It is easy to forget that games don’t spring forth fully formed, like Minerva from the head of Jupiter. That isn’t true, though. Games, unlike most other mediums, are constantly changing, like a snake perpetually shedding its skin. Every version is called a build. There are thousands of builds for Jostle Bastard. In terms of scale, it isn’t a game on par with Skyrim or Red Dead Redemption, and yet, there are thousands of iterations that chart its evolution from inception to completion. Every meaningful change to the game spawns a new build. Some seem hardly changed, others are hardly
One of the most interesting things about the creative process is the artifacts is leaves behind. I’m not talking about the art itself – the value of that is intrinsic. I mean the physical byproducts of process. Painters make sketches. Sculptors build maquettes, filmmakers leave behind elaborate sets. With videogames dwelling almost entirely in the digital realm of builds and iterations, what remnants mark the progress of their designers? For Pippin Barr, it is the scribbles and doodles in an unruled reporter’s notebook that mark the birth and refinement of Jostle Bastard.
Towards the end of the development of Jostle Bastard, I received an email from Pippin Barr that said: Have also pulled out all my diary entries on the subject [of Jostle Bastard], which I’m attaching. They sound a bit disjointed because they’re pulled from my actual diary, which of course includes a bunch of stuff unrelated to this game! The attached document was a kind of poem of doubt that oscillates between the heights of triumph and the depths of despair. After reading through it, I replied: The diary is great stuff. It kind of reads like Dracula or a
Hi Pippin, Congratulations on Jostle Bastard! I am keen to see what folks think of it, not only because it is great fun, but also because you’ve given us such a deep look into its development by sharing your notebook, diary entries and so many production builds of the game. The only thing that is missing is something you and I have frequently discussed over the course of the year: the role of satire in Jostle Bastard. I think this is particularly interesting because I don’t see much satire in videogames. Or, at least, not good satire. Grand Theft Auto
There it was, shattered as if by a falling tree branch, except there were no trees nearby to do the shattering. Someone had pulled into my driveway to turn around and hit the corner post of my fence. They hit it so hard that they dislodged the concrete mooring and the force shattered the top crossbar, splaying the pickets out like pick-up sticks. Then they drove off. It was the middle of the afternoon.
Unwinnable takes exclusive photos of a were-tanooki. Or reviews a racanooki costume hoodie from 80s Tees. We’re not sure which.
If you’ve been anywhere near the ocean, you’ve likely seen barnacles – the hard-shelled crustaceans that crust over wharves and rocks and the hulls of boats by the hundreds. Once they attach themselves to a solid surface, they are there forever, resting when the tide is out, feeding on plankton when the tide is in.
A few days before my flight to Los Angeles, I was sitting in my office working on the poster for Geek Flea VI. It was early evening and I was vaguely aware of the room darkening apace with the sky. Without warning and for no apparent reason, my heart starting pounding and my mind started racing around a singular thought: “Do not go to Los Angeles.”