Playpen

Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.

at 22:15 on 25-04-2012, Axiomatic
Damn, I was just about to talk about Elona.

Suffice to say that the tutorial-giving character HATES YOU and everything he tells you to do in the tutorial is calculated to harm your character, rather than to teach you to play.
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at 03:40 on 25-04-2012, Guy
I'm not going to say it lies to you in the tutorial, but I guarantee at least a couple of WTF moments if you check out this game:

Elona
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at 00:18 on 25-04-2012, Ibmiller
I'm still waiting for it to go from "enjoyable" to "awesome," but Greg Rucka and Rick Burchett's "Lady Sabre and the Pirates of the Ineffable Aether" (http://www.ineffableaether.com/2011/07/11/ch01s01-2/) seems to be steampunk with the possibility of being awesome. Mostly because Greg Rucka and Rick Burchett are some of better comic collaborators around.
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at 20:02 on 24-04-2012, Adrienne
Could, or would? Any game CAN lie to you anywhere. Some of them do lie to you in a lot of places. The Void ... the Void takes the whole lying-to-you thing to a new fucking level.

It's also worth noting that at least ONE of the things it lies to you about, in the tutorial, REALLY pissed me off. :)
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at 19:46 on 24-04-2012, James D
But I had never considered that a game could lie to me in the tutorial!!!
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at 19:40 on 24-04-2012, Adrienne
James: I don't think that's a spoiler. I am not going to say anything about what it lies ABOUT.
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at 19:01 on 24-04-2012, James D
Lots of games lie to you. The Void has the balls to lie to you IN THE TUTORIAL SECTION.

Whoa, spoilers.
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at 18:59 on 24-04-2012, Adrienne
Kyra -- me too, mostly! The Void is really awesome, though, and it is available on Steam for pretty cheap. At least it is in the US? Hopefully it is in the UK too. (Stupid fucking region restriction nonsense.)

Lots of games lie to you. The Void has the balls to lie to you IN THE TUTORIAL SECTION.
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at 18:14 on 24-04-2012, Wardog
@Bjoern, I always want to cuddle Worf... also the poor guy, he gets no respect :( :( :(

@Adrienne, I'm certainly intrigued enough to try pretty much anything. I am kind of, um, bad at games though, so I'm no stranger to the reloading screen.

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at 18:08 on 24-04-2012, Adrienne
Kyra - Have you played The Void, by the same folks? It's a more polished game in a lot of ways (and not plagued by the horrible translation issues.) I do highly recommend it. It is hard as HELL, be prepared to reload about a million times.
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at 18:07 on 24-04-2012, Adrienne
Arthur B: I agree that EBZ isn't Steampunk, but it has a very steampunk AESTHETIC in a lot of ways.

Also, if you're not unacquainted, you should give me your connection info and we can be Exquisite Friends! :)
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at 17:31 on 24-04-2012, Arthur B permalink
at 17:30 on 24-04-2012, James D
I just lost all my points for never having heard of Pathologic but I HAVE TO PLAY THIS THING.

Wow, yeah, that sounds fantastic. I just recently beat Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, so I'm no stranger to neat-but-clunky games. Seriously, in the PC version, you run faster at lower resolutions. And at the highest resolutions, there are certain sequences (including the final one) that are simply impossible to finish because you're too damn slow. But yeah, the fight against the Flying Polyps over the bottomless chasm was the most heart-pounding, terrifying boss battle I can remember.
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at 17:29 on 24-04-2012, Fin
and sfdebris' take on the b-plot in darmok complements that video quite well.
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at 17:21 on 24-04-2012, Bjoern
Since you're talking about DS9 in the Iron Dream comments. The reason why Worf decided to leave the Enterprise. (This is seriously depressing and makes you want to cuddle Worf.)
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at 15:35 on 24-04-2012, Arthur B
I've been waiting on the retranslation patch but apparently there's been no updates on it (sadface).
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at 15:23 on 24-04-2012, Wardog
I just lost all my points for never having heard of Pathologic but I HAVE TO PLAY THIS THING.
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at 09:07 on 24-04-2012, Arthur B
I'd like to add for consideration another, though it's not a book or story, it's a browser game: Fallen London/Echo Bazaar. It's got upwards of a million words of original content, the aesthetic is certainly broadly Steampunk, and it is FUCKING AWESOME.

I'm not unacquainted with EB and I do recall that the lead designer flatly denies that the game's steampunk. :)

For serious, though, there are steampunkish stuff out there which are good (I recommended the first Oswald Bastable novel fairly recently, for instance). But they're almost never the things which openly and enthusiastically declare themselves as being steampunk. Once you start to go out of your way to be steampunky for the sake of being steampunky then it's just as bad as being Tolkieny for the sake of being Tolkieny.
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at 05:03 on 24-04-2012, Alasdair Czyrnyj
@Adrienne: Here you are. This is for the Bachelor's playthrough. Haven't been able to find one for the Haruspex yet, but Quintin Smith talked a bit about his story when he wrote about Pathologic on Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
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at 04:58 on 24-04-2012, Adrienne
Alasdair -- I would love to see those blog posts, do you still have the link? I've got a lot of admiration for Pathologic but really can't make myself actually play it. (I'm deeply in love with Icepick's follow-up game, The Void, and have played it a bunch though i haven't beaten it.)
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at 04:23 on 24-04-2012, Alasdair Czyrnyj
So, anyway, a few months back I linked to a series of blog posts detailing his experiences with the abasement RPG Pathologic, specifically his experience with the Bachelor's storyline. I mention this now, because a text-and-screenshot Let's Play of the Devotress/Impostress' story has appeared in SomethingAwful's public archives.

After reading it, it becomes quite clear why you can't play her story until you've completed either the Bachelor or the Haruspex's first. It also becomes clear why the manual calls the game a "decision-making simulator." Things get trippy.
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at 04:16 on 24-04-2012, Adrienne
So over on the FerretChanges article, Michal says,

I thought the general position was "Steampunk is really cool in concept but there's nothing out there that's actually any good yet and probably never will be."


...and then goes on to cite a single exception. I'd like to add for consideration another, though it's not a book or story, it's a browser game: Fallen London/Echo Bazaar. It's got upwards of a million words of original content, the aesthetic is certainly broadly Steampunk, and it is FUCKING AWESOME.
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at 21:27 on 23-04-2012, Alasdair Czyrnyj
Hey, Ray Wise is not a "no-name actor!" He's just getting some shoe-buying money for his wife, is all. (Though if he did the movie in the character of Leland Palmer...that might be worth seeing.)

Also, because I already made a Bioshock joke with the first movie, I'm hoping this new one reveals that John Galt is actually a twenty-foot long insane man-fetus who lives in a giant tank and randomly electrocutes his employees through the aid of a flying outboard motor.
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