The Banner Saga 2 header
Review

The Banner Saga 2 still goes at it hard

The world is breaking. This is what you’re told at the outset of The Banner Saga 2. It’s delivered in a sigh, an exhale, and carries with it the weight of responsibility you bear—not all of those entrusted to your care will make it through the ordeal. There’s an inevitable doom to the proceedings but your choices will give those that follow you a chance, at least. Those choices are there in the dialogue, in the small esoteric details of conversation, in the events that unfold, and in the combat that ensues. Decision-making is woven into the tapestry of play…

Junebug
Feature

Kentucky Route Zero’s android musicians are releasing a whole album

To read more from Kentucky Route Zero’s Cardboard Computer, be sure to pick a copy of Kill Screen’s relaunched magazine, Issue 9. /// Junebug, of Kentucky Route Zero’s duo of robotic musicians, is releasing an album. Self-titled and comprised of 11 tracks, the release is an elaboration upon one of the game’s highlights: a late-night performance in a nearly-empty dive bar called the Lower Depths.   Ben Babbitt, one-third of developer Cardboard Computer and the musician responsible for Kentucky Route Zero’s soundtrack, also provides Junebug’s singing voice and instrumentals. After working to craft her sound for Act III’s Lower Depths performance, Babbitt,…

Kentucky Route Zero Act IV
Review

Kentucky Route Zero: Act IV is an elegy

Michael Snow’s 1967 experimental film Wavelength is a 45-minute long zoom on an empty room. Outside the walls, and the camera’s frame, the insignificant dramas of human life play out in sad, abortive spirals. Men move furniture into the room; two friends drink and listen to the Beatles; in the end, a man dies on the floor and a woman calmly informs the cops of his corpse. Snow is monomaniacally committed to his premise: Wavelength is a canonical example of experimental film precisely because of its push-pull between dry, structural formalism and gut-level intrigue. In a way it’s a murder…

Kentucky Route Zero
News

Stop everything! Kentucky Route Zero Act IV is out right now

Just like last time, Kentucky Route Zero‘s next act—that is, Act IV—has dropped with a soft thump into the world. If you already own it then this new act will be available to download in your Steam library right now. Did you hear it land? Nor did anyone else. Alongside this sudden arrival, Cardboard Computer posted an “Observational Trailer,” which is the most pleasant three minutes I’ve ever spent staring at a gas station lit like a biker bar. You can also spend the next three minutes doing that, perhaps sipping on something cold—yes, do that: So far, acts One…

Kentucky Route Zero
News

Slow things down by listening to the new Kentucky Route Zero teaser

Cardboard Computer has released a new track from an upcoming installment of Kentucky Route Zero and maybe it contains important information about what is to come in the game. Maybe—OK, let’s be real—it probably doesn’t. But maybe it does, and that’s enough hope to keep the whole operation going. https://t.co/2SWOwOuGYp — cardboard computer (@cardboardcompy) June 8, 2016 “River” is, as you might expect, an atmospheric track, filled with billowing sounds and distant noodlings. It doesn’t wash over you; you sink into it. Of course, this isn’t exactly music for you to listen to—at least not in this context. How often…

Wireframe church
News

Wireframe church looks like a videogame’s debug mode made real

Ruins force the present to live right next to the distant past. In Rome, traffic passes by the Colosseum, which has mostly survived and been restored, but sites such as the Circus Maximus are obvious because of their absence. There are no cafes or shops on this enormous oval, and it’s surrounded on all sides by a uniform and evenly-sloped hill that suggests human labor, but the open park is all that’s left to suggest there was something there. One imagines the spaces that used to be present—stadium seating, booths for the wealthy—stretching up beside and above them. In ruins,…

Kill Screen Festival
Feature

Two5six is now The Kill Screen Festival

Join us June 4th, 2016 for our fourth annual festival. The Kill Screen Festival, formerly Two5six, is a weekend dedicated to celebrating creative collaboration between games and other great art. We bring together two speakers, one from within games and one from without, to discuss a topic pertinent to both of their work. The conversations that result are often unexpected but always interesting and inspiring. This festival has a lot to offer everyone from those who play games religiously to those who don’t know Link from Zelda. Our lineup this year features some of the most promising creators in independent gaming…

KRZ teaser
News

Kentucky Route Zero Act IV gets a mysterious interactive teaser

Oh, it’s coming. Kentucky Route Zero Act IV currently sits out-of-sight—somewhere among the hot haze of a distant horizon—but, rest assured, it is heading this way. No, we don’t have a release date still, but there is yet another teaser to polish with your eyeballs. Last time, we had only an image. It was static, domestic, mundane. A person leaned on one of the many balconies of a high-rise populated by air-con units and washing that’s been hung out to dry. We don’t know the person in this image. We can only see that they hold a telephone to their ear.…

finalsfantasylead
News

Finals Fantasy creates game design lesson plans anyone can use

As tablets continue to move into schools and games like Minecraft (2011) are repurposed to educate, the idea of gamification, or using games to teach students about the world, has been gaining popularity as of late. However, as an increasingly diverse artistic medium of its own, others are developing new ways for students to learn about games themselves. Described as a series of “speculative projects for game art students,” Finals Fantasy has gathered together a small group of notable artists, educators, and critics to challenge and expand how game design is taught. (Oh, and so you know, Kill Screen founder Jamin Warren…