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“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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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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