Cursors
October 19, 2014 3:49 AM   Subscribe

Cursors is a fascinating maze game where you have to cooperate with others with very limited ways of communicating.
posted by Foci for Analysis (58 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm not too proud to admit that when I figured out you could draw, I spent about ten minutes making arrows that pointed to the maze exit that sent you back to the previous screen.
posted by logicpunk at 4:36 AM on October 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


That was fun. Although I want to redo the penultimate level to see what "curiosity" brings.
Also I would like the gold.

I like how the early levels are kind of doable by an Ayn Rand style take what you want approach, but as resources (i.e. other players) become fewer you need to implement socialist policies.

I think if there was a way to identify other users then you would rapidly see a kind of punishment reward system crop up, even if they were arbitrary names (or even just randomly assigned colours, screw those purple guys, they never help out!)
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:41 AM on October 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hmm, no limit to the number of connections you can make.
I've currently got 8 windows open each with a cursor in it holding open the gates for the first 7 or so levels.

Which I guess is kind of... helpful trolling?

oh...there is some kind of limit, they just disconnected me after about 5 minutes of inactivity.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:03 AM on October 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


"curiosity" brings

What's the worst thing you can imagine? That.
posted by fleacircus at 5:05 AM on October 19, 2014


Was going well until "Connection lost" - sent right back to the beginning and then lost heart, sobbing in the corner.
posted by greenhornet at 5:06 AM on October 19, 2014


Oh, maybe it was a general connection lost then and not an anti-multi device?
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:07 AM on October 19, 2014


Someday, probably someday soon, the last player to ever start playing this game will start it.
That person will not be able to finish it.
posted by baf at 5:10 AM on October 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


I do like the social curve to some of these puzzles, where you start out a clueless newbie just looking for a chance at an easy win, and ninety seconds later you're a bitter expert screaming at the idiots and flaunting your entitlement.
posted by fleacircus at 5:14 AM on October 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, people totally try to troll even if the drawings are disabled. Looking at your cursor #4214 who clicks furiously at the wrong gate.

Game needs a mechanism to reward social behavior that's in favor of the community. Wonder what that would look like?
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:26 AM on October 19, 2014


Game Our society needs a mechanism to reward social behavior that's in favor of the community.

FTFY
posted by HuronBob at 5:32 AM on October 19, 2014 [4 favorites]


Although I want to redo the penultimate level to see what "curiosity" brings.

I feel like I shouldn't give it away, but can someone report what happens if you don't go the curiosity route?
posted by nobody at 5:37 AM on October 19, 2014


I keep getting a hide pointer message. Firefox?. Can I just play medic? I like playing medic.
posted by vapidave at 5:46 AM on October 19, 2014


You can play button chump that's kind of similar.
posted by fleacircus at 5:49 AM on October 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


If you don't go curiosity the game ends. I spent a few minutes waiting for fellow curious folk to help me out, but with no luck.

Perhaps as an encouragement for niceness you should get a visible point each time you click on a gate, so you can see who is helping others.
posted by twirlypen at 6:21 AM on October 19, 2014


Which way is "CURIOSITY" though?
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 6:26 AM on October 19, 2014


The lower-right curiosity exit (rot13) jnecf lbh onpx gb gur svefg yriry.
posted by reynaert at 6:45 AM on October 19, 2014


I have no clue what is going on in this game.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:56 AM on October 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


Easier with a mouse than a trackpad.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:14 AM on October 19, 2014


I'm stuck in the area with the pink tunnels that you have to squeeze through. :(
posted by Jacqueline at 7:52 AM on October 19, 2014


Amazingly cool. I am currently trapped in a maze with a bunch of other people and we are all drawing our section black to inform the others.
posted by phaedon at 7:53 AM on October 19, 2014


I don't think I have the fine motor control to get out of the pink tunnels area. :(
posted by Jacqueline at 7:55 AM on October 19, 2014


GOD DAMN MOTHER FUCKING COCK SUCKING SON OF A BITCH PIECE OF SHIT

i hate pink tunnels :(
posted by Jacqueline at 7:58 AM on October 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


ARGH FUCK YOU PINK TUNNELS
posted by Jacqueline at 8:03 AM on October 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


FINALLY

it took 20+ minutes but I finally got past the room with the pink tunnels
posted by Jacqueline at 8:07 AM on October 19, 2014


