Songs of Video Games Playlist

Version Française après !

by Lisa Schaeffer

As we were listening to Bioshock Infinite’s “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” cover, we had a YouTube recommendation for another video game song. We started building a little playlist, and we’ve found enough to give it a real purpose.

The rules are quite simple: only songs – sung lyrics – composed for a video game.

Many songs were created for movies, animated or live action, from famous Disney songs to aptly named ‘musicals’. Not long after a lot of them became popular, then classics.

Video game music isn’t new, but it was only in 2010 that ‘Baba Yetu’ – main theme of 2005 Civilization IV – got nominated, and won the “Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)” category.
Before that, the Spike Video Game Awards (VGA) and VGX had a several music categories, from 2003 to 2013.

It is a mesmerizing soundtrack, the vocalists are fantastic, and Christopher Tin’s music composition gives epic and hopeful dimensions to the track. The lyrics are a Swahili translation of the Lord’s Prayer.

We couldn’t help but notice a fading, but existing, difference between English and French:
It is far more common to use song for any kind of track in English, here, look at > this < : in every “10 SONGS” article, you’ll find less than 3 actual songs, meaning, sung lyrics.

In French, we’re sliding towards this too, people gets less and less angry if you say ‘DAMN THIS MUSIC IS MY JAM’ when it’s actually a song, and so on.
But I’ll never forget the difference thanks to my highschool music teacher’s stare.
We’ll continue to add songs from your suggestions! Tweet us @themgames with the link and leave the rest to us!

C’est parti d’une énième écoute de la cover “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” dans Bioshock Infinite. Puis d’une recommandation YouTube avisée.
Et ça s’est fini en playlist et maintenant, on continue en curation !

Les règles sont simples, seulement des chansons, avec des paroles, composées pour un jeu vidéo.

Beaucoup de chansons ont été composées pour le cinéma, que ça soit en animation ou en comédies musicales, et sont devenus des succès.

Or il a fallu attendre 2010 pour que ‘Baba Yetu’, le thème principal de Civilization IV sorti en 2005 soit nominé aux Grammy Awards et gagne cette compétition dans la catégorie “Meilleure composition musicale accompagnant un choeur” (“Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)”, la catégorie va encore changer de nom en 2015).
Les Spike Video Game Awards (VGA) et VGX, de 2003 à 2013, avaient plusieurs catégories musicales

La composition de Christopher Tin ajoute ce qu’il faut de grandiose aux choeurs, dont les paroles sont une traduction Swahili de la prière Pater Noster.

Ce qui ressort de cette playlist est le manque de clarté dans l’univers musical du jeu vidéo :
Lors de nos recherches nous avons remarqué que les anglophones utilisent beaucoup ‘song’ quand bien même le morceau est entièrement musical.
Nous, francophones, on se fait reprendre en 5° au collège par le prof de musique qui t’enlève deux points pour avoir écrit ‘musique’ au lieu de ‘chanson’. Pas juste.

La playlist va s’étendre et s’affiner, et ce grâce à vos suggestions !
Envoyez-nous vos chansons de jeu sur notre twitter @themgames, on se charge du reste !

Fresh, homemade DOTA 2 data!

By Lisa Schaeffer and Oscar Barda

An Introduction
We play an unreasonable amount of DOTA 2 here at Them Games. In fact, we play it so much that given our jobs as game makers, we couldn’t but notice that no new hero has been added to DOTA 1 since May 2013 (Nerif the Oracle and Kaolin the Earth Spirit were then ported to Dota 2 and modified but no new design has surfaced in the last 2 years).
But if you caught the DOTA train after the DOTA 2 stop, you might not know that Heroes used to be designed by the community. People would ping the designers or just add new heroes themselves (because DOTA was a map made in the Warcraft 3 editor so anyone could edit it).

Nowadays, Dota 2 belongs to Valve and although modding is being added as we speak, there will still always be an official DOTA 2 on one side (with millions of dollars in the balance) and community created maps, mods, and Heroes on the other.
So to herald the coming (back) of the age of people creating their own Heroes (and we’re probably going to be among them, teasing teasing teasing) we went on to compile a heap of informations about all these characters.
What kind of stats would be interesting, what conclusion do you make of them combined?
Note: We have a lot of ideas and this article will change very soon, send us your feedback!

