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2:00 PM on 05.24.2014

Icarus Proudbottom takes control of a spaceship in Starship Captain

Last we saw Icarus Proudbottom, he was teaching us typing, and before that he was demonstrating his chocolate fountain. Suffice it to say, the Icarus Proudbottom franchise is all over the place, in the best way possible. Now...

Darren Nakamura



The old world European electronic noir of Transistor photo
The old world European electronic noir of Transistor
by Steven Hansen

As much as Jen Zee's mood paintings and art catalyzed what would become Transistor early on, so too did Darren Korb's music. The soundtrack is an important part of Transistor and while I'd like to be able to yell at you to go freely listen to it right now, there are some meaningful compositions that should first be experience in-game.

Making music is, "different at different stages of the process," Korb said. "At the beginning, there aren't a lot of other assets happening. There's not a lot of other stuff that defines the tone of the game so I'll kind of go off and try some things. I'll come back like, 'here's a thing and it feels this way,' and try to develop a center for the identity of music and the feel.

"As the process goes on, I can look at the art and look at the gameplay. That will affect and change the direction a little bit. Or I can regroup and go in a different direction. Once it's in and once we get a better sense of where the game is going story-wise, well here's a scene we need a specific thing for. It won't be blind, throwing darts and it hits something." That's when you get tracks that should be enjoyed in-game, but, like with Bastion, the early music helps set a tone.

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Transistor's sword was a briefcase at one point photo
Transistor's sword was a briefcase at one point
by Steven Hansen

Parts I and II of this series have touched on various elements of Transistor's design, but not one of its most striking facets, the artistry that immediately arrested many of us when Transistor was announced. We also sat down with Jen Zee at Supergiant, the artist behind this indelible style, and talked a bit about artistic influences, design process, refusing cyberpunk, and briefcases.

"We came off Bastion and Bastion is such a bright and colorful world that we kind of wanted to try something different. It was reactionary," Zee explained. "We did a fantasy world already, what can Supergiant do in the sci-fi world? What would that look like? We attempted to go for a more pallet-controlled world that would just feel a little more dark than Bastion.

"The difference between Bastion and Transistor for me, the big difference, is that I wasn't on board at the very start of Bastion -- pre-production. But I definitely got to scratch an itch where I kind of wanted to in a sense write a love letter to classical artists that I grew up really liking, like William Waterhouse or [Gustav] Klimt, or Alphonse Mucha. I wanted to inject that somehow into the art we made for Transistor because there's no other opportunity like the one that's right in front of you to express yourself the best you can. So I think that it's a combination of reactionary to Bastion, things that we wanted to do on Bastion that we never got to do, and also things that I wanted to do my whole life."

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7:00 PM on 05.20.2014

Listen to the incredible Transistor soundtrack right here

Transistor is out today for the PC and PlayStation 4! The game is pretty great, and I've been enjoying my time with it so far. I'm especially loving the music, from the soundtrack itself to the fact that there's a dedicated ...

Hamza CTZ Aziz



Under a red sky Part II: Transistor's strategy for doing strategy photo
Under a red sky Part II: Transistor's strategy for doing strategy
by Steven Hansen

Make sure to read Part I in this series. It deals with development crunch time, getting a game ready to launch, and the genesis of Transistor post Bastion. Now we're continuing the abrupt, jerky carnival ride through time and getting to the middle bits, to Transistor's design philosophy as it came together and the games that the people who made it love.

Come sit with us on Amir's dad's old, burgundy couch and learn about furniture utility with Supergiant's Amir Rao (co-founder), Greg Kasavin (writer), and Darren Korb (composer).

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Review: Transistor photo
Review: Transistor
by Alasdair Duncan

Does the "second album" syndrome exist in videogames? If you're not familiar with that phrase, it's the idea that a band's second album is much harder to make than the first. Should a band break away from the style it forged with debut or should its second effort explore new ground? In the videogames industry, a developer is usually charged with making a direct sequel to their first game, to just build on what came before. 

Bastion, the first game from indie studio Supergiant Games, stood out from the crowd thanks to its sumptuous art style, haunting music, and approachable gameplay. Supergiant has followed up its debut with Transistor, which feels like a sequel despite an all-new setting and characters.

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Under a red sky: How Transistor came to be Part I  photo
Under a red sky: How Transistor came to be Part I
by Steven Hansen

Turning down a one-way alley towards SuperGiant's downtown San Francisco office space, I noticed the fenced parking lots on either corner decorated with two sorts of barbed wire. Three classical, no nonsense parallel strands were circumscribed by much more lively spirals of metal like a sharpened, stretched out slinky. 

