Electron Dance

Counterweight 14: All Hallow’s Eve

IntoTheGloom 2014-08-17 19-42-31-64

In this episode of Counterweight, Eric Brasure and Joel Goodwin discuss three HAUNTED games for Halloween. The Rapture is Here and You Will Be Forcibly Removed From Your Home (Connor Sherlock, 2013), CHYRZA (Kitty Horrorshow, 2014) and Into the Gloom (Emmanuel Ramos, 2014). This is pretty much a spoilery podcast so, uh, sorry about that.


The Rapture is Here and You Will Be Forcibly Removed From Your Home (Connor Sherlock, 2013)

03:10 "There is a sense of menace about it."

04:30 "The actual environment you are in is interesting to run around in but the story bits just didn't seem to make much sense conceptually."

12:50 "As a cohesive whole, it doesn't really gel."

CHYRZA (Kitty Horrorshow, 2014)

15:10 "It's like one of those very odd horror stories where you really don't know what's going on... but it's a bit creepy and disturbing."

16:50 "I like it because it teaches you how to play the game very quickly."

21:20 "I need gameplay to justify why you're going to be listening to my story. I need the story to justify why you have to do this ridiculous game play."

Into the Gloom (Emmanuel Ramos, 2014)

25:40 "It reminded me a lot of playing games when I was a teenager."

27:50 "I gave up near the end because I found it quite frustrating."

37:40 "It's definitely a game where you have to take it on its own terms."

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  1. Glad that Counterweight is back! Even if only briefly, our sickly tech-destroying hosts.

    19:43 onwards – I agree completely with the arguments that you discuss over the ensuing couple of minutes. What I will say is that, as someone who’s beginning to learn to use Unity and start creating simple projects, such games are among the easiest things to create. First person controllers, triggers and simple geometric constructions are all a doddle to put together. It’s not surprising to me that a lot of people create games of this nature when they’re still learning the ropes, or as part of a game jam.

    I’m not saying this is the case with the games you discuss – I’ve no idea about that – nor insinuating that your criticisms either aren’t valid or are inappropriate for such a game. It’s just an observation borne of what I’ve been up to lately. There are definite limitations to the form (I hesitate to call it a genre) and some of the ideas and approaches that usually crop up are pretty tired.

    I am probably going to be forcing short experiential first-person games on my friends in the future! Consider yourself forewarned. Hopefully I’ll have the confidence and ideas to try and do something a little different, but equally I can see myself making a simple, unexceptional game in order to (1) finish a project that isn’t a tutorial, (2) get some early hands-on practice with a project that isn’t one of the serious concepts bouncing around my head, and (3) give myself a confidence boost by actually finishing something.

  2. Hi Shaun,

    CHYRZA is really simple, barely puzzles really. But I think we felt both CHYRZA and Rapture suffered from having some “gameplay” mixed into, essentially, secret box games. (AHA NO WALKING SIMULATORS HERE) You might argue that CHYRZA is so gameplay slight that perhaps it doesn’t suffer at all but it does sport some traditional gameplay tropes. “Shiny collectibles” and having to time jumps and walk carefully.

    But I suspect the novelty is on its way out although we are still likely to applaud the big hitters (maybe something like The Talos Principle or The Witness?) and relegate the rest to a niche that some people love.

    Good luck on your hands-on practice…!

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