Milano Game Festival

The Milano Games Festival aims for thoughtful discussion around videogames

A big part of playing videogames is doing so collaboratively. We like to talk about and share our experiences. Before now, arcades were the place to go for this, where you could gather around arcade cabinets, watching your peers smashing high-scores and giving commentary as you wait for your chance to play. But now it’s mostly online, with livestreaming services letting thousands of people gather around a single game-playing session, all shouting into the chat. Seizing on this kind of behavior—albeit hoping to foster more thoughtful discussion—and coming hot on the heels of film festivals like Cannes, Sundance, and Toronto, is…

Future Unfolding

Future Unfolding’s team wants to randomly generate hand-designed puzzles

In his recent book Spelunky, Derek Yu writes about the process of designing his 2008 (and 2012 remake) game of the same name, and often refers to the difficulties introduced by the decision to generate levels randomly. He describes trying to make sure that every time a level is generated, it is new, challenging, and solvable: “The game’s first priority,” he says, “is to make sure that there is a path from the entrance to the exit that is traversable without the use of bombs, rope, or other special equipment.” Spelunky generates its levels with templates for rooms and patterns for smaller…


Future Unfolding will let us play with the animals on PS4, and so it should

“Come, bunnies,” I announced to the empty room behind me. “Follow me, your glorious leader!” In Future Unfolding, you run around a forest that has the florid appearance of spilled paint, and you can talk to the animals. As if some glorified Pied Piper, you stride with great bounds across flower patches, painting blue streaks as you sprint between the shadows of leafy trees, a fleet of fluffy animals in tow.  When I started playing Future Unfolding, my controller was disconnected, and so I was left to use either my mouse or my keyboard. “Nah,” I said, and got up…


Scientists are trying to make robots that can feel things

The use of robots is widespread throughout society: in medicine, combat, warehouses and factories. However, one limitation is holding them back from advancing into other industries: a lack of touch. Human touch is complex and highly sensitive, sensitive enough to detect textures on a nanoscale level. So, translating that into equivalent haptic feedback is a difficult task. Human touch is complex and highly sensitive.  “It just takes time, and it’s more complicated,” said Ken Goldberg, a University of California, Berkeley, in an article for the New York Times. “Humans are really good at this, and they have millions of years…


This mountain hut is like a crash-landed spaceship

Part LEGO and part crash-landed Borg cube, Atelier 8000’s entry into the Kežmarská Chata (Kežmarská Hut) international architectural competition would have looked right at home in the High Tatras peaks of Slovakia. The design team said that the “clean simple cube shape” is intended to evoke a scene of an ice block that was left behind randomly by a retreating glacier. The glass combined with photovoltaic and aluminium panels that cover the surface of the proposal replicate the glare and reflections of the ice and snow-capped peaks surrounding it, while the “sharp edges” blend in with the landscape. The cuboid…


Future Unfolding swaps out enemies for a sentient forest

I played a very early version of Spaces of Play’s Future Unfolding over a year ago in San Francisco. It was a wholly uneventful experience. The game looked largely the same as it does today, just devoid of, well, actual play. There were no paint-splattering wildebeests, no chiming crystals, no wormholes that opened under your feet. There was the forest, but not much else. The future hadn’t unfolded yet. “In a way, having a vision is like seeing a mountain in the far distance. You can’t see the path yet that leads you through the forest,” Mattias Ljungström and Marek…