Kim
News

Rudyard Kipling’s classic novel Kim is now a videogame too

Rudyard Kipling is a complicated figure. On the one hand, you have the arch-colonialist, the author of the poem “The White Man’s Burden,” and an all-around fan of Empire and the progress it supposedly represented. The man who spoke of subjected populations as “Half-devil and half-child,” and celebrated the bloody project of colonialism as a way to uplift the natives of India, the Philippines, and Africa to (British) civilization. But then there’s Kim (1901), the story of a young British orphan raised as an Indian native. At once a children’s story, a travel narrative, and a genuine work of joy…

Somewhere
News

Somewhere is back, and it has new, surreal images to show you

The two-person Studio Oleomingus has resumed work on Somewhere, their first person exploration game set in an alternative Colonial India. To demonstrate, they’ve given us a new peek at an environment in their surreal polygonal world. The first screenshot shows off a car, maybe from the early ’60s, but made of wood paneling and with giant antlers poking out the top. The following slides feature several of the vehicles, clustered together like deer at a watering hole, but surrounded on four sides by walls, left without wheels and suspended in a floor that’s swamp-like but also vibrantly-patterned. the archaeological process…

News

An enormous and beautiful Indian transmedia project comes to videogames

In 2013, the Sri Lankan newspaper The Sunday Times interviewed Avinash Kumar, an experimental VJ (video jockey) from India, about a project he was heading: a short story that became a graphic novel that became an album with his audio-visual collective BLOT!, which then became something else altogether. The story was said to center on a South Indian man with synesthesia who went to Mars. “It’s become so much larger,” Kumar told the newspaper then, as a result of his initial concept of “Future Botanical” running away with itself. Fast-forward to 2016. On June 14, a game called Antariksha Sanchar (Transmissions…

Feature

IGX spotlights potential for the gaming industry in India

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. On a warm November morning last year in Mumbai, a crowd of thousands of curious young people queued up on the street for a chance to try out the latest and greatest in videogames. Some were decked out in cosplay outfits, others came dressed like anyone else. But more than just a chance for free rein on new titles like Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) and FIFA 15 (2014), this was a big moment for videogames in India. And the Indian videogame community proved its merit in droves. “The Indian gaming ecosystem is at the cusp…

Feature

Cultural representation in Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. India is a diverse country, home to some 3499 separate communities and 325 different languages and dialects, according to one anthropological survey. But representation of the region in videogames has been lazy at best and non-existent at worst. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3’s (2011) campaign featured a single mission set in the city of Dharamshala with barely a trace of Indian culture, let alone accuracy. On the other hand, games like Final Fantasy and Smite (2014) tend to bend elements of Indian culture to fit the game’s needs or aesthetic…

Feature

Ancient India: The Birthplace of Modern Game Design

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel Ancient India produced some of the oldest and longest surviving games in history, and though the country’s videogame creators face modern day challenges, its contributions to game design are undeniable. They’ve gone by many different names and variations, but games like Chess, Chutes and Ladders, Parcheesi, and even the six-sided die are all believed to have originated in ancient India. Mostly created during a turbulent and formative time in the country’s history, the nature of these games gives a better understanding of the ideas, values, and social climate surrounding them.…

Article

What could an Indian videogame identity look like?

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. Indian game development is booming—or at least it is compared to where it was just a decade ago. Shailesh Prabhu, founder of Yellow Monkey studio and a lead designer on their isometric puzzle game Socioball, says that, “When I started working in games eleven years ago, there were about four game studios. When I started Yellow Monkey eight years ago, there were maybe eight? Right now, there are too many to count.” That’s in no small part due to the fact that, despite the lack of formal avenues for developers, quality creators…

Article

The rocky path to widespread internet access in India

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. If you’re reading this, you probably have internet. In fact, you may rely on the internet for a significant portion of the day. You may wake up in the morning and check the weather on your phone, or use your laptop to type out a message to your boss or coworker. You’re one of the lucky 43 percent. In India, you’re one of the 29 percent. Facebook launched Internet.org in India alongside Indian mobile company Reliance Communications in early April, hoping to discover an efficient way to provide free…

Article

Can India become an eSports powerhouse?

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. The eSports fever that has taken the world by storm is largely driven by its popularity throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas. But there are still billions of people on the sidelines in countries where competitive gaming has yet to take off. India, the second most populous nation on the planet, for instance, is one of the more prominent holdouts. As of the time of this writing, there are exactly zero players residing within the country who play eSports for a living. While pro players elsewhere in the world can bring in a…