The genius and artistry behind Superbrothers and the making of an indie video game, from inception to its highly anticipated launch with PlayStation 5.
About a decade ago, there emerged from the very corporate world of videogames a new trend, “indie games,” made by small teams with small budgets, with an aesthetic much closer to that of punk rock or modernist fiction, and informed by GamerGate. Sword and Sworcery, by Superbrothers (Craig D. Adams), was at the forefront of this movement. Superbrothers’ follow-up game, Jett: The Far Shore, has been nearly ten years in the making, during which everything about videogames changed.
Adam Hammond, a professor of digital media, has been following the process of Jett’s creation, from early visits and wild conversations with Adams and his developer as they imagined the game that would become Jett. Into their process comes philosophy, otherworldly escapism, and debates on how culture is formed. An artist’s need for self-expression, the self-doubt of failure, and the rapture of success.
Half a story of the game’s genesis and half a consideration of the history and place of the “indie game,” The Far Shore is a riveting look behind the curtain at one of our most popular and influential art forms.
Adam Hammond is Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Literature in the Digital Age: A Critical Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2016) and co-author of Modernism: Keywords (2014). His writing has appeared in The Walrus, The Literary Review of Canada, and The Globe and Mail, and his work hasbeen profiled in Wired and on BBC and CBC radio.