Every Game I’ve Finished

Lovers of this fine periodical (for which the period between issues has become grossly distended) would be well advised to visit Every Game I’ve Finished, the latest exp. ‘zine “joint” in which our erstwhile publisher Mathew Kumar discusses each and every game he commits to completing promptly upon their dispatch.

As an official exp. publication, Every Game I’ve Finished is of the highest quality, and interested parties are recommended to join internet “microblogging platform” Tumblr, upon which they may begin “following” Every Game I’ve Finished, and be provided opportunities to “like” and “reblog” favoured articles. Godspeed!

Published by exp. Magazine, on July 8th, 2014. Filed under: NewsNo Comments

Attract Mode

I mentioned when exp.’s first three issues went out-of-print in May that Attract Mode had some old stock lying around, and the site has—after protracted gestation—finally relaunched today. Attract Mode is now a “video game collective” with a range of members including the likes of Cory Schmitz, Zach Gage and Steph Thirion, who will contribute blog posts and curate… things? I declined full membership as I wasn’t sure I could commit to writing posts on the site or generally being involved enough to think myself worthy of having my name up in lights (I still haven’t submitted anything to the relaunch of Insert Credit!) but if I can think of anything to add, I will.

Anyway, the last stock of exp. minus one, zero and infinity are now on sale in the Attract Mode shop powered by Fangamer. This is, genuinely, the final chance to own these issues, and in fact I don’t even know how much stock they have left. Attract Mode’s Matt Hawkins is currently in the process of convincing me to give them what’s left of the exp. minus three issues I had printed for Venus Patrol, so those might get put up on the store too at some point (and those will be the last of those, too.)

Actually, as I write this it seems that exp. infinity has already sold out. Hmm, well… good luck and happy shopping if you’re looking to grab the other remaining issues, then?

Published by Mathew Kumar, on August 6th, 2012. Filed under: NewsNo Comments

OOP

exp. was first published in late 2009. At that count, it’s been published for just under three years, during which I’ve managed to put together a triptych of three issues and two minis. I’ve kept the issues, minus one, zero and infinity, in print, but I’ve decided that it’s finally time to put them to rest.

So! I’m announcing that this weekend’s Toronto Comics Art Festival is the last time I am going to sell them. On Friday evening I’ll be closing our online store, so if you’d like to purchase issues from me before then, get your orders in quick: especially as I’m not doing a final printing, and my stock is very low for certain issues (at the current count, I think I only have about six issues of infinity left, and I wouldn’t complain if I got to TCAF with none in hand.) I’ll also be removing the download link for exp. minus infinity, so consider yourself warned. However, as a thanks for your support, until I close the shop I’ll be chucking in a pin set with every order, because why not.

Now: you might have some questions. First thing I’m going to admit is that although exp. is officially going out of print, there’s still some stock floating about out there (I think Quimby’s, for example, still has issues) and I can promise you that when the Attract Mode online store re-opens, they will have a small stock of the original triptych for posterity’s sake. But those issues will, eventually, be gone too. And then there’s no more! (Serious.)

(Oh, if you’re wondering: At TCAF I’ll be selling the issues at the Attract Mode table being curated by Matt Hawkins.)

Second, you might wonder why I’m bothering to put them out of print. Well, something I particularly realized while working on the minis, both of which had intentionally limited runs (though I might have some “Venus Patrol” issues of minus three for sale at TCAF too, though, ahem, I haven’t run that past Brandon Boyer yet) is that print doesn’t have to be “forever.” Part of what makes exp. special to me is that it’s not the internet (“duh”–everyone) where everything you have written is always available, no matter whether you still believe it or not. Am I proud of every issue of exp.? Of course. Do I still believe everything I’ve written in it? Possibly not. I think continuing to personally go to the effort to sell the issues as is implies that they continue to represent me, and I don’t think that’s true. It’s simply time to move on to the next step.

And by next step, I do mean for myself and exp.: while my career currently (working as a designer and producer on Queasy Games’ upcoming Sound Shapes) has made it impossible to give exp. my all, I intend to return with future issues when I can. I dearly wish to. And in the meantime, I continue to update our Tumblr and Twitter, so there’s that!

Published by Mathew Kumar, on May 1st, 2012. Filed under: NewsNo Comments

exp.alt

expalt.tumblr.com

Published by exp. Magazine, on February 2nd, 2012. Filed under: NewsNo Comments

Minus Three: Black Days: E3 2011 Now Available

Produced in association with (and at the behest of) Superbrothers Inc., exp. minus three: Black Days: E3 2011 was created to be distributed at the Midsummer Rockshowcase, an event held on Thursday, June 30th 2011 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto featuring the music from Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP as performed live by Jim Guthrie.

In an unprecedented collaboration for exp. Magazine, Superbrothers Inc. provided cover artwork and an introduction to the content, which remains entirely written by Mathew Kumar. The twenty-page “mini” features non-traditional coverage of the Electronics Entertainment Expo 2011 and a thematically-connected postscript on Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP, that more closely follows the style established in the first three issues of exp. (and which received no editorial influence from the issue’s underwriters.)

Though produced in a limited edition only for the Midsummer Rockshowcase, we can offer the remaining overstock (serendipitously, fifty-two issues) for sale online. As the content is specific to the context of the weeks following the Electronics Entertainment Expo 2011, there will be no reprint. Issues are being sold on a first-come, first-serve basis from our Big Cartel shop.

Buy Now: Sold Out

Published by exp. Magazine, on July 13th, 2011. Filed under: NewsNo Comments

Minus Two: The Legend of Zelda Now Available

exp. minus two is something a little different.

