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Gejun Huang | Keywords in Play, Episode 26

…namely just treating games more like a cultural product or an artistic expression instead of an internet product for profit. That said, several domestic major players like Tencent have appropriated the term indie as a commercial gimmick to promote their games toward indie gamers base or gamers longing for something different in the domestic market. These games seem to have an indie touch on the surface such as employing retro aesthetics. But these games are entirely commercial and still laden with monetisation mechanisms. Therefore, the demarcation around “indie” in the game industry is very fuzzy, right now, and getting more…

October 29th

…design, pacing, and character writing of Saltsea Chronicles.

“I usually wait until I finish games to write articles about them, but Saltsea Chronicles left such an immediately strong impression that I’m willing to fully endorse it, especially if you vibed with Mutazione like I did. It iterates and evolves on some similar themes, ideas, and aesthetics in a way that scratches the itch of someone like me who kept wishing to wipe her memory and replay Mutazione for the first time again.”

By Design

Complementing the previous section, here’s one on design.

December 3rd

…the sonic design of the latest entry into the Remedyverse.

  • Indie Side — An Interview With The Developer of Rose Seed Replica | Medium Mira Lazine chats with developer LezLiz about visual novels, branching narrative design, and retro aesthetics.
  • “Rose Seed Replica is a fairly dialogue heavy game, clocking in at over 170,000 words between all of its different paths — however the game itself takes only a few hours to complete, even while it navigates through all the complexities, both mundane and exciting, of a burgeoning relationship. It also has the added benefit of being…

    February 4th

    …them, but there is also certainty that he is still out there. Sora’s sacrifice is sad, but it is not questioned. Sora does not hesitate. He dives right in. It does not even seem a burden to him.”

    Romanticizing Saga

    Lifestyle, loneliness, and liminality are the dominant themes in these explorations of digital places, unplaces, and our transient existence between the two.

    • Romanticize Your Life! | Unwinnable Emily Price finds the friction points in trying to cozy up your life through consumption and aesthetics.
    • Creating Livable Virtual Spaces and Cultivating Community | Killscreen Jamin…

    May 5th

    …Samantha Trzinski examines the juxtaposition (and synchronicity) between Turnip Boy‘s cute aesthetics and post-apocalyptic lore.

  • Aeons, Eikons, and Espers: The Localization History Behind Final Fantasy’s Iconic Beasts (Part One) | Anna Cairistiona Anna Cairistiona explores the ever-changing history of and terminology for summons and summoning across different localizations of the 2D Final Fantasy games.
  • That’s Just a Theory: On MatPat, Five Nights at Freddy’s, and Saying Goodbye | Sidequest Kamie Wootan reminisces on experiencing lore, nostalgia, and fandom through the years with her son.
  • “I think that the special thing about my relationship with MatPat…