At our last office job, a certain coworker was quick to email with links to every new microsite that pertained to Dark Knight’s ongoing ARG/viral marketing campaign (each new puzzle is part of a larger online scavenger hunt, see). Frankly, it’s really very interesting—and maybe heartening, in a way—to see all these fans assembling clues, as if the whole internet were tackling a single problem together.
Yesterday, fans received SMS messages that eventually led them to www.whysoserious.com/laughtilithurts...
...which is the site of the boringest flash game in the world. Think ‘Desert Bus’. Seriously, it’s horrible.
But the forumgoers at SuperHeroHype.com are relentless. And thanks to the efforts of someone who a) hacked whysoserious.com; b) actually played an utterly perfect game, or c) works at Warner and deliberately leaked some information to hurry this along, the message board discovered the knack to escaping the game and getting a redirect to the super-secret video. The video itself contains one still frame of Heath Ledger as the Joker; the internet kids have continued to painstakingly analyze the footage.
We’ve been thrilled about Shawn Smith’s Ninjatown DS game ever since we first heard about it through the grapevine. Ninjatown is based on Shawnimal’s line of plush ninja toys.
To be sure, the pixelicious sprites do blocky justice to Shawn’s character art. But is the game any good?
Kotaku’s Leigh Alexander sat down for a hands-on preview of the game, and from her description, Ninjatown sounds like a real-time strategy based on the “tower defense” template, like PixelJunk Monsters and Desktop Tower Defense before it. (And yes, she says, it’s good.)
DS owners can expect to push shinobi this October.
This is not game-related in the slightest, but here goes:
American Apparel, manufacturer and retailer of blank T-shirts, pants, skirts, and gymwear, is selling the Hitachi Magic Wand on its website. For anyone not in the know, the Hitachi Magic Wand is the most time-honored, beloved friend of self-lovin’ ladies everywhere. It’s also the housewifeyest.
The best part of the American Apparel page, though, might well be just below the ordering information. If you like vibrators, you might also like: lip gloss and pens.
Speaking of Audiosurf and its adaptability...! Yesterday, Game|Life reported on BodySurf, a script authored by Evan Jones for use with Audiosurf, your computer, GlovePIE software, and both the Wii balance board and remote.
With BodySurf, you control your ship in Audiosurf by shifting your weight from side to side using the Wii balance board. Witness Evan’s demonstration, below.
Here is what makes Audiosurf, for us, so incredible: the software manages to analyze music files and generate ‘playable tablature’ in a way no other rhythm game can even approach. Just as no two iPods are alike, the Audiosurf we play is not the same game that, say, Sharkey plays. (Sharkey—who proselytizes for Audiosurf any chance he can get—plays Audiosurf with a library full of prog-rock, for instance.)
Dylan Fitterer, the one-man team behind Audiosurf, recently spoke at a Valve press event (Audiosurf is now digitally distributed using Valve’s Steam service). Chris Remo of Gamasutra wrote up the best bits of Fitterer’s presentation, and the resulting article is Inside Audiosurf: the Indie Adaptive Steam Music Experience?
Part of Audiosurf’s success was due not just to Fitterer himself having easy access to his customers, but also due to potential customers having open communication between themselves.
The game’s design, he argues, lends itself very much to viral marketing, something Steam facilitates. For example, he saw users linking one another to the Audiosurf Steam page, which contains a convenient purchase link. Some evangelists went as far as purchasing the game for their friends with Steam’s gift function.
On the development side, he implemented a simple feature that encouraged competition between users, as well as providing automatic, but personal, encouragment keep coming back to the game.
“Dethroned” emails are sent to users when they are knocked off a song’s leaderboard, informing them of their defeat.
We love the art of Nathan Jurevicius—the pride of our Scarygirl vinyl toy collection is our Tree Dweller figurine—and that’s why we can’t wait to play this gorgeous Scarygirl online Flash game based on Jurevicus’ art and characters. Australia-based developers Touch My Pixel expect the game to launch in three months. The preview video is absolutely beautiful.
Two Player Co-op has unveiled a brand new reviews segment, in which our friend Luana’s young daughter, Lorelei, assesses a video game’s playability and overall ‘fun’ factor. In the first episode, Lorelei gives the Wii title “My Pokemon Ranch” a piece of her mind. And as game reviews go, well, this is about as succinct as podcasts get.
Here’s a screenshot of Luana and Lorelei ranching in-game:
Video game -themed shirts are a dime-a-dozen, but exceptional game shirts are our white whale. And although that metaphor doesn’t hold up to scrutiny, “Playing God” combines our deep-seated fears of determinism and the Lord’s wrath with our boundless love for vector art.
Plus, look how cute it is with pigtails!
Playing God can be yours for just 17 measly US bucks. [Via]
I am going to tell you what I just told them.
I was waiting to blog later, but I just dropped everything. It fell out of my hands. I have been punched in the heart and brain.
Last night—yesterday—my friend MJ and I were hanging out. I don’t know how I got on the subject of my favorite game designer, actually. But I was showing MJ one of the greatest, most important games I’ve ever owned, Chop Suey, which actually I’ve told you about before. And then I was showing MJ this interview in an issue of Shift, probably Fall 2000, “Theresa Duncan: Silicon Valley’s ‘It Girl’.” And I was like, isn’t she beautiful? Can you believe she made this game? Because it was a little like holding up War and Peace and then revealing that it was written by, I don’t know, just someone really unexpectedly pretty, instead of Tolstoy.
Do people know who this is? Theresa Duncan? Why don’t more people know who she is?
I’d looked everywhere for that game. I’d been trying to locate a copy, if you can believe this, since I was 15, when I first read in a then-new magazine that it was the greatest videogame you could ever give a girl. And I found a copy ten years later, and I downgraded my QuickTime and ultimately discovered that Chop Suey—a storybook game with painted scenes, hilarious characters, and a narrative driven by the warm, twee crack of David Sedaris’ voice—was maybe one of the most enthralling and meaningful game experiences of my adult life.
Read the rest of this entry »
In yesterday’s 1UP blog entry GTA4 Killed My Internet, this blogger really only meant to do a little GameVideos cross-promotion for the just-released GTA4 trailer. Still, the blog elicited an interesting back-and-forth among its readers, which we have lovingly reprinted in part just below/behind the cut. Read the rest of this entry »
Gallery of the Absurd is singly the greatest one-glance-and-you’re-all-caught-up gossip blog on the internet. And while the latest Gallery entry is only tangentially related to videogames, it’s still pretty amazing. (Click thumbnail, at right, for the big picture.)
So we made this for our friend Adam, but we were so tickled by our own wit we just couldn’t keep it to ourselves. (Click for the whole nightmare.)
edit: I didn’t have enough work to do that week.
Man, we wish we were in NYC sometimes. For fans of Chip Music and glitch electronica, the 2006 Blip Festival is a must-do. It runs for four days, beginning November 30. And Mark DeNardo—whom we remember fondly from our Chicago days as a tremendous electrofolk talent, a zealous chipmusic teacher, and a nice guy—is one of the featured musicians.
In addition to magical lo-fi music, the Blip Festival will also screen the film 8 Bit.
Blip Festival [via]
Speaking of shoes:
From the latest Sneaker Pimps art show (via).
We’re tremendous fans of the Sneaker Pimps show—we attended one in Chicago last year—and we’re really anxious to ascertain the identity of this shoe’s artist.
Still, this leads us to believe that the owner of Boston shoe store Concepts would know. We’ll try to find some contact information. Till then, send tips.
From Glamour Magazine:
Hello, Glamour? You forgot to photoshop the Wii remote into the top photo. (via) (via)