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I was often too loyal when it came to the designerโ€™s purpose of a thing. I would treat instructions as a true believer might approach a holy tome, a sacred container of inked words that are beyond mortal question.

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13 thoughts on “Discussion: Zealot

  1. Odd that the article about the Wolfire lawsuit against Epic doesn’t mention that Wolfire started the Humble Bundle! That seems like what the suit is about.

  2. Daniel

    Ah I think I remember reading that article before! It captures a lot of things I remember from when I was playing as a small being. I had planned to add links to articles which gave examples of playing with your own rules but I had been struggling to find time to put this together and if I spent more time digging up articles the newsletter would take another few days… But perhaps I should have just outsourced this to the comments from the beginning!

    That site covering bottomless pits is a… bottomless pit.


    Derek Smart thinks the lawsuit is “garbage” but I still think taking 30% from practically very videogame sale on the planet is by no means justified now that Steam is an industry by itself. It’s like making a fantastic drug and charging everybody for 20 years for the R&D two millions times over.

    I do wonder why the Humble connection wasn’t mentioned.

  3. Crime Reaper looks very nice. It’s inspired by Inspector Parker, which I liked, and Dinner with Moriarty, which I’m not familiar with.
    It seemed to have started life with a more “thematic” approach to murder mysteries, before settling on the stylish abstract sudoko approach. At least it looks better than Einstein Puzzle, available on many Linux distributions.

  4. Ha ha oh man I am not going to get into that thread in depth but “You don’t like the practices that the place with the effective monopoly is engaging with? Don’t deal with them and let the forces of the market do its work” is not a great argument. There is at least one book which I believe deals with questions like this (Amazon linking for the irony, and the title thing is about monopsonies rather than monopolies, also I haven’t read it).

    Also “there’s case law saying monopolies are OK as long as you’re not being anti-competitive” is kind of the entire point.

    Real “yet you participate in society” vibes there.

    Also I realize that this is probably not a productive way to derail the thread. Did you see the latest “Epic vs Apple trial raises the question: what is a game?” thing? I am out of links but I will tweet it at you. Unfortunately I cannot give the classic response to the person who tweeted it into my timeline because it is a very bad thing for a professor to respond to a grad student in his field with a picture of a duck penis.

  5. Yeah, there was no Arvo on my PC or mobile.

    “But there are many qualities of this bastard existence I will miss.”

    Yeah, I had an email a couple of weeks ago asking whether I wanted to be a hybrid worker in the future with veiled threats of ‘you may lose your desk and the office space if you do’ which… is fine, because it has no windows and is a grey shoebox. After a year of working from home, I’m convinced too that the office air conditioning sets whatever allergy/allergies I have off. That said, there’s plenty I miss about working in an office. I’ve always treated home as a haven from work so WFH has felt pretty intrusive despite enjoying the similarly routine tea breaks with Hai!

    Great to hear you’ve had your first jab. I cannot wait to feel deathly ill from it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    @daniel, thanks for sharing! That was really interesting.

    It’s been a long time since I played ‘outside the bounds’ of a game’s design. I used to do a bit as a kid, mostly with trainers and cheats. I remember the deliciously bleak Walker by DMA Design (later Rockstar) that used a mouse for aiming/shooting and the keyboard to move back and forth. My brother and I thought it was meant to be played co-operatively so played it with one of us on guns, the other walking, but, obviously, we now realise it was meant to be played solo with both hands!

    Worth watching for the intro/title music too, which goes a bit bananas with the samples:

    One of my favourite daft memories was my friend and me trying to fill the Duke Nukem 3D strip club with as many laser trip mines and pipe bombs as possible (using cheats to replenish our stocks). Of course, as you put more laser trip mines down, it got harder and harder to move around. I’m not sure whether we used to take it in turns to put one down but, either way, it was like Jenga or Kerplunk by way of Mission Impossible with strippers dancing amongst all the lasers. When it inevitably went off, there were so many explosions the game would just freeze. Good times.

    I finally ‘finished’ SOLAS 128 yesterday after some really tough final rooms. It’s a great puzzler and I’ve still got a few secrets or side areas to investigate. I think my only quibble is there are a few too many sections where you have to move bumpers from one screen to another. Sometimes that’s the ‘gotcha’ and then it’s just a case of doing the work of moving them. Overall though very satisfying when it all snaps together.

    Okay, that was longer than expected. Bye!

  6. Ori

    I’m definitely up for trying Crime Reaper sometime as suteF was one of my favourite puzzle platformers games from the early 2010s although that game has cast a long shadow over Lauterbach’s attempts to make something else ever since.


    Yeah, as you might guess, my book which I’m sure I will finish next week, doesn’t consider Steam to be untouchable. A monopsony is a monopsony and that’s not typically a sign of a healthy free market…

    For anyone else reading this thread, I replied to Matt on Twitter as I had already seen the news in question.


    I think home is unhealthy for me in terms of allergies. I think all the trees and general greenery in my suburban utopia is alright in short bursts but being at home permanently, as discussed before, means I seem to be coughing half the year. It stopped back in December but now it’s back in May ๐Ÿ™ It’s not great for recording narration, I can tell you!!!!

    Jesus, that is a LOT of samples. I let it play while I was writing this. When the beat comes in, it’s no masterpiece but certainly got my foot tapping ๐Ÿ™‚ Never heard of Walker before definitely looks tough. The Walker itself has beautiful animation.

    That is a lovely story about Duke Nukem 3D (I haven’t heard a lovely story about Duke Nukem 3D before). You should make one of those videos where you crash the game with explosives or put some many people into a rollercoaster game the frame rate crumbles.

    Yeah, I’ve found the “last set” of rooms in SOLAS 128 extremely punishing and I did find I wasn’t quite having fun any more when it was getting this brutal – turned to walkthrough to get me through a few tough rooms. I’m still working through it, still not finished. I like trying to get beams from one place to another but puzzles where it’s built around attempting to sync or desync different rays continue to confound me. I just don’t like them. There was one last night where you needed to build a ridiculously long route just to make two rays sync & bend.

  7. As always, a thought provoking letter! I feel the same way about our coming “return to normalcy”, and the little things I’ll miss.

    Your reference to ‘The City and the City’ was a pleasant surprise–what a good book ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. Thanks Gwen! And my reading habits are still pretty poor these days, but this is one of the rare books I have finished in the recent years.

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