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Coming Out of the Shadows: Rusty Buchert Talks Latest Project

Rusty Buchert's Avatar + Posted by Rusty Buchert on Oct 04, 2008 // Sr. Producer, Sony Santa Monica Studios

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Hi all, my name is Rusty Buchert and I am the Sr. Producer for Linger in Shadows. Some of you may have heard about it already from coverage here and there, but there are a lot of questions surrounding this unique title. It will be releasing on the PlayStation Network on October 9, so I wanted to explain today about what Linger is and what it isn’t. I’ll start with the easier side, and that is Linger in Shadows is NOT a game. It was never meant to be a game and it will never be a game. Yes it has trophies, but it still isn’t a game and I’ll explain why a little later on.

So then, what the heck is it? There are a few different answers to that question and I’m going to try and cover them here. So here is the short version and then I’ll ramble on in more detail. Linger in Shadows was created by Plastic, from the demoscene. It is an experiment with the demoscene and it is an experiment in Interactive Digital Art.

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Now for the first part: what the heck is the demoscene and why does it matter? The demoscene came from an underground digital art culture that started in the 80’s. A “demo” is an audiovisual program created to demonstrate and push the limits of a machine through the devotion, creativity and originality of the demosceners who created the “demo”. Like games, “demos” went from being made by individuals to being made by groups. The demoscene has created some amazing pieces over the years, and that is why we decided to reach out to the demoscene and see what they could do with the PlayStation 3 hardware. The results are pretty amazing. The kicker is that the folks who made Linger in Shadows did it part-time after-hours. This is a work of passion for them; they have day jobs too.

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Previously demoscene productions were passive experiences. You ran it, sat back and watched. One of the things that Plastic wanted to do with Linger was to move in a new direction. Linger can be watched passively, but you won’t get the whole experience that way. It is meant to be an experience that you explore through. Look beyond the frame of what you see. Search for new things, experiment with the SIXAXIS, and you might be surprised by what you find.

I hope you’ve had a chance to check out the trailer on PSN. If you haven’t seen it yet, give it a look. You can also find out a little more about Linger in the Shadows here.

I’ll be back here on the blog soon to talk more about Linger in the Shadows, Plastic and how this all got started.

//Add Your Own

102 Comments

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1

+ brpnagger on October 4th, 2008 at 5:03 am said:

yes demos back in the day of the c64 and pc those were great. Dont know if i would pay for one tho


2

+ PS3Diablo on October 4th, 2008 at 5:09 am said:

This looks interesting, I will definitely give it a try !


3

+ Natiej85 on October 4th, 2008 at 5:12 am said:

I’ve watched the video on PSN and was extremely confused by what was going on in general. Maybe if I saw more of how the view interacted with the demoscene, but without giving away too much of the experience. Which I hope is extremely deep with content, cause if not, I really won’t pick this one up.


4

+ SoVewySylly on October 4th, 2008 at 5:36 am said:

The game….. rather, the demo, looks amazing. Ive seen some of the animation, and the overall experience should be someting that of watching the ridiculously long cutscenes on MGS4. You can interact with the story in ways that change perspective up to things like changes in plot. I’ll definately e picking this up, but I ask you this, Rusty. Since this work of art is your and other’s passion, will we be leaving this at that or will there be DLC? If so, will DLC involve new “Chapters” or mabye alternate ending possibilities? I’m very eager to see how this unfolds.

Best Regards,
SvS


5

+ lifeRPGs on October 4th, 2008 at 5:38 am said:

Looks absolutely amazing but i mean….what do we do with it exactly? watch and rewatch and rewatch again? each time we watch we find something new? and everything we find = trophies? is that it?


6

+ Clinton514 on October 4th, 2008 at 5:50 am said:

I was never a coder but one of my fondest memories with my first PC(386dx) was downloading(2400 modem pains) and running some really cool demos. Seeing Linger In The Shadows brings back the memories!
I’m looking forward to downloading it.

Greets to Plastic. :lol:


7

+ Paranoimia on October 4th, 2008 at 6:02 am said:

I was quite a collector of demos in the days of the Amiga Public Domain scene, so I’m really looking forward to seeing this properly.


8

+ Kenshin001 on October 4th, 2008 at 6:05 am said:

The question on everyone’s minds is how much will it cost?


9

+ Dark_Vincent on October 4th, 2008 at 6:08 am said:

I’ve watched a demo before. Pretty incredible stuff. It’s even more amazing that the one I watched only took up what, 64kb of my HDD even though it was full of effects and very lenghty O.o I think I still have it somewhere in here.

I want to see what Linger in Shadows is about =)


10

+ P_tear_griffin on October 4th, 2008 at 6:12 am said:

Looking forward to this. I just want to know how much will it cost if it’ll cost anything at all (I have a feeling it will).


11

+ Mindplague on October 4th, 2008 at 6:19 am said:

Great stuff! I hope other demo groups will follow. I used to be part of an Amiga demo group and the sense of community and respect for coders, musicians, and graphic artists was unsurpassed back in the day. Heres to good times!


12

+ Macrike on October 4th, 2008 at 6:19 am said:

“You can also find out a little more about the game here.”

But, you said it was not a game!

Just kidding. I’m looking forward to trying this out. Is it coming to the European PlayStation Store on the 9th too?


13

+ nesDk on October 4th, 2008 at 6:20 am said:

looks good – visual and wierd – gamevise.


14

+ Daver on October 4th, 2008 at 6:26 am said:

Oh yeah!!!! Thanks!!

Ive been waiting for more info about it for a while! Even if its not a game, it looks very interesting and now you say its coming out in the next update!!!
Im gonna buy this for sure!


15

+ HorizonShadow on October 4th, 2008 at 6:34 am said:

It’s games like these that remind you that not call games are killing fests, and the world doesn’t revolve around an M rated game.

PS3 is really showing casual games at it’s best, good work.


16

+ Zezzler on October 4th, 2008 at 6:36 am said:

This looks really intersesting, im not sure exactly how it will be but it does look pretty cool.


17

+ NewYork214 on October 4th, 2008 at 6:45 am said:

not sure what i think of this yet. im not hating it though. kinda interested in it


18

+ Schitthammer on October 4th, 2008 at 6:50 am said:

Thanks Rusty for confirmation of the release date. Really looking forward to checking this out on the 9th. I will definitely be buying this because it really showcases what seperates the PSN from other online services. Originality.


19

+ MK24ever on October 4th, 2008 at 7:07 am said:

“and that is Linger in Shadows is NOT a game”

“You can also find out a little more about the game here.”

GOTCHA!

Lol, kidding.


20

+ Doctor What on October 4th, 2008 at 7:12 am said:

I’m really excited about this. Thanks for making it, and thanks to Sony for treating us like adults and realising that we can enjoy art and beauty alongside the usual ‘blowing things up with big guns’. It’s exhilarating to see a piece of interactive art being released in such a mainstream way – this is probably the first time that this has ever happened in the history of the world! Everyone involved should be immensely proud. I sincerely hope you reach a price point where people give it a try.

Definitely a day one download for me. I look forward to future works in this direction.


21

+ Jeigh on October 4th, 2008 at 7:24 am said:

PSN is definitely a very unique entity. Not conforming to any one standard of gaming, we have interactive art, a demo in this case, Eye games, a game where the sole purpose is to inflict as much damage on yourself as possible and games like flOw and Flower which I’m not even sure how to describe. You guys are making PSN, and by extension the PS3, awesome. Be proud of that. :D


22

+ SolidSnake500 on October 4th, 2008 at 7:39 am said:

What Jeigh said is so true.

I’m so pleased that PSN isn’t trying to be some cookie-cutter entity trying to cash in on nostalgia and retro gaming, regurgitating the same concepts over again.

Thank you for pushing gaming where it needs to be and not maintaining the status quo. I’m getting tired of guns, aliens, marines, messiah complexes, bland plots (if any), and… well… crap.

Thanks PlayStation. Don’t give up.


23

+ hijaker77 on October 4th, 2008 at 7:43 am said:

Oh I remember downloading this trailer. The trailer was very strange. All it showed was a dog (or a cat????????) from what I remember. Very interesting now… there is more things showing up.
Lets hope more is reveled in the near future.

Thanks for the update and I would like to hear more on the game soon.


24

+ Mana Knight on October 4th, 2008 at 7:45 am said:

Seems really cool to me. I’ll be keeping a watch. :D


25

+ SylarEatsBrains on October 4th, 2008 at 7:45 am said:

I’m intrigued but I have no idea what Rusty’s talking about LOL. Can you upload a vid of someone “playing” this non-game? Just to make more sense of it.


26

+ Onna76_NL on October 4th, 2008 at 7:46 am said:

Hello Rusty, I’m an editor of PS3life.nl and want to make a news item about this interesting game. Do you know if Europe will receive the game simultaneous?

Thank you in advance ;-)

Anouschka


27

+ Argnoth on October 4th, 2008 at 7:48 am said:

So how much will it cost? I highly doubt something this hyped will be free, so give us an idea. How much will your interactive experience cost us?


28

+ THE_TERRORIZER on October 4th, 2008 at 7:48 am said:

haha….either this game is gonna be a genious addition to the ps store, or somebody just got high.
either way, it does look interesting, i havent seen anything like this before. it would be nice if you could post a gameplay video on this.


29

+ bonzaj on October 4th, 2008 at 8:03 am said:

Hello,

I’m one of the authors of “Linger In Shadows”. Thank you all for those great comments. We are still stunned from all the great feedback we received after showing our production to the Breakpoint audience in March this year. I’m very surprised in a positive way that people got interested in a form of digital art that we do. Hopefully you’ll dig by your own for a while in the vast resources of demoscene and also I hope that we’ll not end on this one and try to experiment a little bit more :). Cheers and thanks again!

bonzaj ^ plastic


30

+ Gothdom on October 4th, 2008 at 8:03 am said:

The last demo I checked was a long time ago, but “Second Reality” from the Future Crew was awesome. I wonder what the members of that team are up to now…

Might be interesting, as long as it’s less than 5$.


31

+ TheInfectedBy590 on October 4th, 2008 at 8:10 am said:

I’ve had a preview of Linger in Shadows from the japanese PSN for the longest time, I found it interesting back then and it sound very interesting now, can’t wait to check it out!

Comes out on the same day TGS ’08 starts?
Cool! :D


32

+ obie191970 on October 4th, 2008 at 8:14 am said:

I couldn’t agree more with the comments above. The PSN should be commended for stretching the boundaries in “gaming.” I’ve been keeping my eye on this one and regardless of price, it’s a day 1 download for me for no other reason than to support the work that you guys have done. Well, that and it kind of drips with awesome. Sony is rapidly making the PSN a good enough reason to go and spend your money on a system. Keep it up!


33

+ PSPsGTghOost on October 4th, 2008 at 8:15 am said:

So this isn’t a “game” its a video with sixaxis support?

Sounds funny.


34

+ C-h-a-o-s on October 4th, 2008 at 8:21 am said:

This sounds very cool, I hope the sixaxis wont be clunky like in past games (even though this isn’t a game). I’ll be looking forward to some more info about this, it’s intriguing


35

+ findaway on October 4th, 2008 at 8:25 am said:

I’ve intrigued about this one since i watched the trailer, so i’ll be downloading it on day 1. Glad that’s in the next update already!


36

+ Rogerjak on October 4th, 2008 at 8:30 am said:

I hope you be back soon. I sure as hell need more explanations XD


37

+ KazeEternal on October 4th, 2008 at 8:33 am said:

If it looks like a game, smells like a game, plays like a game, features trophies like a game, then by god it must be a game.

Sorry rusty I disagree this is a game. Video games are experiences and are about interacting with those experiences. There is no solid definition beyond that which defines a game as being an FPS, RPG, Action, Action RPG, Horror, or Community Game like LBP.

Maybe if you didn’t say “it will have trophies” I might be a little more convinced. However people going to be exploring Linger in Shadows for things to unlock trophies and that is no different than looking for stickers in LBP and than getting awarded with trophies for experiencing more of the game. Essentially it sounds like you’ve made a Demoscene Game (scares me that I knew what that was already).

Anyway sounds cool on some level, just hope you don’t plan on charging an outrageous price for it. Hopefully you’ll allow us to unlock stuff that we can use on the XMB for like the background and what not.


38

+ ftwrthtx on October 4th, 2008 at 8:35 am said:

I’m not sure exactly what it is, but it looks good.


39

+ Ajora on October 4th, 2008 at 8:38 am said:

Indeed PSN has a become a place to go. You can find different original things…there is something for everyone now!

I was interested form day one. I’m thrilled to see this post. Thanks Rusty! Linger in the Shadows, flOwer and Fat Princes! I’ll be good ^_^


40

+ FilliamHMuffman on October 4th, 2008 at 8:46 am said:

I’ll check it out if the price is right. I’m not paying $10 for an interactive movie.


41

+ MidgetguyII on October 4th, 2008 at 8:51 am said:

I was highly interested in this the first time that I saw it… and when I heard that it wasn’t exactly a game I wasn’t even turned off a bit! It’s an experience, and no matter what you’re into, be it games, movies, or any other form of media or art, you’re in it for the experience! So, either way, this is a DEFINATE purchase for me!

After doing some searching on youtube, I’ve seen bits and pieces of Linger in the Shadows and it is SPECTACULAR!!!! The beauty, the animations, and especially the music, they all fit just perfectly, and they sort of put me into some mind boggling trance of awesomeness!!!! It’s like a little piece of gaming zen, and I am sure that anybody who has an interest in entertainment in general should and will enjoy this experience over and over and over again!

Thank you SO much for bringing this unique experience to the Playstation community! I can’t thank you enough, for it is projects like this that make the Playstation Network so unique and incredible.

I can’t thank you enough…
-Stephen (Midgetguy)


42

+ iokomo on October 4th, 2008 at 8:54 am said:

Um, soooooo….why would I want this again? I kinda get the art part but its a visual roller coaster that entertains me so I pay for it?
Good luck!


43

+ Drackir on October 4th, 2008 at 9:08 am said:

Wow. This is pretty awesome. I came across the demoscene once a year or two ago while cruising the net. It’s pretty sweet to see more than just games flowing on to the PSN. :D
~


44

+ Masterofallz on October 4th, 2008 at 9:14 am said:

Only on PS3. :D
I’ll be checking this out!


45

+ Sylvrfonic on October 4th, 2008 at 9:20 am said:

There has been so little focus on video games as a new dynamic medium for art. It’s really exciting to be part of new expressionist (in my opinion) art scene if only as a spectator….well, that is until Little big planet comes out.

If anyone is curious about video game art I’d recommend reading Video Game Art by Nic Kelman. It’s a simple but insightful read that breaks down various aspects (character, environment, objects, etc.) of art in games. I think that reading it help me gain a deeper appreciation of the experiences that I found playing games of all types.

Thanks PSN for taking a chance and acknowledging our hobby as a form of art.


46

+ intruder_qc on October 4th, 2008 at 9:21 am said:

hmmm what will be very nice of SCEA is to let other demo group crew to also bring some interesting production to the PS3. I wish I could go on Pouet and see alot of PS3 production in the future.

I was also part of the demoscene on the C-64/Amiga days and it was great!

Please Sony bring the demoscene on the PS3!!!!

Ps. We could do some stuff under Linux on PS3 but we dont have access to the RSX 8-(.

Intruder/Wanted/Optic Vision


47

+ jcasanova on October 4th, 2008 at 9:25 am said:

What can we expect from the “demo”? I mean, is it fun like a game or is it just like an interactive screensaver?

And what the trophies are? how do you achieve goals in this “not game”?

Is there going to be a demo of the “demo”? lol


48

+ roeyehi on October 4th, 2008 at 9:32 am said:

Doctor What and Obie – I am with you. I think Its just wonderful how Sony and co continue to push the boundaries of the PS3 and gaming in general. the PSN itself is becoming quite undergroundish and I think its brave and suprising. this is exctaly how great things are born. Bravo Sony! Bravo “plastic” guys!


49

+ Letters2Kay on October 4th, 2008 at 9:34 am said:

I’m really excited to get my hands on this! It looks gorgeous and bizarre, so what’s not to love? Thank you for creating so many interesting and unique applications for the PS3! :)


50

+ stuartevan on October 4th, 2008 at 9:40 am said:

My guess would be that you use the sixaxis to move the images around to create shadows in certain shapes. But I just woke up so that’s onlyt a half-awake thought.


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