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Videogames and the art of spatial storytelling

French philosopher Guy Debord talked about the idea of the dérive, a mode of travel where the journey itself is more important than the destination, where travelers “let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there.” But to think of dérive as a kind of random stroll dominated by chance encounters would be to miss Debord’s essential point: spaces, by virtue of being inhabited or shaped by humankind, possess their own “psychogeographical contours, with constant currents, fixed points and vortexes that strongly discourage entry into or exit from certain zones.” Spaces can be…


Why is Rocket League’s jumping so much fun?

Rocket League is a game that is concerned with a great many things, but verisimilitude is most definitely not one of them. To wit, here’s an excerpt from Psyonix president Dave Hagewood’s excellent interview with Gamasutra about the game’s jumping mechanics: Designing Rocket League‘s rocket-boosting mechanic was an interesting process; because it was so much more emergent than other games that we’ve worked on. Usually, we start out with a very concrete plan of what you want to do, but in this case we really started out with just a very simple mechanic: cars that jump. We like cars that can…


The year of Luigi came and went, leaving behind a husk of a man

The world is weightless, a black abyss we disguise behind shades of blue and brick. But when the paint washes off, you see this strange land for what it is: a place without death because no actual life inhabits it, a blackhole without meaning beyond the veneer we coat it in. You go right, not out of any real desire to, but because turning left would only get you further away from the end, where the promise of nothingness awaits. You take a drag from the cigarette clutched between your fingertips. It hisses, a sound too real for an otherwise…