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THERES NO TIME
July 10, 2009 10:08 AM   Subscribe

Flash Friday Funtime: Steamshovel Harry

Gives new meaning to the term "timesink."

With music by MetaFilters own Brad Sucks.
via
posted by Potomac Avenue (92 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
I played this a few days ago. It starts slow, but I was really impressed by the gameplay mechanic. Its unusual and, once you get used to it, a lot of fun.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:15 AM on July 10, 2009


Physics is gonna pull out a gun and shoot you right in the head...

Brilliant.
posted by JeffK at 10:18 AM on July 10, 2009


I gave up after 150 pages of Wikipedia. Is there an actual game in there or is a concept thing?
posted by DU at 10:19 AM on July 10, 2009 [4 favorites]


Once I got the hang of the controls I found it easier, but I still couldn't get past level 4 (etc etc)
posted by memebake at 10:20 AM on July 10, 2009


Oh god the autotune it's crushing my soul.
posted by Lemurrhea at 10:21 AM on July 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Is this a joke?
posted by peeedro at 10:21 AM on July 10, 2009 [4 favorites]


Forgot to link to the songs which Mr. Brad has for download from this game.

I'd say they were the best parts of the game but the cut scene after clearing the Oort Cloud stage was so detailed i actually teared up a little. Harry becomes like a real character by the end, you know?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:22 AM on July 10, 2009


i'm still in the intro and i'm really in a sort of good money (er.. time) after bad situation here? I feel like I should stick it out because i've already sat through, seriously, two minutes of load screen with no progress bar followed by more than ten minutes of unskippable intro and I want to get something out of it.

on the other hand, there is no indication of how much more intro i will have to sit through and I'm wondering if I should cut my losses now.

on neither hand... the intro does have a pretty amusing autotune song in the background.
posted by 256 at 10:23 AM on July 10, 2009


Oh, helper spider, why do you forsake me?
posted by peeedro at 10:25 AM on July 10, 2009


oh my god
posted by shmegegge at 10:26 AM on July 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I'm some way through the ridiculously long 'national anthem' or whatever, and I suspect that I'm almost through the intro. But I'm not sure. And not really interested anymore. Sorry, Harry.

I feel like this was a way for this guy to showcase his little songs more than anything else. But of course, I never got to the actual game.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 10:26 AM on July 10, 2009


oh... wait.
posted by 256 at 10:26 AM on July 10, 2009


Previously.
posted by Mister_A at 10:27 AM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


*applauds, breaks monitor*
posted by cortex at 10:27 AM on July 10, 2009 [4 favorites]


Hmm. Intro songs were great, but I never did make to any actual gameplay.
posted by JeffK at 10:28 AM on July 10, 2009


I lied, I forgot to close the window. And then it was kind of funny.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 10:28 AM on July 10, 2009


The gameplay's great and all... but I wish the graphics were a little bit tighter, you know? It would have made the surprisingly long intro a little more tolerable. Which would have been good, because once you get past that it's really a lot of fun.
posted by malthas at 10:30 AM on July 10, 2009


Don't forget the physics engine programming, courtesy of MeFi's own DigDugDag.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:30 AM on July 10, 2009


This is even better than QWOP. I swear.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:40 AM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


All I know is I got out of the intro, and the missile came down. Playtime: 5 sec, Intro: 10 min. I don't know if I can handle it again.
posted by JauntyFedora at 10:47 AM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


You almost had it bro, it's all about hitting Ctrl. You'll get the hang of it.

HINT: x0 = ct where x1 = x and x2 = y and x3 = z as usual.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:53 AM on July 10, 2009


This made me lose lots of sanity points.
posted by bjrn at 10:54 AM on July 10, 2009


Physics 102? Lame. When do I get to shovel something? Ooooh asteroid hopping looks....fun. Do I get to shovel the asteroid after I hop it? "click to close browser window"
posted by Brocktoon at 10:55 AM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


OH MY GOD START
posted by penduluum at 10:59 AM on July 10, 2009 [5 favorites]


(okay, actually that's pretty funny.)
posted by penduluum at 11:00 AM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


