Electron Dance
18Dec/12Off

Electron Dance: The 2012 Review

timeless_beauty

Welcome to this year's bloated annual round-up! It's another chance for me to rub your nose in all those Electron Dance articles you so deftly avoided reading, thus depriving yourself of important educational supplements required for daily life choices. You know who you are. Yes, you. You who didn't read the Chaim Gingold interview. You who thought qrth-phyl was just Snake in 3D. I GOT YOUR NUMBER PAL.

Look, if you don't click open this bad boy, you won't discover your secret Electron Dance Christmas bonus.

I dare you not to click. Think of this as a Twine game with one possible move. What could go wrong?  

The Top Five

  1. Survivorship Bias (2,000 views)
  2. Game of the Year (1,900 views)
  3. Who Is Sheldon Pacotti? (1,300 views)
  4. A Slave Obeys (1,100 views)
  5. Who Is Richard Hofmeier? (1,100 views)

Thinkings

My favourite pieces weave together several different ideas into something coherent and possibly surprising. It's always hard work but the end result is rewarding. The top post of the year, "Survivorship Bias", is a great example of this. It asks whether the psychological trauma that Neptune's Pride inflicts on players is conveniently glossed over by all these exciting game diaries... and reaches a conclusion by going back to 1972.

In "The Rings", I waded into the "games have become too easy" argument, suggesting players had all the tools they needed to make games harder. But that was nothing compared to the comment-apocalypse of "Less Cause, More Effect" which asked if anyone had played games that had actually changed their lives.

"Parenting Is Not An Escort Mission" was an essay which shook its wordfists at how children are utilised by game designers - as something to be protected. As a personal bonus, I got to know Jenn Frank through this piece. She now favourites my tweets like everyone else on the web.

Nicolau Chaud wrote that "Submergence" was possibly his favourite essay on Electron Dance, which portrayed an unhealthy game obsession as an illness to be purged.

Were you there at the Battle of Greenlight? The introduction of the Steam Greenlight fee caused a brief civil war amongst indie developers, one side finding the fee exclusionary, the other side thinking it common-sense. It resembled a clash of political ideology: a culture of entitlement and laziness versus an exclusive elite who will do anything to keep things the way they are. In response, I wrote "A Weaponized Machine" which masqueraded as a review of Jonas Kyratzes' The Infinite Ocean.

I was genuinely surprised that some Dishonored reviews considered the game to be lacking in freedom. I couldn't let this stand and talked about the so-called paradox of choice in "A Slave Obeys".

Just before Sportsfriends hit Kickstarter, I mused aloud about something I called "The Hokra Problem". Could local multiplayer actually be a commercial success on the PC? Perhaps next year we'll find out.

Playings

Hey, did you ever play Mafia? I did, for the first time this year. This fondly remembered game hadn't aged well, but I kept playing it for the most unlikely reason. What was that reason? Well, no clues, but I called the essay "The Don of Cutscenes".

I also ranted on about Santa Ragione's marvellous Fotonica in front of the camera with the surreal "Fotonica Astonishca". Warning: Ends with chilling horror scene that may scare or scar children! This is not hyperbole. I absolutely could not put this video in front of my children.

Turned out I still wasn't quite done with Neptune's Pride, either. A match organised by Electron Dance readers turned out to be really interesting; it involved plenty of role play, a peace pact and an epic betrayal. I decided to award the winner of the game a piece of lost alien technology, created by Jonas Kyratzes. Go read "The Remnant" and "The Remnant Speaks" for the low-down.

After all the wait, Nicolau Chaud's sex game Polymorphous Perversity was released. It got plenty of reactions, a bunch of them negative. In part because it was very male, in part because it appeared to reinforce stereotypes. I wrote a long and detailed piece on the game, "A Letter To Nicolau Chaud (NSFW)" which Anna Anthropy didn't agree with, but I would've been surprised if she had. Don't forget to drop in on the NSFW joke post "Polymorphous Caption Perversity".

