Introducing Starseed Observatory

March 4th, 2014

Ah, so here is that mysterious group project I’ve been working on. It’s something Richard and I have been discussing for years and is a seed for something that I hope develops into something much bigger. I was the lead editor of the project and did the podcast-video feature Twin Perspectives. I like how the page offers listeners a lot of different ways to engage with the content. Later on, once I get some more time to myself, I’ll do a full write-up on the site, but for now, please enjoy this press release:

Press Release: New Starseed Pilgrim website is an experiment in the next generation of games criticism

Collaborative games criticism group, Critical-Gaming, releases ambitious new website on Starseed Pilgrim.

Dallas, Texas – March 3 2014 - Critical-Gaming today announces the release of Starseed Observatory(http://starseedobservatory.com), a new games criticism website exploring the indie puzzle-platformer Starseed Pilgrim. The website is an example of quality games criticism, a tool to help players critically discuss video games, and a resource to display and connect visitors to the discourse on the game.

Starseed Observatory is a mixed-media presentation that contains articles, podcasts, music, videos, imagery, and gameplay demos all co-created by members of Critical-Gaming. The criticism ranges from analysis of the game’s design, music, and gameplay strategies to personal reactions and reflections.

Droqen, the creator of Starseed Pilgrim, has supported the project by creating playable snapshots of gameplay to accompany the articles. In the next few months, Droqen shall release a new update to Starseed PilgrimStarseed Dreamwalk. The modification contains a mix of new ideas and suggestions put forward by Critical-Gaming.

On Starseed Observatory, co-founder, Richard Terrell, says:

Video games are complex works of art that utilize many different types of design and craft. All the work that is put into games makes them more interesting, engaging, and enjoyable experiences for players. One way we can share great experiences we have with games is by talking about them. Proper criticism gives us the language to understand and enjoy games better (even the games we don’t like!).”

Starseed Observatory is available right now at http://starseedobservatory.com.


About Critical-Gaming

Critical-Gaming are a diverse group of game analysts, designers, and writers. The team has met online every Sunday for almost a year to keep in touch and brainstorm ways to fix the current state of games criticism. The group was co-founded by Richard Terrell and Daniel Johnson.

 

About Richard Terrell

Richard Terrell writes the Critical-Gaming blog and co-developed BaraBariBall, an indie fighting-sports game hybrid that’s part of the Sportsfriends compilation on PC, PS3, and PS4.

Web: critical-gaming.com

Email: richard@critical-gaming.com

Twitter: @kirbykid

 

About Daniel Johnson

Daniel Johnson is a former GameSetWatch columnist and the author of Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4 and Adventures in Games Analysis.

Web: danielprimed.com

Email: danielprimed@gmail.com

Twitter: @danielprimed

 

For media inquiries, please contact:

Richard Terrell

Email: richard@critical-gaming.com

Phone: 214.995.8424

Availability: 9am central – 10pm central

Press Release: Wario Land 4 dissected in new eBook “A Game Design Companion”, unravels videogame design and player interaction

December 16th, 2013

Finally, after 3 years of talking about it, my Wario Land 4 book will be released this Wednesday. Unfortunately, Adventures in Game Analysis Volume #1, my new games analysis bookazine, has been pushed back to early next year. I also have another (completed) project that’ll be coming out in January and possibly another one shortly after that…but alas, it’s Wario’s time to shine, so read on.

New eBook “Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4″ dissects the classic platformer, unravels game design and player interaction

Adelaide, Australia – 16th December, 2013 – Stolen Projects today announces the forthcoming release of Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4, an exciting new eBook from game design analyst and former GameSetWatch columnist, Daniel Johnson.

Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4 takes under-appreciated gaming gem, Wario Land 4 (2001) for the GameBoy Advance, and splays the meat and bones of videogame design and structure across nearly 600 print pages to understand their influence on player experience.

Author Daniel Johnson, in a radical departure from contemporary videogames discussion, examines Wario Land 4 in its totality—including mechanics, psychology, education, level design, and game feel—calling on evidence-based analysis to understand the player’s subjective reactions to videogames.

Says author Daniel Johnson:

A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4 is unusual in its approach as we begin to understand videogames through evidence-based analysis rather than socio-cultural critique. I’m hoping this book will push against the accepted norms of ‘games criticism’ and open up new avenues for analytical discussion.”

Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4 is essential reading for fans of Nintendo, side-scrolling platformers and retro videogames, curious players looking to better understand the games they play, and provides games designers a new approach for discussing their craft.

Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4 will be available to purchase in digital formats through Stolen Projects from Wednesday 18 December. Retailing at $7.99, Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4 will launch at a special introductory price of $4.99, lasting until January 31. Readers receive copies of Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4 in both .pdf and .epub formats compatible with most computers, mobile phones and tablet devices. Kindle editions of Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4 are planned for future release.

Early release editions of Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4 are available to media on request to stolenprojects@gmail.com.

Daniel Johnson is available for comment and interview via email at danielprimed@gmail.com.

For more information and resources related to Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4 please visit the web portal at danielprimed.com/warioland4

About Daniel Johnson

Daniel Johnson is a former GameSetWatch columnist now writing long-form analysis of games that have fallen out of the current release cycle.

Web: danielprimed.com
Email:
danielprimed@gmail.com
Twitter:
@danielprimed

About Stolen Projects

Stolen Projects is a design studio and publishing house producing and distributing books valuing videogames, art, design, illustration and other topics of an interesting nature. Stolen Projects is owned and operated by Daniel Purvis, professional illustrator and designer with clients including Kill Screen Magazine, Polygon.com, Hyper Magazine and Clemenger BBDO Adelaide.

Web: stolenprojects.com
Facebook: facebook.com/stolenprojects
Twitter: @Stolen_Projects

Stay tuned as early next year as Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4 will be followed up by Daniel Johnson’s new boogazine series, Adventures in Game Analysis with subjects ranging from Metroid to WipEout. More information to come in 2014.

 

For any media inquiries, please contact

Daniel Purvis at stolenprojects@gmail.com or via phone on +61 433 788 717

And here’s the cover…

November 15th, 2013

So, here’s the cover for Rethinking Games Criticism. It was illustrated by Harry Plane. You can find more of his work here. I came up with the concept and Daniel (Purvis) recommended Harry for the piece. You can click on the image for a larger size. Hope you guys like it.

The book is basically ready to publish in all digital formats, but we still need to work on Adventures in Game Analysis Volume I, the bookazine I mentioned previously. I want to publish both items together, so you’ll have to hang on for a while longer, unfortunately. Thanks for your patience.