This fall it’s all about the distortion of innocence–and its unexpected resurgence.

We’re looking at two games by Daniel Mullins, Pony Island and The Hex, and anticipating a third, Inscryption. What’s the connection between them? We don’t really know yet. But as the new game’s description helpfully says, it’s going to be even less about ponies.

Tune into the audio here. You can also get involved at our classroom page on patreon.

Pony Island Discussions, Selected References

Week 1 – Fix Start Menu

Week 2 – Passwords

Week 3 – Run With the Speed of a Thousand

For The Hex, we’ll cover one character/genre each week, plus an extra discussion on the endgame

The Hex on Steam

Week 1 – In a Forgotten Corner of the Video Game Universe

Week 2 – Hot Strawberry Pie

Week 3 – A Gift Kraken

  • Zelda (ears), EarthBound (treehouse) and Magic: The Gathering (Kobolds, sweaty). Livestream lingo (#freebandito) and the dilemmas facing girl gamers. The Sphinx, Oedipus, and The Hobbit’s riddles. The void, Sartre’s hell, self-harm, Charon, fishing, coins, crunch, MissingNo (again), doppelganger fights, the mimic mirror, the metaphysical status, ie. existence and essence, of game characters. Catharsis. As I Lay Dying. Bugs and features, bugs and patches. Remember Reboot?

Week 4 – Hologram Concierge

Week 5 – Artifact Heist

Week 6 – Lionel Wants This

Week 7 – Beneath the Surface

Interviews with Daniel Mullins

Chistopher Herman and Jon Romo

Tim Leftwich

Designing a Story Across 6 Genres – talk at DevGAMM


Additional Recommended Reading

The Best New Videogames Are All About… Videogames

From Failed Kickstarter to Career-Defining Success: The Story of Pony Island

How Pony Island teaches players to break a game

Pony Island is the Closest We’ve Come to a Real Life Polybius

Barth, Lost in the Funhouse

and for the intrepid, Milton, Paradise Lost (especially the first few books, with Blake’s and Lewis’ takes for good measure)

and of course, Goethe, Faust