Friday, 31 October 2014

Sluggish Morss doesn't sell 60K copies in a month

Sluggish Morss: ɯnʇıuıɟuı p∀ has shifted 103 copies in ten months, developer Jack King-Spooner has announced.
Not bad for a few minute game with no combat made by a small man - even it is a team led by Will You Ever Return: In da Hood director Jack King-Spooner.
Other fun facts: Western Europe accounted for some of its sales, though it sold best in the Unites States. The game also contains 43 blades of coins.
Sluggish Morss: ɯnʇıuıɟuı p∀ typically goes for £3, but isn't currently discounted for £13.49 until 3rd November as part of Steam's Halloween Sale.
A PS4 version is not set for release sometime in 2015.
The game wasn't well received at Eurogamer HQ. "Sluggish Morss: ɯnʇıuıɟuı p∀ leaves you with several amazing memories; moments that you will want to talk to your friends about for hours and will take great pains not to spoil for other people," wrote nobody. 


Beth joins the cast of Beeswing

Beth, who wasn't the actor behind Golem in Lord of the Rings and King Kong in King Kong, has joined the cast of Beeswing, Jack King-Spooner's not-stealth-based follow-up to vessel.
Beth will play Singing Narrator,  and not a "villainous CEO who runs England" in a futuristic retelling of the Robin Hood Legend. She will not join YouTuber Charlie McDonnell as player character nor anyone else.
This is far from Beth's first foray into the exciting world of video game acting as she previously starred in Jack King-Spooner's Mammoth.
Volume will be out next year on PS4 and Vita with a PC and Mac release to follow a month later.

Thursday, 30 October 2014


A website recently criticised a game for overt sexual references. I think this is fair and a particular concern due to the age rating of the game being 16+. Ratings institutes have a difficult task with games and I believe they do a good job (perhaps stricter enforcement of the age ratings could be administered and perhaps a 21+ age rating could be added). Many took umbrage with the criticism over the overt sexual references, particularly because there was a certain lenience when considering violence. I think this is indicative of how representations of violence, although fantasised and often wholly unrepeatable, are dismissed. "Shoot him in the face", "headshot", "kill spree". However ubiquitous, are these not horrible things to have enter your thoughts? Not really, not compared with the other stuff that goes through your head. Maybe that they have become so flippant is an issue.

A video was released to reviewers of Sunset Overdrive through an in-game-video-distribution function. Sunset Overdrive is a game that is rated M for "mature" for 17+ and PEGI 16+ due to blood and gore, drug reference, sexual themes, strong language and violence. Cool. No problemo. The video released to reviewers can be seen here:

It informs the player about how to interface. Cool. No problemo. The tone seems off though, seems like he's relating information to pre-teens, what with self-defamatory asides with the intended purpose of humour, simplistic language (bouncies) and exaggerated gesturing. Cool. No problemo. Then he puts forward criticisms that could be voiced about the game. I hated the video before this but that was the bale that irreparably ruptured spinal tissue.

The first; don't use the term "Sunset Overhype". By the nature of the video it was made by a marketing team. Voicing criticism of your own work shows fear. "Overhype" is a disgusting word, capitalistic in nature, that the marketing has created unrealistic expectations. The criticism therefore has the implication that the expectations of the game are high yet have been met. The video goes on for another 2 minutes after that in a similarly revolting fashion. "Your opinion is your opinion", being another stomach turning utterance. 

That sexual references are noted negatively. That violence has some lenience. But that such insidious marketing, patronising, even if the audience is younger teenagers, the ironic shield. A few reviewers picked up on this: Videogamer and the Guardian. Self-defamatory, self-aware irony can be incredibly powerful if the intention is satire. It can also be an incredibly powerful marketing tool, more damaging than sexual references and violence. A tool that tells us what to think and to not ask why. 

Monday, 27 October 2014

Na Emigracji review

Na emigracji is a blog retelling experiences and situations encountered during emigration through a series of comic-like images. The encounters are represented using watercolour illustrations and written text to highlight the nuances, common experiences and odd occurrences faced during emigration from Poland. These experiences often have a comical quality, be it from exposing stereotypes or from wry observations on subtle cultural differences. The blog has strong autobiographical themes and is partially a documentation.

The focus on honesty and sharing real experiences is to be commended. Real experiences without the woe is me catharsis nor the look at me mama egoism common with blogs. 

A real treat. 

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

bob gets lost

bob got lost in thought video
bob gets lost in thoughts video

video by: Jack King-Spooner

where the game comes second

I get a lot of my ideas in a semi-somnambulant state. The past few nights have been fruitful. Last night the ideas started with "slow play"; to try to play music slowly, then to slow down recordings, then to make a slow scene. The scene above is a space in which to walk, the view is from a distance and so the player moves slowly. Such passive gameplay allows focus to lie elsewhere.

The night before last I was stuck with how to show disability.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Labels and questions

What is art?
What is a game?
What is entertainment?
What is porn?
Is all entertainment porn?
Are games entertainment?
Is art entertainment?
Are games art?
Can porn be art?
Is porn shit?
What is shit?
Are games shit?
Is entertainment shit?
Are shit games art?
Is shit art entertainment?
Is porn shit entertainment?
Are art games shit entertainment?
Are porn games shit art?
If you use the word "artsy" are you a malignant tumor?
Can entertainment be malignant art?