Harold Halibut
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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
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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…

it aint over
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Play with words in a videogame about weird idioms

English is a curious language. It’s deceptively easy to pick up, oversimplified and left bare by our lack of gendered nouns and relatively easy cases, but as anyone with a different mother tongue will tell you, mastering it is incredibly hard. It’s a carefree language that pays little heed to convention or regulation, preferring to wander and expound and run-on and twist itself in knots, all while remaining within the bounds of “correct” grammatical structure. We constantly ignore our standard sounds while stealing words from other languages and mangling theirs, too. And if that wasn’t enough, if the transgressions made…

Inside
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Let a low-rez world of flesh and metal overwhelm you

You should probably take a seat before you watch Mattis Dovier‘s Inside. Just get your head straight, y’know, couple of deep breaths, because Dovier’s animated short is a hugely discomfiting, bleak take on the relationship between people and technology. It spreads like a plague: our monotone narrator guides us through a future where, just beneath a pliable film of flesh, lies a gleaming mechanical skeleton. He dreams of cables sluicing below his skin and bursting from his mouth; a burn on his hand dries and cracks wide to reveal cold metal within. His doctor diagnoses him with “severe hypochondria,” but he knows there’s…

princeofpersia
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Learn how to rotoscope with Paint of Persia, a new animation tool

Before motion capture was a thing, there was rotoscoping. Sure, it’s wasn’t quite as entertaining as strapping middle-aged actors into black bodysuits studded with various balls and gizmos, but it was a versatile technique that’s been used in everything from Disney movies to the music video for “Yellow Submarine.” Invented by Max Fleischer and put to use largely in his 1940s Superman serials, the technique involves filming live-action footage and then tracing over it to create animated characters with realistic movement. It was originally a bit of a painstaking process, with artists having to project live-action scenes onto a frozen glass panel…

gris1
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Get a load of the fluid, feminine power of Gris

As of right now, there’s not a lot of information about Gris. We know it’s a 2D game. We know it has “zones.” We know it stars a woman clad in a flowing cloak reminiscent of the main character in Journey (2012). We know it takes place in a surreal environment largely dominated by a Mars-like red, and we know it’s being worked on by a team from both Barcelona and Tokyo. More than anything, though, we know it’s beautiful as all get out. We know this because what has been revealed about the game, mostly through its social media accounts on…

screenshot.forest-of-sleep.960x720.2015-08-27.1
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The beautiful Eastern European folktales behind Forest of Sleep

Forest of Sleep, the procedural adventure inspired by oral storytelling and the latest brainchild from the creator of Proteus (2013), looks more like a children’s book than a videogame. Early screenshots unapologetically resemble artwork, illustrated with bold borders and thick lines and no UI in sight. In an interview with the Forest of Sleep team, producer Hannah Nicklin talks to artist and animator Nicolai Troshinsky about his illustration background, and connection to the Eastern European folklore that permeates their game. a slower style, filled with tiny gestures Troshinsky discusses how he and Ed Key, the co-creator of Forest of Sleep, tossed…

grimsfield2
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Explore a bleak British town in a Kafkaesque adventure game

The northern England town of Grimsfield is bleak—completely desaturated of color, existing solely on small, square dioramas. Its inhabitants, architecture, and virtually everything within it are completely cubular, except for some dashing, rare berets. Everyone within Grimsfield is self-absorbed, the protagonist perhaps most of all. He’s an ex-detective who has recently given up on his day job to pursue his dream of becoming a poet. But if only life were that simple in this Kafkaesque adventure. The rules-laden town of Grimsfield is all about making your life inconvenient Adam Wells, the creator of the point-and-click adventure game Grimsfield, is an…

rotk
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The software behind Lord of the Rings’ giant battles now has a playable demo

There’s a reason The Lord of the Rings film franchise took home the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects three years in a row. While many films fall flat in a matter of years, The Lord of the Rings trilogy and it’s approach to CGI still stand firm more than a decade letter. While there were many breathtaking moments throughout the series, the enormous battles with armies thousands strong were consistently glorious, thanks to the simulation software Massive. And now that very same software is available to anyone for a 30-day trial. Watching a short demo video quickly illustrates how…