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"I guess if you were to approach me in the street and ask me how to play QWOP, I'd tell you to take a more experimental attitude in your life, and not to rely so much on the hard work of others."
October 8, 2012 10:22 AM   Subscribe

An interview with Bennett Foddy, the creator of QWOP, in which, to the surprise of no one, he states, "I don't feel any sympathy for people who find a video game hard. At all. It never occurred to me to try to modify QWOP so that it was easier to play."

Some of the best QWOP runs available on YouTube:
posted by Copronymus (44 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
And some cosplay.
posted by fartron at 10:29 AM on October 8, 2012 [8 favorites]


Dark Souls 2 will involve 3D adapted QWOP controls to move your character.
posted by kmz at 10:30 AM on October 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


I longingly await the day when huge multinational corporations start using QWOP in their hiring practices to learn how potential employees deal with extreme frustration.
posted by elizardbits at 10:32 AM on October 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Start with W and O simultaneously, switch to Q and P. Alternate approximately when QWOP's front foot is parallel to the ground. CLOP, on the other hand...
posted by seiryuu at 10:36 AM on October 8, 2012


this is my favorite QWOP run
posted by Lucinda at 10:43 AM on October 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


If QWOP were easier, it would be pointless. Also if it were harder. The way it is, it's perfect.
posted by chavenet at 10:46 AM on October 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


The first time I played QWOP I had trouble not because the controls were so bad, but because I was laughing so hard it hurt. I love QWOP.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 10:47 AM on October 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


I've been able to keep a pretty decent running gait going, and though I can't remember off the top of my head how exactly I've timed the movements, I can say that it involves picturing where Mr. Qwop's center of gravity lies, keeping track of when it crosses his ground foot, and, I think, straightening the rear leg soon afterwards.
posted by Anything at 10:48 AM on October 8, 2012


the one with actual running motions is significantly creepier than any other QWOP-related thing I've seen. I've always thought of QWOP-motions as being equivalent to the motions made by an uncoordinated baby; as such, watching the QWOP guy actually run looks a little bit like watching a creepy running baby in a monster movie...
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:49 AM on October 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


100 meters in 1:12 with actual running motions

Whoever this player is will become the eventual Dark Messiah.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:51 AM on October 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


straightening the rear leg soon afterwards.

Or actually I think 'rear leg' is sort of a misnomer here. The leg of the foot that's on the ground.
posted by Anything at 10:55 AM on October 8, 2012


First off, where do you get off linking to QWOP when I have so much work to do? I just spent fifteen minutes I could ill afford trapped on that hellish track (reached the 50m mark for the second time ever though, with natural-ish running motions).

Secondly, I love this philosophy of game design. A lot of hard games disappeared around the time that home consoles became so ubiquitous (an arcade game has to kill the player in order to get another quarter), which was a huge loss. I don't get a sense of satisfaction from things like rescuing the princess or saving the world. I get my feelings of accomplishment from problem solving, overcoming adversity, and acquiring new skills (even useless ones).

I love a game (like QWOP, but also like Nethack, Transcendence, and even EVE Online) that just throws you in the middle of it and lets you fail. No coddling, no enforced structure, just sink or swim. I'm glad there are still people out there making games for me.
posted by 256 at 10:57 AM on October 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


Oh and one more thing: The thing I find most striking about QWOP is how frighteningly accurate it is in representing exactly what trying to run away from monsters felt like in my childhood nightmares.
posted by 256 at 10:58 AM on October 8, 2012 [19 favorites]


Is there another version of QWOP where you can do arms as well or did I dream/nightmare that somehow?
posted by elizardbits at 10:59 AM on October 8, 2012


I guess it says something about this game that people are still talking about it. What that something is is something that I wouldn't pay attention to if it were explained to me.
posted by item at 10:59 AM on October 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


that's kind of rude of that game maker guy
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 11:00 AM on October 8, 2012


111 meters in "around 50min to an hour" by humping the hurdle through the long jump pit

I just did it the same way in about 10 minutes. It's easy to beat QWOP once you realize that the object is distance, not time. You can wedge down a knee with one leg out and hop it all the way.

The hurdle comes at 50 meters, but that doesn't stop your humping. The long-jump is at 100, but I only got 100.3.

a comment section debating whether the soundtrack is Creed or Evanescense.

YT Comment: "This should be called, I play a useless video game while I play unfitting music."

i lol'd. (it's evanescence).
posted by mrgrimm at 11:01 AM on October 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't know if I got this link from the Blue originally or not, but this video is a presentation by Foddy talking about why you should grief your players (spoiler: because we like it)
posted by sparklemotion at 11:04 AM on October 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


but.. gameplay
posted by stbalbach at 11:05 AM on October 8, 2012


that's kind of rude of that game maker guy

Is it? The *only* reason to play QWOP is to try and make the dude move. There is no story to see, no endgame to work towards, nothing at all but attempting to make it a full run. There would be no point to an easier QWOP.
posted by graventy at 11:06 AM on October 8, 2012


See also the excellent GIRP and the multiplayer-tastic poleriders!
posted by Drexen at 11:07 AM on October 8, 2012


QWOP is all about error correction. The basic movement is simple, but the process of recognising when things are going wrong and correcting that in the quarter-second available is hard. You don't have time to think about it and failure to respond in time usually results in having to start over, so it's a fairly long process to develop those skills.
posted by xchmp at 11:12 AM on October 8, 2012


I like QWOP, but Little Master Cricket and GIRP are my particular timesucks.

