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A GAME ABOUT AN ADVENTURE BY A HERO
August 23, 2011 2:38 PM   Subscribe

HERO'S ADVENTURE!!
posted by The Devil Tesla (44 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Cool game, but I'm stuck on the part with the golden scepter and the remains of the red queen.
posted by Renoroc at 2:45 PM on August 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


I feel....dirty.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 2:47 PM on August 23, 2011


How do you murder the villagers for their loot?
posted by lumpenprole at 2:50 PM on August 23, 2011


I'm not sure I did everything there is to do, but if I did then I'm not very impressed.
posted by codacorolla at 2:51 PM on August 23, 2011


Oh, and, related video.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 2:53 PM on August 23, 2011


I'm confused. I want my five minutes back.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 2:59 PM on August 23, 2011


This is amazing.
posted by tjenks at 3:01 PM on August 23, 2011


This rings true. I always wondered why so many RPGs start out with the "hero" wandering around outside killing rabbits and frogs. Even the Dragon Quest slimes, just seem like cute little guys.
posted by Winnemac at 3:04 PM on August 23, 2011


Just so I can be sure that there isn't anything else to do:

mouse over for spoiler, link is non-fuctional

If I'm not missing anything, and there isn't more to it, then there's no choice in the game. You either do the limited amount of things that the developer lets you do, or you quit playing. At best this makes it an interactive novel, but unfortunately it's an interactive novel with a bare bones plot and a weak retread for a message.

I think that games have great potential for commentary, but this potential is lost if you go straight for the message and never actually get around to making a videogame.
posted by codacorolla at 3:04 PM on August 23, 2011


I think that I started beginning to dislike World of Warcraft when I got the Burning Crusade expansion and rolled a blood elf; you can kill the cats wandering around the beginning zone--no XP, nothing lootable, just a dead cat--and I saw people running around and killing every cat they could see.
posted by Halloween Jack at 3:07 PM on August 23, 2011


Context: this game was made in under a day by noted indie game developer Terry Cavanagh, of VVVVVV fame. Some of his previous games (Judith, Pathways) were equally conceptual.

As for the length: consider it a sketch.
posted by skymt at 3:07 PM on August 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


See also: all those RPGs where the first thing you do is ransack every house in your own home town, turning over little old ladies' kitchen jars and end tables just in case there's a potion or some gil in there.
posted by vorfeed at 3:07 PM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


does anyone have a link to a walkthru
posted by brain_drain at 3:09 PM on August 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


The controls were not frustrating and it got to the point quick. I wish more "art" games were this well done.
posted by Gary at 3:11 PM on August 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


I've never hoped so hard that my parents would be dead when I returned.
posted by hanoixan at 3:12 PM on August 23, 2011


That was good. It's clearly set in contemporary times.
posted by memebake at 3:18 PM on August 23, 2011


I've never hoped so hard that my parents would be dead when I returned.

Weren't you ever a teenager? What were you - grown in a jar?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:18 PM on August 23, 2011


Weren't you ever a teenager? What were you - grown in a jar?

I'd never hoped so hard. Incidentally, my parents were grown in a jar too.
posted by hanoixan at 3:27 PM on August 23, 2011


I don't understand the game. I don't understand this thread.

I'm going outside to kill small animals.
posted by mazola at 3:28 PM on August 23, 2011


Oh, sweet, I've been waiting for the Kid Dahmer game.
posted by Scram at 3:31 PM on August 23, 2011


Can anyone recommend any (online) games in a similar style that aren't, you know, parodies?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:35 PM on August 23, 2011


mouse over for spoiler, link is non-fuctional

Oooh! Like in the game!
posted by Mike Mongo at 3:37 PM on August 23, 2011


Hey, those cats and rabbits and things attacked me.
posted by jeffamaphone at 3:40 PM on August 23, 2011


Can anyone recommend any (online) games in a similar style that aren't, you know, parodies?

I wouldn't call it a parody; satire, maybe. Might be commentary (on the psychopathy of video game characters? on players who go along with it?) but since there's no ARTISTE STATEMENT with the game I'll leave that one alone for now.

Interesting how there's no "Run" or "Escape" option in battle, which these games always have. You're forced to fight, and all attacks do damage, and there is no care given to resource management. Stripped down.

Also a nice bit how the music changes to something darker when you come back home.
posted by curious nu at 3:44 PM on August 23, 2011


Tangentially, I'm reminded that I still want some videogame to include John Tynes' Powerkill metagame as a wrapper.
posted by Drastic at 3:51 PM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


What were you - grown in a jar?

On behalf of Decanted-Americans* everywhere, I must register my dismay.

*not actually a Decanted-American, just a supporter.
posted by Halloween Jack at 3:52 PM on August 23, 2011


Hey, those cats and rabbits and things attacked me.

Did they?
posted by empath at 3:58 PM on August 23, 2011


Experience without theory is blind, but theory without experience is vaporware.

-Immanuel Dekant
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:01 PM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


does anyone have a link to a walkthru

The game is its own walkthru.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:04 PM on August 23, 2011


you can buy rpgs that don;t require you to kill any innocent forest creatures

you miht for instance ahve heard of the popular THE SIMS series
posted by LogicalDash at 4:26 PM on August 23, 2011


I think I might have won. Best Friday flash fun game ever.
posted by klarck at 4:31 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


At best this makes it an interactive novel, but unfortunately it's an interactive novel with a bare bones plot and a weak retread for a message.

