Indie Studios

Closure

There’s a neurological phenomenon that we’re all familiar with, in one way or another. Artists use it to double the effectiveness of their pieces through ‘negative space’; puzzle books use it to make our eyes water; neurologists use it to study the brain. It’s called “closure”, and it lends its name to this surprisingly difficult indie game from Eyebrow Interactive.

“Closure” is what happens when your visual cortex sees an arrangement of shapes, shadows, or lines that should (when complete) delineate a single object — and fills in the gaps. Here’s a familiar example for you:

Try to not see the white equilateral triangle in the middle. Hard, right? Well, it’s almost impossible unless you have an atypical brain, so don’t worry. What’s happening is that evolutionarily speaking, your brain is adapted to interpret patterns of light and shadow in a way best suited to spotting predators, prey, obstacles, etc.

The creators of Closure have designed a game specifically to mess with your visual cortex: in this game universe, any object that is not lit doesn’t exist (apart from the character you play, light sources, and some crates). You’d think it wouldn’t be much different from games that force you to stay in the light. Nah. Think about it: you can make holes in the floor by redirecting lamps. You can ride a lift up the centre of a stone column if you have a moving spotlight.

In sum: so cool. And you have to retrain your brain, otherwise you’ll spend hours falling through the floor and getting stuck in isolated bubbles of water.

You can buy Closure on the Playstation Network. Find gameplay trailer and images from the game on the official website, here.

~ Alice M.

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Tim Schafer Gets a Million Bucks in a Day

Via Kickstarter (where I helped fund the project).

Tim Schafer makes adventure games. Games like these:

Maniac Mansion 2: Day of the Tentacle

Grim Fandango

The problem is, most publishers think adventure games are unmarketable, unsellable – in short, not worth making. Well, Tim disagrees. So he started a Kickstarter project to fund a new adventure game and cut out publishers entirely:

Double Fine’s Kickstarter Video

It earned upwards of a million dollars in 24 hours, breezing right past its funding goal of $400k.

Why is this a big deal? Well, because if this works it’ll go some way towards proving that publishers are getting edged out of the game industry; customers can interact directly with studios and fund the projects they actually want to buy. It’s too early to tell for certain.

I’m just really stoked to get a new adventure game. Something like Grim Fandago, if at all possible.

~ Alice M.

The project will be open for funding until March, so you still have time to take part.


Botanicula Screenshots!

I guess by now I count as femmegamer’s “official” Amanita Design newsdesk. With that in mind, I am happy to accept any Amanita swag from interested parties in the marketing department to redistribute to lucky femmegamer readers (with the proviso I get to keep an item or two). Hint. Hint. *bats eyelashes*

Any takers? No?

Shame.

So, I try to keep an eye on Amanita trailer releases and whatnot but with one thing or the other this month I forgot to fire up the old search engine and missed a big screenshot release on IGN. Without further ado:

Click image to view the IGN screenshots page!

In other news, I’ve been very lax in my femmegamer duties due to my feverish, hopeless pipe dreams of being a professional novelist, but things have calmed down so I hope to be posting more often.

See you soon!

~Alice


New Game from Amanita!

You know how much I love this studio; I did a post on them a few weeks ago.

I had resigned myself to a life without new Amanita games for the next few years — they’re such a small studio that they usually take some time to release. Anyway, I hope you’re as excited as I am when you see the following video:

At first glance, it seemed to me like they were jumping on the “blurry lens flare microscope” visual bandwagon (Osmos, too many other indie games to list), but I trust them to do it right. It doesn’t have the raw charm of Machinarium, but their sense of humour has survived intact.

Release is planned for early 2012. Woo!

~Alice