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Turning Fallout 4’s world into 1950s-style animations

If you’ve played last year’s Fallout 4, you’ve doubtless seen the series of animated shorts that play upon starting the game up. Black-and-white and with scratchy audio, these videos turned the post-apocalyptic Boston wasteland of Fallout 4 into a comedic, 1950s-style cartoon. (If you haven’t seen these shorts, then you can easily catch up on them all over on developer and publisher Bethesda’s YouTube channel.) Each of these shorts detailed one of the letters in the game’s  “S.P.E.C.I.A.L.” system. This has been a staple of the Fallout series since its first outing in 1997. It’s an acronym that stands for Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma,…

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Dedicated LEGO fans build an impressive animated Sisyphus sculpture

When I first saw JK Brickworks’ “Sisyphus Kinetic Sculpture,” I was floored by how smoothly it moved. My primary experience with LEGO, like many, was as a stationary medium, and yet here I saw a piece of art made entirely out of LEGO bricks moving with the fluidity of a Disney animation. As I was to discover on JK Brickworks’ site, this immediate comparison is no accident, as the project was inspired by a 3D modeling program from Disney Research that allows both artists and non-experts alike to plan out mechanical characters in a virtual space before constructing them in…

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Welcome to the terrifying virtual world of nightmare jazz

The intersection of jazz and grotesque virtual people needn’t exist. But it does—it’s too late to stop it now. The two distant subjects don’t meet anywhere else (to my knowledge) except on Swedish jazz student Simon Fransen’s YouTube channel. He has brought them together through common interest to a creative place of his own making that he says is “dedicated to jazz where nothing and everything makes sense!”  made to produce music out of pulling their bodies apart  What his “Jam of the Week” series entails is videos of (mostly) classic jazz songs rigidly recreated with sketchy and often sped-up electronic…

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1979 Revolution remembers the Black Friday massacre in animated short

On September 8th, 1978, the Iranian government opened fire on a large group of protestors in a public square in the country’s capital of Tehran, killing almost 100 and wounding several more. The event came to be known as Black Friday. It was one of the pivotal moments in the burgeoning Iranian Revolution, one of the first and most devastating examples of the Shah’s abuse of military power against his people during a time of civil unrest. Sadly, it wouldn’t be the last. “If I sit silently, I have sinned.”  The upcoming game 1979 Revolution will begin its story at…

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New game about sketches mirrors a classic Looney Tunes episode

Have you ever been watching a cartoon when suddenly the screen goes white, the main character is standing there alone, and the animator’s pencil drops down into screen to mess with the world? It’s a classic fourth-wall-breaking gag that’s all over the place in animation—from the classic Looney Tunes short Duck Amuck to the more recent Animator vs Animation series of viral videos—and now it’s coming to games. an unfinished sketch looking to discover what it was meant to be  Usually, this trope is played for comedy, but new 3D platforming game Unfinished – An Artist’s Lament seeks to use…

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Mortal Kombat meets Nigerian politics in devastating satirical short

Nigeria, Africa’s largest exporter of oil, has recently been suffering from a severe oil shortage. The country’s fuel marketers and distributors have spent much of May on strike over government subsidies that have gone unpaid. In response to the strike, black market fuel prices have soared beyond the government’s mandated levels and businesses have suspended their operations. Even though the strike officially came to an end on Monday, Reuters reports that African telecom giant MTN Group is struggling to resume operations in Nigeria. Oil shortages, particularly when they are accompanied by broader troubles, are not normally occasions for mirth. But…