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…

tharsislead
Article

In praise of the “bad” design of Tharsis

Tharsis begins with an event of astronomical improbability. Somewhere in the interplanetary medium, a meteoroid floating through space at 25 miles a second occupies the same bit of spacetime as the spaceship Inktomi, which is hurtling towards Mars at 11 miles a second. The ship and its crew have been travelling for weeks; the meteoroid, millenia. And there, in the emptiness of the cosmic void, they somehow meet. An impact; a burst of compressed air; a body blown into space; a crippled vessel drifting toward Mars. What remains is a quartet of crew and a fistful of dice to navigate…

Creature
Article

The birth of No Man’s Sky

If you want more in depth interviews like these, support us on Kickstarter! // Few games have captured the public imagination like No Man’s Sky. Due out in June 2016, the game promises an entire universe to explore: some 18 quintillion planets, which would take some 600 billion hours for players to fully explore. (Who knows, though; never underestimate the public’s appetite for videogames.) This would all be impressive enough, but what turned our heads was the kaleidoscopic array of colors in which the game is painted, full of toxic green skies and impossibly lush plants, dank caves and deep purple…

pluto noby noby boy
News

Lonely dwarf planet Pluto finally finds love as Noby Noby Girl arrives

It’s been a rough ride for Pluto ever since it was demoted in 2006 by the no-good scientists who deemed it unworthy of the proper “planet” classification. It lost its confidence, became altogether uninterested in life, and has been revolving in its own sorrow ever since. After the demotion, all of Pluto’s accomplishments were diminished by the “dwarf” planet prefix. No matter what it did—whether completing an orbit around the sun or being visited by a spacecraft—big brother Neptune and his ilk would always outshine him (you know, since they’re closer to the sun). Fear no more the heat of the…

viscera1
News

For once, a videogame that has you clear up the violence rather than cause it

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Viscera Cleanup Detail (PC)  BY Runestorm For most people, the idea of cleaning up anything sucks. It’s a chore; not meant to be enjoyed, just endured. What’s going on with Viscera Cleanup Detail then? This is a videogame purely about cleaning that has enjoyed two years of popularity before it was even finished. People are lapping it up like a mop head does spilled liquid. One user review finds comedy in how the person who wrote it refuses to clean their messy room but has scrubbed an…

ver
News

Verreciel is a minimalist space exploration game set in a glass ship

There’s a graceful fragility to the works of Devine Lu Linvega and his latest game is no exception. Verreciel, which launches on January 10th, 2016 for iOS, will let you explore “surrounding universes” aboard a vessel called the Glass Ship. There isn’t much info about it beyond that. Its interface is sharp and fine, like glass. Wiry lettering labels its various functions—battery, hull, electricity, thruster. Stars expand beyond its angled windows into long lines the faster you go. Linvega also describes Verreciel as a “linguistically involved project” like his previous ones, including Paradise, Hiversaires, Oquonie, and Ledoliel. Follow Verreciel on Twitter…