It wasn’t meant to be this way; I had the best intentions to finally reach the fabled “issue one” of exp. in time for the Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2011, but as the festival approached it became increasingly clear such a huge task was not going to be realistic. I decided I would take a different tact, and in order to still have something to launch at the festival I decided to–as many zine and comic creators do–create a “mini”; a small booklet, maybe only a few pages long, that would offer something different to the usual exp. especially for the TCAF audience. To use a music analogy, if the previous issues of exp. were EPs, I was burning out on trying to create our album (issue one) and so decided to break it up with a quick single.

exp. minus two: The Legend of Zelda still fits that analogy, but rather than a mere single, think of it as a limited edition seven-inch. At least partially inspired by a recent playthrough of the original 1986 NES Legend of Zelda was, exp. minus two is a short story that in final form far exceeded what I originally expected of my “mini”: it’s fifty-two pages long and features a special linen paper cover with hand-painted, individually unique gold detailing. Due to the personal nature of the content and form, I limited the printing to fifty-two copies, of which the majority were sold at TCAF. I was (unfortunately) only able to hold five copies to be sold online.

I’m not sure–though I doubt–that this book will be ever printed again, so this may be your only chance to own a copy (and I guarantee that this book will never be printed again in the same format, nor will the content ever appear online.) They are being sold on a first-come, first-serve basis at the same price they were sold at TCAF from our Big Cartel shop.

Buy now: Sold Out

Published by Mathew Kumar, on May 17th, 2011. Filed under: News6 Comments

Pin Set Now Available

“We decided to proclaim our dislike of one of the weakest bands on the planet by putting out these shirts … the thing about the shirt is it’s like a dictionary definition. Blur: are shite. It’s factual and if there’s any legal problems about it I’ll go to court as someone who has studied music so I can prove they are shite.” – Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite, discussing the band’s controversial Blur: are shite/Mogwai: are tremendous t-shirts with the NME in 1999.

First revealed at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2011, the kotaku is shite/exp. is tremendous two-piece one inch pin set is now available.

Buy now: Sold Out

Published by exp. Magazine, on May 17th, 2011. Filed under: NewsNo Comments

Gamercamp 2010 Keynote

On November 13th, 2010 at the Toronto Underground Cinema, I performed the closing keynote of the first day of Gamercamp 2010, entitled “We Are All Trapped In The Belly Of This Horrible Machine And The Machine Is Bleeding To Death.” You can view it below (warning: infrequent strong language which suddenly becomes very frequent towards the end).

(While the slides are somewhat necessary to the flow of the talk, you can download an MP3 here too.)

As the talk was performed over three months ago, I think it does need some context, so I’ve thrown together some quick notes and links for anyone interested.

Read more…?

Published by Mathew Kumar, on February 25th, 2011. Filed under: ArticlesNo Comments

Issue Minus/Infinity Now Available

Launched at Gamercamp 2010, the latest issue of exp. is now available in two flavours: exp. minus infinity, a free PDF, and exp. infinity, a print edition available for sale from the expdot.com shop.

This third issue of exp. is the final part of an initial trilogy of ‘zines in which the content is entirely written and produced by Mathew Kumar. As with previous issues, minus/infinity features several experiential articles considering the games Mathew experienced between the 5th of May and the 10th of November 2010.

In this issue:

- The Misadventures of PB Winterbottom (A title card sequence)
- Nelson Tethers: Puzzle Agent (A puzzle page)
- Alan Wake (A collection of lost lost manuscript pages)
- VVVVVV (A different way of looking at things)
- Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies (A party of friends)
- Patchwork Heroes (A lazy demand) (print exclusive!)
- exp.ress Mail (A star letter)

Editor’s note: exp. minus/infinity continues the experimentation of the first two issues by forming a “sampler” diptych: as requested by many, readers can now sample the content via a PDF before choosing to graduate (or not) to the print edition. exp. is a print magazine and I intend to keep it as such; this issue, while currently a “one-off,” may however influence our future direction.

Read now: PDF
Buy now: Sold Out

Published by exp. Magazine, on November 19th, 2010. Filed under: NewsNo Comments

1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die

I’m not sure if anyone would argue that video game journalism is a rewarding profession. In fact, arguing that it’s a profession at all is stretching it in most people’s opinion. So to see my work included in a book that is emblazoned “Selected and Written by Leading International Critics” is something of a benchmark in my career.

Available now in the US, Canada, the UK and probably other countries whose version of Amazon I can’t be bothered to search (sorry) 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die is a genuinely beautiful book, and something that strikes me is not simply that I’m (implicitly) included as a “leading international critic” but the company I keep as such, with the book featuring writing from Brandon Boyer, Kieron Gillen, Simon Parkin and many other of my most admired contemporaries. Pouring over it, in fact, I’d go as far as to argue that it’s not so much the games that are essential as the writing about them; this book is a wonderful reference piece if you want to get an honest opinion and historical context for pretty much any worthwhile game in the last 40 years written by someone whose opinion counts. I expect I’ll be referring to this rather than the traditional (and lazy) Google/Wikipedia/Mobygames trifecta when requiring a little background on a certain game that’s slipped my memory.

I was–unfortunately–only able to contribute a small number of the entries in this tome and with no author index (an oversight, I think) there’s no quick way to find my articles in particular. So in the interest of self-interest, here’s the list. All my entries are marked MKu in the book:

Read more…?

Published by Mathew Kumar, on October 26th, 2010. Filed under: Articles,News4 Comments