Happy New Year, folks. We made it.
2015 has been a difficult year, which makes it fairly similar to a lot of other years we’ve seen. I’ve been fighting a mental illness which is getting more and more debilitating by the day, and despite that I’ve put out a lot of what I consider to be great work. That said, I’m tired, and need to make a lot of personal changes if I’m going to make it through 2016 without keeling over from exhaustion.
One of those changes is going to be to the writing that I put out. Games Criticism isn’t a sustainable sphere, and honestly my heart isn’t in it. I’m proud of the work I’ve done, and want to keep doing it, but I don’t think it can be The Primary Thing anymore. I want to write stories, I want to create things, and I want to write more about films as well. 2015 made it clear to me that the only way for me to grow satisfactorily as a person (and as a Games Critic) is to de-emphasize Games in my life, have an even wider spectrum of experience, and to free myself of the need to produce work.
Which isn’t to say that I’m going away, only that I’m going to try to refocus somewhat in 2016. I want to free myself of the need to write, so that when I do write it’s because I want to. I want all my articles, podcasts and (hopefully, soon!) eBook to be produced out of enthusiasm and not obligation. I’d love to keep a high pace of work up this year, but I don’t want to do so at the expense of my self-care any longer.
I don’t know what this means for what 2016 will bring, and I’m not going to predict. Here’s to another year of getting through.
Welcome to Game Gallery, our trip through small and interesting games we found across the internet!
Today, we play This Is Forever by Yokashi Games, an atmospheric exploration game with music and trees for days. You can check it out on Game Jolt if you want to play it for yourself!
Game Gallery makes its triumphant return! I haven’t quite yet decided on the final format of these going forward, but my aim is to tie them into Altgames & Introspection posts when that gets up and going again, it’s all a matter of how much time I have to work on everything. But today, enjoy me reacting to SpillTender by Reptoid Games, a game where you play an evening in the life of a Bartender with questionable technique.
It’s really cool and worth checking out yourself, you can get it on itch.io right here.
How Do You Do It? is a game about exploring the murky idea of sexuality through the eyes of a child trying to jam her dolls into some configuration that will unlock the secrets of adulthood. Created by Nina Freeman and Emmett Butler, How Do You Do It? is an IGF Finalist and a beautiful game that you can play on Steam or her website.
Special guest Destiny Sturdivant is co-host of feminist junk culture podcast Badland Girls and frequent third chair on Abnormal Mapping.
Tandoor is an unfinished game that was created and put out by Jake Clover, in which you explore a vast desert world, inspired by the initial pitch of Borderlands. You can check it out at: http://gamejolt.com/games/adventure/tandoor/20755/
Game Gallery is part of Abnormal Mapping, a games podcast run by Matthew Marko and Jackson Tyler, that can be found at http://AbnormalMapping.com or on iTunes.
Glitchhikers is a game about one long night on one long road and the adventures you find along it. I play through the entire game in this video, so if you’re interested in good things just go get it and play it at http://glitchhikers.com/ it will only take 30 minutes at most and it’s great.
Triad is a freeware game that you can play right now by going to http://www.auntiepixelante.com/triad/
Check out Anna’s books. They are in part why I talk about games the way I do! Her book on ZZT: http://bossfightbooks.com/products/zzt-by-anna-anthropy and her book on game design in general: http://www.amazon.com/Game-Design-Vocabulary-Foundational-Principles/dp/0321886925
Perfect Stride is in development, but you can find more information at: http://perfectstri.de/
If you’re watching on mobile, you can find the playlist of music for Perfect Stride here: https://soundcloud.com/arcanekids/sets/neo-l-a
Welcome to a new video feature on Abnormal Mapping: Game Gallery. The idea behind Game Gallery is that on certain sundays, we’ll take a look at a small or experimental game from a game maker we find interesting, and show off a short piece of impressions and our experience with the game. The aim is to create a small series of games that we wish to highlight, that are often ignored and overlooked, and bring our impressions to you.
SUPERMOONS by Lana Polansky: http://lanathegun.itch.io/supermoons
Support Lana Polansky on Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/LanaPolansky
Become an Artist in Just 10 Seconds by Michael Brough and Andi McClure:
Roses Creator by Titouan Millet: