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Critical Hits is a collection of original essays from the finest independent video game journalists and developers
Critical Hits is a collection of original essays from the finest independent video game journalists and developers
242 backers pledged €5,353 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Critical Hits: An Indie Gaming Anthology is a collection of some of the most vibrant, insightful and unusual voices in independent gaming journalism and development, exploring everything from spatial design and existential fear, the popularisation of roguelike games, procedural generation, mothering spaces in games, the representation of dating and text-based mechanics and more.

Your money will go to the writing, production and printing of at least 800 copies of this beautifully designed book, which will be lovingly packaged and delivered to you either electronically or by swift carrier pigeon. If we can reach our goal, Critical Hits will hit shelves in September.

Artwork by Imogen Oh
Artwork by Imogen Oh

** The Project **

Gaming culture and game development have taken a front-seat in popular media. The children that grew up on Atari now have children of their own – a generational bridge that has certainly played a part in the growing credibility of gaming culture. More and more, the aesthetic potential of games is being explored and realised within other media, as interactive art installations grow in prevalence and publishers look to digital storytelling.

By its nature, gaming necessitates a different kind of involvement to cinema or literature, an involvement which in turn creates a strong sense of community through shared difficulties and aid given to overcome obstacles. Having grown with and adapted to its online market via community-focused initiatives like Steam, games themselves often feature online user forums, strengthening player involvement with the game and its world. The rise of the gaming industry, which towers over film business both in reach and sheer economic weight, has with its expansion born witness to the growth of the indie game world, and the cross-pollination within indie gaming subcultures.

Artwork by Imogen Oh
Artwork by Imogen Oh

** Our Contributors **

Louise Adelaide is a sagicorn net trash web artist, writer and game maker based in Dublin, Ireland. She currently co-curates girly digital art collective Bunny Collective, and works on live a/v performance with techno artist Ellll while studying an MSc in Creative Digital Media focusing on games. Her main areas of research include gender and digital space politics.

Leo Devlin is a freelance writer, and regularly contributes to Totally Dublin on the subject of board, card and video games. He has also played hundreds of hours of Tetris, and sincerely believes that it is the pinnacle of human cultural achievement.

Cara Ellison is a Scottish writer, game critic and video game narrative designer. She has written for the Guardian, VICE, Kotaku, PC Gamer, Paste Magazine and the New Statesman. She wrote the best-named column in the world, S.EXE, at Rock Paper Shotgun, and had a regular opinion column at Eurogamer. She was also co-writer on Charlie Brooker’s 'How Videogames Changed The World' for Channel Four television in the UK. Her writing and game narrative work has been featured in the New York Times and Wired, and she was one of the Guardian’s Top Ten Young People In Digital Media 2014. Currently she designs narratives for video games.

Holly Gramazio is a freelance games designer living in London. She runs Matheson Marcault with Sophie Sampson, a games company engaging with history, physicality and public space. She started designing games after completing a PhD in online fiction in 2008, and also curates game events, including the Sandpit, a regular playtesting night for experimental work that ran for five years.

Joe Griffin is a journalist and author whose work has appeared in over a dozen outlets around the world, including The Irish Times, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, Total Film and gamesTM. Joe's favourite modern videogame is Limbo, his favourite Die Hard is the first one, his favourite colour is blue, his favourite Stone is Jagger and his favourite Stooge is Curly.

Soha Kareem is a co-Director of Dames Making Games, a Toronto-based initiative to encourage and support women and non-binary folks make and play games. She has exhibited artwork, written, and lectured about game design across North America. Her interests include open-source tools, DIY gamemaking, glitch photography, and interactive art.

Katharine Neil is an ex-audio designer turned video game developer, and the creative force behind Alone in the Park.

Adam Smith is a video games journalist from Manchester and contributor to Rock, Paper, Shotgun.

Austin Walker is a games critic, live streamer and an editor of giantbomb.com

Aidan Wall is an artist, musician, and writer from Dublin, Ireland. He graduated from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin in 2015 and is currently the Arts Editor of Totally Dublin magazine.

Artwork by Imogen Oh
Artwork by Imogen Oh

Risks and challenges

I've spent the last year getting in touch with writers and developers and putting together our team of contributors. The book's design has been paid for up-front, but we also need to cover video editing, production and distribution costs, and payment for each contributor.

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    Our eternal gratitude and good vibes

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    A downloadable digital wallpaper for your desktop, tablet or phone of the cover art, designed by Imogen Oh.

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    A PDF of Critical Hits + A downloadable digital wallpaper for your desktop, tablet or phone of the cover art, designed by Imogen Oh.

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    You'll get a copy of Critical Hits! We'll post or hand deliver (within cyclable distances) this glitzy anthology right to your mitts.

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    You'll get a copy of Critical Hits + a PDF of Critical Hits + a downloadable digital wallpaper for your desktop, tablet or phone of the cover art, designed by Imogen Oh.

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    You'll get a copy of Critical Hits + a voucher for a lovingly prepared cofffee from Kaph on Drury Street + a downloadable digital wallpaper for your desktop, tablet or phone of the cover art, designed by Imogen Oh.

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    You'll get a copy of Critical Hits + a voucher for a lovingly prepared cofffee from Love Supreme in Stoneybatter + a downloadable digital wallpaper for your desktop, tablet or phone of the cover art, designed by Imogen Oh.

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    Pledge €30 or more About $33

    You'll get a copy of Critical Hits + a signed copy of Aidan Wall's Doss Souls Zine: A Dossier of Speed Runs, Dossing, and Dark Souls + a downloadable digital wallpaper for your desktop, tablet or phone of the cover art, designed by Imogen Oh
    - http://aidanwall.bigcartel.com/product/doss-souls -

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    Pledge €30 or more About $33

    You'll get a copy of Critical Hits + a portrait of your favourite contributor from illustrator Sam Burton, the voice of our video + a downloadable digital wallpaper for your desktop, tablet or phone of the cover art, designed by Imogen Oh.

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    Pledge €40 or more About $44

    You'll get a copy of Critical Hits + three portraits of your favourite contributors from illustrator Sam Burton, the voice of our video + a downloadable digital wallpaper for your desktop, tablet or phone of the cover art, designed by Imogen Oh.

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    Pledge €60 or more About $65

    You'll get a copy of Critical Hits + A beautiful Clever Dripper coffee filter from Love Supreme with filters and a bag of beans + A downloadable digital wallpaper for your desktop, tablet or phone of the cover art, designed by Imogen Oh.

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    Pledge €70 or more About $76

    Four lucky peeps will get to decide on an RPG that Leo Devlin and I will moderate at any time you so wish + a copy of Critical Hits + a downloadable digital wallpaper for your desktop, tablet or phone of the cover art, designed by Imogen Oh + you'll be featured in the inside cover as a patron and really cool person

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    Pledge €150 or more About $163

    Four unfortunate souls will get a copy of Critical Hits and be invited to quest with Leo Devlin, Aidan Wall, Zoë Jellicoe and pals on one of their fortnightly Dungeons & Dragons sessions. Bring your character, or we will construct one for you. Skype option available for any non-Dublin pledgers + you'll be featured in the inside cover as a patron and really cool person

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    Pledge €250 or more About $272

    You will receive an ~ exclusive ~ invitation to our pre-book launch contributors dinner and a signed copy of Critical Hits. Dinner will be hosted by the tremendously talented chef Kevin Powell of Gruel Guerrilla-fame at his state-of-the-art Dublin apartment + you'll be featured in the inside cover as a patron and really cool person

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Funding period

- (30 days)