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Finally, a videogame that doesn’t fetishize nostalgia

“You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood … back home to a young man’s dreams of glory and of fame … back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time—back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.”  – Thomas Wolfe Even the air feels different at home, at once fresher yet also somehow more suffocating. The moment you step off the bus (or train or plane or Delorean), you can already feel the walls…

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Unsolicited shows us the begrudging lives behind junk mail

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Unsolicited (PC, Mac, Linux)  BY Lucas Pope Given the vacuity of the junk mail that mailboxes regularly puke onto entrance mats, you’d be forgiven to think there wasn’t a single soul behind it. In one respect, you’re right, as the souls of the people who are paid to produce junk mail probably died a long time ago. Such is the nature of the job. This is something you’ll discover as you play Lucas Pope’s latest game, Unsolicited. Similar to Pope’s celebrated solo debut Papers, Please, Unsolicited has you sorting…

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Lucas Pope takes us down the dark path of retouching 1-bit visuals

Return of the Obra Dinn is an upcoming Lucas Pope game with visuals so quietly gorgeous and ghost-like that only a haunting story about being lost at sea could match it. Pope, seemingly having observred the beautiful 8 to 16-bit games coming out over the past couple years, has decided to double down, using 1-bit graphics that recall early Macintosh visuals from Apple’s gray, boxy glory days. Unsurprisingly this design choice has left Pope with some unique problems throughout development. In his latest blog post on TIGSource, he takes readers through one such issue step by step. After getting the uncanny sense…

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Return of the Obra Dinn update details the challenges of 1-bit rendering

Since announcing it a year ago, Lucas Pope has been hard at work on the flashback-driven mystery game Return of the Obra Dinn, his follow-up to Papers, Please. Last October, he released a rough build of Obra Dinn to play for free, showing off the primary dynamic of the game’s puzzle. You are an East India Company insurance adjuster armed with a magical pocket watch and a logbook. The watch allows to replay moments from the bloody story of a ghost ship as you investigate its crew’s disappearance and try to track the details. “Of the characters in the demo,…

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The Westport Independent plans to pick up where Papers, Please left off

Digging through game jam games is hard work, so thanks to those who mined The Westport Independent from the veritable pile of games that Ludum Dare consistently produces. Instantly visually and thematically similar to Lucas Pope’s Papers, Please and his earlier title The Republica Times, The Westport Independent proposes to take us a step further, setting the game inside the borders of a totalitarian state that has set out to dissolve any independent entities—and, especially, your publication. As you are sent articles each day, you choose what will or won’t be censored from the each week’s issue, your choices gathering either loyalist suspicion or rebel…