Gradient Classification

DOTA 2 Heroes Gradient

Heroes Classification by Main Color
Click to fullview – Cliquez pour agrandir

DOTA 2 Heroes are designed by Valve with specific color palettes and settings.
For more information on Valve’s take on character design in DOTA 2, here’s the Official Character Guide, with explanations on the palettes, settings, silhouettes, and much more!
Now, what kind of useful information this homemade gradient classification can give us?
First, there aren’t a lot of Cyan/Green Characters, and a lot of Blue & Red ones.
We cannot say that it is a ‘Dire is red, Radiant is blue’ (Roshan is coming for you) separation as Heroes are mixed in both colors.
Second, most Heroines are in the blue-ish area, the four exceptions being Lina, Windranger, Enchantress, and Queen of Pain. Again, that is not really a hint for their alliegance, as Lina is on the Radiant side and Queen of Pain on the Dire side of life.

Races of DOTA 2

The goal of this table is to allow you to see what races and species already exist in the Dota 2 universe and get inspired (maybe you would like a character to be the cousin or the kin of another hero, or maybe they’d be the worst enemy of your favourite hero or a cursed Wildling or ride a Thunderhide?).

We’ll say our thanks to Hefaistus and 1337_n00b of the DOTA 2 Dev forum for this Lore Thread.
It’s not perfect: we grabbed information from comics, official lore, DOTA 2’s Gamepedia (thank you so much guys), facial features (like ears, eye shapes etc.) body types and body features (number of fingers, tails, fins etc.) and… Yes, personal cuts. We had to, really, there’s just not enough information to actually sort the 110 heroes (without even counting the two yet-to-be-released ones) without making some choices. Otherwise it would have been 110 individual rows.
Its race section is more than useful to understand how difficult it is to choose either a race or a category. For exemple:

  • Dazzle & Huskar are both from the Dezun Tribe.
  • Huskar has been brought back to life, he’s Undead, right?
  • But they both share physical Troll traits with Shadow Shaman & Troll Warlord.
  • What do??

Well, we had to choose, and it’s not perfect, but the lore isn’t either, yet is deepened with each new Hero. Stay alert!

Race Name Heroines & Heroes N# of Heroes
Keen Folk Alchemist Techies Sniper Tinker Clockwerk Gyrocopter Timbersaw 7
Oglodi Axe Disruptor Warlock 3
Ogres Ogre Magi [Alchemist’s Ogre] [Ogre Creeps] 1
Trolls Witch Doctor Troll Warlord Shadow Shaman Dazzle Huskar Batrider [Troll Creeps] 6
Celestials Storm Spirit Ember Spirit Earth Spirit Brewmaster 4
Undead Lifestealer Undying Wraith King Death Prophet Lich Clinkz Razor Necrophos Phantom Lancer Kunkka Vengeful Spirit Abaddon Pudge Pugna [Ghost Creeps] 14
Plants & Animals Broodmother Sand King Nyx Assassin Venomancer Weaver Treant Protector Ursa [Wolf Creeps] [Harpy Creeps] [Wildwing Creeps] [Hellbear Creeps] [Thunderhide Creeps] 7
Slithereen Slardar Naga Siren Tidehunter Slark 4
Godlike Zeus Io Medusa Elder Titan Phoenix Keeper of the Light 6
Humanoids Mirana Luna Lina Crystal Maiden Windranger Phantom Assassin Templar Assassin Legion Commander Beastmaster Chen Lone Druid Anti-Mage Sven Omniknight Dragon Knight Lycan Silencer Invoker 18
Skywrath Skywrath Mage 1
Gargoyles Visage 1
Demons Doom Shadow Demon Shadow Fiend Terrorblade Bane Queen of Pain Lion 7
Halfsteeds Centaur Warrunner (Centaur)
Enchantress (Dryad) Magnus (Magnoceroi) Leshrac (Prob Dryad)
Elementals Ancient Apparition Spirit Breaker Morphling Tiny Earthshaker Chaos Knight Spectre Nature’s Prophet Enigma [Golem Creeps] [Golem Ancient Creeps] 9
Drakes Jakiro Winter Wyvern Viper Puck [Dragon Ancient Creeps] 4
Uniques Tusk Juggernaut Oracle Meepo Drow Ranger Bloodseeker Dark Seer Rubick Outworld Devourer Bristleback Nightstalker Bounty Hunter Faceless Void 13
Satyrs Riki (Satyr) [Satyr Creeps] 1


