Sleep is a compelling narrative experience
April 19, 2010 3:37 PM   Subscribe

Jason Rohrer's Sleep is Death (discussed previously) has been awake since Friday, and one thing is certain: This is not a game. It's improv theatre. And though it costs $14 to participate, sitting in the audience is free.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis (12 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
My friend and I have great intentions for Sleep is Death but neither he nor I have sat down to fiddle around with Sleep is Death enough to learn the creator-interface well enough to actually tell a story. I really want to get good at this, but life's keeping me from getting into the obsessive spiral that seems necessary to get to grips with it. I'm pretty sure it'll happen, though. I spent years dancing around Dwarf Fortress before finally diving in and I suspect Sleep is Death will be similar.
posted by Kattullus at 3:52 PM on April 19, 2010

Ichiro's Birthday cracked me up, in a horrible sort of way.
posted by FatherDagon at 4:40 PM on April 19, 2010

I would appreciate it if people could chime in on this thread with play-throughs they think are worthwhile. I've clicked through a half-dozen now and they're pretty awful. They remind me of trying to run a pencil-and-paper RPG with that one player who refuses to role play nicely with the others. I suppose it might be rare to find a really well made story that is played through by a really good player.
posted by barnacles at 4:54 PM on April 19, 2010

I tried playing with my friend as soon as the download link became available. That didn't work out too well.
posted by chunking express at 5:48 PM on April 19, 2010

barnacles: I thought Space Epic, You are lost, and Room to Breathe are especially terrific. The Machine had me laughing out loud. If nothing else, people are just beginning to explore the potential of this thing. All of these are pretty early proofs of concept.

And yeah, chunking express, you can't really dive right in. It's good to watch the tutorials first and get a feel for the interface in practice mode before attempting to drive the ship. Brainstorming some good ideas first helps too.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 6:00 PM on April 19, 2010

Cripes, sidtube is making my computer thrash and churn. It's a crappy computer, yeah, but it can show Youtube videos!

So, er, it looks to me like SiD is a whiteboard program along the lines of Gametable, but with a more comprehensive in-built tileset. Does it do anything else?
posted by LogicalDash at 6:09 PM on April 19, 2010

I love the toolset, but this sort of feels like IM-chat roleplay with a graphical interface. Not that that is a bad thing, I've just been doing THAT sort of thing for years.
posted by ShawnStruck at 8:39 PM on April 19, 2010

yes, but is it art?
posted by victors at 9:42 PM on April 19, 2010 [5 favorites]

I was intrigued back when I first read a Kotaku writeup on this and I have to say the directly linked ones so far have really impressed me. The ratings view linked in the OP is definitely the way to go if you're looking to see the best ones.

This fits all the definitions of a game I know of, but it's more along the lines of tabletop RPGs than most games. Like D&D, the quality of each final product depends directly on the preparation and ruleset created by the game's controller and the improvisational skills of both participants.

The most interesting idea in the project to me is that of the intimate gaming experience -- that the game you're playing was designed for you and only for the one session that you're playing it.
posted by oraknabo at 10:10 PM on April 19, 2010

I've been intrigued by the idea of this since I first heard about it but unfortunately don't know anyone who would have the patience to give it a shot with me. (Any Mefites currently playing with this who might like to set up a small group to exchange stories? Memail me...)
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 10:41 PM on April 19, 2010

I just bought this today and plan on doing some futzing around with it, and hopefully I'll have a game in a week or so. In either case, I know there's a small cadre over at MeFight club who all got it to play around with.

I mean, I figure I've spent a hundred plus hours on DF over the past year or so, which took me watching, like, three hours of tutorial videos, so how much harder could this really be?
posted by absalom at 9:44 AM on April 20, 2010

It's now pay what you want for two copies (so long as it's above $1.75, likely his fee for credit card transactions)! Go for it!

Also, the excellent video game sketch series "Hey Ash Watcha Playin'" spoofed it.

I'm debating making a FPP, but a great bargain and a funny clip are a bit thin.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:37 AM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

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