Bernband: explore a looming yet intimate alien city

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This should amuse me for awhile today. Looks fun and worth the download. Thanks @beschizza


That first image below the fold reminded me of a collage by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for a proposed convention center that I wrote about in a thesis for my architecture degree

I was droning about, you know, how his collages treat the world as fields of formless texture, and reduce architecture to a process of rearranging slabs of those textures with a handful of deliberate scalpel cuts. (If you look closely at the “carpet” texture in that image, it’s actually a repeated crowd of people, which is a pretty strong statement when you think about it).

You might say that’s exactly how video games (especially 16-bit games) create space, too. There’s probably an expensive heavily illustrated non-bestselling book in it.


I understand that it is POV, but do the “goatse hands” stay in your screen view throughout? Can’t unsee what has been seen, even after all these years.


Yes, but it won’t bother you after a few seconds, you’ll just forget they’re there.


Bernband 2 is slowly brewing, too. Still low-res, still holding your waggly hands and tap-tap-tapping through the world. But now there’s lush lighting and 3d critters. is well worth following, every now and then you’ll get delightful little views into this alien world, and perhaps someday there will be the news that it is ready for you to purchase…


Feel free to consider AI upscaling of things for a microsecond or so. [Continues using the Galaxy S5 for YouTube 3D headset viewing instead of the LG V40 with twice the rez…]


Has anyone sketched out a map of this city yet? I don’t want to be the one to do it, I just want to see how far the explorable zone goes.

I love the sketchy physics of this. It makes me itch for some kind of virtual playspace that would make it easy to doodle a landscape like Bernband. I know for many people, minecraft seems to scratch that itch, but I am just tired to death of 90 degree angles everywhere.


The best bit was working out that you can jump, too, using the space bar. And that’s how I ended up in the Fishy side of the aquarium… That was fun!

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Bernband is great. Similar games and interactive entertainments if you want to experience the excited melancholy of being alone in a densely-populated and unfamiliar place include:

Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor - the actual gameplay loop is a bit of a grind but the setting is pretty lush
Aircar - A VR game about flying a hover-car around a Blade Runner-y city. Not a whole heap to do but the vibe is intense
Cloudpunk - another deeply atmospheric game about traversing an intensely vertical future-city. This time you’re a courier.

Seems like “the game isn’t much but the atmosphere is great” is a fairly common trait of this kind of experience. I’m sure there are more of these (particularly indie stuff) but that’s all I’ve got to hand.

And if you like the sort of bulbous, kinda childs-drawing-y style of the screenies of Bernband 2, check out Helionaut (though this is more of an action game)


Loving the socks/games affinity on the Helionaut page. (Bras and clojure, the lisp for java and javascript! Tighty whiteys and notification muting apps! Aw. Well if anyone’s sock company is doing amazing and also bundling category software that’s pretty cool. Or shoes and telling people when they ran like the Misato coordinated EVA pointe attack in those riser-style runners.)

That’s the sigil of the Sokpop Collective, a game-development cadre starring the aforementioned Tom van den Boogart. Your dreams of underwear-based software categorisation must go unfulfilled.

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