I don't agree at all. It's not a novel, it's a short-short story. It takes all of two minutes to complete (that with a very generous better part of a minute spent figuring out there's nothing to do or interact with at home except the two brief family interactions). I didn't feel like the aim was to deliver some dull little pedantic homily about how we senselessly engage in imaginary killing in video games, maybe you should stop a minute and think about that, hmmmm. I think the aim was to tell a dark, creepy little yarn where the conventions of gaming effectively (for me anyway) deliver the payload as a nice twist.
posted by nanojath at 6:08 PM on August 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


Weedmaster P are you playin' one of them online vidja games?
posted by nanojath at 6:09 PM on August 23, 2011


I meant it more as short-hand for works in this medium, obviously it's too short to be considered a "novel".

I don't want to shit on this game too much (well, I do, but I also don't want to clog up the comment thread with a bunch of negativity). I'll just say this: there's no reason for this to be a video game and not a story told in some other way. For me, the barely interactive facade adds absolutely nothing to the work.
posted by codacorolla at 6:35 PM on August 23, 2011


Sure it does, it immediately puts you in the comfortable rpg zone of mindlessly killing everything you see. And the fact that it is you doing it rather than someone you are reading about is important as well.
posted by empath at 6:43 PM on August 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


I thought it was interesting that he progresses from vermin to a pet. I'm curious what would have happened if he had kept pushing in that direction up towards actual people. If there would be a point where players would say 'no'.

Given my body count in RPGs, I'm guessing not.
posted by empath at 6:53 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


there's no reason for this to be a video game and not a story told in some other way. For me, the barely interactive facade adds absolutely nothing to the work.

The point, or one of the points anyway, is that there is a totally accepted video-game convention which people of goodwill would find pretty horrifying in other media, which is interesting because video-games are supposed to be interactive in a way that other media aren't.

So, for instance, I don't get the same chills from actively wiping out all the creatures in a video game -- even those that pose me no threat, just to see if I can -- that I get from listening to, say, Nick Cave's Murder Ballads, even though I have 0 moral agency in the activities that take place in the Murder Ballads and some theoretically-greater-than-zero amount of moral agency in the video game, because I'm making the decisions. Why the difference?

It's a question that's difficult to tease out, and the game brings it into sharp relief. I like it a lot.
posted by gauche at 7:06 PM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


The hilarious-disturbing thing is just how quickly my Final Fantasy reflexes took over.
posted by The Whelk at 7:41 PM on August 23, 2011


And if you're looking for other parodies/satires/pastiches then the Super Mario RPG has a lot of winking at being ware they are in a RPG and Earthbound pretty much explodes the cliches into new and different forms and plays with the "well what do you expect from a game" thing.

And like how Portal is a discussion between an insane level designer and a trapped Player, Planescape Torment is about an insane RPG designer and an unkillable player character that toys at your expectations about how to play that kind of game.
posted by The Whelk at 7:49 PM on August 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


I thought it was interesting that he progresses from vermin to a pet. I'm curious what would have happened if he had kept pushing in that direction up towards actual people. If there would be a point where players would say 'no'.

My main point is that you can't say "no," outside of closing the browser.

There's no game. There's no interactivity, beyond a cheap trick to make a tired point with a clichéd non-story.

I'm obviously in the minority here, but it's frustrating that this sort of stuff gets passed off as revelatory and interesting. I'm really tired of the self important "Art Game".

Maybe I'm being too hard on it, it's more of a sketch (like someone mentioned upthread) than it is a full game. I thought Judith (suffering from many of the same flaws) was still pretty decent for its atmosphere and graphics, and VVVVVV was good for what it was. I wish that indie developers would do more with games themselves instead of being so caught up in meta-commentary.
posted by codacorolla at 7:55 PM on August 23, 2011


Tangentially, I'm reminded that I still want some videogame to include John Tynes' Powerkill metagame as a wrapper.

I just saw the Misfits Grand Theft Auto episode, which is kinda like that.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:00 PM on August 23, 2011


codacorella: I think you're taking the whole thing too seriously.

It was indeed a sketch made in less than a day. Your complaints about lack of interactivity could apply to a lot of full-length video games developed over many years: one path and a little difference in how you get there.

And your point that "there's no reason for this to be a video game and not a story told in some other way"—how else should a light commentary on the player-character relationship and amorality in common role-playing game sequences be told?
posted by stance at 9:53 PM on August 23, 2011


While the actual progression of the 'game' did give me an amused chuckle, at the point of leaving the house for the first time I was hoping that I'd wander into the woods and then get immediately murdered by some wandering beast, shortly before a very well-equipped hero wanders by. "Our boy!" the parents would cry, "our precious boy! Oh, it serves us right for getting a house in the Sixth Town... If only we would have stayed in First Town, by old Starting Area Forest, this never would have happened!" And then the well equipped hero would wander in and steal everything in their cupboard.
posted by FatherDagon at 9:15 AM on August 24, 2011


Gary Gygax at least had the decency to make the random-encounter-fodder creatures automatically evil.
posted by LogicalDash at 7:33 AM on August 25, 2011


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