Fantastic Arcade day 3 was absolutely legendary. We ordered pizza atop science mountain, read our fortunes in ticker-tape, emerged victorious out the puckered cloaca of a cave worm, watched about 40,000 arrows fly by, and took a blissfully smooth trip across the surface of an imaginary planet of sound.
At noon on Saturday, we caught up with Randy Smith of Tiger Style, creators of Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor, and Steve Gaynor of the Fullbright Company, creators of this year's Fantastic Arcade entry Gone Home. They talked about their approaches to environmental storytelling- both having made games with stories told in uniquely spacial ways.
Following that we spent some time checking out the Choosatron- little smilin' boxes with receipt printers inside, each loaded with choose-your-own-adventure style stories of action, adventure, and John Stamos' speculative mushroom parties.
It was standing room only for the next panel, one of the highlights of Fantastic Arcade- Vlambeer's triumphant return, hot on the heels of their hit Ridiculous Fishing. This year they showed us a sneak peek at their apocalyptic adventure Wasteland Kings. Randomly generated worlds of hideous mutants, and an amazing rock soundtrack by Kozilek. Kozilek opened the panel up with a live rendition of the Wasteland Kings theme, and then we jumped into a live coding and animation demonstration, as Jan Willem Nijman and artist Paul Veer whipped up a new enemy for the game right before our eyes- a chain smoking, shotgun weilding, bipedal alligator.
After another rousing World War X protest song from Kozilek, we took a smooth ride over the surface of a world where music and geography are one and the same. Fernando Ramallo showed us he and David Kanaga's audio-video instrument Panoramical. Brandon Boyer and Phil Fish both stepped up to twiddle its knobs, creating instant compositions of audio and form, mountains rising and boiling away, clouds making way for stars and black rain. Panoramical one one of the most popular non-multiplayer cabinets at Arcade this year, with a beautiful custom control surface created by local music-tech guru Mickey Delp of Delptronics.
Man of Science Kyle Reimergartin read to us from his textbook, SCIENCE MOUNTAIN JOURNAL OF LIFE AND SCIENCE- Instantly instantiating a hundred science-eyes, revealing localized magical events to be, in fact, mystery science, and expositing that science mountain pizzas are generally cheese-flavored. We also spent some time penetrating the mysteries of his game Fjords.
Mike Boxleiter (Co-creator of Solipskier ) Plowed through an exceedingly difficult Spelunky Daily challenge that had left some of the most talented players in the game tripping into early graves. Mike took an unusually dangerous and showy route through some of the games optional, secret stages- through the guts of a cave worm and through the deathtrap that is the mothership. No word yet on if this event had anything to do with Spelunky being spotted on this year’s Emmy telecast, but I think we can pretty safely assume that it did.
Towerfall is basically just a hurricane of arrows. It's a game that moves so fast and has so much going on, that my approach to commentating on it is to basically just yell a bunch of sounds that are a cross between an auctioneer's call and an old man cursing a lot. The winner was a man who can see past the veil of arrows and into the heart of the game, using his third eye. That man was MirrorMoon EP co-creator Pietro Righi Riva. Out of the 32 people that entered, only Pietro came out alive.
We're still recovering from the amazing final day of Fantastic Arcade, stay tuned for a recap tomorrow!