Spent the weekend sorting through some old videos and found this l’il beauty from February earlier this year. Saffy – the star of the show – isn’t mine, but she does love it when I come to visit…
Waiting for the Ikea bus
Shot with the new Nokia N900.
Things I have seen
I’ve been in Helsinki for the past 24hrs so excuse me while I dig around in my video archive for something that I haven’t published here before…
What I’m about to share with you isn’t specifically ‘new content’ exactly, however it is something actually quite special and I hope you enjoy it.
Meet Stewart Reed.
Stewart, believe it or not, is a genuine cowboy who lives and on a ranch out in the small town of Shell, Wyoming.
One night in July, while we were camping up in the mountains (and after we’d watched the Sun go down), we stayed up late drinking whisky, sharing jokes, telling tales and, eventually – after some cajoling from the group, Stewart fetched his guitar out from the pickup and started to play…
There, up in the mountains, in the long dark silence… a real, live cowboy…Â singing.
It was magical.
This one, Wagon Wheel, is by far and away my favourite.
Give it 30 seconds or so before he gets going, after that – just enjoy…
Watch the video first, context to follow…
Canabalt is, would you believe, an iPhone game. One that, a few weeks ago now, my good friend Utku introduced me too.
I remember it quite clearly, he turned to me and muttered the now immortal words:
“This, is the new Flight Control.”
The premise is simple: your character runs and, when a gap or an object is coming towards you, you tap the screen to jump.
Oh so simple, yet oh so addictive.
If you have an iPhone, get this game. If you don’t like it, find me. I’ll play it for you.
Joking aside, Utku, after he told me about said game, went on to write a rather awesome blog post about how much he enjoys playing it. Said post is indeed, a great read.
However, it is in the comments that things get really interesting (and please, go read the post before you carry on).
And I quote:
I think the reason I prefer Canabalt over the bigger budget games is not the retro feel (although that plays a part), but rather the lack of story that you mention above.
Most big budget games have large story arcs to take you from one piece of game play to the next and on the whole I find them disappointing. Even when the voice talent is top notch, the dialogue tends to be turgid. As the graphic engines moved forward I found myself becoming that horror of horrors – a casual gamer.
One slight disagreement. I think in Canabalt there is more than a hint at the reason why you’re running. In the background loom the silhouettes of what appear to be tripod like machines laying waste to your city. Man-made? Alien? No idea.
I love that you probably know as much about what’s going on as your hero. Things are falling apart – run like hell. We don’t find out he’s some super soldier or why exactly he’s so adapt at leaping or what he risks to lose if he doesn’t escape. I love that. Allows you to project what you like on the little guy rather than try and ignore the rubbish some hack has written for you.
But with a little branding in place this could be easily ported as a BOND or BOURNE tie in. They won’t do that though. They’ll spend a lot of money on an iPhone app that concentrates on selling the franchise and results in muddy game play. Like most of the movie-tie-in apps available so far.
Those middle three paragraphs are what do it for me.
With just a few short sentences you get such an insight into a) the idealism behind the game in question and b) the machinations that exist between the ears of Mike Atherton…Â And that, my friends, is what makes him such a good writer.
From a single, and yet dare I say it, casual gamer-aimed, 2D platformer, @sizemore (as he is more commonly known) has already established in your mind some ideas as to why this man is running for his life…
And yet, at the same time..
You really have no clue at all.