Robert Yang: Let's Play Anomalous Materials from Half-Life

Robert Yang (who I've mentioned here before) made such a good let's play of the first room and corridor of Half-Life.

A "let's play" is traditionally a narrated video of one or more people playing through a video game. Usually they are just to document the video game so that it can be experienced or understood without playing it, but some of the best ones are made by people who know the game inside out and are able to add some amount of context or commentary to the play-through, drawing the viewer's attention to specific details and not getting side-tracked by any difficulty in progression. There are many great let's plays on the Let's Play Archive.

Robert Yang's video is not really about the game as it is played, but about the design of the game from the perspective of a level designer. It was made for a let's play event.

I don't think he has plans to do more but I would listen to that guy talk about level design any time. A couple of the comments under his post of the video are worth reading too.

Bugs as narrative

I want to describe an interesting experience I had recently.  Something which completely changed my experience of a piece of art and something which is almost unique to the medium of video games.

The other day I was pointed towards Souvenir, a work-in-progress from MFA students Robert Yang, Mohini Dutta, and Ben Norskov.  In the creators' words:

Souvenir is a first-person video game about growing up and leaving home. The disorientation of becoming an adult is reflected in the surreal M.C. Escher-inspired world with multiple gravities.

Sounds like something I'd want to check out!

I loaded up the game, and I'm presented (after some initial confusing elements) with a house decorated with floating fragments of memory.

Screen shot from Souvenir: a bedroom