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DID YOU READ

PAX 2011: Warp presents a novel twist on the teleport game mechanic

PAX 2011: Warp presents a novel twist on the teleport game mechanic  (photo)

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“Portal 2” came out this year and Valve’s instant classic showed how powerful and imaginative their mind-bending physics-based experiences can be. You’d figure that there wouldn’t be any room for another game to impress folks with a teleportation mechanic. But, “Warp”–being developed by Montreal-based Trapdoor–stood out amongst the crop of new games being shown at the annual Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle.

This indie game puts players in the role a cute, captured alien named Zero. Zero’s slated to be subjected to the usual slate of tests and dissections by his captors. But, the scientists and soldiers who captured the antenna-sporting extraterrestrial don’t know that he can teleport and he promptly proceeds to effect an escape. The giant underwater research facility that Zero’s trapped in is a series of connected rooms and corridors, with most occupied by a scientist or soldier that he’ll have to get past to progress through the game. If soldiers spot Zero, they’ll immediately try to hunt him down. Scientists don’t have guns but they’ll call for armed back-up to try and nab the teleporting critter.

The gameplay for “Warp” operates on a simple premise: Zero can teleport across a certain range of space, marked with a small reticule. It doesn’t matter whether there are walls or objects in the way, either. Actually, it’s the combination of objects and teleportation that makes “Warp” extremely unique. Zero can teleport inside objects and then explode them from within. Trapdoor call this ability ‘fragging’–done by rapidly waggling the left stick on a controller left-to-right–and it’s the only real thing that passes for offense in the game. Teleporting into and fragging a biohazard canister stuns nearby humans so that Zero can get out of their line of sight. How offensive does fragging get? Well, Zero can teleport inside people, too, and fragging an occupied human blows them up in an detonation of blood.

You can also teleport out of a human just at the cusp of a frag explosion and the buildup of energy will leave them stunned long enough for Zero to sneak away. It’s this twist of the frag mechanic that will players complete the game in a non-lethal way, if they so choose. Along they way, Zero will find film canisters that contain footage of his existence–scheduled to be deleted–that players must hunt down to unlock special rewards in the game. Zero will have one other ability that helps his efforts at stealth and that’s his echo power, which lets him create holographic decoys to mess with the enemy AI’s awareness of his location.

Trapdoor says that they’ll be revealing more about “Warp” as time goes on. It’s going to be a downloadable title and should be out early next year.

How interesting does “Warp” sound to you? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.