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Meat Boy, Mario, and the perfect platformer jump

“What actions are ideal in a jump curve?” asked Playdead level designer Martin Fasterholdt to a sizeable crowd for his panel at the Game Developer’s Conference. In a discussion that stemmed from Fasterholdt’s own master thesis, the “You Say Jump, I Say How High?” panel explored the varying degrees of the best and most dynamic of 2D platforming jumps. His primary examples for the talk being the frenetic Super Meat Boy (2010), the classic Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988), and the precision-driven Limbo (2010) from Fasterholdt’s own Playdead (a game he claimed he was incidentally “too young” to work on…

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Playdead’s sophomore effort somehow looks even more sinister than Limbo

Where do you go after opening with a haunting, beautiful, universally-praised smash like Limbo? Brilliant initial offerings are always notoriously tough to follow up, but it looks like there will be no sophomore slump from Playdead. Judging by the hot and hyperbole-worthy debut trailer for Inside, the Copenhagen developer is sticking with the creeping feeling of dread, the arthouse grain-filters, and the chiaroscuro.  So what’s new? Well, it looks like the horrific fairytale motif of Limbo—you guided a young boy past murderous figures and buzz saws—has grown up into a maturer expression of existential dread: we see legions of mindless…