Electron Dance
21Apr/13Off

Warm Up / 210413

Electron Dance will write something about each of these games in the near future.

Starseed Pilgrim | obsession

starseedpilgrim

suteF | I put this off for two years

suteF

Euro Truck Simulator 2 | no one knows where this journey will take you

eurotrucksimulator2

Spheres of Chaos 2012 | my visual cortex is drowning

sphereofchaos2012

Teleglitch | what Doom 3 should have been

teleglitch

Red Faction: Guerrilla | I'm not the same person any more

rfg

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  1. I dislike your weird date format. I like that you are going to write soon! I hope all is well!

  2. It’s easiest to pretend the date is just a series of random numbers.

    I put suteF off for two years, cleared two… acts? And then I realized I didn’t really feel that strongly for it and was no longer affected by the atmosphere. So I put it off forever. And now I can still know what I missed! Good things come to those who are lazy, I think the saying goes.

    The demo of Teleglitch rocked my face off. Playing with the touchpad was unwieldy, but helped enhance the jerky horror sensation, though I’d go for a mouse if I played for keeps.

  3. Richard, I like each post’s title to be unique so I made things easier for by posting in the date. It’s been on the Warm Up title format from the beginning. I hope I am going to finish writing about Kairo soon, so it can be posted…

    Beam, I found suteF’s horror charming, if I can get away with a sentence like that, but I never quite found the time to squeeze it into the posting schedule. It’s thought it was about time to do it told everyone publicly I was going to do it. Warning: I am bad at Teleglitch.

    I have the hots for writing about the great pilgrim right now, but Kairo is first.

  4. I never realised it was a date, I just saw it as some sort of code. Derp.

    Anyway, consider me warmed up. Looking forward to your words on Starseed Pilgrim, I’d not heard of it before you mentioned it in an email, and it looks very intriguing. As for Teleglitch: amazing game, but damn, it’s hard to pluck up the courage for another go after being annihilated in a short scuffle with a single enemy in an un-assuming non-descript corridor, three levels deep. There’s no glory in Teleglitch.

  5. @Gregg: Yeah Starseed Pilgrim will be very soon and I think highly likely to be done in two pieces (non-spoiler vs spoiler, like Cart Life).

    I, too, need to do more work in Teleglitch before that’s ready to become words!

  6. I’m not criticizing you, I’m criticizing your entire continent for having a weird system of dating that makes no sense. When I worked for Large Corporation, we had to use DDMMYY and it made sorting things on my computer next to impossible.

    But don’t take my word for it. Please watch this video by IF luminary Adam Cadre, writer of such games as Photopia, Varicella, Lock and Key, Interstate 0, and Photopia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GjmLR-Rel0

    I hope you have found this edifying and are properly shamed.

    I need to play all of these games. I’m almost terrified to restart Starseed.

  7. Also I am thinking and I rather like this “preview” idea. That way I won’t have to first start playing a game when I see your article–I can have it done by the time you publish!

  8. That’s a fair point Richard about playing before the article arrives. I’m aiming to get some more Teleglitch under my belt. I’m kind of scared.

    Also, “a weird system of dating that makes no sense”?

    http://www.kaero.wz.cz/jokes/imperial-vs-si.png

    (Can’t watch your video at work!)

  9. I’ll give you the metric system. I genuinely can’t use it and find the American system because it’s what I’ve grown up, and like the weirder bits of English spelling, I think it’s one of those things where if you didn’t grow up with it it might genuinely make no goddamn sense.

    But the date format–Cadre, when you get to the video, not only addresses that exact image, he explains why the logic behind it is faulty, and he also argues for the superiority of YYYY-MM-DD using corrected logic AND the faulty logic of the internet.

    I must admit that I am the sort of person who, at 30, wakes up early and comments on an internet forum while playing a videogame (Leave Home, p’rhaps I’ll write a Thing on it today?). I must now reconsider certain life choices I’ve made.

  10. @Richard: Honestly? At work, I’m inundated with files from the US which are betrothed, for some goddamn reason, to MM/DD/YY. What’s worse is that Excel in the States defaults to this, which leads me to believe Bill Gates did this deliberately as a way of distinguishing neoAmerica from “old Europe”. It’s just hate in another guise. This is a well-known problem in modern society called “date hate”.

    The preview was always meant to pique curiosity so that when I got to the actual article, fewer people would go NEVER HEARD OF THIS, CHUCK THIS POST IN THE BIN. I cannot really tell you if it has had a significant effect, considering that the last Warm Up was November 2012!

  11. Here is the comment I was going to write: Refraining from an exquisitely reasoned exegesis of why day-month dating can suck it, I’ll just say that it was only this discussion that made me realize why the archive posts all have weird numbers on them.

