Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Hannah Nicklin)

This is article 5 of 6, adapted from my Psychogeography of Games series for London s Videobrains. If you enjoy this, please consider backing me on Patreon, where there ll be a zine of these texts coming out in the New Year, plus an exciting new project announced soon(ish).>

In the months running up to the walk, Ed has sent me the occasional email, each time with new ideas for route near where he lives (and grew up) in Cumbria. The night before, we spread an OS map out on the table and he points out wild swimming spots, walks he went on with his parents, places not explored yet. Jack, a black and white cat, sits on top and bats at Ed s finger each time he places it down. In the end we decide on Borrow Beck, in Borrowdale. The walk doesn t look far on the map.

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Philippa Warr)

I was going to write about the plantlife in Proteus [official site] or something along those lines but then I went back and… it didn’t feel like quite what I wanted to express today. Mostly I’ve gone back to just thinking about how lovely the game is, even when you strip out the movement and sound. Obviously it would be better with both but here are the screenshots from my season cycle in Proteus today. It felt like a microholiday so I guess this is my microholiday album, if you’d like to take a look. Autumn and winter are by far my favourite seasons. Spring and summer are lovely, but autumn is magical and I’d totally forgotten about the aurora.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Alec Meer)

Otherworldly walking sim Proteus [official site] is very much an RPS favourite: a dreamy, good-natured, no-pressure place many of us retreat to when the shooting and the jumping and the icon-collecting gets too much. Half the reason for Proteus’ joyfully calming effect is David Kanaga’s prettily ambient soundtrack, and how perfectly it fits the evocative, wooly-edged art. In PANORAMICAL, which occupies a place between game and music tool, Kanaga’s compositions move front and centre. … [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer

Paradise/Hiversaires/Oquonie developer Devine Lu Linvega is modding Ed Key's Proteus, words which probably shouldn't feel as strange to type as they actually do. Inspired by Ian Snyder, the developer/musician is overhauling Proteus' colour scheme, reducing the palette to a collection of stark, muted shades, while adding new sprites, and crafting a new interactive soundtrack. Stick around for a trailer for Purgateus, and a link to that elegiac soundtrack.

In Devine Lu Linvega's own words, Purgateus' world "behaves just like Proteus, but looks and sounds different. In some strange ways, this is a video game remix". The mod will be made available on Brandon Boyer's terrific Venus Patrol soon, and if it's inspired you to mod Proteus yourself, you can grab the base game here.

As with the original Proteus, you'll make a unique version of Purgateus' soundtrack while you play by simply exploring its world, but Lu Linvega has recorded one of the possible arrangements and put it on Bandcamp here.

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Community Announcements - Ed Key
From now until just under 21 hours time (until 11am PST 17 May 2014) Proteus is available as part of the 24-hour re-issue of Humble Indie Bundle 8. Go here to grab it:

We've also just uploaded patch 1.2.1 which is mostly a stability fix for OSX (but required a deceptively large amount of work, porting to SDL2)

Any problems, let me know at or @edclef on twitter.


(Never tried posting an announcement before - hope it shows up!)
PC Gamer

Summer has always been a bit of a lull when it comes to video game releases. It’s the time of year where we hear more about the upcoming fall releases rather than actually, you know, playing games. Luckily, we have the Humble Indie Bundle 8 to keep boredom, UV rays, and those treacherous, shark-filled oceans at bay.

The Humble Indie Bundle traditionally features recent indie darlings for the low, low price of “whatever the hell you want”, and this year is no exception. No matter what you pay, you’ll get access to Little Inferno, Awesomenauts, Capsized, Thomas Was Alone, Dear Esther and their soundtracks (and Steam keys if throw in a dollar or more). Linux users should be happy to know that the Linux versions of these games are also debuting with the bundle.

Forking over more than the average purchase price (a modest $5.72 as of this writing) will net you Hotline Miami and Proteus plus its soundtrack. Yes, you might be saving up for the pricey GTX 780 that your annoying friend already has, but maybe you could skip eating today?

Like always, you can choose where your money goes, rationing out which developers and charities get your hard-earned bitcoins. You have a full two weeks to decide who gets what while stocking up on harpoons for the inevitable shark invasion.
Announcement - Valve
Today's Deal: Save 50% on Proteus!

Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are!

Mar 5, 2013
PC Gamer

Proteus is a peaceful first-person exploration game set on a cheery pixellated island. There are no enemies. You can’t die. You can’t jump, shoot, dodge or pick anything up. Your only objective is to roam, observe and enjoy the evolving soundtrack triggered by your path. You’ll encounter more danger doing a lap of Kew Gardens than exploring Proteus’s serene, procedurally generated world.

"Your only objective is to roam, observe and enjoy the evolving soundtrack."
Once you’ve spawned at sea and wandered ashore, you can start getting a feel for the island’s layout. Every playthrough rearranges a series of geographical elements that you’ll come to recognise, like an abandoned shack, some mysterious ruins, and a strange circle of stone animal carvings that regularly grace the peak of one of Proteus’s easily scaled mountains.

By day, there’s no purpose to your exploration. At night, you’ll discover a delightful way to shift the island to its next phase, which I won’t spoil. The change alters the island’s weather, colour palette and wildlife, and evolves the soundscape.

If you have a decent pair of headphones, plug them in for Proteus. The island responds to your rambling with a deeply satisfying emergent arrangement. The hop and flutter of Proteus’s creatures is accompanied by an electronic riff. The hoot of a digitised clarinet serves as the call of an owl. Flies swarm to the scattered notes of a frenzied cyber-fiddle. Rain falls in cascading chimes. I charged into the midst of every gaggle of monsters and absorbed the resulting wall of sound with childish glee.

"The joy faded in the latter stage - I found myself walking aimlessly, unstimulated and bored."
Proteus captured me completely for the first 20 minutes. I found a weird hopping box creature, and chased it into the sea. I discovered a glittering fallen star that leapt away from my advances. I chased that into the sea as well. Its cheerful chirping fell silent as it vanished beneath the waves, replaced by the calm orchestral hum of the tides and a faint sense of regret. As darkness fell, the sky was suddenly sliced apart by a gleaming meteor shower. With no clear objectives, the joy of discovering the unexpected is the only reason to keep going. That was enough, for a while.

The joy faded in the latter stage of Proteus’s 45-minute arc. The creatures that make the first half feel so busy and interesting become increasingly sparse. I found myself walking aimlessly, unstimulated and bored. Proteus’s bubbling symphony has a disappointing coda, and you may feel shortchanged by its length.

The procedural generation offers a reason to restart, but the island felt deeply familiar in my playthroughs. Players on Proteus’s forums mention a couple of surreal, well-hidden secrets, but my experience each time was largely identical, and I found no deeper meaning or binding narrative to the island’s mysterious landmarks. Proteus is mood music. If you’re looking for a soothing green oasis to return to every now and then, this will do the job nicely.

Expect to pay: $11 / £7
Release: Out now
Developer: Ed Key and David Kanaga
Publisher: Twisted Tree
Multiplayer: No, lol
The Secret Ingredient Needed to Make Anything a ‘Real Game’ There's been some heated discussion as to whether Proteus—Ed Key and David Tanaga's award-winning lo-fi ambient exploration game—can be called a game. All the back-and-forth boils down to just so much fooferaw. But, if you want to nail Proteus down to a more restrictive, AAA-centric definition of what a game is, then cartoonist Zac Gorman is here to help you.

Want to see more of Zac's work? Head over to his personal blog and game-themed site Magical Game Time. If you're feeling commercial, you can buy prints and shirts here. He'll be back on Kotaku with a new comic same time next month!


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