  • Out of 18 Humanoids, only 4 are people of color: Chen, Windranger, Legion Commander, and Anti-Mage to an extent.
  • Lifestealer might be an Oglodi, according to a response from Bristleback.
  • Shadow Shaman is half something, half Hill Troll.
  • Brewmaster is half something, half Celestial.
  • Phantom Lancer might be dead.
  • Vengeful Spirit has been torn apart then ‘recreated’ into a pure form of Vengeance by the goddess Skree’auk.
  • Pugna might be an undead entity controlled by a juvenile but powerful Grandmaster whose Temple turned to ashes, and we do not know what became of his body… So Pugna the character could just be a vessel, mentally controlled by another person… Lore theories, I swear.
  • The Slithereen are an underwater, cross-species elite, between Nagas and others.
  • Elementals have a connection with nature, without being almighty like the Celestials. Chaos Knight embodies the battle of Darkness against Light. Nature’s Prophet is a seed planted by a goddess. And so on.
  • Uniques are the last of their species, such as the Juggernaut, last of the Faceless Ones, or Outworld Devourer, last keeper of the edge of the world… or we just don’t know, like Oracle or Dark Seer.

Heroes Repartition by Side per Attribute

DOTA 2 Heroes Gradient

Heroes Classification by Attributes
Click to fullview – Cliquez pour agrandir

[Radiant is Green – Dire is Red – Abyssal Underlord & Arc Warden have been added]
The repartition between attributes is fairly balanced:

  • There are more Radiant Heroes than Dire Heroes, so there can’t be any 50/50, but 59 to 51. That ain’t bad.
  • By Attribute: AGI 35 < STR 37 < INT 40
  • The main difference lies in the Strength Heroes, at 16 for the Dire and 21 for the Radiant.
  • There are more Intelligence Heroes
More stats on Attributes and Roles

Officially, Heroes and Heroines can have multiple roles, between Carry, Disabler, Lane Support, Initiator, Jungler, Durable, Nuker, Pusher, Escape, and Support.
For example, Sven has officially four roles: Disabler, Initiator, Carry, and Support.

On Strength Heroes
There are 37 Strength Heroes. Of these, the most prominent role is Durable with 29 Heroes.
This is noteworthy as ‘Durable’ isn’t a term widely used in the community vocabulary, compared to ‘Carry’, or ‘Support’. But it is logical, as Strength adds hit points.
There is only one Female Strength Hero, Legion Commander.
There are two Neutral Strength Heroes, Phoenix and Io.

On Agility Heroes
Most of Agility Heroes are Carry, with 29 Heroes sharing this role out of 35.
This is the category in which there are the most Female Heroes, up to 9, almost all of them having mainly a Carry role.

On Intelligence Heroes
In this category, 26 out of 40 have a Nuker role. ‘Nuker’ is used, but ‘Ganker’ is way more used in the community.
Here, there are most of Neutral Heroes: Puck, Visage, and Ancient Apparition.
Also, here is the rest of Female Heroes, up to 7.

Heroes Repartition by Gender per Side

DOTA 2 Heroes Gradient

Heroes Classification by Gender
Click to fullview – Cliquez pour agrandir

[Neutrals are Green – Females are Blue – Males are Red]
This pie chart is far more interesting, as it shows us the repartition by gender of all Heroes.
For example, Broodmother as the feminine pronouns (she/her), she’s female. Puck has neutral pronouns (it/its), it’s neutral.
Males are pretty obvious.

  • Ok, so we’ve got a lot of dudes here, but combined with what we know of the races, few of them are Human-like (10 out of 87) the rest beings Insectoids, Elementals, and the likes.
  • Totally on the contrary, nearly half of the Heroines are Humans (8 out of 18). Is there a lack of imagination in Heroines Designs? Maaaaybe. It’s noteworthy that Death Prophet, Naga Siren, and Queen of Pain have Human-like features.
  • Again on the Heroines, there’s a clear majority on the Radiant Side, with two third, and one third on the Dire Side. All Dire Heroines are non-Humans.
  • Now, on the Neutrals: they aren’t a lot, but they matter.
    Most DOTA 2 players think Puck is female because of its voice actress. Its creature design tending toward blue and purple/pink colors would confirm that, but the lore says clearly ‘it’.
    Another case would be Visage, why would it be Neutral while most of Heroes don’t have more male attributes in their designs? For example, Viper, Outworld Devourer, or Morphling? We’ll never know.

