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Vane strives for beauty and consistency, even in its bird physics

It’s the little things that makes Vane one of the most gorgeous looking games in development right now: the graceful twirl of leaves loosening from thin branches, clouds of dust that kick up behind a small, running figure, or the beating of a bird’s wings against the hot desert air. In games, beauty isn’t just the product of a pleasing art style. The coding has to do its part too, and a new blog post from developer Friend & Foe Games shows just how much painstaking detail can go into perfecting the systems that many people take for granted. According…

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New Vane trailer is so pretty even its dust is pretty

I never thought I’d be so interested in the dust that kicks up behind someone running. It’s kind of a throwaway. It doesn’t really have any effect on anything. It’s there and then it’s not. But there’s something about the way that Friend & Foe’s new game Vane does it that’s got me watching dust over and over again. Vane has a simple, mysterious beauty that is equally drawn from its desert setting, its scant details, and the occasional low poly dust cloud. All of this is shown off to full effect in the new trailer. Pulled together from gameplay…

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The ill effects of climate change sure make for a beautiful game

Submerged, from the little-known Australians at Uppercut Games, is a very pretty exploration game about sailing a small fishing vessel through a tropical city that is half, well, submerged.  The devs posted on their development blog that they are going for a kind of “destroyed beauty,” which we so often see in these games about exploring ramshackle solitary worlds, like Vane and Cylne. But this one stands out in that the disaster seems to be caused by modern geological tragedy. Intentional or not, the theme brings to mind the rising sea levels brought on by the warming global climate—the islands of…