Gregg and I totally spoiled Terry Cavanagh's At A Distance in a discussion titled "The Yellow Pyramid". Some great comment discussion on this one, mostly about the ending as not everyone reached it...

In "Destroy After Playing", I explained my disappointment with Jasper Byrne's Lone Survivor, a Silent Hill inspired game I thought I would enjoy. My major beef was the existence of multiple endings... which forced you to replay the entire game to unlock more narrative.

Having spent too much time flitting from short game to short game, I realised I was slowly destroying my gaming attention span. I came clean about this in "Rehabilitation" and explained I was going to do something about it: I would commit to playing longer games. It started with the Dark Souls of platforming, La-Mulana, and comfy warm blanket of joy, The Adventures of Shuggy.

Nonetheless it can't have escaped your attention that short free games are all the rage. I wondered in "Two Dollar Horror" whether it was still possible to sell such short games in this climate. There have been examples over the years such as Windosill, but here I looked at two short-form horror examples Fibrillation and The 4th Wall. The author of the The 4th Wall provided some hard numbers about the financial success of short games.

The release of qrth-phyl had me hankering to cover hermitgames' Leave Home again. The result was the two-part "Returning Home" which examined both games in detail. Matt James, the mind behind hermitgames, called the first part "probably the best bit of writing about Leave Home" and the second "pretty spot on with its deconstruction" of qrth-phyl. Aside from Electron Dance, these two special works of art have received zero critical analysis to date.

Just this month I finally got round to covering one of Michael Brough's games: Zaga-33, a turn-based roguelike. I found the game fascinating and turned my experiences into a three-part diary called "The Alien Cortex Must Die" which has a twist in the ending. I got a bit carried away with a fictional narrative, but you can't blame me. Pippin Barr called the series "epic".

A year without Cart Life

Richard Hofmeier followed me on Twitter towards the end of 2011. Nothing else was happening at the time so I checked out his credentials. I discovered he'd written some game called Cart Life which looked too insane to be real. So I downloaded and played. And... it didn't take long to realise the game was important. It was a couple of months before I realised how important.

I asked Richard how long the game took to make. He said he'd set himself a deadline of 30 days and missed it by about three years. Then he told me how much he liked Electron Dance and had lost the day to reading every article on the site starting with the first article on VVVVVV from 2010... In response, I didn't admit how much Cart Life had affected me but I did confess:

My thoughts are not completely fleshed out yet, but I'm toying with the idea of using the word "rare" in the article. That's all I can tell you right now.

Surprised there's so little coverage of Cart Life online: hope to change that.

I wrote two articles on the game, a teaser called "Game of the Year" followed up with the spoilerfest and total Cart Life love-in "Ahead... The Stars". Doug Wilson called this second article "a vital piece of game writing/criticism" and one of his favourite videogame essays of 2012. Sensing that Cart Life might become the internet's biggest indie game sensation, I roped Richard into a podcast interview titled "Who Is Richard Hofmeier?".

However, it turned out that Cart Life wasn't becoming the viral success I felt it deserved so I went to Adam Smith on RPS and begged him to take a look at it. Cart Life was (maybe still is) buggy as Hell and I was concerned Adam would have a bad time with the game. I needn't have worried because Adam got it - hook, line and sinker. He wrote a stellar piece over on RPS which gave the game the boost it needed. After this, Cart Life was even featured on Kotaku.

I don't know for sure, but I suspect it was Doug Wilson that tricked Richard into submitting Cart Life to IndieCade this year. And it happened, Richard Hofmeier went to IndieCade.

I find it hard to say stuff like this, but I'm just going to come out and write it. I'm not sure Cart Life would've appeared at IndieCade if it hadn't been for Electron Dance. So, job done?

Not quite.

Here's the second video that Richard Hofmeier put together for IndieCade.

There are few quotes from major gaming outlets here. Three of them are even associated with Electron Dance - one is my own, another Eric Brasure and another Adam Smith of RPS. Now go to Critical Distance and search for Cart Life. You'll find just one reference.