As you can see, DOTA 2 has a lot of different races and backgrounds, yet genders are still pretty much like they are on Earth: males, females, and some animals or otherworldly entities that just don’t like to be called either he or she.
We at Them Games feel that there are too many dicks on the dancefloor and urge you, if you were to create some new heroes for DOTA 2, to create Big women, old women, tall and short neutral people, various shapes and races and colors! Make the world of DOTA 2 a weird and interesting one to play in! It’s a game in which you can play an Undead Oglodi, a Greek god, and monsters from the infinite corners of the universe…
Why not a more diverse crowd?

Petits essais dessinés ep.7 Le sens de l’urgence

Oscar (@Osskx) aborde une problématique du game design :
comment faire ressentir l’urgence dans un jeu ?

Forces du Mal menaçant de conquérir le monde en 200 heures de jeu ; explosions de vaisseaux à rallonge ; énigmes infinies… Toute la cohésion d’une histoire est en jeu lors de ces moments critiques, alors qu’elles sont les pièges à éviter et les pistes possibles d’amélioration ?

Et n’oubliez pas de venir nous dire ce que vous en pensez sur les réseaux sociaux !
Ici pour Twitter
Ici pour Facebook !
Ou sur notre site

The Legend of Zelda : Ocarina of Time
Broken Age, Double Fine
The Witcher 3 :
Red Dead Redemptio
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Un Béluga
Massive Chalice
Fable III

A très bientôt pour de nouvelles vidéos !

Petits essais dessinés ep.6 Le controller hacking et les expositions de jeux vidéo

Oscar Barda (@Osskx) regarde en détail ce que c’est que le controller hacking et sa place dans l’avenir du jeu vidéo et plus spécifiquement des expositions de jeu vidéo ! En bonus, Oscar nous présente des exemples qu’il a filmé lors de Alt ctrl GDC.

Où trouver des jeux avec du controller hacking ou du controller modding ?
ALT CTRL GDC (Los Angeles – États-Unis)

A MAZE. FESTIVAL (Berlin – Allemagne)

ZOO MACHINES (Tourcoing – France)

Et n’oubliez pas de venir nous dire ce que vous en pensez sur les réseaux sociaux !
Ici pour Twitter
Ici pour Facebook !

A très bientôt !

Petits Essais Dessinés Ep.5 : La pédagogie dans le jeu

Oscar Barda (@Osskx) fait petit topo sur l’intelligence intuitive, l’intelligence déductive et comment les jeux vous apprennent des choses.

(Ludo-éducatif) Adibou

(Ludo-éducatif) L’odyssée des Zombinis

(Serious-Game) Dragonbox Algebra

(Serious-Game) The Best Amendement

Et n’oubliez pas de venir nous dire ce que vous en pensez sur les réseaux sociaux !
Ici pour Twitter
Ici pour Facebook !

A très bientôt !

Petits essais dessinés Ep.4 : La culture du jeu vidéo

Aujourd’hui on discute d’un outil que nous sommes en train de créer : la carte du monde du jeu vidéo.
Dans le petit essai dessiné de cette semaine, Oscar vous la présente et vous l’explique :

Voici la carte :
La culture du jeu vidéo

Alors rendez-vous dans les commentaires, sur Youtube ou sur les réseaux sociaux pour nous filer un coup de main !

A non-exhaustive list of Game-Jam-made games

Game Jam Preserve

By Lisa Schaeffer

Here it comes, a new article from Them Games!
So we went looking over the internet but could not, for the life of us, find a list of video games made during game jams – a sort of compendium of success stories if you will!
Of course, this list is far from complete, and will be updated as jams and time pass.
Drop us some names in the comments or by email, we’ll be pleased to add them!

