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Midnight Scenes takes adventure gaming into The Twilight Zone


After Barcelona-based Octavi Navarro worked on the art for Terrible Toybox’s point-and-click game Thimbleweed Park, he decided to embark on his own project: Midnight Scenes. It’s inspired by one of his favorite TV shows, The Twilight Zone, and it’s the first game he’s developed as a solo act. He’s released one episode so far called The Highway, and it’s available to download for free on indie platform Itch.io for PC and Mac.

Navarro was an illustrator for children’s books, but in 2014, he decided to try his hand with a pixel art palette. Since then, he’s created dozens of what he calls “pixel art paintings” under the moniker Pixels Huh. His main inspiration is the video games he grew up on, such as LucasArts’s Monkey Island series and Sierra On-Line’s Space Quest.

“When I was a kid I was in love with LucasArts’s adventure games, and I think you can see that fact reflected on my illustrations,” said Navarro in an email to GamesBeat. “I was always fascinated by the work of artists who worked on ’80-’90s video games, and the things they were able to accomplish with the technical limitations of the time.”

He uploads his process on his YouTube channel and also offers a behind-the-scenes look for folks who support him on the subscription-based platform Patreon. This caught the eye of Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick, industry legends who previously designed adventure classics like Maniac Mansion and tapped Navarro for Thimbleweed Park.

“Working on a point-and-click adventure game with this super-talented team was an incredible experience, so when the production of Thimbleweed Park reached its end, I was left wanting more,” said Navarro. “That’s why I decided to do my own adventure games in my spare time.”

The Highway is only the first episode of the Midnight Scenes series, which promises short, surreal adventures. It’s light on text save for the Rod Serling-inspired intro and outro. Instead, it mostly focuses on atmosphere — the main character Claire’s footsteps, an eerie soundtrack, and grayscale portraits that suggest something ominous has occurred.

Since it’s the first game Navarro’s developed on his own, he’s allotted himself three months to work on each episode and intends to keep each one fairly short. He’s already working on the next installment in the series, which he says will be longer than The Highway.

“Each episode will be a little mystery story,” said Navarro. “I haven’t decided how many episodes I’m going to create yet, but I have a ton of ideas in my head. My intention is to make a trilogy and then decide if I want to continue or if I want to start a completely different series.”

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The fall TV heavyweights are back, and this week that includes AMC's The Walking Dead, returning for season number eight. Sports fans can get ready for NBA action, while gamers can finally get a fresh taste of Gran Turismo. South Park's long-awaited game is finally arriving as well, while Spider-Man Homecoming tops the 4K Blu-ray list and Netflix premieres season two of Miranda Sings' Haters Back Off. Look after the break to check out each day's highlights, including trailers and let us know what you think (or what we missed).

Blu-ray & Games & Streaming

  • Annabelle Creation (VOD)
  • The Dark Tower (VOD)
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming (4K, 3D)
  • Girls Trip
  • Samurai Jack: The Complete Series
  • Serenity (4K)
  • Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
  • Apollo 13 (4K)
  • Barry Lyndon
  • American Gods (S1)
  • Stranger Things (S1)
  • Gran Turismo Sport (PS4)
  • The Jackbox Party Pack 4 (PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch)
  • Life is Strange: Before the Storm - Episode 2 (PS4, PC, Switch)
  • Let's Sing 2018 (PS4, Wii)
  • South Park: The Fractured But Whole (Xbox One, PS4)
  • Elex (Xbox One, PS4)
  • Dungeons 3 (Xbox One, PS4)
  • Megaton Rainfall (PS VR)
  • Rogue Troper Redux (PS4, Xbox One)
  • WWE 2K18 (Xbox One, PS4)