Cart Life meshes mechanics and narrative together in ways I was starting to think were impossible. Cart Life ignores magic, aliens, Hollywood logic and talks about ordinary people in ordinary situations. Cart Life is my go-to example when people bring up Citizen FUCKING KANE.

And no one is talking about it. Mission accomplished.

Can you spell miscellanea

I discovered last year that the writer of Deus Ex, Sheldon Pacotti, was writing his own indie game called Cell: Emergence. I bought it as soon it came out, no questions asked or reviews read. I finished the game off within a week but liked it a lot, writing a piece about it called "The Real Interloper". During the initial game install, I'd hit a snag and got in contact with Sheldon to resolve the issue... and was cheeky enough to ask if he was up for an interview. Check out "Who Is Sheldon Pacotti?" to have a listen.

In "Last of the Darwinians" I wrote about my love for Darwinia and how I had waited for a genuine continuation of the game for many years. I had the chance to talk to Chris Delay and Mark Morris of Introversion at the Eurogamer Expo and recorded a half-hour interview with them, "Ideas Are So Fragile: Introversion Software". It's a pretty awesome interview as I asked them about stuff you won't hear so much in other interviews - such as what happened to Chronometer and how easy it is juggling parenthood with indiedom.

Speaking of Eurogamer Expo, I did a shit-ton of interviews there which you can listen to in "Expo Man 2012". It's over an hour long but you won't be asking for your money back. I talked to Alan Hazelden (These Robotic Hearts of Mine, Sokobond), the team behind The Cat The Got The Milk and The Button Affair, the artist on Zineth, George Buckenham (Cubes, A Bastard), Rami Ismail of Vlambeer, Richard Perrin (Kairo), Doctor Entertainment (Puzzle Dimension, Gear Up), David Hayward (Indie Games Arcade), HyperSloth games (Dream) and I also faked some interviews with Rob Fearon (SYNSO, DRM) and Ed Key (Proteus).

I wrote "Destiny" about the relationship between No One Lives Forever and No One Lives Forever 2 which has a twist in the tale. And in the very personal piece "Wa and Ga" I let go of videogames to write about how I felt about Japan in the wake of the tsunami disaster, given that I had lived there for five years.

Two satisfyingly serious series

There were two big series this year, which unfortunately both ran at exactly the same time.

The "Cat's Away Chronicles" was a series of five video interviews with friends and indie developers: Shaun & AJ of Arcadian Rhythms, Gregg B of Tap-Repeatedly, Ed Key (Proteus), Pippin Barr (Epic Sax Game, The Artist Is Present) and Doug Wilson (Johann Sebastian Joust). It's difficult to get people to watch video at the best of times so this series never did spectacularly well and was pretty much the death of video interviewing for me. Regardless, I am quite proud of the series. There was also a podcast that hoovered up all the interesting bits that never made it into the videos.

The other series, "The Academics Are Coming", was about academics making games. It consisted mainly of interviews but this series did not do incredibly well either, despite featuring some well-known names like Ian Bogost and Dan Pinchbeck (Dear Esther). I think the series offers a number of interesting insights. It's really difficult to narrow down a favourite interview but Chaim Gingold, the man behind Spore's creators, was probably the most inspiring.

However, the slow three-part opening, "A Theoretical War", is pretty special. It relates the academic ludology/narratology war to the tedious present-day fighting over the word game. Raph Koster made an appearence in the comments and Jenn Frank wrote a little about it over on her blog.

Eric of Brasure

I asked Eric Brasure to join a few months ago as I thought his excellent podcasts were probably not getting the audience they deserved. When I interview, I try to make it a conversation; Eric's style is more minimalist and the resulting interviews are often quite revealing.

I'm still in the process of republishing his old interviews but here are the ones posted this year:

Your Christmas bonus has arrived

Electron Dance is going on a two-week break, because I am not going to be as insanely stupid as I was last year running a major series over the Christmas period.

However, please accept this small Christmas gift as a thank you for your support over the last year.

Merry Christmas!

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Posted by Joel Goodwin

Electron Dance Highlights

Comments (49) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Hahaha. I enjoyed those cutting room floor sweepings more than I should have!

