Audio-Visual Experiences

  • Dear Esther

    Dear Esther CoverI first became aware of Dear Esther on the day it was released, as news passed that it recouped its Indie Fund investment in a mere six hours.  Somehow, I entirely missed word of the game prior to that, but as I read more, I knew I had to play it.  While it will take multiple playthroughs to obtain the game's full experience (due to semi-randomized dialogue), I came away a bit underwhelmed by the game.  I normally eat up intentionally vague/confusing dialogue-based stories, but this story seems a bit more pedestrian than most (even if the vagueness fully makes sense within the story).  But this in no way takes away from the game's other draw; its relentlessly gorgeous handcrafted visuals, with each frame packed in detail.

  • Penumbra: Overture

    Penumbra Overture CoverWelcome to another Audio-Visual Experience, brought to you by the First Hour.  Again, these articles are specially created and intended to give you a varied, concrete experience of the game's sights and sounds without having to actually play the game yourself.  Whether you haven't played the game or have already completed it but need a reminder or some nostalgia, this experience is for you.  However, if you think you may play the game anytime in the near future and would prefer not to be spoiled, you should probably avoid this article, as it contains direct spoilers at times, up to and including the ending.  For a complete first hour experience, you can view the first hour of Penumbra: Overture.

    So sit back and enjoy the stylings of survival horror masters Frictional Games in their original release, Penumbra: Overture.


  • Psychonauts: An Audio Visual (Half) Experience

    Psychonauts CoverThis Psychonauts Audio-Visual (half) Experience contains and displays some of the vibrant, shiny, brilliant, and clever content that exists throughout the game.  Unfortunately, due to a variety of bugs that caused me crashes, missing graphical layers, strange periodic muted dialogue, control irregularities, memory leaks, and crippling fps drops, I did not have the heart to continue or even play the game for significant time each session.  But there is no question that the game itself has heart and some clever, varied visual design, thus here we are...

  • Time Gentlemen, Please!: An Audio-Visual Experience

    Time Gentlemen Please CoverThis spoiler-filled Audio Visual Experience of Time Gentlemen, Please! contains both potential puzzle/adventuring hints as well as possibly direct spoilers, up to and including the ending of the game. If you are interested in playing the game and have yet to do so (check the less spoilertastic article on the game), then you may wish to avoid this article. Otherwise, enjoy the experience of this fun little indie adventure game. Also as a sidenote, due to a bug with the game engine, no dialogue was captured on the images until the last few images, when some setting changes fixed the issue (as a result, somewhat reducing spoilering but also reducing fun). Warning: potential spoilers below.

  • Mass Effect: An Audio-Visual Experience

    Mass Effect Cover

    Welcome to Mass Effect: An Audio-Visual Experience.

    Often in life, people notice a gorgeous environment or model or visual effect or even just an angle in relation to the scenery. Thanks to the magic of image capturing, these moments can be preserved for future savoring and to remember the moment. The same experiences can happen while playing games. Due to the magic of screen/video capture software (Fraps in particular), these moments and experiences can be captured for display for others or self in the future.

    While playing Mass Effect, I noticed a relatively high amount of impressive scenery and images being captured, from which this idea was formed. As far as the specific idea for an audio-visual experience, I'll start by saying that people do things for any large number of reasons. To narrow down, common reasons for playing games may include the desire to distract oneself, desire for competition, desire for mental stimulation, and/or the desire to get lost in a new subjective experience. The goal of this article is to give you a subjective audio-visual experience without needing to travel through the entire game yourself. If you are new to the game, it will lead you through its entirety, accustoming yourself to the environments, style, and action. If you have already played the game, it will jog memories and rekindle an experience trapped down in long-term memory. Great care has been taken to withhold any apparent spoilers for those who have not experienced the game while still keeping the experience intact.

    This introduction may be withheld in future iterations of Audio-Visual Experiences (if any) to better focus on the experience. In addition, this installment will only be a pictorial experience due to a sudden, poorly-timed harddrive failure. Only the images were uploaded to the internet before the unfortunate crash.

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