Tag Archive: sand

The Soundtrack of Our Journey

While we wait for the official Journey soundtrack to emerge, the composer, Austin Wintory has several of the tracks and excerpts on his SoundCloud page.

Listen, and float far away on a billowing cloak.  I can’t get over how beautiful it is.

This is fantastic – but I cry out for more information on it!  This machine (by Markus Kayser) uses Fresnel lenses and solar powered motors to focus the light and heat of the Saharan sun on to the moving bed of sand – melting it as it travels and forming a crude glass.  The bed is lowered, another layer is sprinkled and leveled, and the sintering, 3d printing, sun-worshiping, dance goes on.  But I have questions!

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Terraria videogame screen shot - showing player made tree village, merchant, helper and nurse.

Player-Made Forest Village with NPC Housing in Terraria

[Updated post with a video tutorial and more decorating tips, here!]

Recently, I’ve been playing a lot of Terraria – a lovely little 2d side scrolling game where you fight monsters, build homes for NPCs, mine for ores and treasure, and explore from the top of the skies to the depths of hell.  It’s just one of the batch in a relatively recent revival of interest in games with mining and building – from the insanely brilliant (and insanely inaccessible) Dwarf Fortress, to the breakout hit, Minecraft (with Infiniminer before it), and now Terraria.  Each one takes a different graphical approach, but each one has you stepping into an uncaring, unknown, wilderness with just a few meager tools with which to bootstrap yourself to self-sufficiency.

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After Flowers; A Journey

There are few games that instantly re-trigger emotions at the mere mention of their names, or seeing their logo or screenshots, but Flower from That Game Company, is one of them.  Every time I am reminded of it, I am suddenly hit by a wash of calm, of peaceful yearning and of a desire for beauty for beauty’s sake.  Few games have you play as the gentle breeze that lifts petals on their adventure – fewer still can draw you in to a narrative that has no words, no actors or actresses, no evil villain, fighting or death.  It’s a game that had my friends try to argue was not a game – despite me waxing lyrical about it.

So when I saw that That Game Company were releasing a new game after Flower, I was interested.  When I learned that Journey has you exploring mystical sand dunes, occasionally encountering other wanderers and singing into the long, lonely desert with them, I developed dangerously high hopes.  If the game can trigger even the faintest hint of the emotional hold that Flower has over me, I’ll consider it a resounding success – because despite having ‘finished’ Flower several times, I still yearn to return to it, like a favorite old book, comfortable in the well worn pages, enjoying it for the never fading beauty of the world it conjures and the very personal place it always leaves for me.