    It’s been a really strong year for Electron Dance in my opinion – although I think I only began regularly reading in early 2011, so my perspective may be skewed.

    And… was the that Neptune’s Pride game really this year? Crikey. For whatever reason it feels like it took place an age ago. Its events have become legend. Hahaha.

  2. Thanks! There were fewer out-takes from the Arcadian Rhythms video than I’d hoped for, even though there was a lot of extra video lying around, because of the questionable sound quality.

    Shaun, I think Electron Dance’s first year was its finest and it’s been downhill all the way. =)

    I promise not to write about Neptune’s Pride next year. (Although…)

  3. So Electron Dance is following the same trajectory as most punk bands tend to – the first album rocks, but after that they get better at playing their instruments and lose that urgency…

    I’m not sure I agree with you or feel that that’s a fair analogy, but if it encourages you to keep upping your game then so be it! ;)

  4. No, I’m being cheeky with that smiley. I look back to year one and read, say, the first article on VVVVVV and see how far things have come. The only trouble now is that it’s got harder to write with two children in the house and I want to write bigger and more concrete things and not just shoot out 500 words on something I saw in the woods.

    I still have the urgency! Except for the next two Tuesdays.

  5. Pah. Weak, fleshy HarbourMaster and his demanding family. Arcadian Rhythms stops for nothing.

    (We have a really short post on Christmas Eve which is basically just a photo I took…)

    I would love to write longer-form articles that actually cohere around a central thesis or explore a single idea, but my writing style (quickly hammer out notes and work them into articles in spare minutes; lack time to contemplate them at other hours of the day e.g. work) doesn’t lend itself to it. Maybe I’ll manage something longer over Christmas (though my girlfriend/family may resent me for it)…

  6. Man, for some reason I really want some GREAT BRITISH PUB FOOD. Anyone know where I can find some?

    Thanks for having me on Electron Dance, Joel. I’d have sent you a Christmas card, but you refuse to give me your address, which is you being wilier than I would have expected. Good job, you.

    On topic: how in the good goddamn did I miss Cell: Emergence?

  7. GREAT BRITISH PUB FOOD is actually a tabard that AJ wears out on all social occasions. One of the most tragic secrets of his character is that he is addicted to advertising for chain pubs. (This is why he has the Wetherspoons £2.99 menu tattooed down his back.)

  8. Quickly fixed links for Cat’s Away Chronicles (thanks Eric) and Two Dollar Horror (thanks Adrian Chmielarz).

  9. A good year. To a better 2013!

    I’m simultaneously surprised by your lack of end-year coverage on Cart Life (You wrote, what, 5 articles on it? [It deserved every one]) and your focus on articles rather than games or, you know, game-stuff. Altogether, it reads more formal and more personal than what I would have expected.

    Does it worry you that this bastion of peace, professionalism, and cosmopolitanism is going to be short-lived? What if I’m the harbinger of opinionated-and-obnoxious youths invading Electron Dance?

  10. mwm, you’re too late! I’m already here!

  11. Whatever. I was the first.

  12. Yeah well I’m green and you’re not.

  13. @Shaun – You will definitely not write that longer thing over Christmas. Uh-uh. Not gonna happen!

    @Eric – If you’re ever over London I will show you GREAT BRITISH PUB FOOD. On the other hand, if my job ever sends me to NY again (last time was in 2007) I will definitely look you up and ask for… GREAT AMERICAN BAR FOOD. We can then watch Richard G at a Riot Fox gig and then I can invade your high-concept podcast chicken Trekabout. “How many tribbles would you give that?” “NEGATIVE BILLION TRIBBLES. ENERGY BEINGS!” I already know my lines.

    You probably missed Cell: Emergence because I gave the article a really rubbish LOUSY title. I have hated “The Real Interloper” all year. If you do buy it and give it a go, I strongly recommend watching my video to take the initial frustration out of the game.