This is the coveted San Francisco startup space over two million Bastion sales led to. Atypical out of the gate success that the team doesn't take for granted. The move from the sleepy San Jose suburb that bore Bastion to an urban hotbed would, perhaps by coincidence, bear Transistor, SuperGiant's next project.

We sat down with Supergiant's Amir Rao (co-founder), Greg Kasavin (writer), Jen Zee (artist), and Darren Korb (composer) -- on Rao's dad's old, burgundy couch from the San Jose house -- after development on Transistor had wrapped, while the team was prepping it for launch.

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12:45 PM on 05.06.2014

The Way goes out of this world, is inspired by Out of This World

A lot of bygone genres have been making comebacks in recent years, like adventure games or fighting games, but a particular style of game has not yet made a return to the limelight. In today's terms, games like Out of This W...

Darren Nakamura

11:30 AM on 04.24.2014

2D shooter Hive Jump is jumping to the Wii U

Developer Graphite Lab has revealed that their upcoming 2D shooter, Hive Jump, is heading to the Wii U. The story is set to the backdrop of the 24th century, where mankind has colonized across the stars. Of course, alie...

Chris Carter



Extrasolar does exoplanet exploration, but it is more than meets the eye photo
Extrasolar does exoplanet exploration, but it is more than meets the eye
by Darren Nakamura

When I was talking to one of the developers of Extrasolar on the show floor at PAX East, I said something that I now regret. "This looks like something I would really like, but might not appeal to a ton of other people." He responded gracefully, simply saying that they have a healthy number of players, and a good percentage of players see it through to the end.

To be fair, the presentation of Extrasolar in the Indie MEGABOOTH was intentionally muted. There, it was shown as a simple exploration game on an extrasolar planet. The player tells the rover where to go, and after a set amount of time it sends back a photo. The intrinsic value of that alone was enough to get me started, and I urge others to sign up for it now to experience it as intended. If you need further convincing, then keep reading. Prepare for minor spoilers.

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Firaxis designers speak on Civilization: Beyond Earth photo
Firaxis designers speak on Civilization: Beyond Earth
by Darren Nakamura

Last weekend during its panel at PAX East, Firaxis announced the next big project for the Civilization franchise: Civilization: Beyond Earth. After the announcement, Destructoid took some time to talk to some of the designers behind bringing the strategy series into space.

Lead Designers David McDonough and Will Miller were present for the interview along with Systems Gameplay Designer Anton Strenger. The designers discussed the inspiration behind Beyond Earth, some of the world building systems, and the possibility for crossover with other Firaxis science fiction properties. Read it below!

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2:45 PM on 04.18.2014

Civilization: Beyond Earth designers inspired by Cosmos

To take a brief aside from videogames: are you watching Cosmos: a Spacetime Odyssey? If not, you should be, especially if you are not particularly scientifically literate. It is filled with a lot of important information abou...

Darren Nakamura



Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime puts two people in a neon spaceship built for eight photo
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime puts two people in a neon spaceship built for eight
by Darren Nakamura

Navigating through the outer reaches of space is hard. There are multiple systems to account for, from piloting to shields to weapons control, each with its own specialized training necessary. Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime takes all of those essential tasks and leaves them up to a two-person crew on a mission to save space bunnies and fight constellations.

The result is a frantic dash to man the right stations at the right times, and although it looked dire at one point, it was never completely unmanageable. After it was all over, I got to breathe a sigh of relief, and felt closer to my impromptu space lover after having been through the ordeal together.

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12:00 PM on 04.12.2014

Civilization explores the final frontier with Beyond Earth

We knew Firaxis would be announcing a new game at their panel this morning at PAX East, and now we know what the team has been working on. Civilization: Beyond Earth is taking the series past future tech and into space explo...

Darren Nakamura

9:00 PM on 04.10.2014

Last Life is a sci-fi, murder-mystery adventure game set on Mars

It's no secret that I've been loving the adventure games that have been finding life via Kickstarter and Last Life is no different. Described by developer Sam Farmer, this is an episodic "sci-fi noir adventure game in which ...

Alasdair Duncan

8:00 PM on 04.03.2014

There are eight days left to fund Dead Synchronicity

It was the end of March when I saw Dead Synchronicity on Kickstarter, a great-looking science-fiction adventure game with heavy horror and dystopic themes. I've played the demo which is built on the alpha version of the game...

Alasdair Duncan