Things you should be paying attention to

1. Remember my Octodad review? Well, they are making a sequel thanks to Kickstarter.

And they’ve re-released Octodad in celebration:

In order to properly celebrate this occasion we’ve decided to release an updated version of Octodad 1 with TWO NEW LEVELS! Right now only the Windows v1.5 is available due to some issues with Mac’s Lion OS, but Mac owners can expect their own v1.5 in September. Now these levels aren’t for the feint of heart and are a bit of a challenge, but they do bring a bit of closure to the first game’s story.

2. Gavin’s reflections about narratives in video games plays nicely with a Rock, Paper, Shotgun piece about why single player gamers are a better ilk:

I stress again, I would hate it if I appeared pompous at all when I suggest that single-player gaming, ever-more the forgotten gem of our hobby, is for the more sophisticated, intellectual individual. It takes something more, a different kind of mind, a more educated, refined view, to understand and value the art of the single-player. Let me tell you why.

The worth of single-player comes in the form of narrative. As with any good novel, or a finely crafted film. It is the equivalent to literature. While multiplayer is an ill-informed argument. It has no direction, no beginning nor end, no meaning.

Games are made with intent. Like books, films and television, the finest examples among them are those that both exist to say something, but allow the player to create his own interpretation. And while of course there are any number of poor or stupid single-player games, there is no multiplayer that evenly closely matches the finest RPG or adventure.

Like I say, I would be just mortified if anyone interpreted these words to be snooty or condescending. I’m just saying people who prefer single player games are a better class than people who mostly opt for multiplayer.

3. Owlboy will be released this year. It’s one of the few platformers I’ve actually gotten excited about since Doukustu Monogatari.

The demo should be released on August 20th.

4. The Independent Games Festival’s chairman, Brandon Boyer, calls for independent developers to push the limits of the game experience and for consumers to pay a fair wage:

For too long we’ve been relying on this model that says that games are more or less interchangeable products, marketed and sold as products, and if they’re all just slight variations on the same theme, or if they do little more than give our thumbs something to do in idle time, of course we’re going to be wise shoppers and choose the cheapest among them.

An album purchased on iTunes can cost nearly ten times as much as most people are willing to spend on a game — even when that album itself is actually embedded in the game — [the slide here is of the $1.99 NOBY NOBY BOY app sitting right on top of the $11.99 NOBY NOBY BOY soundtrack] but by and large people don’t buy an album to listen to it once and complain it only took 30 minutes to complete.

People value music more because it adds an emotional pitch and rhythm and color to life, it speaks to something more essential, it reminds them of a place and time, it reminds them of where they were when they first experienced it and who they experienced it with.

And there’s no reason that we shouldn’t also be aspiring to that same exact sort of resonance in whatever small ways, crafting experiences that invite people to return to them, not because it extends a dollar value, but because it feels like a place they actually want to re-visit, or adds that same color and rhythm.

5. Lastly, here is a cinematic trailer for the Guns of Icarus MMO.

Andrew Simone is writer, veloist, and video game enthusiast who spends too much time at a social network that isn’t one.

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