Arcane Kids

"edutainment is NOT A CRIME"
Interview by Asher Penn
Photo by Yuliy

Artwork by ________

ashermixtapehell: the one from zineth?
lordanime: its kind of a theme
lordanime: disappointment
lil_vertex: mirage cat was its own game originally that we made for the arcade
lordanime: you would trudge into the desert for just a little too long
ashermixtapehell: hahaha
lil_vertex: yeah you were trying to reach mirage cat
lil_vertex: but like... u knew the reality of it
lordanime: it was fun in the venue because people would hype each other up about mirage cat
ashermixtapehell: did you build arcade boxes?
lordanime: we would find computers in the campuses electronic waste
lordanime: then yeah, cardboard
lil_vertex: ya all our gear was from the dump
yuliy: lordanime found a lot of tvs on the road
lil_vertex: we had a pretty sweet stack of old TVs at one point
lordanime: there is a no backsies song about it

Nudo Trailer, 2010

ashermixtapehell: did you ever make it to babycastles when it was at silent barn?
lordanime: nooooo :(
lordanime: but that was like our inspiration
lil_vertex: me and yuliy got to see the space at the silent barn but it wasnt running at the time
lil_vertex: at the ZOMBIE DOGS show
lil_vertex: but ya never actually been to a bbcastle show
ashermixtapehell: so are there a buncha early arcane kids games that are unreleased?
lil_vertex: yeah theres a lot of early trash thats unreleased
lil_vertex: NUDO was maybe the first branded arcane kids game?
lil_vertex: zineth was after that
lordanime: there was another in between that, lil_vertex does not want to talk about
ashermixtapehell: wait, whats nudo?
lil_vertex: nudo was a puzzle game, basically pre-arcane kids as we r now
ashermixtapehell: how did zineth start?
lordanime: that was a project for class
ashermixtapehell: like senior thesis or something?
lordanime: yeah it was basically our final project

Zineth Artwork by ______, 2012

ashermixtapehell: there are 7 people credited with the game
lordanime: yeah other people in that class
lordanime: we were trying to do something big in a small amount of time
lordanime: so it was good to have other teammates
ashermixtapehell: yeah, i really didn't understand how a game like that could be created in a matter of months
lil_vertex: nosleep
lil_vertex: nosleep.borntoride
ashermixtapehell: what was the concept behind zenith?
lil_vertex: ZINEth
lil_vertex: spelling is crucial 2 the theme
coolatv99: its a pun
lordanime: coolatv99 grew up on puns
lordanime: is it even a pun?
lil_vertex: portmanteau?
ashermixtapehell: like zine fair zine?
lordanime: the concept was, wouldn't it be cool to just skate a round in a big desert, while trying to play a cellphone game

Zineth Trailer, 2012

ashermixtapehell: yeah that does sound cool
lordanime: we also wanted to just put random zine pages in the world
lil_vertex: the framing is that your job is to deliver zines
ashermixtapehell: yeah, it was weird, it reminded me of when i worked at printed matter
ashermixtapehell: i did that kinda shit
lil_vertex: haha nice
ashermixtapehell: except i couldn't fly and stuff
lil_vertex: and probably no virtual pets to keep u company...
ashermixtapehell: yeah it sucked
lil_vertex: lol
ashermixtapehell: i love zineth. ive never played a game like it.
 ashermixtapehell: ZINEth

lil_vertex: theres some stuff thats kinda similar
lil_vertex: haha
lil_vertex: its like....... a game u can hang out in
lil_vertex: i like that vibe in games
lordanime: there is a multiplayer mode
ashermixtapehell: really?
lil_vertex: oh yeahhhhh

Zineth

lordanime: one night we just played through a bunch of mario kart levels
lil_vertex: hahaha yeah there were custom levels
lil_vertex: rainbow road
lordanime: it was really fun
lil_vertex: those were like gamecube rips right?
coolatv99: game cube iso rips
lordanime: that is something we are trying to have at the core of perfect stride
lordanime: multiplayer that isn't impossible to find
lil_vertex: perfect stride is a LIFESTYLE game
lordanime: just hanging out
ashermixtapehell: it seems like zineth is inspired by the principles of skateboarding on a conceptual level
lil_vertex: appropriating capitalist architecture
ashermixtapehell: right
lil_vertex did a GNARLY KICKFLIP
ashermixtapehell did a WICKED OLLIE

