‘Notes’ is a new section for Game On that will present a short, curated collection of games and links that don’t fit elsewhere. I’m aiming for it to be fortnightly, though it could be weekly or monthly, depending on how it works in practice.
Ball on a Wall is a clever little iOS game from Lewis Mitchell, an ex-Blue Tongue (makers of the wonderful de Blob) Melbourne developer. What makes Ball on a Wall interesting is that it’s essentially a platformer in reverse: instead of moving a character through a series of platforms, in Ball on a Wall you move platforms around a constantly rolling ball. It’s a nice concept with strong, unassuming polish.
There’s been a lot of talk recently about this piece that The Atlantic ran about Jon Blow, the designer of Braid and the upcoming The Witness. It’s a pretty strange article, equal parts grotesque (try and make it through the description of Blow’s riches without recoiling) and overstated (Blow is not the isolated saviour of videogames that the article would have him be).
Nonetheless, there seems to have been a bit of a focus on the videogame designer-as-auteur recently. The auteur label is itself misplaced—not even cinema studies falls for that one these days—but its nice to see a greater focus on the creators of videogames. So, instead of forcing yourself through the Blow piece, why don’t you reacquaint yourself with Tim Schafer’s work at The A.V. Club’s Gameological Society, followed up with a look at his best collaboration with Eric Wolpaw.
To finish the auteur focus, Simon Parkin’s piece at Eurogamer profiling Journey designer Jenova Chen is also very much worth reading—it does what The Atlantic piece thinks it’s doing.