THERES NO TIMEGAME
posted by uncleozzy at 11:05 AM on July 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


this right here is bullshit is what this is
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 11:11 AM on July 10, 2009 [5 favorites]


bradsucks is the third Conchord.
posted by boo_radley at 11:11 AM on July 10, 2009


Oh dammit I just spent fifteen minutes playing QWOP again. 5.6m!
posted by cortex at 11:12 AM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Where's the game?
posted by schwa at 11:18 AM on July 10, 2009


I thought this was brilliant. Especially the giant spider king. Keep on trollin'.
posted by ubermuffin at 11:18 AM on July 10, 2009


I only got a chance to play for 8 hours so I had to stop once I reached the Spider King's Bat Mitzvah. I really liked their unique take on relationship management (even though Bleeblegorp wouldn't stop calling my space-phone), but I wonder if there wouldn't be some better way to balance the amount of gold farming you have to do before you can start to affect the local-system markets on a macro-economic level.
posted by danny the boy at 11:27 AM on July 10, 2009 [7 favorites]


Man, Madagascar always closes their port so quickly!
posted by infinitewindow at 11:39 AM on July 10, 2009


danny the boy: Gold farming is just a red herring. The trick is to exploit the game's magnetic monopole arbitrage by buying from the spiders, then getting your shipment destroyed by space dragons, and then collecting on the insurance. You did buy space dragon insurance when it was offered to you by the shady robot dealer in level 3, right?
posted by ubermuffin at 11:40 AM on July 10, 2009


All hail the Spider King!
It's been fascinating watching this game's rating gradually creep up from 0% as more and more people 'get it'.

(Disclosure: I created two of the other E4 'Summer of Games' games, hence the obsessive stats-watching. I'm hoping my third will rival this for OMGWTF impact...)
posted by malevolent at 11:41 AM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Godammit it's ordnance not ordinance why can't game developers ever get this right you can't blow things up with rules i swear to god it was even in quake 4
posted by Durhey at 12:10 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


No soap?
posted by yhbc at 12:28 PM on July 10, 2009


GRAVITY WAaAaAaATCH OoOoOOOOuUUuUT
posted by davejay at 12:36 PM on July 10, 2009


(is there a game in here somewhere?)
posted by davejay at 12:37 PM on July 10, 2009


Physics are not going to kill me. This game is going to kill me.
posted by davejay at 12:38 PM on July 10, 2009


Radio.
posted by infinitewindow at 12:41 PM on July 10, 2009


Is it wrong that the longer this goes and the more certain I am that this is going to end in fifteen minutes before I can start playing, the more I like it?
posted by davejay at 12:42 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


I had trouble with the controls, they should have gone into more depth explaining them.
posted by revgeorge at 12:45 PM on July 10, 2009


If there's one thing that the surprising re-emergence of the 2D jumper/platform (thanks to flash on the web) has taught us, it's that what makes a game great is not the graphics or realism, but the gameplay and story.

Steamshovel Harry is a great example of this.
posted by sloe at 12:45 PM on July 10, 2009


This thread is like a pachinko where I always win.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:46 PM on July 10, 2009


I made it as far as Physics 103.

Dear game designers: Put a SKIP button in your game tutorials.
posted by Fleebnork at 1:02 PM on July 10, 2009


ha.
posted by shmegegge at 1:05 PM on July 10, 2009


Thank you, infinitewindow.
posted by yhbc at 1:12 PM on July 10, 2009


"I meant to say meteroids then, woaoaoaoah"

lol
posted by memebake at 1:18 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


I agree that some of the design decisions were a little mystifying. I mean WHY does my pet Denebolan poodle even WANT a space-latte, much less require a daily trip to Starbucks, just to perform his duties as purser? He's an arthropod! LOLS
posted by danny the boy at 1:22 PM on July 10, 2009


Hello I am the game creator. In response to a common question, no it is not a glitch that it seems you cannot get past level 5. Open your space inventory if you don't have the right item equipped.

Second common complaint addressed: Yes I know the tutorial should have been more thorough, but my belief is that players should not be hand-held through all aspects of the game. Learning to play is more fun than being taught how to play.
posted by DigDugDag at 1:25 PM on July 10, 2009 [24 favorites]


oh hey, I'm glad you're here!

