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July 19, 2013 6:05 PM   Subscribe

Porpentine (previously) has deployed her impressive hacking skillz to circumvent copy protection and made available an edutainment game from times past: Ultra Business Tycoon III (NFO file) [content warning for suicide, violence]

spoiler if you get stuck trying to enter oasis zone vi
posted by juv3nal (47 comments total) 67 users marked this as a favorite

 
FILL MY CHEST WITH THINGS THAT KILL
AND I'LL COOK YOU CASH ON MY MAGIC GRILL
posted by JHarris at 6:33 PM on July 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


First thing that happened to me: New Game -> Random Character -> "You have died during character creation. Please try again."

LOVE IT
posted by echo target at 7:00 PM on July 19, 2013 [8 favorites]


Slow. Effing. Clap.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 7:51 PM on July 19, 2013


Ayep. That was worth finishing. Holy hell.
posted by Richard Daly at 8:20 PM on July 19, 2013


GENTRIFICATION 87% | BOOTSTRAPS 76% | NEOLIBERALISM 99%

Excellent
posted by Doleful Creature at 8:41 PM on July 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


$100,000 away from entering Mammon! What is that damn shareware code! (No. Really.)
posted by SansPoint at 8:49 PM on July 19, 2013


Enormous bootstraps spin like great looms as they generate endless money with their magical leather friction.

posted by Doleful Creature at 8:51 PM on July 19, 2013


This is really good.
posted by R. Schlock at 8:53 PM on July 19, 2013


God, what a great game. Just a great freaking game.
posted by restless_nomad at 8:53 PM on July 19, 2013


STARVED TO DEATH BECAUSE YOU WERE FED BIRDSEED

I did not see that coming.
posted by spiderskull at 9:01 PM on July 19, 2013


Your bloodstream is now 23 percent Glass Shard. You have now Attuned to Glass Shards.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:02 PM on July 19, 2013


The Cop knocks over your diploma! The Cop knocks over your trophies! The Cop is undermining your social standing!

Right, I'll be here for a while. This is good.
posted by N-stoff at 9:06 PM on July 19, 2013


For anyone stuck on the shareware screen, check out the NFO linked above.

This was incredible. Thanks for posting it.
posted by honestcoyote at 9:08 PM on July 19, 2013


I just finished it...I don't really know what to say. Why is it so dusty in here?
posted by Doleful Creature at 9:22 PM on July 19, 2013


Done. That was the best-written game I have ever played.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:33 PM on July 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


The most artful games these days are made by those who have the most to say to a world that doesn't really listen. I liked this more than I can accurately describe. I'll be sharing this with my friends.
posted by dubusadus at 9:38 PM on July 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


I just finished it...I don't really know what to say. Why is it so dusty in here?

Remain calm, you may have been indoctrinated by Art. Whatever you do, don't let thegamepolice know.
posted by juv3nal at 9:49 PM on July 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


One of your competitors:

SPIDERCO
Status: Chilling
Power: **
Product: Being a bunch of spiders.
Weakness: None.

posted by lattiboy at 11:13 PM on July 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


i just want you to know

i've stopped tearing out my feathers
posted by oceanjesse at 11:22 PM on July 19, 2013


(Change the difficulty one-by-one until you can get past the bees).
posted by oceanjesse at 11:23 PM on July 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


TRASHMERGING IS INCOMPATIBLE WITH CAPITALISM
posted by carsonb at 11:30 PM on July 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Twine has been one of the best things to happen to the internet.
posted by TwelveTwo at 11:40 PM on July 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


The vomit cannot be monetized.


I love this so hard.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:02 AM on July 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


These neon pink-crystal blue environments staring out over futuristic megacity grids and garishly colored oceans stirred something in your child's soul—places that felt like night and rain and future—feelings you would later chase in clubs and raves and bars—but morning light stole that feeling every time.

I... hey.

This is brilliant.
posted by quiet earth at 12:08 AM on July 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Just (finally) finished it. Still trying to collect myself.

Wow.
posted by hap_hazard at 12:35 AM on July 20, 2013


Holy Fuck. I feel like I should have something more substantial to say than that, but I've got nothing.


Without trying to be all spoilery though, post could maybe do with a trigger warning, like it does on Porpentine's blog?>
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 2:16 AM on July 20, 2013


and done
posted by juv3nal at 2:24 AM on July 20, 2013


[Warning added by request of OP.]
posted by taz at 2:25 AM on July 20, 2013


You enter the Control Room.

Shareholders burble in their vats as the leeching fluid extracts Invisible Hand orgones from their rich creamy skin.

Enormous bootstraps spin like great looms as they generate endless money with their magical leather friction.

A holoscreen displays the plans you drew up last night along with vital City stats.

Your desk follows you obediently, kneeling on its human legs to present itself for your pleasure. Good desk.

