emojisimulator1
News

Replicate the world’s most complex systems via emoji

What if you could mod a game as seamlessly as playing it the way it was written? In Nicky Case’s latest simulation tool, A Simulation in Emoji, just that promise is fulfilled. In the introduction for A Simulation in Emoji, Case writes, “there is *no* difference between playing and making, between reading and writing.” This is because Case has given you, the player, all the tools already, to an endlessly customizable extent. But just what is being customized? A simulator for anything and everything—through emojis. Case is no stranger to life-simulation tools. Case first made waves in 2014 with Coming…

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…

minimetrolead
Review

Mini Metro makes mass transportation sublime

I don’t remember much from Jeen-Shang Lin’s Soil Mechanics class. Beyond a vague inkling of his whiteboard doodles and that time he paused mid-lecture to remark on my unexpected presence, most of it remains a formula-laden blur. Except for the one time he mentioned Pittsburgh’s North Shore Connector project. I can still recall his perplexed laugh. “Pittsburgh has some beautiful bridges,” or something like that, he said. “The people know how to build them, how to fix them … so why the hell did they decide to dig a tunnel underneath the Alleghany?” A shrug. More laughter. Then back to…

before
News

Before continues to take shape as the prettiest prehistorical survival game

Cavemen games seem to be the next big thing, a natural evolution of the survival genre. Now that the post-apocalypse is becoming a little tired, it makes sense to reach way back to pre-civilization for something fresh. Big titles like Far Cry Primal and WiLD may be the ones people are talking about, but the first recent example that comes to my mind is Before. Before had its biggest public debut during The Game Awards last year, but its creators over at Facepunch Studios (behind Garry’s Mod and Rust) have been posting updates here and there on the game’s progress…

Where2
News

Make friends and hack reality when Else Heart.Break() drops on September 24th

Else Heart.Break() makes me want to smoke cigarettes. It’s not that I don’t value my health. It’s that being a smoker seems to be the easiest way to people’s hearts in the game. If you smoke, you can say “yes” when strangers ask if you have either a) a lighter, or b) a smoke. With that icebreaker a whole range of social possibilities open up. “So, what’s your story?” the person might ask as they take their first drag, thanking you between pursed lips. You’ve met someone because you both smoke and now you’re chatting. The alternative is remaining seated…

simcity1
News

The original SimCity guide was basically a textbook on urban development

Back when the first SimCity was released in 1989, the editor of Computer Gaming World magazine, Johnny L. Wilson, was commissioned to write a guide for the city management sim called The SimCity Planning Commission Handbook. In a manner befitting the complexity of the original SimCity, Wilson didn’t just want to confine his explanations of the game’s mechanics to the context of the game itself, but expand on those theories beyond the simulation, shedding light on the real-life parallels SimCity is built on. A city is a machine with many moving parts  Richard Moss has a long, detailed post on…

1before1
News

Prehistoric survival sim Before is showing off new screenshots

Before is yet another survival game, but unlike most of the post-apocalyptic zombie fests that dominate the genre now, Facepunch Studios has set their world in a time long before modern civilization even existed: the era of cave-dwellers and mammoths, grass huts and spears. The latest blog post outlines a few of the primary systems that will drive Before’s prehistoric simulations and provides a glimpse at some of these systems in action. It doesn’t seem like much is happening in the videos, but creator Bill Lowe assures that there’s “a lot going on behind the scenes.” There are also some…