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Yet Another Time-Waster
April 27, 2006 11:28 AM   Subscribe

The Endless Forest is a strange piece of software (that can be a screensaver), where you control a deer in a, well, endless forest. And so do a bunch of other online players. And you can interact all you like with them - with the minor caveat that deer can't talk.
posted by DataPacRat (46 comments total)

 
A similar Myst-like "explore the environment without directly talking to other players" game is Noctis, at http://www.anywherebb.com/ (more info at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noctis ).
posted by DataPacRat at 11:31 AM on April 27, 2006


"The Endless Forest game is a Windows screensaver.

I guess the cool kids can't play, eh?
posted by HuronBob at 11:43 AM on April 27, 2006


I don't like that you can only be a male deer.
posted by Miko at 11:51 AM on April 27, 2006


Female deer would certainly add a level to the interactions.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:53 AM on April 27, 2006


...Male deer....can't talk....Too. Many. Jokes...
posted by Jofus at 11:55 AM on April 27, 2006


I don't like that you can only be a male deer.

D'oh!
posted by fugitivefromchaingang at 11:57 AM on April 27, 2006


From the Q&A:

Will there ever be a Mac version?
Since the technology behind The Endless Forest depends strongly on Microsoft's DirectX, this is unlikely. We regret this situation tremendously. We are Mac fans ourselves. But we cannot let technological limitations stop us from expressing ourselves artistically as best as we can. And for the moment, this requires Windows.


This made me sad.
posted by jefgodesky at 11:59 AM on April 27, 2006


D'oh!

*That's* a female deer ...
posted by carter at 12:05 PM on April 27, 2006


The Endless Forest is another piece of on-line witchcraft from Entropy8Zuper!.
posted by jokeefe at 12:07 PM on April 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


The human-faced deer totally reminds me of Seaman.
posted by ddf at 12:14 PM on April 27, 2006


Dag, I wanted to be a stag.
posted by fenriq at 12:19 PM on April 27, 2006


This was created by my netfriend Auriea Harvey (and her partner Michaël Samyn, along with a small team of game developers).

Although focusing on game design lately, Auriea and Michaël are very well-known for their webdesign, and have been been mentioned several, several times on MeFi.

"And you can interact all you like with them - with the minor caveat that deer can't talk."

That said, you can make interesting deer noises at each other. Never underestimate the power of deer flirtation!
posted by insomnia_lj at 12:20 PM on April 27, 2006


The human-faced deer totally reminds me of Seaman.
posted by ddf at 12:14 PM PST on April 27 [!]


i was thinking princess mononoke. kinda.
posted by fidgets at 12:21 PM on April 27, 2006


There's also that spiffy calliope deer dancing! I just spent a good few minutes mooing and dancing near the bridge. Can't figure out any of this eating stuff yet.
posted by cobaltnine at 12:28 PM on April 27, 2006


fidgets - I was thinking the same thing, especially after looking at the gallery photos. Then I saw that the creators acknowledge it... somewhat. (Scroll down to design question #9.)
posted by shortfuse at 12:29 PM on April 27, 2006


What the hey. I'll quote it:

Did the idea of the humanoid face on the deer come from Princess Mononoke?

When we asked our concept artist, Lina Kusaite, to design a deer for us, she drew one with a face like that. We know that, like us, she admires Miyazaki's masterpiece. But there are several other occurences of similar creatures in different cultures. Frida Kahlo's self portrait as a hunted stag is one. And Buraq, the horse that carried the profet Muhammed to heaven and back, is often depicted with a human face.
posted by shortfuse at 12:30 PM on April 27, 2006


If you meet a deer who's being a total douchebag, it's probably me.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:33 PM on April 27, 2006


How long until they introduce the pay-as-you go 'wolf in the endless forest' option? I'd sign up.
posted by anthill at 12:37 PM on April 27, 2006


STOP TRYING TO HUMP ME :(
posted by boo_radley at 12:43 PM on April 27, 2006


Figure's it'd turn into a stag party.
posted by cairnish at 12:55 PM on April 27, 2006


These puns are HURTING AMERICA.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:09 PM on April 27, 2006


51 Megs....hmm....
posted by inigo2 at 1:32 PM on April 27, 2006


This looks really cool but there's only one thing I didn't like about Princess Mononoke and it was that big deer god with the human face. Actually I hated that. Something about the way that looks enrages me. I can't fucking stand it.