OH WTF

I was in the "Curiousity Killed the Mouse" section and suddenly lost connection to server :(
posted by Jacqueline at 8:14 AM on October 19, 2014


I got past the room with three potential exits after guessing wrong twice, got to the room with twelve exits, and just closed the tab to avoid the obvious upcoming frustration.
posted by LSK at 8:27 AM on October 19, 2014


got to the room with twelve exits, and just closed the tab

Observe the other players.
posted by signal at 8:47 AM on October 19, 2014


A bunch of us are holding the gates open for Curiosity -- anyone make it through who can tell us what it does?
posted by Jacqueline at 9:02 AM on October 19, 2014


I feel like I shouldn't give it away, but can someone report what happens if you don't go the curiosity route?

You get to a winners screen where people are drawing dicks, apparently.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:07 AM on October 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


The best part of this game is when you do something for someone else and they write a little "thanks" or "thx bro" before leaving for the next level. There were a few times when I had to leave quickly or something would fall down again and I wanted more time/space to do the same. I tried shaking the mouse or frantically clicking but I don't think the message got across.

I think the lack of indication of who has or hasn't been helping others is part of the appeal to the game, myself. There's no way of knowing who's taking advantage of you and there's no way of knowing who's been entirely selfless for ages and now just wants to leave, because usually the people you help the most are the people who immediately leave afterwards. When you help it's not because you know you'll get something in return but just because you really want the game to work, for some reason. I'm sure some political theorist could spend quite some time analysing this sort of thing.

I wish I could just pick a screen and watch it play out for an hour or so, see what strategies people come up with. I would now but there's no way I'm going through several of those screens more than once in this lifetime (seconding the thing about the pink tunnels, ugh).
posted by eykal at 9:39 AM on October 19, 2014 [4 favorites]


The best part of this game is when you do something for someone else and they write a little "thanks" or "thx bro" before leaving for the next level.

When I was playing, people you helped drew little hearts just before they left the level. Much quicker than trying to write something.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:50 AM on October 19, 2014


Oh man me and somebody helped like 10 people through the curiosity door (it only takes two to get a third person through), I don't feel bad, teamwork is the real victory.
posted by Nomiconic at 10:05 AM on October 19, 2014


Which, you know, speak up if that was you, because we are great at teamwork and forever bound by our shared complicity in the travesty we caused.
posted by Nomiconic at 10:27 AM on October 19, 2014


Yes, congratulations, all those cursors you let through are now daleks.
posted by fleacircus at 10:28 AM on October 19, 2014


I appear to be trapped in a room which requires 6 people to let a 7th person through, two of whom are idle...
posted by pwnguin at 10:56 AM on October 19, 2014


I gave up when I saw the pink tunnels. I may have to try again using my mouse and... I dunno, a book or something to keep moving in a straight line.

If the other players are too much of a PITA, you could always try playing with yourself. Wait... no, not like that: Cursor*10 + Cursor*10-2 (previously).
posted by avoision at 10:57 AM on October 19, 2014


I'm stuck in a room with a blue door and a red door; each of which guards the red button and blue button, respectively. There are quite a lot of people in here, and no one seems to be progressing. Alas!
posted by Maecenas at 11:06 AM on October 19, 2014


If you see a guy cursor repeatedly spamming OMG, WTF and other 3-letter slurs in the pink tunnel-levels without making much progress, that's me. The "o" in the title is misleading and could be an "e" for all I know. I love this game!
posted by KMB at 12:22 PM on October 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Good news: the game's been expanded with many new levels since this was posted. Bad news: many players seem to never make it past the two tunnel rooms, so the later levels are pretty lonely...
posted by reynaert at 1:16 PM on October 19, 2014


This was a lovely experience...i played a game with some friends.

A bunch of us stopping at the end of a perilously narrow corridor to blink furiously, encouraging those behind us. Two of us, trapped in small, widely separated areas, waiting to be freed, starting to play tic-tac-toe. People drawing and learning together, thanking each other, doodling little hearts to dedicated door openers. The way we find a way to tell jokes and show kindness and headgame and screw with each other no matter what the limitations on our vocabulary.

Also dick-and-ball doodles. We make those no matter what, too.
posted by longtime_lurker at 2:01 PM on October 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


"You can play the same levels over again, now with fewer players"

*dumps me on a blank screen*

I guess not, then.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 2:15 PM on October 19, 2014


I thought this game was beautiful! It gave me a surprising amount of feels. The laugh of glee and amusing camaraderie while watching a slew of us inching down together between the pink corridors, the strange intimacy and loneliness when it was just me and one other cursor alone on a deep maze level, the annoyance towards someone trolling by just sitting next to a crucial button or the gratitude felt towards someone else selflessly parking themselves there and clicking.

