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State of Play with Brandon Bales: Kellee Santiago, Part Three

Here's the final piece of our interview with Kellee Santiago of thatgamecompany, creators of Flower and the upcoming Journey!

In this episode, we discuss not only their forthcoming and beautiful new game, but also the workings of their unique company and their relationship with Sony.

Thanks again for watching! We've a new blog up at stateofplayshow.com; and come back in January for our interview with Jonathan Blow!

Consoleation: The future is digital

Xbox Live Dashboard Update Image

We've been seeing a gradual shift in software sales in the last couple of years towards digital distribution. Full retail games have been available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 over that time and, although the digital library is but a fraction of the retail library, digital has been catching up.

Engagement and storymaking

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Screenshot

The idea of a game world typically appears in the context of immersive games like Far Cry 2 or Grand Theft Auto IV. Games of this type use attractive graphics to imitate reality, making the idea of a virtual world a natural one.

Consoleation: Wrong direction

Ridge Racer Vita Screenshot

The news about Ridge Racer for the PlayStation Vita and its dearth of content in favor of downloadable content (DLC) reignites the discussion about how DLC affects retail games. Issues with weak content versus numerous DLC offerings is nothing new for Namco.

State of Play with Brandon Bales: Kellee Santiago, Part Two

Here's our second episode of State of Play with Brandon Bales!

In this episode, we discuss with Kellee Santiago more about thatgamecompany's "Big Idea," as well as pretty much everything there is to say about their last hit game, Flower.

And next week: we discuss their delicious upcoming PSN-exclusive, Journey!

Consoleation: Version 1.01

Metal Gear Solid HD Collection Screenshot

When I got home from the store [with Metal Gear Solid HD Collection], I was looking forward to popping the disc into my PlayStation 3 and seeing how the games looked in HD... but upon reading the disc, I got the message that I've seen way too many times over the course of this console generation: Version 1.01 found.

State of Play with Brandon Bales: Kellee Santiago, Part One

Welcome to the first episode of State of Play.

This show is a new voice in the gaming journalism world. Our interviews are long-form, personal, and in-depth. You should check it out, as I don't think there's much like it on the web right now.

Our first interview is with Kellee Santiago of thatgamecompany, creators of the iconic Flow, Flower, and (the upcoming) Journey. In it, we discuss their company, their philosophies, and their first game, Cloud. If you like what you see, stay tuned: upcoming interviews will include Jonathan Blow and David Jaffe.

I am so super-excited to launch this show, as it's been a real labor of love.

A tale of two chesses

Chessboard Image

If we intend to interpret videogames entirely in terms of rules and mechanics then obviously we ought to model our study off the long tradition of analog games.

System and story

ICO Screenshot

Quantitatively speaking, I prefer Plants vs. Zombies to every game, ever. Plants vs. Zombies is not my favorite game. I'd say it's not even in the top 20. That honor belongs ICO, a game that typically lasts less than six hours and that I have played exactly four times, to net less than a fifth of the hours I have spent playing Plants vs. Zombies. ICO is my favorite game because of how it makes me feel.

Actor, director, producer: The player role in RPG battles

Final Fantasy XIII Screenshot

I have more to say about Final Fantasy XIII, but that post is so depressing to write I thought I'd hold off for now and elaborate on a point I made in my post discussing its combat mechanics. Role-playing games tend to get broadly divided into "turn-based" and "action" categories, distinctions that are not particularly informative, often get used inaccurately, and don't usefully elaborate the relationship between the player and the system.

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