Monday

  • Colts/Titans, ESPN, 8:15 PM
  • Lucifer, Fox, 8 PM
  • The Big Bang Theory, CBS, 8 PM
  • The Voice, NBC, 8 PM
  • 9jkl, CBS, 8:30 PM
  • Dancing with the Stars, ABC, 8 PM
  • WWE Raw, USA, 8 PM
  • Supergirl, CW, 8 PM
  • 3 Hikers, Starz, 9 PM
  • Valor, CW, 9 PM
  • The Gifted, Fox, 9 PM
  • Kevin Can Wait, CBS, 9 PM
  • Me, Myself & I, CBS, 9:30 PM
  • Scorpion, CBS, 10 PM
  • The Brave, NBC, 10 PM
  • The Good Doctor, ABC, 10 PM
  • Desus & Mero, Viceland, 11 PM

Tuesday

  • The Mindy Project, Hulu, 3 AM
  • Patton Oswalt: Annihilation, Netflix, 3 AM
  • Slasher (S2), Netflix 3 AM
  • Celtics/Cavaliers, TNT, 8 PM
  • Rockets/Warriors, TNT, 10:30 PM
  • The Flash, CW, 8 PM
  • Finding Your Roots, PBS, 8 PM
  • The Voice, NBC, 8 PM
  • Lethal Weapon, Fox, 8 PM
  • NCIS, CBS, 8 PM
  • WWE Smackdown, USA, 8 PM
  • The Middle, ABC, 8 PM
  • Fresh Off the Boat, ABC, 8:30 PM
  • DC's Legends of Tomorrow, CW, 9 PM
  • Black-ish, ABC, 9 PM
  • Bull, CBS, 9 PM
  • The Mick, Fox, 9 PM
  • This is Us, NBC, 9 PM
  • Inside the NFL, Showtime, 9 PM
  • Fantomworks, Velocity, 9 PM
  • The Mayor, ABC, 9:30 PM
  • Brooklyn Nine-nine, Fox, 9:30 PM
  • The Mane Event (series premiere), BET, 10 PM
  • Undercover High, A&E, 10 PM
  • Cyberwar, Viceland, 10 PM
  • Kevin (Probably) Saves the World, ABC, 10 PM
  • Law & Order: True Crime, NBC, 10 PM
  • NCIS: NO, CBS, 10 PM
  • American Horror Story, FX, 10 PM
  • The Challenge, MTV, 10 PM
  • Tosh.0, Comedy Central, 10 PM
  • Weediquette (season premiere), Viceland, 10:30 PM
  • 90s House, MTV, 11 PM
  • Desus & Mero, Viceland, 11 PM

Wednesday

  • Chance, Hulu, 3 AM
  • Freakish (season premiere), Hulu, 3 AM
  • 76ers/Wizards, ESPN, 7 PM
  • The Blacklist, NBC, 8 PM
  • Empire, Fox, 8 PM
  • The Goldbergs, ABC, 8 PM
  • Survivor, CBS, 8 PM
  • Lucha Underground (season finale), El Rey, 8 PM
  • Riverdale, CW, 8 PM
  • Speechless, ABC, 8:30 PM
  • Dynasty, CW, 9 PM
  • Modern Family, ABC, 9 PM
  • Law & Order: SVU, NBC, 9 PM
  • Seal Team, CBS, 9 PM
  • Star, Fox, 9 PM
  • American Housewife, ABC, 9:30 PM
  • Timberwolves/Spurs, ESPN, 9:30 PM
  • Mr. Robot, USA, 10 PM
  • Shannara Chronicles, Spike TV, 10 PM
  • Criminal Minds, CBS, 10 PM
  • Chicago PD, NBC, 10 PM
  • Designated Survivor, ABC, 10 PM
  • Liar, Sundance, 10 PM
  • Are You the One, MTV, 10 PM
  • Channel Zero, Syfy, 10 PM
  • You're the Worst, FXX, 10 PM
  • Garage Squad, Velocity, 10 PM
  • South Park, Comedy Central, 10 PM
  • Broad City, Comedy Central, 10:30 PM
  • Rosehaven (season finale), Sundance, 11 PM
  • Desus & Mero, Viceland, 11 PM