I felt the anonymity really added something special. Everyone looks the same and you gain no personal credit whatsoever from helping others out...but you still do it. Or don't. But mostly do.
posted by threeants at 2:37 PM on October 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm glad somebody danced with me in my wiggling cursor party while we were waiting for a few more people.
posted by solarion at 2:42 PM on October 19, 2014


The pink corridors ruined what would otherwise be a great game.
posted by ymgve at 2:44 PM on October 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


I love the concept but was very frustrated by the pink corridors, which are virtually impossible on a low-precision laptop trackpad.
posted by miyabo at 3:08 PM on October 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


The pink corridors are definitely a bit of a throwback in an otherwise genius game — I ended up switching on cursor keys to get through them. The game author has posted a couple of threads on 4chan's /v/, and they did say they were struggling with new level ideas.

They do seem to grok the things that (in my opinion) make the game interesting though, because they were resistant to suggestions of chatboxes or visible player feedback. It's so stripped down that doing something altruistic in a game actually feels purely altruistic for once. There's zero thought in the back of my mind that this will get me points or bragging rights. (Vice versa, the only guilt I feel from zipping past people is plain, actual guilt.)
posted by lucidium at 3:36 PM on October 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Woot!
sHOUT oUT to
HearTS,
stick figURE,
SmilY FAce WiTH CraY CRaY
PeNIS,
InCREDiblY Dense,
BiG LOve.
And Lets NoT FOrGet
W I G G L E,
you know Who You ARE.
posted by xtian at 5:43 PM on October 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


This was horribly addictive and I'm glad it ends after only so many levels or I would be in trouble. I can see staking out, like, the purple button in that one corner and just manning it all night, watching groups of cursors come and go. I'm also impressed by how playful and expressive cursor movements can be.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:44 PM on October 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


The secret to the pink corridors is to switch to keyboard mouse mode; that basically made that doable for me in the second set of them.
posted by ChrisR at 10:24 PM on October 19, 2014


Oh, and my pet peeve? The assholes that loiter on the countdown toggle, CLICKING TOO SLOWLY TO LOWER THE NUMBER TO ZERO!
posted by ChrisR at 10:25 PM on October 19, 2014


Things I did:
-- asked people to join me
-- drew hearts and faces
-- helped
-- told someone I loved them
-- trolled the clicker button in more complex levels (^the asshole move). Another person was even funnier/more dickish, removing their color-wall when other walls were in the way and not manned, but not when it was the only wall people were waiting for.
-- requested a first in, first out order (FIFO!)
-- got sworn at for no discernible reason (I wuddnt trolling then)
-- got trapped and had to wait many minutes for help

It's wonderful, but indeed the mouse-exercise danger corridors don't belong. I almost gave up early.
posted by sylvanshine at 12:12 AM on October 20, 2014


Can anyone explain what technology allows this game to work in a browser in real time? Is "AJAX" efficient enough to do this now? It's using about 4 kb/sec on the wire at the end.
posted by sylvanshine at 12:22 AM on October 20, 2014


would someone give some instructions please?
posted by claptrap at 12:52 AM on October 20, 2014


Wait, so I'm the only one who immediately activated using the keyboard as a mouse on the first pink tunnel level?
posted by NoraReed at 3:19 AM on October 20, 2014


Is it working for other people? I'm only getting a 'lost connection to server' message.
posted by Ned G at 6:12 AM on October 20, 2014


would someone give some instructions please?

Figuring it out as you go along is part of the fun!
posted by Jacqueline at 7:38 AM on October 20, 2014


claptrap, for starters: your goal is to get your cursor to the green area in the maze. Your cursor is highlighted in a yellow circle. If your cursor gets stuck but your mouse moves away, your mouse will be highlighted in a pink circle -- then you have to go look for the yellow circle and maneuver your cursor out of whatever place it's stuck.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:12 AM on October 20, 2014


Thank you so much LobsterMitten! I couldn't see the yellow circle (partially sighted) but can just about now. How do you 'activate using the keyboard as mouse'?
posted by claptrap at 11:38 AM on October 20, 2014


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