    @mwm – Eric is opinionated and obnoxious and he is most certainly youthful compared to my weathered features but I’m not sure I would refer to him as a youth. Although he is green, and I will have to give him that.

    The site has been growing slowly. It’s always growing but I don’t feel like I’m going to be suddenly overrun with hooligans. Not unless I get hit up by the Sunday Papers four weeks in a row or something like that. Or Notch links me.

    I don’t want to overdo any particular topic, which is why Cart Life didn’t get more articles. For example, I spent three weeks on Zaga-33. The first week, you get a healthy number of visitors. The second week… there are less. And the third week, you’re just hoping to see more than ten people read it on the posting day. As I post once a week, it’s better to rotate topics and keep giving everyone a reason to visit and incite them into opinions in the comments. (A similar, more protracted effect was seen over the life of The Academics Are Coming series. It got so bad, the site noticeably dropped subscribers for the first time.)

    I have one more idea for a Cart Life piece but there are so many other things to write about!

    There are a couple of experiments I’m going to try out next year and there’s one major series on the cards. I would hope to launch in Spring but the thing is so huge and requires a lot of careful handling; it may well slip. (It was originally planned for 2012 Q4. So much for that.)

  14. The sky is blue. Your argument is invalid.

  15. @HM Uh, sorry, that my last comment was directed at Eric. Well, the troll-thread’s been cut in half, so I see no need to pursue it any further. A pity.

    No, no, you didn’t have to explain why you avoided talking about Cart Life. I was poking fut at you by reminding everyone of your ‘platonic’ love for Hofmeier. It came across more serious than joking, unfortunately. Still, I accidentally got some spoilers out of you, so it’s all good for me.

  16. @mwm: Hah, there is that. I do name-drop RICHARD HOFMEIER every chance I get. I had been intending to drop in a small “spoiler” at some point in the comments (rather than the article) so I thank you for the early opportunity.

    I’m just waiting for Doug Wilson to complain I’ve omitted some favourite article of his, like he did last year. There are a few missing from the above list, but not that much.

  17. I’m happy to hear that Cart Life has seen greater success thanks to you. It somewhat reminds me of how I indirectly caused a car accident by getting on a bus, except good.

    You were whispering because it made the video more mysterious and sexy, obviously. Also, Pippin’s the first other person I’ve ever heard trying to jog someone’s memory with whatever letter it may have started with. Does it never work for you? It never works for me.

    It’s kind of a shame the videos didn’t pay off more- you’ve got the knack. Even these outtakes are funnier than plenty of finished videos elsewhere in the videospherizone. That said, I know from experience how much of a pain in the ass the whole process can be, so there’s no reason to keep pushin’ it real good.

    This year was quite the adventure for Electron Dance, and as always, I’m glad to have been along for the ride. Something something sports analogy blah blah fishing metaphor here, but the point is that your break is well-earned.

    Be sure to give that Waldo mask a long soak in holy water.

  18. It’s been a great year for reading around here! I’ve had less and less to say that is comment-worthy, but this is still my favorite place to read in silence. This comment itself is not really comment-worthy!

  19. @BeamSplashX – I can’t be 100% sure on Cart Life, but I think the game was going gently into that good night at the time I wrote about it.

    I try to take the failures on the chin. Keep on doing experiments, see what sticks. Just don’t screw up too badly and shed followers (as mentioned above, the Academics/Cat’s Away period required some real nerve watching the traffic collapse after a big balloon of interest at the start of the year). At the start of the year I was video-itchy and want to pump out a video almost every article, but I’ve completely demolished that instinct now. I have one video being sketched out on paper but that’s it… think along the lines of Broadcast Prime, but somewhat more serious.

    I’m still “shocked” by the way I ordered Doug Wilson to get his head on the desk in that video. It makes me laugh every time I see it. I was so tired at the time, I’d obviously lost all compassion. These developers must serve me.

    I’m not actually going to take a break, of course, I’m going to continue planning stuff for next year. I guess I will rest when I am dead. When I write these roundup pieces, I am simply astonished at how much I’ve written. You don’t get that sense when you’re in the year. But stop, turn around and then it’s MY GOD, IT’S FULL OF STARS.

