DID YOU READ

“Katamari Damacy” Creator Joins Up with Indie Devs Tiny Speck for “Glitch” MMO

“Katamari Damacy” Creator Joins Up with Indie Devs Tiny Speck for “Glitch” MMO  (photo)

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Keita Takahashi threw everyone in video games for a loop with his bizarre classic “Katamari Damacy” in 2004. He fled the sequel-itis that rendered the game’s ideas inert and emerged with the even more strange yet oddly charming “Noby Noby Boy” in 2009. The PlayStation Network title was more of a toy than a game, with players controlling an elongated cartoon character named Boy. You could stretch him at will and every centimeter players stretched their Boys gets submitted online to Girl, which helps her stretch to new planets and connect people across the whole galaxy. The goal was to help Girl extend as far as possible into a virtual Milky Way, which made “Noby Noby” more of an online collaboration than anything. But, hey, players could ingest cats, cows, balls or people, and send them flying out Boy’s butthole, no worse for the wear! Huh? Exactly.

After the befuddled response “Noby Noby Boy” got, Takahashi said that he was going design a playground in Nottingham, England. That was followed by the announcement of a new project called “Souponuts” at Takahashi’s Uvula website. These developments gave glimmers of hope, but it seemed like Takahashi would be hard-pressed to bring his ideas to light. For a while there, it looked like we lost one of gaming’s most unpredictable and iconoclastic creators. From the outside looking in, what someone like Takahashi seems to need is the right kind of infrastructure. Not one where profit bleeds out creativity, as was the case at Takahashi’s last employer, Japanese publisher Namco.

Well, now it seems like Takahashi may be getting that kind of infrastructure thanks to a partnership with dev studio Tiny Speck. The Vancouver outfit’s building a creativity-centric, collaborative MMO called “Glitch” and it’s just announced that Takahashi will be joining their team. Tiny Speck’s Stewart Butterfield wrote the following on the “Glitch” website:

Keita Takahashi, the creator of Katamari Damacy and Noby Noby Boy has always been a hero to everyone on the Glitch team. His power of imagination and ability to realize something wholly unique and different stands out in the history of games.

We know how hard it is to defy convention and make something entirely new. So we’ve always had tremendous respect for Keita’s work and we were sad for games when we read a few years ago that he was pulling back from the industry because it was all getting “a bit dull”.

A few months ago we were lucky enough to start talking to him. We played some Glitch together, batted ideas back and forth and found that we shared the same values — deep beliefs in curiosity, humor, absurdity, and above all a belief in the positive power of play.

“Glitch” still appears to be a ways off from final release but it’s been in early beta testing for a while now. It’ll be interesting to see how Takahashi’s involvement influences the game’s development.

“Katamari” fans, will you be checking out “Glitch” now that Takahashi’s on the Tiny Speck team? 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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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.

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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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