I just backed Outerlands Season One

If you haven’t watched any of Area 5‘s work earlier they are a production studio that has specialized on making videos for video game companies. Their latest works include a documentary for Naughty Dog’s big 2013 hit game Last of Us and another for the 25th anniversary of the well-known legendary Street Fighter series.

For me I know Area 5 not because of these documentaries that they’ve started making lately. But rather through a video podcast they started doing on the internet video network Revision 3, named Co-op, which I think was quite similar to their earlier show The 1Up Show for the now discontinued video game site 1Up. It was a weekly episode with some sketches centered around video game culture starring the five crew members combined with casual discussions of the video game medium, often featuring beautiful shots of San Francisco.

So this documentary series which will run for six episodes seems to be something more like A Life Well Wasted, a podcast about video games that I’ve talked about before, than their earlier Co-Op. Meaning it’s a documentary about the people who loves video games rather than video games themselves. A video series about enthusiasm and love, documenting the different forms people choose to express these feelings through.

I backed this because I like the people behind the project and I find the subject interesting. From what I’ve seen they know what they are doing and their craftsmanship isn’t just on the amateur level, they know what they are doing. If you like the subject and think it’s a documentary series that need to exist then I think you should help them to reach their goal.

-B

Bobo’s x2

Hi! Let’s just jump into it, it’s easier that way. Who needs an introduction anyway?

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ENLIGHTENED

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I presume that it was through a Humble Bundle that I bought the low-budget space sandbox game SOLAR 2, it’s mainly through their very affordable packages of lesser known game that I expand my steam library. It feels like I’m mentioning that site maybe a bit too often, oh well.

solar 1Solar 2 opens up with a quote from Carl Sagan: “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe” and then there’s a big bang and millions of stars, planets and asteroids gets tossed out onto an eternal playing-field.

You play as an asteroid, at first, trying to smash into other asteroids to get bigger until you eventually get transformed into a planet. From there you want to get asteroids into you’re orbit so that you may feed them to your planet, to make it bigger, so you then transform into a sun and so on. The planets can get intelligent lifeforms grown on them so that spaceships protects your solar-system against other hostile solar-systems. The goal of this game is to grow and evolve and grow some more.

There are also quests given to you by some godlike being. I never understood these missions, they just felt as something the developers threw into the game just to give it some length. They don’t seem to fit in this game at all because of the imprecise nature of the way your body of planets control. The good thing about them is that they are one way of playing the game and are totally optional.

But I get you they threw in some missions into this game because it’s really, really short. You can probably complete a none-objective based play-through in under 30 minutes. And this game doesn’t offer a lot of replay value, once you’ve expanded yourself to your fullest you’ve seen it all. You’re floating around in the eternally, still expanding, universe empty of any interesting places to visit. There might actually be something on the other end of a mission-chain but my skill and patience wont let me play-through one of those.

solar 2

So if you don’t pick this game up through some pay-what-you-want service or get it gifted to you by someone for free then don’t bother. There are better more interesting things to do than having your very own solar system.

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alww 1
Every A LIFE WELL WASTED episode gets introduced by sole-creator Robert Ashley as “an internet radio show about videogames and the people who loves them”. It’s an internet radio show (some may say podcast) similar to This American Life or Radiolabs, every episode is divided into different interview-heavy segments under a common theme.

The seventh episode, work, was released March 20th, almost three years after the previous episode. It’s an 65 minute long episodes giving us four different stories. One of a hard-working fellow who gets his dream job  another of a pioneering games programmer who’s work has inspired an entire genre, one of two partner games developers who put down the working hours but didn’t get there project to succeed, and lastly on of a guy working on archiving all hes thoughts and experiences.

I can’t think of anyone who I wouldn’t recommend this to. It’s not a show by video-game nerds for video-game nerds but of people who love this one hobby and sometimes that hobby isn’t really all that important, it’s the different kinds of alww 2things surrounding it, communities, culture, people, experiences, stories of people and if you don’t like stories involving people then… who are you?

So given the history of A life well wasted’s irregular release schedule I can only wait and hope there’s more coming. Let’s try an give his website some traffic and show him that his work is highly appreciated and that we want more sooner rather than later. Although I think he already knows this so lets find a comfortable position and pick up a magazine, the doctor might see us soon.

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Right back on track, like a vein full of smack. See you next week?

/Bobo
Ha en bra dag!