In Soviet Russia, The Video Game Plays You!
March 22, 2019 7:37 PM   Subscribe

Game tips: It's Winter! Stay inside your apartment and make yourself some scrambled eggs... This video game lets you wander about a dreary suburban Russian tower block. Nothing to do, no one to see, you cannot lose nor can you win.
posted by yossarian1 (15 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
would the world-weary, beaten down, grizzled soldiers of call of duty pine for this quiet life of baths and eggs and toast?
posted by wibari at 8:47 PM on March 22, 2019 [5 favorites]

They want $10 for a sadness simulator? Pfft. I manufacture my own for free.
posted by axiom at 9:07 PM on March 22, 2019 [14 favorites]

Yea......I grew up in a small rust belt town, and I have no interest in revisiting the despair. :/

Up next: debt simulator!
posted by ethical_caligula at 9:26 PM on March 22, 2019 [7 favorites]

Where's An Egg? meets Tonight You Die? I approve!
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 9:26 PM on March 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

Sadly, I could have lived this at home easily a month ago. But now spring has finally broken in Montana, the red-wing blackbirds are trilling in the swamp behind my house, my Easter cactus is planning to bloom soon, and the piles of snow by my sidewalk are finally shorter than I am. I'm just too happy for the mood of a game like this, aw shucks aw darn.

What's the word for "sad one can't be sad"? Freudenschade? Athymosalgia? Preppygoth?
posted by traveler_ at 9:37 PM on March 22, 2019 [5 favorites]

Up next: debt simulator!

I think I posted about the "paper farming" project we did in social studies class in middle school. Plan out your farm, choose crops, irrigation, pesticides, insurance. Then the weather comes and the harvest comes and you find out how much money... you lost. You always lost. Try again. Get another farm loan to fund it all, and bingo, there's your debt simulator. Just try to get enough acerage and good weather years to get your grandchildren in the black.
posted by traveler_ at 9:39 PM on March 22, 2019 [7 favorites]

Where do I stand in line for this game? Is this the line? What line is this for?
posted by not_on_display at 10:41 PM on March 22, 2019 [23 favorites]

Needs at least one random vodka bottle. FPS; like in the hand; swigging up into the face for a drink every 10 meters or so.

Stops on corner; swigs vodka. Stumbles. +1
Urinates in alley, hits shoe. -1
Burns sleeve when lighting cigarette -1
Swigs another drink of vodka, slobbers on trench coat -1
Sits on random porch steps, finds half smoked cigarette +1

Sign me up; best day at work ever, Comrade.
posted by buzzman at 4:48 AM on March 23, 2019 [4 favorites]

not_on_display: the line is the game.
posted by adamrice at 6:45 AM on March 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

This sounds interesting, and I'm gonna play it sometime.

The corner shop and beauty salon are both close and the playground is eerily empty. In fact, there are no people to be seen wherever you go.

I'm into old-school text adventures (or "interactive fiction", as they're called nowadays), and I've been revisiting the genre lately.

Many text adventures - the majority, in fact - are precisely like this. There's usually some narrative conceit to explain why you're all alone in a place. But the real reason is that coding a believable simulacrum of a sentient being is really freaking difficult.

That's why so many small, indie projects like this don't even attempt it. An inexplicably depopulated environment disrupts the immersion less than a blatantly mechanical caricature of a person.

Which leads to a lot of games that explore isolation, lone survivalism, etc.

Anyway. Just observing that this sounds like a case where the technical limitations of the medium dictate, at least in part, the theme and realization of the piece. Which is not a bad thing. Just a thing.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 7:07 AM on March 23, 2019 [9 favorites]

I love urban walking sims. I'll probably have to give this one a try. Yesterday, I bought the walking sim version of Assassin Creed: Origins. Not the game itself, but the standalone side version with zero combat or quests. Instead, it just lets you walk through Alexandria, visit the pyramids, crash a funeral at a very old temple, float up and down the Nile, or run with the hyenas across the sand dunes. I hope they'll do more of those with future AssCreed games.

Thinking about the isolation made me think of one urban walking sim that's the opposite. Bernband, which is just you walking through an enormous alien city. Has simple sprites that do little more than simple looped animations. They're not interactive in any meaningful sense, but they really make the place come alive.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 8:54 AM on March 23, 2019 [5 favorites]

Stops on corner; swigs vodka. Stumbles. +1
Urinates in alley, hits shoe. -1
Burns sleeve when lighting cigarette -1
Swigs another drink of vodka, slobbers on trench coat -1
Sits on random porch steps, finds half smoked cigarette +1

Well, now I just want a Sir Digby Chicken Caesar video game.
posted by frogstar42 at 9:53 AM on March 23, 2019 [5 favorites]

Here are the two posts I made on FB about this game in a nerd group:

I read about this new game called "It's Winter" and I bought it on Steam because it looks cool. About five minutes into the game I've gotten to a point where I'm on the ground outside the apartment building and I just need to put on these fucking cross-country boots so I can buckle into my cross-country skis and see what happens next in the game.

I've been punching all the usual keys and esc and command and ctrl and caps and I just can't put on these fucking boots. There aren't any in-game instructions or hints so I just give up.

I know there are at least a couple of game devs here - any idea what I'm missing?
OK, I went back to it and tried again.

I learned how to drop rolls of TP into the toilet, get out of the apartment using the key (as opposed to breaking the window and jumping out), throw bottles and garbage down the stairs and start walking down a road. After a while, it just got so dark that I couldn't even see if I was horizontal or vertical until I got trapped behind a tree trunk.

I found a site for the game and this is the - very apt - description: "Panel houses, snow, overcast sky, tiny kitchen, shabby staircase… It's Winter is an indie game which genre could be classified as sandbox, post-soviet, sad 3d, russian sadness. Nothing awaits you: there is no chance to get out, no room for adventures and breathtaking plot."
posted by bendy at 3:21 AM on March 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

So they one-upped My Summer Car?

Finnish game where you drive around, get pissed drunk, go to the store, and rebuild a car.
posted by Zangal at 8:33 PM on March 24, 2019

A strange game.
The only winning move is not to play.
posted by mhum at 11:55 AM on March 25, 2019

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