    @Switchbreak – Thank you for your not-comment-worthy comment, we could do with more of those! And one of these days I’m going to work out where your avatar is taken from.

    Promises for next year: I standardize on using the contraction “videogames” rather than “video games”.

  20. I thought for sure I’d get you on that terrific “Wa and Ga” post but you actually linked it! Rats.

    Hmm, did you forget a link to that post about NOLF?
    http://www.electrondance.com/destiny/

    I loved reading about that “off-piste” conversation.

  21. Your writing continues to be one of the best one man shows I’ve seen. This blog is one of the reasons I became convinced I could write a small blog like mine. You’re keeping up and getting better at doing something almost impossibly hard — cultivating a truly unique niche and honing in a specific brand. I’m glad the site only keeps getting more attention.

    I’m interested to see how you’ll continue to grow the site in 2013.

  22. Heh, no Doug, Destiny is in there, just a sentence behind the Wa and Ga link!

    Jordan, I find this amusing! Although I took my initial cue from Second Person Shooter, your original blog before you went on a long hiatus was also an inspiration. Through you I found Beautiful Escape (and consequently Marvel Brothel) and I tried my hand at a interview podcast because of your interview with Chris Park.

  23. Aww, brilliant. What a year! I think I’ve read most of those articles. I had a feeling your roundup was going to be a stark reminder of how much I’ve not read yet but it appears I’ve not been too lax! Having said this it makes for a very convenient link to chase down all those stragglers and also to forward to my friends who aren’t familiar with your most excellent site! Keep up the fine work HM!

    With regards to the Christmas bonus: back when I watched the interview with Ed and saw the shadows of some people walking past, I did wonder whether anyone had approached the camera not knowing you were inside the hole. I can’t deny I was hoping for an owl to appear as well. Also, I totally forgot about me mincing my words with ‘Tetris shaped puzzle pieces’. Bollocks.

    I really, really need to get on to Eric’s podcasts though. And Cart Life… Cart Life was a shame because I came across several game-stopping bugs that I couldn’t find a way around without starting again. Hopefully the next time I fire it up I’ll be able to avoid them, I’m determined to witness more of it.

  24. Gregg has just reminded me that I intended to mention Cart Life as well… I’ve dabbled in it but only at work during lunch hours, which isn’t really conducive to immersive play.

    Does anyone know how well it handles Netbook resolutions? If the answer is ‘fairly well’ then I can perhaps spend some time with it over the Xmas break…

  25. I have a netbook but I’ve never tried Cart Life on it I’m afraid. It looks like a fairly low resolution game so I should think it would work.

    Also: HM, enjoy your two weeks off, you deserve it (and probably need it)! Let me know if you want to give that Portal 2 DLC a go ;-)

  26. Now that I’ve stopped being lazy and used google for myself, I see that my netbook is rocking 1024 x 600 whilst Cart Life only requires 640 x 480. Marvellous! This will be much better than the time I tried to play FTL and the window wouldn’t even fit on the screen.

  27. On Cart Life, make sure you download the latest version. I think it was updated for Indiecade. You can no longer make hot dogs because hot dogs break the game.

    Gregg: Thanks! I think you did a lot better this year. I don’t think you’ve finished Where We Came From, though. If it’s not a game backlog it’s a reading one! I doubt I’ll be taking it easy. I need to get started on next year’s undoubtedly awesome series. Eric will also appreciate you listening to his podcasts. I’ve tried to calm him down, but we’ve run out of Xanax.

  28. Gregg B: You don’t have to listen. It’s okay. You’re just missing amazing podcasts is all. That will change your life for the better. The 500th listener will get a million Ls. That’s what I call British money because my keyboard doesn’t have the pound symbol.

    On Cart Life: I bet it would suddenly get a lot more attention if Richard Hofmeier renamed it Cart Life IV: Black Ops II: The Reckoning. Get on that, Richard.

  29. Lbs is the standard, uh, ‘acronym’ for pounds isn’t it?

    Kill all Georgetonians Vll: The Hot Dogs strike back!

