A Light in Chorus
News

A Light in Chorus gets a proper story to go along with its magical visuals

We’ve had our eyes on Broken Fence Games’s A Light in Chorus for a while now. It’s hard not to look at this game, because it’s absolutely stunning. Its world is composed of glowing dots, like a starfield held in tremulous pointillism. So far that visual allure has made for gorgeous screenshots and GIFs, but the meat of A Light in Chorus—that is, how do you interact with this world?—has remained pleasantly elusive. I’m not asking “how you play it;” I’m not hoping to, like, max out my light-viewing skill tree or anything (please, no!). Our own Jess Joho did impressive work last year…

screenshot1-0548c1909d751324364145cabf87cc25
Review

In Stellaris, every star looks the same

There’s a moment in Dreamer of Dune—Brian Herbert’s 2003 biography of his father, science fiction author Frank Herbert—that is worth noting for the way it skirts the idea of reference in sci-fi. It describes the Herberts’ reaction to the release of Star Wars in 1977: “The film was shocking to me, for all the similarities between it and my father’s book, Dune. Both featured an evil galactic empire, a desolate desert planet, hooded natives, strong religious elements, and a messianic hero with an aged mentor. Star Wars’ Princess Leia had a name with a haunting similarity to Dune’s Lady Alia…

echo ultra-ultra
News

ECHO’s huge, ancient palace among the stars is full of intrigue

Humanity has been looking up at the stars since we can remember, fascinated with the mystery and wonder promised by the vast expanse of space. For a very long time it was untouchable, destined to be spun into myth by societies with the desire but without the resources to understand why the sun and moon switched places every day. Now, of course, we can quantify phenomenons that would have been unbelievable a century ago, and the stars are a little less mysterious for it. Edgar Allen Poe sent a man in a balloon to the moon in 1835 and scientists…

verreciel
News

Go on a beautiful voyage into the unknown with Verreciel

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Verreciel (iOS) BY DEVINE LU LINVEGA Verreciel is the latest entry in Devine Lu Linvega’s “sequence of linguistically involved projects,” which includes Paradise (2011), Hiversaires (2013), and Oquonie (2014). Verreciel has you explore various star systems by connecting the consoles that surround you inside your Glass Ship. As you navigate outer space, you follow simple missions: harvesting currencies and trading them for warp keys to new locations. It’s a game about mastering the mechanical intricacies of travel, which echoes Linvega’s latest life choice to live on a boat and sail the world. Linvega’s…

Iron Man
News

Iron Man’s suit designer is now working on actual space suits

All space travel is fiction. Alright, it’s not fake in the “we didn’t go to the moon” sense of the term, but it necessarily involves the creation of tales to justify what remains a riotously expensive undertaking. “Major achievements in space contribute to the national prestige,” American Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara noted in 1961. “This is true even though the scientific, commercial or military value of the undertaking may … be marginal or economically unjustifiable.” In the years since the space race, this calculus is even more complicated. Much of what humans now do in space is quite tedious; waiting…

Adr1ft
Feature

Adr1ft and the loneliness of digital worlds

This is a preview of an article you can read on our new website dedicated to virtual reality, Versions. /// Adam Orth is alone. It’s no secret. He tells me as much even as I cross the threshold of Three One Zero, his development studio just off the block-party-turned-retail-orgy that is the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. He’s right, there’s no one there, though half a dozen work stations line the wall to my left, one piled high with Atari cartridges. “We’re a digitally distributed team,” he explains, “so everyone can work from wherever they are.” Through the several…

moonbasealpha2
Feature

The videogames preparing us for space

“There is only one essential question: What’s the next thing that could kill me? Focusing on that thing, whatever it is, is how you stay alive.” Ground Control, this is Commander Chris Hadfield describing his experiences as an astronaut and career as a pilot for the Canadian Forces, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School (TPS) and U.S. Navy. To get the full story, just read An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth (2013). It’s incredible. In order to successfully complete three space missions, two space walks, and live aboard the International Space Station (ISS)…

Nomanssky2
News

No Man’s Sky finally revealing its mysteries when it launches this June

It’s been a little over two years since ambitious space exploration game No Man’s Sky, with its “planet-sized planets” and “universe-sized universe,” was first announced back in December of 2013. Since then, the game’s trailers and various press showings have been great at capturing the imagination, but haven’t exactly shown us too much of just what this game is about. What’s there to do in this massive universe? What sort of creatures and people live in it? What’s this all leading up to? As with J.J. Abrams and his mystery box, part of the excitement of No Man’s Sky comes…

nulloperator1
News

Null Operator is the videogame that refuses to die

One of the more common pieces of advice given to aspiring writers is to “kill your darlings.” It simply means that writers should be willing to remove passages or ideas from their work that they might personally enjoy in service of the reader. Over the course of developing his game Null Operator, Anton from game development studio Rust Ltd., has killed several darlings. When it was first announced to the internet as a whole in a blog post in October of 2014, Null Operator was pitched as a game where players fly a spaceship through a cramped, mechanical environment shooting…