    But then I went back and looked at one of the archive posts, which is titled “2108 on Immortal Defense,” even though it does not appear to have been posted on August 21, or on Freebolp 8, or in 2108. The little notation by the side suggests that it was the 14th post to have been made on HM’s DEC PDP-10, though I don’t know why he’s using a forty-year-old mainframe. So what gives?

  12. It may take more time to type, but I like YYYYMMDD. I like that because it is a lovely way to keep files sorted and organized. Nothing can ever be out of order in that format.

    Day first truly causes North American brains to pause and think for a good 1.5 seconds, which is a lot of brain waste. The YYYY way is just so beautiful, everything instantly recognizable: 20130422. Ah..so simple. But the havoc that DD/MM/YY can wreak…it’s unsettling: 12/14/13! God, that’s a nightmare! 19/12/10. 01/10/10. 15/05/14. 03/11/06. It’s all insanity! There’s too much stop/think/stop.

  13. I like MM.DD.YY for relatively recent events- knowing something happened on the 3rd of any given month isn’t going to give you as good of a timeframe as knowing the month itself. And the year’s just a reassurance that no one cares about. FUCK YEARS*.

    *This comment traveled ten fuckyears before reaching its destination. Also I actually quite enjoy years.

  14. Yeah, years are the shit. Remember 2007? And 1986? Damn son. Good fuckin’ years. Fuckyears?*

    *Electron Dance is certified NSFC (Not Safe for Children)

  15. (Freebolp is one of the months after December that we don’t tell Europeans about. That’s my way of saying that Vermont has nineteen extra months of winter.)

  16. Again, another shining example of intelligent comment discussion. =)

    Matt, those aren’t dates. Back in the early days I decided the convention was to cite the word count. So 2108 on Immortal Defense is “2108 words on Immortal Defense”. However, it was a real pain because word count is not standardised (are you relying on WordPress, MS Word or Open Office?) and the word count would change if I ever edited the article after posting. I decided I wasn’t going to do “reviews” any more with their “post-buzz” summary line… and dumped the number format with that. Cryostasis was the last article to use the word count convention.

    Max, I think programmers are more comfortable with YYYYMMDD simply because it provides natural chronological ordering. I always end up naming files with that format. The trouble with the other formats, of course, is that you can get confused whether you’ve got MM/DD or DD/MM. Whenever YYYY is first, it’s always YYYYMMDD.

    Thank you Beam, for getting Electron Dance certified with NSFC 2013.

    Kairo will be up later today. It’s not quite finished and, well, who cares — I don’t think any of you will read it any way because it’s spoilerzville. Who here has played Kairo?

  17. What is this? Sadtown, UK, Population: Joel Goodwin? I haven’t played Kairo because I’m awful at most puzzle-driven experiences; my girlfriend and I have already made a novella’s worth of elementary mistakes in the first hours of ICO. I’d rather read spoilers coming from you since they make me feel smart.

  18. Beam, Kairo has a built-in hint system which means no-one should really get stuck on the puzzles for too long. And my spoilers are story only; no puzzles were harmed during the making of this article!

  19. I didn’t need to feel smart anyhow…

    …sniff…

  20. I have looked at this thread and seen that I have unleashed a very passionate discussion about date format. I feel like I should get a Cheevo for this.

    I actually am interested in Kairo–I was ambivalently into Myst-style adventures. I say ambivalently because I was really horrible at them. They’re the sort of games i like to play with someone and I haven’t met any Real True Gamers lately. (You would not be surprised how many gentlemen think “let’s play videogames together” means something different). Also I’m a bit of a cheapskate–it kills me to pay full price so I usually wait till things go on sale, and I haven’t seen it doing so. But if it’s going to Steam, they usually knock a couple bucks off the first few days, right?

    @Beamie Just relax and let ICO teach you what it wants to teach you. That game is one of the reasons I bought a PS2–specifically, reading Andrew Plotkin’s review (http://eblong.com/zarf/gamerev/ico.html) made me really want to play that game. I thought it was beautiful. I’m almost afraid to play it again–I’m worried it’s one of those things I might have moved on from, and I don’t want to tarnish my memories of it. Some things, you can only play so many times, you know? But how are you liking it? I hope you are liking it.

  21. I feel the need to comment that the game is called Ico, not ICO.

    [long boring reasoning omitted]

    (And yes – the game is still as good when revisited)

    :)

  22. @Richard:
    We are liking it, but the controls feel distinctly awkward at times, and flailing at shadows with the stick is tiring on the thumbs. The girlfriend and I already think it could use a quasi-remake to smooth things over a bit. We lost an uncomfortable amount of progress on a glitchy jump, for example. I figure the stick thing is to make getting the better weapons feel like a big improvement, but even then I think they overdid it.