  30. “Electron Dance – intelligent discussion of videogames”

    Minecart.

  31. There’s me thinking ‘Minecart’ as well…

    I blame Eric.

  32. Gregg B, that’s a good rule for life in general.

  33. Heh, Idle Thumbs just opened their latest podcast with discussion of Cart Life. I think Richard Hofmeier will be enjoying a resurgence in attention from a new bunch of gamers. :)

    P.S. Far Cart 2
    P.P.S. Nascart 2012

  34. Awesome, if I had posted this just two days later my whole rant might have been pointless. Now it looks like I made Idle Thumbs talk about it. F33R MY PWR.

  35. Cart Life is plainly going to be a cult classic. Irregardless (goddamn my piano teacher for telling me that ‘regardles’ ain’t a word) of your influence, it’ll slowly garner attention and praise over the next few decades. Hopefully, this will force Hofmeier to make more deluxe editions.

    Also, I’m laying my bet publicly here: Katawa Shoujo is one of those games that will define the generation. It’ll always come behind CoD and Minecraft on the top-ten lists, but we’ll all know which one really mattered.

  36. Cameron Kunzelman has written a short bit on Cart Life. Do you think he’s a wuss for giving up after 30 minutes?

    @mwm: I am still waiting for the Hof to finish one of the other projects he is working on! I haven’t played Katawa Shoujo as Amanda Lange on Tap talked me down from it.

  37. I tried Richard’s new game/project when I hung out with him in Seattle this September and it is totally astounding. Inspiring! Very excited to see what happens with it.

  38. @Doug – I remember you saying that before (Twitter or mail I don’t recall). I was pleased to hear your positive reaction. Sophomore slump and all that…

    @matt w: There probably should be a prize for the best one of these. Should be, but probably not going to be!

  39. @HM: Not at all. In fact, that review makes it look like I won’t be able to play as Andrus even if I ever do get around to installing WINE.

  40. (That was in response to “Is Cameron a wuss?”)

  41. Got it, matt. You were saying “If Cameron is a wuss, then we are all wusses.”

    AHHHHH it’s the cat thing isn’t it. You have a cat weakness. It is your kryptonite. I forgot about that.

  42. Coulda’ fooled me… I figured Matt loved cats on account of his avatar.

    @HM: Oh, I don’t recommend Katawa Shoujo at all! Putting aside both my suspicion that it gives a better experience to younger (less farsighted and experienced) players, and your constant hunger for a release from the carnality of time, I just don’t think its quite good enough to recommend. I just think that it’s novel because, a little like CoD, Katawa Shoujo is incredibly virulent among teenaged males. Unlike CoD, however, is that Katawa Shoujo is good. Like, love-and-understanding good, whereas CoD is reveling-in-your-enemy’s-intestines good.

    Also, is there even any benefit to getting Mr. Glembowski a litter box? I got by perfectly fine letting my little partner, uh, shit where I live.

  43. You need to read the article on the other side of matt’s name link, it will explain the cat problem. You also remind me of this previously Link Dragged piece on The Machination on Katawa Shoujo.

    I couldn’t tell you if a litter box was useful or not. I played Andrus twice (to failure and then to success) and I refused to play him again; I don’t want to learn too much about how the choices in the game actually work.

  44. mwm: Getting Mr. Glembowski a litter box makes you a better person. Other than that, I don’t think it has any benefit.

  45. So… I’m a bad person.

    @HM: I remember reading that article! Especially the bit about Belkar. I guess I just didn’t bother to connect the name to the content when I read it.

    No, wait, I take that back. Andrus is a bad person; it’s all his fault. Him and his old Brenny’s. Spending all his gambling money on newspapers and foreign cats; everyone knows you buy the American dream with a lottery ticket.

  46. So now Cart Life has been covered by GameSpot and is up for three categories in the IGF.

    This is obviously all down to my raging 2012 post above. The power I have! In the first post of 2013 I will describe how I deserve millions of pounds.


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