The Stanley Parable: HD Remix

FeatureAn ode to video game doors

Walking you through the doors of Doom, Dark Souls and more.

It's easy to underestimate the humble door. You open it, you go through. Sometimes, you must find the key first, and for many games, that's the whole extent of the player's interactions with doors. They're something to get past, something that cordons off one bit from the next bit. A simple structural element, of special interest to level designers, but not the ones who turn the knobs.

The Stanley Parable designer releases free game The Temple of No

A browser-based text adventure about a frog, maybe.

The Stanley Parable designer William Pugh released the second free game at his new studio Crows Crows Crows. The first, if you don't remember, was the gloriously titled first-person adventure Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist. This latest title, The Temple of No, is a Twine-based text adventure about a frog.

Watch P.T. mashed up with The Stanley Parable's narrator

"I'm getting weirded out by whatever this place is."

Ever wonder what Kojima Production's first-person horror teaser P.T. would look like if it were narrated by that charming omniscient voice from The Stanley Parable? Well wonder no further as YouTuber it's a mirage has made a video of just that.

FeatureNarrative vs narration

For games, is the story less important than the telling?

Gravity's Rainbow! It's not my favourite Thomas Pynchon novel, but it still feels like the definitive Thomas Pynchon novel. It's a mad, mandala-like book, looping ever outwards as it takes in Churchill's adenoids, the V-2 rocket, rogue Mickey Rooney sightings and a neat little poem that introduced me to the word preterite, the meaning of which I have long since forgotten even though I continue to use it in situations where I am unlikely to be challenged. Best of all, there's this crazy, beautiful moment right at the end of the book where the narrator presents a scene of imminent disaster and then steps back, outside of the frame, to tell you: "There is time, if you need the comfort, to touch the person next to you."

Independent Games Festival 2014 finalists announced

Independent Games Festival 2014 finalists announced

Led by Device 6, Dominique Pamplemousse and Papers, Please.

They're not the only indie games you should care about but they're some of the best: finalists for this year's Independent Games Festival - the Oscars of the indie world - have been announced.

The main event, the Seumas McNally Grand Prize, will be contested by The Stanley Parable (Galactic Cafe); Papers, Please (Lucas Pope); Don't Starve (Klei); Device 6 (Simogo); Jazzpunk (Necrophone); and Dominique Pamplemousse in "It's All Over Once the Fat Lady Sings!" (Deirdra Kiai Productions).

The Stanley Parable and Papers, Please finished as two of Eurogamer's Games of 2013.

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FeatureDevelopers' Games of 2013

CD Projekt! Blow! Bithell! Molyneux! More!

We've had our say on 2013's best video games. And so have you. Now, it's the turn of the developers, the makers of the virtual experiences we so love. Read on for the games of 2013 according to the creators of the likes of Super Meat Boy, Assassin's Creed 4, XCOM, Oculus Rift and more, complete with Twitter bios.

The Stanley Parable review

The Stanley Parable review

I would prefer not to.

It starts with the modern hall of mirrors - a screen depicting a screen depicting a screen. I can count three of these before the detailing gets too small to make out, but even then I'm forgetting one. I'm forgetting the crucial one, in fact: my own screen that depicts the first of the virtual screens. And moving out beyond that?

The Stanley Parable is a video game that plays you. It examines questions of control and free will within a finite interactive space and asks: can you truly express yourself in a world in which an omniscient designer has already carved out all of your possibilities in advance? Is there real victory to be won inside a machine that has been pre-programmed to deliver victory to you anyway? None of this makes The Stanley Parable sound like an enormous amount of fun, perhaps, but the whole thing's also hilarious and ingenious and even quietly disturbing at times. It's a game about games, yet it never forgets to be a game that's worth playing in its own right.

Davey Wreden created the original version as a Source mod that was released in 2011. Since then, he's been rebuilding it - and reimagining it - with designer WIlliam Pugh. The end result is not quite a straightforward remake. The story still revolves around Stanley, who toils deep inside an office complex where the staff are referred to by three digit numbers like Peugeots, and it still concerns a strange event in which all of Stanley's colleagues go missing, but the plot's branching paths have been tweaked and amended here and there, and entirely new options have been added throughout.

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FeatureGuided by voices: Behind the scenes of The Stanley Parable

Creator Davey Wreden opens up about his mental meta madhouse.

The Stanley Parable creator Davey Wreden is a PR person's nightmare. "In a way, the whole point of The Stanley Parable was to create something that was intrinsically difficult to describe," he tells me, upon revealing the completely bonkers PAX demo he created specifically for the occasion. The whole "you just have to play it" mantra is too vague to function as a selling point and god help the poor soul who's tasked with writing a press release for this highly experimental satirical curio that not so much breaks the fourth wall as completely demolishes it and digs a chasm in its place just for good measure.