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October 7, 2015 10:08 AM   Subscribe

On October 1st, Davey Wreden (creater of The Stanley Parable, previously) released The Beginner's Guide. "It lasts about an hour and a half and has no traditional mechanics, no goals or objectives. Instead, it tells the story of a person struggling to deal with something they do not understand."

Going in blind is probably the best way to experience Wreden's project and its themes, which include loneliness, vulnerability, and accessibility of art, among others. Wreden's blog post on winning Game Of The Year for The Stanley Parable also seems quite relevant after digesting the title.

The game is available on Steam and the Humble Store, for Windows and Mac.
posted by erratic meatsack (15 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
If anyone prefers to watch a playthrough, I found RockLeeSmile's YouTube videos and commentary to be insightful.
posted by erratic meatsack at 10:08 AM on October 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

Bought this instantly but haven't had a chance to play it yet. The Stanley Parable was so, so good.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:24 AM on October 7, 2015

Watching a playthrough is only a couple of hours and it was honestly pretty moving.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 10:25 AM on October 7, 2015

Once you've played I highly highly HIGHLY recommend the Gamer's with Job's Spoiler Section podcast. A panel of five really smart Gamers deconstruct the game from a variety of points of view. It added immeasurably to my experience in playing the game.
posted by Frayed Knot at 10:33 AM on October 7, 2015 [3 favorites]

oh cool, I loved the stanley parable, I'll have to get this, like now
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 10:42 AM on October 7, 2015

This talk by Davey Wreden about "Playing Stories" (recommended for after you watch/play The Beginner's Guide) was also illuminating.

His introspection on how making games and releasing them into the world changed him (or maybe revealed who he was all along) has been really really interesting. I don't think it's an aspect of game development that gets talked about much, although it's not an unfamiliar topic when it comes to more traditional art. The number of games that are truly about the developer's personal self-expression is quite small, and accessibility is one of the primary concerns if the hope is to turn it into something more than a hobby.
posted by erratic meatsack at 11:20 AM on October 7, 2015 [5 favorites]

When I was a computer tech in the early 1990s we would look at the files of every computer that came into the shop and 80% of the time we would be able to find out what sort of porn that person was into so I kind of feel like I've already played this game.
posted by bondcliff at 11:32 AM on October 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

ooh! looking forward to this! loved the Stanley Parable
posted by rebent at 1:04 PM on October 7, 2015

That was art.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 1:29 PM on October 7, 2015

I just finished playing this (thanks for the headsup, erratic! I had no idea about this game existing. I too loved the Stanley Parable.) and it's really great.
posted by bigendian at 3:15 PM on October 7, 2015

Nobody Understands Me: The Game
posted by Sunburnt at 3:59 PM on October 7, 2015

This game both inspired me and absolutely wrecked me. I can't recommend it enough if you work in a creative field.

You are not alone in your fears and self-doubt: The Game
posted by davejh at 4:15 PM on October 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

I also had no idea The Stanley Parable guy released a new game, so I went home and played it pretty much immediately.

Wreden does the Jorge Luis Borges/Tim O'Brien trick of being the narrator himself so you're not sure where the truth ends or begins, which is always really trippy, and he pulls it off pretty well.

What I most enjoyed though was the many different themes going through, creative expression, depression, anxiety, psychological projection, "rescuer syndrome." There were parts of this game where I could physically feel those emotions hit me. There were so many balls in the air and even though it was self-indulgent as hell all those themes still landed pretty well. This games lacks the comedy of The Stanley Parable, but to those who have experience with some of those themes it's going to hit more emotionally I think.
posted by john-a-dreams at 8:48 PM on October 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm late to the party, but I just finished this game and it was fantastic. I enjoyed seeing If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino on the bookshelf. This game took the methods and thematic concerns of that novel and translated them into the very different medium of gaming with such skill. A work made of short, aborted examples of its medium, addressing its audience directly, talking plainly with them about the experience of engaging with that medium on a deep, life-changing level.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 9:38 PM on October 14, 2015

thanks, that was really great
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 7:03 PM on October 17, 2015

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