Weapons-grade potassium is stacked in the corner.


Oh my god so great.
posted by odinsdream at 4:42 AM on July 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


A Capitalist Force Field blocks your path, humming greedily.

*sigh*
posted by xqwzts at 4:47 AM on July 20, 2013


Ahh . Today I learnt that if I find an entertaining game here somebody will post a spoiler.
posted by BenPens at 4:47 AM on July 20, 2013


(Note: if you've tried to play through exhaustively but haven't been presented with a chance to bypass the shareware wall, try turning off your popup blocker. Chrome's "Better Pop Up Blocker," for example, blocks the javascript prompt.)
posted by nobody at 10:20 AM on July 20, 2013


This is good, thanks for posting.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:51 AM on July 20, 2013


If you haven't already, be sure to explore all the options from the initial load page. Particularly the Bestiary.

Awesome game, unbelievable gut punch of an ending.
posted by dragstroke at 11:18 AM on July 20, 2013


That was pretty great. The asides didn't make a lot of sense at first, but the way it all came together really knocks you out.

I'll just go ahead and admit that I got stuck and was one item short of making it to a million. I resorted to reverse engineering the game to figure out my mistake. Shameful, I know. If you'd like to see the complete logic of the game splayed out in plain, click here, but really, don't.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:22 AM on July 20, 2013


Gah, that was killer. Really powerful. Hats off.
posted by lumpenprole at 1:30 PM on July 20, 2013


STARVED TO DEATH BECAUSE YOU WERE FED BIRDSEED

that doesn't happen even in nethack
posted by floatboth at 7:40 AM on July 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I suppose it's up to me to be a dissenting voice, now--

I played for a bit, was impressed as usual by Porpentine's genius in creating bizarre situations, but then I got to a place where the game took me out of character and introduced me to the player's sister(?), who was apparently coming on to him, or wanted to go out with him onto the town, but the player wants to play the game, and she leaves claiming one day he'll be sorry he didn't spend more time with her. And then you can hear her in the shower. And....

And I kind of saw where that was going, and the addition of a suicide and violence warning in the FPP confirms it. It destroyed my incentive to continue playing. The reason I was enjoying the game didn't jive with the direction the story was taking.

Bad things happen constantly to us in life. I am greatly aware of this fact, I do not need reminding. I like that Porpentine takes such chances with her games. But they are chances, and in my case, the dice didn't roll well.
posted by JHarris at 1:28 PM on July 21, 2013


It's not an educational essay - it's a personal one. If you're not into it, that's totally cool, but if you don't play all the way through then you're likely to misinterpret the message. (I wouldn't make that claim for a 60-hour RPG, but a playthrough takes maybe ten minutes?)
posted by restless_nomad at 1:49 PM on July 21, 2013


The protagonist isn't male and the player's sister isn't hitting on her.
posted by picklenickle at 1:51 PM on July 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


And I kind of saw where that was going

Without you spelling out explicitly where you think it was going, I'm fairly confident, that no, you really kind of didn't.
posted by juv3nal at 2:54 PM on July 21, 2013


I did kind of see where it was going, and the actual ending still blew me away.
posted by restless_nomad at 3:05 PM on July 21, 2013


Is fine. Again, I don't fault Porpentine, is just my own reaction. It certainly is possible it doesn't go where I expect it will. Maybe I'll go back to it, but the suicide and violence warnings are problematic.
posted by JHarris at 5:09 PM on July 21, 2013


I actually think the violence and suicide warnings are mostly specific to the game, not the metanarrative. (There are a couple of points where you can choose to die - you may have to, I'm not sure.) I guarantee that the ending is not what you think it is.
posted by restless_nomad at 5:16 PM on July 21, 2013


The metanarrative on this is just powerful and lovely. There are shifts in tone between this kind of satiric pastiche and then lovely pathos. JHarris, IMHO, the metanarrative is what's powerful about this, much more so than the game that the character we inhabit is playing.

If you pay attention to how it's being communicated, there is metanarrative throughout. The whole way through, we are inside the mind of someone playing a game in a particular place and time, with a specific family dynamic and life experience. There are moments when the metanarrative takes over, like the sister, or going to the bathroom or the ending, times that are interstitial or transitional during the game within the game. But the metanarrative isn't tacked on, it's there even with things like the shareware nfo.png file. There are multiple layers here.

Absolutely art, and actually emotionally affected me, which games really almost never do.
posted by MythMaker at 11:24 PM on July 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


JHarris; with respect, I think you would be well served by completing the game before reaching your conclusion. I was also wary of the suicide warning, and actually don't agree that it should be included here because it does make it sound like the sister or the protagonist is going to commit suicide. I don't consider this a spoiler: neither character commits suicide.
posted by odinsdream at 5:28 AM on July 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Cop eats your trophies!
posted by togdon at 10:00 AM on July 22, 2013


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