When you’re knee deep in the thick of it, sometimes it’s hard to appreciate all the little things, especially when it comes to the digital worlds we populate, inhabit, and play in. Whether you’re solving a puzzle, destroying the enemy, or simple exploring—respect and perspective are always a part of the equation. For the past 6 years Jasper St. Pierre has been working on tools, like noclip.website, that give players and fans different ways of engaging with some of their favourite titles.
After choosing the desired game and the level, players are able to quite literally noclip their way around the selected space. This proves especially interesting when you start flying around games that already play with perspective, like Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, or exploring the rhetorical design of something like Dark Souls. “I’ve always appreciated the incredible talents of people who craft video game worlds,” St. Pierre tells us, “a lot of them are so well-built I wanted to look at them from other angles. The original tool I built back in 2013 was just because I wanted to see Mario’s Faceship from Super Mario Galaxy 2.”
2013 parks the project right alongside St. Pierre’s work on Dolphin. Regretting not having more time to devote to the emulator, Jasper cites the project’s wonderfully talented community as an influence and motivator. Work on the emulator even helped to develop and improve the accuracy of tools like the GameCube viewer.
noclip.website is a love letter to games—a tool that invites a sense of wonder and discovery. “My favorite is the Hyrule Field map in The Wind Waker,” St. Pierre adds, “[the] skybox is one of my favorite effects that Nintendo’s art team has ever made, and the forced perspective is just absolutely beautiful… The teams, the people that create these things are putting so much love and care and time and energy and their own soul into it, and if you gain a glimpse of that, I’ve done my job.”
With a repository that includes Ocarina of Time, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, Metroid Prime, and dozens of other popular titles, St. Pierre’s exploration tool really does offer gorgeous new lenses through which to observe some classic game worlds. But don’t take our word for it, check it out for yourself and uncover something special! If you’d rather be told what’s beautiful, however, you can listen to our most recent episode of The Goners. Alternatively, if it’s the money side of the biz you’re into, check out how you can buy and sell streamers like shares on the stock market.
Image Sources: From Software, Nintendo via Too Far Gone