SUPERJUMP Weekly: “Ma” 間, Pentiment, and The End Himself

Issue #26: December 17 to December 23

SUPERJUMP Weekly: “Ma” 間, Pentiment, and The End Himself

👋 Greetings and welcome to another edition of SUPERJUMP Weekly. Issue 26 is our second last issue for 2022! Can you believe we're right at the end of the year already? How time flies.

Before mentioning anything else, I must start by congratulating Vítor M. Costa for being recognised as our first ever Writer of the Year. If you are a regular reader of this newsletter, you will probably be familiar with his work, which is always truly extraordinary. At SUPERJUMP, we're aiming to raise the standard of gaming analysis and critique, and Vítor exemplifies this ambition with every feature he meticulously crafts. If you're looking to be inspired over the holiday break, Vítor's stories could be exactly what you're looking for.

There are so many fantastic stories to read this week. There's Chris Kernaghan's stunning exploration of the Japanese concept of "Ma" in Ico, Benji Tigg's ultra in-depth revisiting of The Last of Us Part II, and Rachel Alm's utterly gorgeous story about the role of hope in Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker.

Please enjoy, and have a very happy (and safe) holidays. I hope you all have the opportunity over the coming days to spend precious time with family and friends, eat too much food, relax, and enjoy some gaming time. 🎄

Editor in Chief

🏆Story of the Week

This week's must read story.

When it comes to Story of the Week, I regularly find myself recommending our game developer interviews. It's not just that our team has done a great job of getting (precious) time from prominent game developers, it's also the insightful and genuinely interesting questions these discussions explore.

This week, I'm very pleased to present Maris Crane's interview with Zoe Fraznick, a narrative designer who worked on the remarkable Pentiment - this is the game that's currently taking the world by storm for a wide range of reasons, including its unique setting, characters, and masterful narrative design.

I won't say too much about this interview for fear of spoilers, but I strongly urge all readers to check it out. You'll learn a great deal about Pentiment itself, of course, but you might be surprised to learn quite a great deal about medieval history and culture (especially the role of women at the time). As I read the interview, several myths I'd held in mind were completely busted, prompting me both to read more about medieval history and to play Pentiment itself.

I'm a big fan of consciousness raising as a general principle. It's something we always hope to do here at SUPERJUMP. This wonderful interview is guaranteed to raise your consciousness and pique your curiosity simultaneously. Absolutely a must read.

Crafting Pentiment's Medieval Narrative

by Maris Crane

Source: Obsidian Entertainment.
"Women did have a lot more freedom than we think. They were limited in a lot of ways, of course. We do represent that, especially with some of the Sisters, like Sister Susanne who didn’t really have a choice in coming to the convent. But again, you get to talk to her and ask her if she really wants to do that, and tell her that she has other options. We wanted to represent all that in an accurate way but also show that you do have an aspect of agency. So that was really fun for me to explore as a historian and also a game designer."

Zoe Fraznick


Here are all of the stories we published in the last week.

How Cultist Simulator Uses Your Imagination to Properly Scare You
by Ben Sledge

Nintendo’s Game & Watch Ignited a Design Transformation
by C.S. Voll

Taking a Look Back at the Weirdly Obscure Mario Pinball Land
by Cameron Eittreim

Where Should the Next Fallout Be Located?
by Charlotte Huston

How Minimalism and the Japanese Concept of “Ma” 間 Defined Ico
by Chris Kernaghan

Shadow of the Colossus and the Meditative Gameplay Loop
by Karl Otty

Final Fantasy Online: How Game Design Influences Community
by Mark Harris

An Ode to The End
by Joe Hubbard

Last Shape Standing: Dodge, Adapt, Survive
by Andrew Johnston

Revisiting The Last of Us Part II
by Benji Tigg

Minecraft: Hate Basic Math? Use My File!
by Ben Sernau

The Little Light Within: FFXIV's Endwalker and the Fierceness of Hope
by Rachel Alm

Crafting Pentiment's Medieval Narrative
by Maris Crane

Visage: The Choices We Make
by Alexander Briseño

📡 On the Radar

Games due for future release that you should keep an eye on.

Source: Steam.

Haulin’ Oats

by Alex Antra

Coming early 2023, Haulin’ Oats is a bombastic concept. You take to the road as a truck driver, delivering Oatmeal to various destinations. Except, it’s not as peaceful as it sounds. This is a competition against three other drivers and the road. You and your co-driver will encounter gangs, curses, drug smuggling, traffic jams, road rage, and scams whilst driving to your destination.

Though it’s not all danger all the time; there are friendly folk to interact with, including one or two from previous games. Oh, did I mention it’s set around a digital board game? Structured like a monopoly board and stylised with hand-drawn art and animations, this is a clever concept packed into a whimsical aesthetic.

CoaguCo Industries, the game's developer, shared with their inspirations around the game's development with us . With a love of oatmeal and the Oregon Trail series of games, they set out to build something in a similar vein. As development churned on they found similarities with the systems and frameworks they had designed in table-top games prior, and so it was an easy pivot into what we see today.

Each game takes around 30mins minutes to complete, with the winner being the player who meets one of the pre-determined win conditions and also delivers their oatmeal. One awesome thing to note is that the game is being developed in Godot, an open source game engine slowly gaining popularity amongst indie developers. The game will also feature an integration maintained by the very same developer, GodotStream, which helps developers easily integrate Steamworks functionality into their game.

Wishlist the game over on Steam and visit the developers' web site to follow them on social media and see their other games.

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Thank you to CT Harris, Daryl Baxter, Jeff Robison, and Filippo Dinelli for your generous support.

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