Oh well, have fun bucking around, folks.
posted by redteam at 1:37 PM on April 27, 2006


If you can't help make things better you're just going to leave?
Way to pass the buck.
posted by ooga_booga at 1:53 PM on April 27, 2006


Have a hart- the guy's got every right to hoof it.
posted by maryh at 2:03 PM on April 27, 2006


redteam: me too! worse yet are characters like these. why can't heroic creatures in fantasy just be animals? Why must we give them horrible softened human features?! WHY!!?!?
posted by beerbajay at 2:38 PM on April 27, 2006


That's it? Someone throws up a link to the blue, and evenyone gushes over a few points?
I'd post to MetaTalk to complain, but I'm not about to chew bark over this.
posted by Smart Dalek at 2:40 PM on April 27, 2006


Glad to hear you're not a chewbarker, Smart Dalek. That would place you in entirely the wrong IP.


Rahhhghhh.


(Oh, c'mon. You were all thinking it)
posted by Sparx at 2:56 PM on April 27, 2006


Huh? I don't fallow, dear.
posted by maryh at 3:04 PM on April 27, 2006


Chewbarker the Wookie?
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:13 PM on April 27, 2006


Huh? I don't fallow, dear.

I am bested. I fawn in your general direction.
posted by Sparx at 3:36 PM on April 27, 2006


Pudu you love, baby?
posted by maryh at 3:42 PM on April 27, 2006


If anything the que....I mean deer atmosphere will keep all the homophobic asses away, except mayor of course !
posted by elpapacito at 3:44 PM on April 27, 2006


pudu MEFIstophiles, of course.
posted by Sparx at 4:08 PM on April 27, 2006


What a neat, gentle, fun game (non-game?). My niece will love this.
posted by notsnot at 4:28 PM on April 27, 2006


Hmm.

In brief: the creators are doing this so they can play god.
posted by JHarris at 5:11 PM on April 27, 2006


The game is buggy...

My avatar is blind! -- i have no ideer why.

Now it's lost its legs! Still! No ideer.
posted by Extopalopaketle at 5:23 PM on April 27, 2006


...Ray, a drop of golden sun. Me, a name I call myself. Fah, a long long way to run. Sew, a needle pulling thread. Lah, a note to follow sew. Tea, I drink with jam and bread. That will bring us back to...
posted by crunchland at 6:25 PM on April 27, 2006


Now it's lost its legs!

Nothing like a little ground beef to go with your venison...
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:36 PM on April 27, 2006


Since the technology behind The Endless Forest depends strongly on Microsoft's DirectX, this is unlikely. We regret this situation tremendously. We are Mac fans ourselves. But we cannot let technological limitations stop us from expressing ourselves artistically as best as we can. And for the moment, this requires Windows.

jefgodesky: This made me sad.

Especially since, from what I know about video game/graphics programming Direct X isn't really the tool that comes to mind for the people who want to "[express themselves] artistically as best as [they] can." It may be easier to get started with, but I figure that once you can get started with that, it can't be much harder to go with the more portable and open OpenGL.

Oh well. I guess I could install it on my PC--but I use that for WoW for pete's sake!
posted by illovich at 6:49 PM on April 27, 2006


This is cute but how much of a resource hog is it? Does a 1.9gHz have enough muscle to run it? It takes forever to finish starting up, frequently pauses and then catches up with itself, and the disk light stays on constantly while it's running. Then it takes forever to let go of the pc when you turn it off. Everquest and WOW run fine on this machine.

In addition, it's obviously ill-behaved in some respects. At startup it tried to hit the internet, and ZoneAlarm popped up the usual warning about an unrecognized program trying to phone home--shall we let it or shall we not? waiting for policy decision here--but Forest had taken over the screen so thoroughly ZoneAlarm's warning didn't show on top. No way for the user to know that ZA was waiting for input, but of course Forest wasn't going to get to the internet until ZA got the input it wanted. That little contretemps could have gone on quite a long time....

Also, is there any way to make it play with itself? If you don't interact with it at startup it'll eventually burn the image of a sleeping deer-thing into the phosphors. Not exactly what I think of as a screen saver.

posted by jfuller at 8:00 PM on April 27, 2006


Installed it, and it's sloooooow. My 'puter's not a real high-end machine, but it ain't bad, and for such a relatively small program there's some real lag issues there.

And yeah, I'd call this a game, not a screensaver.
posted by zardoz at 9:08 PM on April 27, 2006


Interesting. If you make internet users be mute deer in a forest, then they gather around and dance.
posted by TwelveTwo at 11:30 PM on April 27, 2006


It's an incredible resource hog. Took up 200+ MB RAM 1.2+ GB virtual memory on my machine just to get it started. Uses DirectX, not OpenGL, so Windows-only.

Like the concept, not too hot on the execution.
posted by moonbiter at 1:11 AM on April 28, 2006


Female deer would certainly add a level to the interactions.

They've probably gone into town to ... see the remake of DOA.
posted by raygirvan at 9:08 AM on April 28, 2006


Pfft, forget wolves, I'd pay to be a virtual hunter with a high powered rifle.
posted by Pink Fuzzy Bunny at 6:05 PM on April 29, 2006


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