No Man's Sky
Feature

The making of No Man’s Sky soundtrack

Post-rock has long been intertwined with film and television. That’s why there’s a big chance you’ve heard it before, possibly without even knowing it. Explosions In The Sky (one of the genre’s most well-known acts) blew up into mainstream consciousness after scoring the American football drama Friday Night Lights (2006-2011). Their fellow Austin residents This Will Destroy You have been heard in popular movies as well, including Moneyball (2011), World War Z (2013), and at least one ad campaign without their permission. Long-running Scottish act Mogwai (named after the furry creatures from Gremlins) most recently scored the 2015 BBC 4…

Fullbright
Feature

The story is in the details: A chat with Fullbright’s Nina Freeman and Karla Zimonja

This article is part of Issue 8.5, a digital zine available to Kill Screen’s print subscribers. Read more about it here and get a copy yourself by subscribing to our soon-to-be-relaunched print magazine. /// Fullbright are best known for 2013’s iconic Gone Home. Their particular niche, now being refined with their upcoming Tacoma, is the narrative videogame: an intimate, carefully designed space left for the player to explore and unravel. Nina Freeman, creator of 2015’s Cibele, joined Fullbright last year as a level designer. Karla Zimonja co-founded the studio with Steve Gaynor. We sat down with them in their Portland office…

David Race plays Ms Pac-Man
Feature

The Pac-Man

David Race is the best Pac-Man (1980) player in the world but would never admit that. Sure, you could watch his hand move the joystick like a professional driver downshifting around a corner. Or stand there dumbstruck as he tells you where the enemies will move seconds before they do so. “Keep your eyes on Blinky,” he’ll say. And just before you have time to ask which one that is, Pac-Man does something you never thought possible: he passes through the red ghost unscathed. Watch for a little while longer and you’ll soon realize David is not reacting to the…

No Man's Sky
Feature

The future of archaeology starts with No Man’s Sky

This is a preview of an article you can read on our new website dedicated to virtual reality, Versions. /// Destructive treasure hunters like Nathan Drake and Lara Croft tumble through decadent crypts, dismantling rare artifacts in their wake. Their scrabbling work, however incidental, is the antithesis to the careful field of archaeology. Yet, in marketing materials they’re labeled both as explorers and, yes, archaeologists. It’s for reasons like this that I’ve found myself, as a student of archaeology, increasingly disillusioned with the way videogames treat artifacts and history. The problem is that these types of games tend to disregard…

postcards from home1
Feature

A people’s history of PlayStation Home

Released at the end of last year, Postcards from Home has the feel of a curio: a weighty tome assembled exclusively from images captured within Sony’s discontinued virtual world, Home (2008-2015). Its author, the Spanish photographer Roc Herms, has explored games before, whether making absurdist use of the Game Boy camera or documenting an enormous LAN party from the perspective of the hardware. But it only takes a few pages for the scope of Postcards from Home to reveal itself as something much more empathetic, even human, full of penetrating longform interviews that explores the digital architecture of Home as…

The Desolate Hope
News

The many failures of the Five Nights At Freddy’s creator

On January 21, Scott Cawthon’s Five Nights at Freddy’s World (FNaF World), the surprisingly light-hearted role-playing followup to the popular horror series, was released on Steam, ahead of its announced February 19th release date. User reception was generally positive, but the drastic shift in style and tone left some fans confused, leading to an 87 percent user review rating. Not satisfied with an aggregated score of “very positive”, Cawthon pulled the game from Steam, promising to update it with new features and release it for free on Game Jolt once it was ready. In a post on Steam, Cawthon explained…

Sylvio 2
News

Sylvio 2 and the ghostly terror of analog technology

Sylvio was a humble ghost-hunting horror game in the foggy, abstract lineage of Silent Hill. It also boasted an indelible protagonist in soft-spoken Juliette Waters. Her resolve through all manner of supernatural phenomena makes you, the player, feel a bit better about the screaming ink-black blobs milling about as you investigate an abandoned amusement park. Using EVP recording equipment, you can capture the whispers of the dead on analog tape, scrubbing back and forth to pinpoint clues about how each spirit met their end. Yeah—Sylvio is a game about helping ghosts find peace. Now designer Niklas Swanberg is back on…

Darius_0
Article

Muay Thai by day, League of Legends by night: A conversation with Tanet “Jacky” Puangngoen

When he comes onstage in the second-to-last panel in Tribeca Games’ “The Craft and Creative of League of Legends,” Tanet “Jacky” Puangngoen is not an immediately imposing figure. He’s on the shorter side, with a kind face and polite demeanor. Nevertheless, when he throws a mock punch in demonstration at James Patterson, the esports host flinches pretty hard. It could have something to do with the clip we all just watched of Jacky kicking a training pad over sixty times in a minute. Or it could just be the general knowledge that Puangngoen spends most days training in Muay Thai,…

We Are Chicago
News

We Are Chicago aims to dispel media myths about poor, black families

When thinking about the black neighborhoods in Chicago‘s south and west side most people will probably see death statistics. This is what the media thrusts into the public’s face time and again. It’s hardly an isolated incident; while purported to be based in fact, these statistics are trumpeted around for their racially charged implications. Bring it up again and again and those who are distant and unfamiliar with these neighborhoods can only associate them with gangland murders. What else do they have to go on? Being poor and black becomes enough for everyone else to fear you. And it seems to…