    Lovely game, though.

    @Max:
    Correction accepted, MAX.

  23. Max wrote about his revisitation here: http://www.tap-repeatedly.com/2011/10/ico-remastered/ — well worth a read.

  24. ICO – that’s a PC game, right?

    @Richard – are you going to buy Kairo?

  25. @MaX I’d be curious about the reason! Back In The Day, for some reason it was the fashion to write it as ICO, which I assumed had to do with some sort of katakana-based reason, and just kind of went with it, and now it’s habit. Good piece and thanks to Gregg for the link–you have convinced me. If I ever get free space in my backlog–ha! ha ha!–I’ll try it again.

    @HM I was about to say “dude a PS2 is only like $5 these days” but ICO itself is such a rarity that it’s gonna cost a LOT for you to get it, and probably not worth you buying a PS3. As for Kairo, $6.39 is an acceptable discount so I’ll pick it up. I did what was initially an idle play of Starseed Pilgrim last night–I had the steam code from Probability 0 And Friends–by the way, how funny, Pilgrim was kind of one of those b-sides that overtook the single–so decided to redeem it, didn’t feel like transferring over my save and so started afresh, and my game has leveled up a little bit. I think I may be following your advice about drawing a map. I’m not sure if I’ll hit a wall on this or if I’ll be able to muscle through–I feel like my experience with the game is going to be a series of very intense battles with the game, playing for two or three days and making progress but hitting a wall, making more progress a few weeks later, etc.

    Anyone playing Don’t Starve? i played one of the early builds and thought it was interesting though way too unformed–I’ve been playing a lot of alphas and betas lately and would like a Complete version of the game…but I’m really into that style of games lately. Hm!

  26. @Richard:
    I suppose $25+ is a lot for a PS2 game. I mean, an original Xbox and a copy of Otogi 2 probably doesn’t run for that much, but I don’t want to own an Xbox in the first place, no matter how much I’d like the game. As fantastic as the PS2 library is, I don’t think HM has much use for one. In fact, writing comments about non-PC games in his blog comments repeatedly is probably pretty annoying and I should actually revive my blog instead of saying I will. But I can bounce off other people here, and I love me some bouncing. BOUNCE!

    Are one-man podcasts a terrible idea? Because that seems like an easier format for me, but it also sounds lonely and boring.

  27. @Richard: I did play Don’t Starve a little during the Expo last year. It’s a new type of game for me and I found myself engaged for about ten minutes at the expo. I find that sort of hunter-gatherer aesthetic a little distancing, though, because I often associate it with “make player walk around for lots of random stuff” the way some RPGs flesh out their games and IAP stuff more and more “content”. I’m not saying that is the problem with Don’t Starve – I’m saying it’s a problem with me!

    @BeamSplashX: I was going to trial a monologue podcast this year, but there are so many Electron Dance podcasts (Dialogue Tree and Counterweight) it just seemed pointless to make more.

  28. suteF is great. I love the way it occasionally robs you of the satisfaction of putting the last few steps into a “solution” to a level by teleporting you immediately into a new puzzle.

  29. I’m glad I’m not the only one with a soft spot for suteF.

  30. Re Don’t Starve, I’ve been playing some variants of that lately–Terraria mostly (Beamie, was it you or Shaun who mentioned that and caused me to try it, because god damn you), Under the Garden/Ocean, etc. I really like building/survival games lately because I’m starting to really hate games based on fighting people. I am much preferring more environmental challenges–where you’re fighting disinterested forces such as nature or “monsters”.

    Infinite seriously did a number on me.

    I think “soft spot” is a good way of describing suteF. I have no idea what the hell it was about, and I am looking forward to your piece on it because you’re MUCH better at explicating things than I am. I played Fetus for a few minutes–I actually wish I had played that first because suteF felt like another iteration of that and it was difficult to go back a step.

    Kairo is really, really awesome.

  31. @Richard:
    I am not responsible, and I am going to be delaying my own first venture into Terraria because the kid my girlfriend’s babysitting recently talked at me for TWO STRAIGHT HOURS AND SPOILED EVERYTHING. I’ll probably be doing everything the sub-optimal way to indirectly spite him.

    I remember seeing early videos of Under the Garden and thought the hit sounds were kung-fu-tastic, which made me long for a survival game where you played as a martial arts master. Maybe it could track whether you are being kung-fu enough and have different endings, like you getting off the island and becoming an accountant if you don’t keep it up.


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