I've been meaning to ask: was there a beta process involved for the production of this? I ask because I noticed a lot of other players wandering around with gear that doesn't seem to be available anymore, and I thought maybe they were holdovers from a private beta.
posted by shmegegge at 1:27 PM on July 10, 2009


No. Simple answer: there are unlocks available if you beat Space Dragon final boss with only the Man Handy equipped. Yes, it is possible.
posted by DigDugDag at 1:32 PM on July 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


DigDugDag, I am a fan of your early work
posted by Damn That Television at 1:33 PM on July 10, 2009


What no one here has mentioned, something that I really liked was the helper spider in the beginning. The tutorial with the spider in level one really helped me get the advanced techniques for rock throwing down.
posted by Hactar at 1:35 PM on July 10, 2009


Can anyone help me? I'm stuck on the physics introduction and I don't feel confident enough to click next.
posted by TwelveTwo at 1:36 PM on July 10, 2009


Skip. Skip. Skip.
skipskipskipskipskip
S K I P goddammit S K I P S K I P S K I P

Nope, sorry. I can't in good conscience play this game. It might be interesting, and then I'd be forced to play it again, which in turn would mean suffering through half an eternity of non-skippable instructions. Which would lead to my brain dribbling out of my left ear.
posted by PontifexPrimus at 1:41 PM on July 10, 2009


Thanks for the props to giant cave spiders. Most games underpower them.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 1:45 PM on July 10, 2009


Wow sweet, creator chat.

I have several questions as you might imagine. But the primary one is which alignment do I choose once i hit second level???

I mean, it seems obvious that Harry himself is "good" in that he's trying to help his society, but it quickly becomes clear that the other side is more conventionally what we might call "moral" or "justice-oriented" or "not-parasitic-psychic-8tentacled-corporate-fungi". Given that NED is similar to Big Brother, and that XPs increase dramatically depending on your alignment to the Insidiousness VS Innocence matrix, shouldn't I pick "Lawful Swiss" at the very least, if not outright "Realist" despite the loss of Cleric Tech and E-meter Map reading abilities?

Second question: I know the way to beat the Screaming Gnats is with the Doppler Effect, but I cant make the Rave Whistle hit hi-C and do em all at one go...bug or feature?

I'll take my answer off the air, I think the mescaline just kicked in.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:48 PM on July 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


what
posted by aheckler at 1:52 PM on July 10, 2009


When do they get to the fireworks factory?! *sobs*
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:53 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Most games can be enjoyed by N people, where N is everybody. This game can only be enjoyed by N-1 people. The Nth person to play it won't have an opportunity to enjoy it in the same way.
posted by rlk at 1:54 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


S K I P goddammit S K I P S K I P S K I P

Woah, slow down there little Billy. You're not going to have any hope of punching that missile square in the face IF YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW BASIC PHYSICS!
posted by danny the boy at 1:59 PM on July 10, 2009


I can't in good conscience play this game.

Well, to be fair, it wouldn't really matter if you chose a different alignment.
posted by cortex at 2:02 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


The key to Level 3, especially the Mines, is evading Golgamurth's laser eye without opening Mehrle's airlock. Use of your starting currency is essential, as killing enemies yourself will soon destabilize the asteroids, but not killing them will result in Mehrle obtaining the Jetpack's power supply.

Standard guns are best for this task, as the healing station can be used to keep your guards alive while they do the fighting and meta-control readjustments. Two more advantages of the guns are the large amount of bullets they start with, and their starting armor that can increase their maximum health without levelling up.

If you try this strat, let me know so I combine it with the now-famous "protection racket" attempts in Level 2. This might allow one to start fighting Zoltan with as much as 3476 extra HP.
posted by aheckler at 2:08 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


honestly, you min-maxers are what ruins this game for everybody else.
posted by shmegegge at 2:18 PM on July 10, 2009


I think there's a bug-- once I made it into the Antechamber I got stuck behind the 3rd wall from the left and then suddenly appeared way back in the Laser Dungeon (or whatever it was called). I couldn't move at all and finally one of the potatoes killed me.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:25 PM on July 10, 2009


all y'all think 5-card Mao is like the smartest thing ever too don'cha
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 2:43 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well for me I think it's more about the desire to put on a skullcap with a bundle of wires attaching it to a giant blinky-light computer in the wall and have it suck out of my brain THE MOST AWESOME GAME EVER.