Thursday

  • Bomb Scared, Netflix, 3 AM
  • I Love You America, Hulu, 3 AM
  • Grey's Anatomy, ABC, 8 PM
  • Superstore, NBC, 8 PM
  • Gotham, Fox, 8 PM
  • Supernatural, CW, 8 PM
  • Chiefs/Raiders, CBS, 8:30 PM
  • The Good Place, NBC, 8:30 PM
  • The Eleven (series premiere), A&E, 9 PM
  • Arrow, CW, 9 PM
  • Scandal, ABC, 9 PM
  • Van Helsing, Syfy, 9 PM
  • The Orville, Fox, 9 PM
  • Will & Grace, NBC, 9 PM
  • Great News, NBC, 9:30 PM
  • The Walking Dead: Behind the Dead, AMC, 10 PM
  • Chicago Fire, NBC, 10 PM
  • Better Things, FX, 10 PM
  • The Mist, Spike TV, 10 PM
  • Bong Appetit, Viceland, 10:30 PM
  • The Rundown with Robin Thede, BET, 11 PM
  • The Timeline, NFL Network, 11 PM
  • Desus & Mero, Viceland, 11 PM

Friday

  • Haters Back Off (S2), Netflix, 3 AM
  • Wheelman, Netflix, 3 AM
  • The Day I Met El Chapo (Episodes 1 - 3), Netflix, 3 AM
  • Red Oaks (S3), Amazon Prime, 3 AM
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, CW, 8 PM
  • Macgyver, CBS, 8 PM
  • Once Upon a Time, ABC, 8 PM
  • Tackle My Ride, NFL Network, 8 PM
  • Jane the Virgin, CW, 9 PM
  • Marvel's Inhumans, ABC, 9 PM
  • Active Shooter, Showtime, 9 PM
  • Z Nation, Syfy, 9 PM
  • The Exorcist, Fox, 9 PM
  • A Football Life: Sam Mills, NFL Network, 9 PM
  • Tough Guys, Showtime, 9 PM
  • Superstition (series premiere), Syfy, 10 PM
  • The Walking Dead: Walker World, AMC, 10 PM
  • Mike Judge Presents: Tales from the Tour Bus, Cinemax, 10 PM
  • Superstition, Syfy, 10 PM
  • Tracey Ullman's Show (season premiere), HBO, 11 PM
  • Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents, Comedy Central, 12 AM

Saturday

  • Too Funny to Fail, Hulu, 3 AM
  • Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, BBC America, 9 PM
  • The Walking Dead: The Journey So Far, AMC, 9 PM

Sunday

  • The Toy Box, ABC, 7 PM
  • Outlander, Starz, 8 PM
  • Shark Tank, ABC, 8 PM
  • The Simpsons, Fox, 8 PM
  • Falcons/Patriots, NBC 8:20 PM
  • Star Trek: Discovery, CBS All Access, 8:30 PM
  • Ghosted, Fox, 8:30 PM
  • Wisdom of the Crowd, CBS, 8 PM
  • Outlander, Starz, 8 PM
  • The Walking Dead (season premiere), AMC, 9 PM
  • Family Guy, Fox, 9 PM
  • Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, CNN, 9 PM
  • Poldark, PBS, 9 PM
  • Ray Donovan, Showtime, 9 PM
  • The Deuce, HBO, 9 PM
  • The Last Man on Earth, Fox, 9:30 PM
  • NCIS: LA, CBS, 9 PM
  • Talking Dead (Season premiere), AMC, 10 PM
  • Good Behavior, TNT, 10 PM
  • Madam Secretary, CBS, 10 PM
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm, HBO, 10 PM
  • Ten Days in the Valley, ABC, 10 PM
  • This is Life with Lisa Ling, CNN, 10 PM
  • Unsung Hollywood, TV One, 10 PM
  • Vice Principals, HBO, 10:30 PM

[All times listed are in ET]

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