm you, but … okay, screw it, I do want to alarm you. BE ALARMED. February is gonna be a helluva month for videogames. I swear it. Just wait and see. What’s that? You don’t want to wait that long. Alright, alright, well, let me just lay this on you for starters then: Night in the Woods is coming out on February 21st 2017 for PlayStation 4, Windows, Mac, and Linux. That’s reason enough alone to grant, oh, I dunno, a knighthood to the month of February. Yeah, let’s go all out. What a good month you are,…

stone story ft image
News

Check out the animations on this upcoming ASCII adventure

Thanks to the events of 2016, a lot of us are starting to get used to the concept of living in a society filled with evil. Stone Story is way ahead of you. The game is set in “a dark and vile world,” populated with haunted trees, reanimated skeletons, giant snails, and antagonistic bats. The protagonist is on a quest to change it all. carefully animating the game for over two years Stone Story features four boss fights, six unique locations, and multiple cutscenes, all animated in plain text ASCII style, with characters and weapons built from recognizable keyboard symbols…

Kubo poster
Feature

The technology behind Kubo and the Two Strings

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. A frightened woman crosses a storm-swept sea in a tiny canoe as black strands of windblown hair hit her face. Rain pours down her kimono as her fingers clutch a three-stringed Japanese shamisen. A massive wave looms over her canoe, impressing on the viewer how small and human she looks. The woman strums the shamisen, conjuring a magic flame that cuts clean through the wave. The opening scene in the stop-motion film Kubo and the Two Strings — created by animation studio Laika and released in August — demonstrates…

cuphead_cutscene
News

1930s-style animation game Cuphead won’t arrive until 2017 now

Cuphead creator Studio MDHR was trying to get its game out exactly 80 years from 1936—the year when a Japanese cup-headed character in a short propaganda film turned into a tank to defeat a bunch of evil Mickeys. Now, however, Cuphead will be released 81 years after Cuphead’s grandpa was introduced to the world. Studio MDHR announced this week that Cuphead will be released for Xbox One, Windows 10, and Steam in mid-2017 now. And this isn’t bad news; it means Studio MDHR won’t have to cut content from the game to make a tight deadline. “It would have meant releasing with fewer bosses, less platforming levels, as well as…

Honey Rose
News

Honey Rose is the most relatable schoolgirl luchador out there

I relate a lot to Honey Rose. Or, at least I did back when I was a scrappy university student. While Honey moonlights as a masked luchador fighter in addition to being a college student by day, I juggled school, a job to pay the bills, and a far more time-consuming job that paid zero bills (campus publication editor gigs will do that to you). Like Honey, not everything went right. Sometimes I did poorly on tests because a deadline was approaching for the magazine I was art director for. Other times I’d slack off in one of those two,…

abi
News

Aww, a game about lonely robots evokes the best children’s animation

A young boy, seen through a viewfinder, discusses the ocean with his mom. The screen buzzes; the boy disappears; two eyes blink open. They belong to a little metal carapace that scrambles around an empty room, tugging at switches and saying, “Hello?” The boy is nowhere to be found, but the bot keeps looking, earnest and determined. This is Abi, a new story-focused puzzle game from Grant&Bert Studios. It resembles WALL-E (2008) in its story, which similarly follows a pair of robots wandering around the remnants of Earth after human beings’ mass exodus. You play as two droids that used…

Harold Halibut
News

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…

Ghost of a Tale
News

Go on a mousey adventure brought to life by a DreamWorks animator

There’s something classically European about animal heroes. It’s why Ghost of a Tale looks and feels classical in the first place. From Aesop’s Fables to the golden age of Disney animation, cute and brave animals have been at the center of heroic adventure stories. Ghost of a Tale asks the player to become that animal hero. “It’s a dangerous world out there for a little mouse…” begins the game’s trailer. The third-person adventure game has the player navigating a dangerous medieval island as Tilo the mouse, who has been imprisoned there by the rats. The shadowy atmosphere is a purposeful…