Indie dev Edmund McMillen reveals new game “The Binding of Isaac”

Indie dev Edmund McMillen reveals new game “The Binding of Isaac”  (photo)

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Chances are, you’re still trying to finish “Super Meat Boy,” the ultra-difficult, retro-inflected indie platformer that took the gaming world by storm last year. I named it as one of IFC’s Best Games of 2010 and it won similar accolades from tons of other critics and websites. Since the last update that lets “SMB” players create and share their own sadistic level designs with each other, things have been quiet from the game’s creators Tommy Refenes and Edmund McMillen, collectively known as Team Meat.

But, while the two are working another Team Meat game together, McMillen’s also been working on a side project called the Binding of Isaac. McMillen just announced that it’ll be available on Valve’s Steam download service in August for an as-yet-undetermined price. He’s been keeping mum about specifics but mentions that the game’s a shooter and a roguelike , the latter term referring to a subspecies of role-playing game where the level layout and other elements are randomized for a different experience each time. You also tend to have to start over at the beginning of a level when you die in roguelikes, something which harkens back to the difficulty of games of yore.

In a recent interview with IGN, McMillen talked about the influences that he’s hoping to surface into the game, namely the 1980s demonization around “Dungeons & Dragons,” video games and rock ‘n’ roll music.

“The game has minor biblical themes based around Abraham going to sacrifice his son to prove to God that he believed in him – which is dark in itself. So you’ve got this kid whose mum wants to kill him, and he escapes into the basement to get away from her and eventually – maybe – conquer her.”

“I got on this kick, and I was watching a bunch of crazy evangelical Christian scare films from the 80s – D&D sending kids to hell, that sort of thing – and there’s just some crazy videos out there of people swearing that they grew up in a satanic cult and their parents were trying to murder them and they sacrificed babies. I think that’s where it’s all coming from.”

McMillen grew up back when the culture war histrionics created rumors of devil worship and child endangerment around the staples of youth culture and is embedding those worst fears into “The Binding of Isaac.” It’ll be interesting to see just how dark McMillen goes with this game and if it’ll be just as mercilessly hard as “Super Meat Boy.”

Are you excited to travel in another one of McMillen’s creations? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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