I associate QWOP with MetaFilter, so it was something of a surprise to see a video of Bennett Foddy at the Superhuman exhibit in London. While at a meetup, no less.
posted by Kattullus at 11:12 AM on October 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dude, it isn't that the game is /hard/. It's that it is /unplayable/ and is barely a /game/.
posted by clvrmnky at 11:53 AM on October 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


It's not unplayable, though! It's just that our expectations are different than they used to be. You have to much about with the controls to do basic things like "Stand" or "move back leg forward". So it's not unplayable, it just demands a level of concentration to control subtleties that people aren't used to.
posted by Mister_A at 11:59 AM on October 8, 2012


Oh man, my 9 year old and I have been playing this nonstop for about 30 minutes. Laughing the whole time. I hold the family championship at 8.7 meters. I R A Winneh!
posted by dejah420 at 12:04 PM on October 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


...huge multinational corporations start using QWOP in their hiring practices to learn how potential employees deal with extreme frustration.

"Laugh and stop trying" is probably healthy but won't get me the job.
posted by DU at 12:06 PM on October 8, 2012


I think it was cortex in the original QWOP thread who called it a "frustration engine," which is an apt description. It's not unplayable at all, it's just hilariously frustrating to play. That will drive some players up the wall and delight others.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:16 PM on October 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


QWOP is great and all, but my favorite game for inducing sidesplitting laughter via difficult controls is still Sumatori Dreams.
posted by mysterpigg at 12:18 PM on October 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh god, a friend and I had hours and hours of fun playing Sumatori Dreams. I had completely forgotten about its existence.
posted by Kattullus at 12:26 PM on October 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I totally suck at QWOP. But I love it. I don't play it, because I suck, but I dearly love it.

I love it because it makes everyone else who plays it just as bad as me. And that makes me happy. Sure, you get the odd guy who can actually make the guy go, maybe even run - but everyone knows "that guy" is an outlier.
posted by Xoebe at 12:43 PM on October 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


I hadn't heard of QWOP until now. Frustrating as hell but I can't stop trying to accomplish a new record! I finally figured out a sort of "knee hop" procedure that works reasonably well. I managed a new personal best of 13.1 metres before I over did it, flipped over backwards, and landed on my head.
posted by asnider at 1:03 PM on October 8, 2012


I had never heard of this game until this very moment.

Now everyone around me is looking at me like I am crazy as I desperately try to hide my face and stifle my hysterical laughter. Thanks.
posted by mediocre at 1:31 PM on October 8, 2012


True facts: sometimes, when I am down and need a laugh, I re-read the original QWOP thread on the blue. That and the sit-or-stand-to-wipe thread never fail to have me quaking with laughter.
posted by KathrynT at 1:41 PM on October 8, 2012


Sorry it took me so long to get to the thread, it was a solid 12 meters away from me when it went up.
posted by cortex at 2:30 PM on October 8, 2012 [11 favorites]


Any game that makes people go "That's not a game!" is a good game.
posted by speicus at 2:54 PM on October 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


[S]ometimes, when I am down and need a laugh, I re-read the original QWOP thread on the blue. That and the sit-or-stand-to-wipe thread never fail to have me quaking with laughter.

I have a great idea for a new game: QWIPE.
posted by LordSludge at 3:57 PM on October 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


I shudder to think what would happen if you accidentally pressed the O key while playing QWIPE.
posted by Kattullus at 5:14 PM on October 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is it? The *only* reason to play QWOP is to try and make the dude move

It also makes you appreciate evolution.
posted by ersatz at 5:23 PM on October 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


This summer, a co-worker and I were laughing about the QWOP cosplay that fartron posted above. It really is perfect. And then, when this was the Google doodle during the summer Olympics, we just about lost it.
posted by Jazz.bot at 11:24 PM on October 8, 2012


Foddy is a philosopher at Oxford who has only recently revealed his secret second life as a game developer. He works in bioethics. He's now trying to reconcile his philosophy career and his game design career by working on issues related to video game addiction. There's an Idle Thumbs episode where they interview him at GDC and he talks about the psychology of gambling and video games. Foddy's a neat guy.
posted by painquale at 2:14 AM on October 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


It says so right on his site, but he's also a former member of Cut Copy.
posted by mrgrimm at 7:55 AM on October 9, 2012


I had never heard of this game until this very moment.

It does seem to be acquiring some cultural relevancy lately (though it's been out for years, right?)

QWOP was featured (briefly) in this season's premiere of the U.S. "The Office."

Wasn't there a fighting game like QWOP? Ragdoll Masters?
posted by mrgrimm at 8:06 AM on October 9, 2012


The juxtaposition of "Bring Me to Life" by Evanescence and QWOP is, frankly, amazing.
posted by running order squabble fest at 12:32 PM on October 9, 2012


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