Perfect Stride Trailer, 2013

lordanime: we never try to simulate the actual mechanics of things, just the emotions
lordanime: mostly because its easier
lil_vertex: ya u can get closer to it that way i think
lil_vertex: its VERY emotional
ashermixtapehell: so the concept of perfect stride is that tony hawk didn't land the 900?
lordanime: we just claimed that to increase blogability
ashermixtapehell: do you have a problem with skateboarding games?
lil_vertex: skate 3 is maybe one of the objectively best games
yuliy: real talk…
lil_vertex: did u know mark mothersbaugh composed some of the dynamic music in that game....
ashermixtapehell: so just corporate skateboarding games
lil_vertex: ya the 900 triggered an explosion of corporate skateboarding
lil_vertex: in the perfect stride universe its an apocalypse though
lil_vertex: the game takes place inside geocities
lil_vertex: so like all of the environments are the architectural versions of personal web pages
ashermixtapehell: wow
lil_vertex: the game is operating in that same space, its this dying web

Perfect Stride 

ashermixtapehell: which is like escape from LA
ashermixtapehell: how much more time do you guys have?
lordanime: we are all 18+ so plenty of time
lil_vertex PUTS ON JOHN CARPENTER SOUNDTRACK
lil_vertex: i can answer a few more
ashermixtapehell: whats the story with the manifesto?
lordanime: search engine optimisation
lil_vertex: its a collection of a bunch of ideas and themes that come up in our conversations
lil_vertex: idk a lot of ppl reach out to us because they want to do the kind of stuff we do
ashermixtapehell: yeah i saw your guestbook. people are stoked
lil_vertex: we wanted to be like: here are some of the things we're thinking about in our work
lil_vertex: it was more to get other people thinking critically about their games tho
ashermixtapehell: do you think that people aren't critical enough?
lordanime: we will be critical enough for everyone

Arcane Kids Manife$to

ashermixtapehell: do you have plans to enlist more arcane kids?
lil_vertex: we have pretty huge plans to expand...
coolatv99: !
lordanime: the tokyo branch
lil_vertex: Apps division
lil_vertex: Publishing & Acquisitions
coolatv99: money pit
ashermixtapehell: hahahah
ashermixtapehell: are you guys into art? the whole james turrell moca thing doesn’t seem random
lil_vertex: yeah i feel like games have so much to learn from art
lordanime: and the scene has a lot to not learn from the art scene
lil_vertex: hahah
lil_vertex: bubsy is about wonder................
lil_vertex: like i actually really wanted people to learn about james turrells work
ashermixtapehell: yeah it seemed to come from a genuine place
lil_vertex: the game sabotages itself by ruthelessly using game techniques like collectibles
lordanime: imagine experiencing something as someone who is basically a baby ( bubsy )
lordanime: only knows his game world

Bubsy 3D

ashermixtapehell: kinda the best way to experience art
lordanime: i'd be tearing up
lil_vertex: the museum level ends with that one piece
lil_vertex: i forget the name, its the huge room with a pink void
lil_vertex: i spent a really long time in there
dlil_vertex: i cried
lordanime: it does really mess with parts of your brain you have no control over
lil_vertex: his work w/ light and space reminded me of the way video games captivated me
coolatv99: i saw it after playing the game and was not that impressed
lil_vertex: LOL
lil_vertex: it was also really inspired by the one quote that was in the game
coolatv99: (joke) (it was p good)
lil_vertex: if ur using light to tell a story ur using the power of stories, not the power of light
lil_vertex: (incredibly bad paraphrasing)
ashermixtapehell: ok cool
ashermixtapehell: i think that is a good spot to end the interview
lil_vertex: kool
ashermixtapehell: you guys rule
lil_vertex: nah u rule
ashermixtapehell: thank you again arcane kids
ashermixtapehell did a GNARLY OLLIE

Perfect Stride 

From Sex Magazine #10 Spring 2015
Labelled Video Games