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Best of GameSetWatch: From  Discordia  to  Ribbon Hero

Best of GameSetWatch: From Discordia to Ribbon Hero

December 10, 2009 | By Eric Caoili

December 10, 2009 | By Eric Caoili
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More: Console/PC

[Gamasutra highlights a week's worth of alternative video gaming news, media, and other curiosities from sister blog GameSetWatch, as written by editor Eric Caoili.]

This round-up looks at a project exploring "consumer self-esteem" from Cletus Clay developer Tuna Technologies and Channel 4, an excellently produced series of video profiles for Manitoba's independent game developers, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum's exhibit on "The Art of Video Games" coming in 2012.

Other highlights include the release of Discordia (pictured), an online game based on Stephen King's Dark Tower novels; and an investigation of Ribbon Hero, a Facebook social game from Microsoft Office Labs.

This past week's top stories:

- Dark Tower Game's First Chapter Now Live
"Chapter One (For Callahan!) of Discordia, the online experience based on Stephen King's revered Dark Tower novels, is now online and available to play for free. The Flash game features 3D objects and environments by Brian Stark, artwork by Dark Tower series illustrator Michael Whelan, and a story by Robin Furth (King's personal research assistant and the author of The Dark Tower: A Complete Concordance)."

- Microsoft Office, Facebook Gaming Collide: Ribbon Hero
"Microsoft filed a curious trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office this week for something called Ribbon Hero, which sounds like a mix of Activision's music game series Guitar Hero and, um, ribbons?"

- Microsoft's Surface Team Follows Up With Tabletop Gaming Project
"Seeing the buzz behind SurfaceScapes, which was created by several Carnegie Mellon University students enrolled in the college's Entertainment Technology Center program, the Microsoft Surface team followed up with one of the virtual tabletop gaming application's developers to learn more about the project."

- Panic Unearths Atari 2600-Style Art For Its Mac Software
"Providing a rich but fictional backstory of its failed foray into the video game industry during the early 80s, Mac software developer Panic debuted a set of recently unearthed artwork from that era, originally created for the packaging of its four Atari 2600 games."

- Channel 4 Commissions Cletus Clay Dev For 'Consumer Self-Esteem' Game
"Cletus Clay developer Tuna Technologies announced a deal with Britain's Channel 4 Education to produce Cover Girl (working title), a game that explores "consumer self-esteem" by delving into the world of magazine and advertising airbrushing and manipulation."

- Smithsonian Planning 'Art Of Video Games' Exhibition
"The prestigious Smithsonian American Art Museum will host a six-month exhibit on "The Art of Video Games" beginning in March 2012, examining the interactive medium with the same respect reserved for film, animation, and performances."

- Fig. 8 Developer Looks To The Stars With Eon
"This puzzle game seems like a mix of Auditorium's stream-sculpting mechanics and Orbital/Orbient's atmosphere/lo-fi space setting. Here, you direct a current of colored bits, using markers that pull from the flow and minding nearby black holes, to different circles, filling them until everything explodes."

- GameSetContest: Raroo Fun System Challenge - The Results!
"The latest issue of Japanese gaming magazine OK! Game! Score! lifted the lid on six new Raroo Fun System games that are currently in development and expected to release sometime in 2010. Intriguingly, the issue also provided a rare glimpse at three titles that have been cancelled."

- New Media Manitoba Profiles Local Indies
"To promote Manitoba's media professionals and advertise the province as a creative hotspot, local industry association New Media Manitoba commissioned production company BlinkWorks to shoot a series of story-based profiles on eight studios in the area."

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