"And then! Your dude would be like escaping on a surfboard with all these guys chasing him in helicopters shooting laser beams and he'd have to PUNCH THE HELICOPTERS OUT OF THE SKY!!"
posted by danny the boy at 2:59 PM on July 10, 2009


ah, so you're responsible for Prototype, then.
posted by shmegegge at 3:04 PM on July 10, 2009


Fuck, I just lost the game.
posted by loquacious at 3:05 PM on July 10, 2009


Hi Potomac Avenue, thanks for calling in.

Let me just say that the Helm of Opposite Alignment can be very useful, but remember using it comes with certain dangers.
posted by DigDugDag at 4:09 PM on July 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


I made it as far as Physics 103.

Dear game designers: Put a SKIP button in your game tutorials.


Your doing it wrong.
posted by uni verse at 4:13 PM on July 10, 2009


Alternate ending! Sweet!
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:13 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Tpain for president...auto tune rocks dude
posted by askdeszign at 6:09 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is this just a resume for a game music composer or is there a real game eventually?

Someone give him a job so we can just play the damn game!
posted by Lukenlogs at 7:01 PM on July 10, 2009


I agree, someone give me a job.
posted by frenetic at 7:04 PM on July 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


I cracked up when I realized that the intermission music between levels 9 and 10 were a homage to Bambi vs Godzilla.
posted by xorry at 7:08 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Err.. `were` should have been `was`.
posted by xorry at 7:09 PM on July 10, 2009


You know that joke about how do you keep a moron occupied? Yeah, put me in a round room and tell me there's a penny in the corner.

You remember the 'three shells' in 'Demolition Man'? Yeah, I still want to know how they're supposed to work.

I know, I know, I know. I know the shells are a joke.

What I'm saying here is I hate you all, especially you, DigDugDag and BradSucks.
posted by Reverend John at 9:03 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Hello I am the game creator. "

Is it possible to mute the sound?
posted by Mitheral at 11:08 PM on July 10, 2009


A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. Anyone for a nice game of chess?
posted by FfejL at 7:38 AM on July 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Who has an unskippable, unplayable intro that long? Boo. I refuse to play the game just on general principal. Let me figure it out and die a few times first. Ridiculous.
posted by MythMaker at 10:10 AM on July 11, 2009


i dunno man, i hear you, but...i have to say, if it wasn't for the intro being as long and in-depth and chock full of useful content as it was, i really wouldn't have enjoyed the rest of the game as much.

and i enjoyed the rest of it. a lot. i finally just beat the last enemy, Sarcasmotron-- A+ ending sequence, well worth all the time i put into it. Thanks DDD and brad!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:14 AM on July 11, 2009


I'm at the national anthem now, probably should twitter my progress.
posted by sebas at 5:31 AM on July 12, 2009


I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
posted by cj_ at 9:34 AM on July 12, 2009


Dear God how long does this game go on for. I clicked the link yesterday for fuck's sake.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:11 PM on July 12, 2009


I'm enjoying the bizarreness of reading the comments about the game while in complete ignorance of it. I have no idea if the game itself will match up to the weirdness that I have in my head right now.
posted by nonspecialist at 11:20 PM on July 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I gave up after the intro started delving into astronomy. No idea what the actual game is like, because after that mind-numbing intro/tutorial and godawful music, I just. don't. care.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:55 PM on July 12, 2009


Temporarily beat the high score.
Screenshot.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:50 AM on July 14, 2009


Yeah, I couldn't get past Physics 103 either. I'm just not very good at this type of game.
posted by team lowkey at 12:14 PM on July 14, 2009


my secondary weapon is an angry munchkin. And that's for rizzle.
posted by garlic at 8:08 PM on July 31, 2009


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