So here it is, in all its glory:


Classroom Aquatic Oculus VR Jam 2013 Steam, Oculus Rift
0rbitalis LD28 You Only Get One Steam
Evoland LD24 Evolution Steam, GOG
Surgeon Simulator Global Game Jam 2013 iOS, Android, PS4, Steam
/ Escape \ LD21 Escape iOS, Android
Sputnik Panik Flappy Jam 2014 Android, iOS, Ouya
SUPERHOT 7DFPS Jam 2013 In dev
Gods Will be Watching LD26 Minimalism Steam, Humble
Deadcore (Deadlock) 7DFPS 2012 Steam, Desura
Inside my Radio LD23 Tiny World Steam
Costume Quest Amnesia Fortnight Double Fine iOS, XBLA, PS3, Steam
Stacking Amnesia Fortnight Double Fine PS3, Steam, 360
Goat Simulator Coffee Stain Studios jam 2014 Steam, iOS, Android, Xbox One/360
1 shot 1 kill LD28 You Only Get One In dev
TRI : Of Frienship & Madness LD20 It’s Dangerous, Take This! Steam, GOG,, Humble
QbQbQb LD26 Minimalism Steam, Humble, iOS, Android
The Sun and Moon LD29 Beneath the Surface Steam
Titan Souls LD28 You Only Get One Steam, PS4/PSVita, GOG
Broforce LD23 Tiny World Steam, Humble
Retro Game Crunch LD24 Evolution Steam, Humble
KRUNCH MiniLD21 Greatest Fear Steam, Humble
Dynamite Jack LD6 Light&Darkness SteamiOS
Galcon Fusion LD8 Swarms Steam, iOS, Android
Galcon Legends LD8 Swarms Steam, Android
Galcon 2 LD8 Swarms Steam, iOS
McPixel LD21 Escape Steam, Humble, Android, iOS,
Mini Metro LD26 Minimalism Steam, Humble
Color Zen LargeAnimalsGames Pjct Days 3DS/Wii U, iOS 
Tiny Hawk LD11 Minimalist PSN
Fishslap MiniLD24 Pick’n’Mix Android
Super t i m e Force Toronto, Ontario Game Jam 2011 XBLA, XBox One, PS4/Vita, Steam, Humble
Connected Words LD30 Connected Worlds iOS, Amazon
Soccertron LD28 You Only Get One Steam
Dodge LD26 Minimalism Steam
Vaults inc LD29 Beneath the Surface Still in dev (PC, Mac, Android, iOS)
Singular LD28 You Only Get One, iOS, Android
In vivo LD27 10 Seconds Humble,
Bad Hotel LD20 It’s Dangerous to go Alone! Take this! Steam, iOS, Android
Vox LD23 Tiny World Steam, Desura
Quiet, please! LD22 Alone PSMobile, Android, iOS, Amazon
Expand Adelaide GamesDevClub Jam ‘10 In dev
Even The Stars Space Cowboy Game Jam
Mew-genics LD24 Evolution  After HL3
Offspring Fling 2011 Game Jeam ‘Motherhood’ Steam, Desura
Darknet (Ciess) Oculus/Indiecade VR Jam Oculus + ?
The Binding of Isaac ‘Weeklong game jam’ Steam, PSVita/PS4
Pew*9 Global Game Jam 2011 XBLIG
Hex Heroes School Jam 2013 In dev
The Last Night Cyberpunk Jam 2014 In dev
Super Hexagon (Hexagon) One day Jam Game Steam
Hot Tin Roof One Game a Month Steam, GOG, Humble
In Tune BoobJam In dev
Hexagarden LD24 Evolution In dev
Hoplite 7DRL iOS, Android, Amazon
Wojna Taniec Hits Playtime 2014 In dev
Kawiteros Internal 1-day Jam 2014 In dev
Spacebase DF-9 Amnesia Fortnight Steam, Humble
Hack’n’Slash Amnesia Fortnight Steam
TowerFall: Ascension 48H Game Jam (?) Steam, PS4, Ouya
I Am Bread Bossa Studios Internal Jam Steam
The Lamp & The Vamp Procedural Death Jam iOS, Android
Sublevel Zero LD29 Beneath the Surface Steam
Dark Echo LD26 Minimalism Steam, iOS, Android
Eufloria (Dyson) 2008 TIGSource Procedural Generation SteamiOS, Android, PSN
VA-11 HALL-A 2014 Cyberpunk Jam In dev
Please, Don’t Touch Anything LD31 Entire Game on One Screen Steam
Catlateral Damage 7DFPS 2013 Steam, OUYA
TIMEframe LD27 10 Seconds Steam
Porcunipine LD28 You Only Get One Steam, Humble,
Shutshimi LD27 10 Seconds Steam
Party Hard indievspewdiepie jam 2014 Steam
Basement LD29 Beneath The Surface Steam (Early Access)
Stikbold! Nordic Game Jam 2013 Steam Greenlight (Early Access)