-573KT941LL- Virtue is Bond. I/We have discovered an Earthen flesh was behind Seance, the first empire that fell during the Great Galactic Pacification. The name of this flesh is Kerry Turner, sometimes known as reallyfancy, a developer for Littleloud.

The Spiritual Domain of The Aspiration had minimal dealings with Seance although I/We sang her across ascension to the Virtuous Rapture.

Today, via ouijalink, Kerry explains the strange strategy of Seance.

Seance - Kerry Turner "reallyfancy" - wrote game about sad rabbit

Wednesday, June 23 2010. Day One.

On my first day in any new job, I pretend to be my friend Beth. This is a brilliant tactic. Beth/Fake Beth is polite, friendly. She listens wonderfully, asks questions to check she’s understood you properly, gets on with things quietly and competently. And then when someone says something vaguely dirty or stupid or inappropriate anywhere near her, she lets out an incredible laugh – utterly disarming, the human cherry on the model employee cake.

(As an aside, I consciously copied Beth’s laugh about ten years ago and I no longer remember what mine was like before. I like this one just fine, though, so I suppose it doesn’t matter.)

I’m telling you this because this game is supposed to be somewhat anonymous – meaning that other players don’t necessarily know who I am and, more importantly, that I haven’t played before. I have two choices, the way I see it: either admit that I don’t know what I’m doing and see if any more experienced players will take pity on me, or study people who seem good at it and model their behaviour as much as possible (although, as discussed, I do like my current laugh so I’m not going that far again).

Seance (dark blue) has three neighbours: Abacus Master (orange), Baron Copernicus (cyan) and Switchbreak (purple)

When I receive a confident, business-like proposal of alliance from Abacus Master, I decide to front it out. I pretty much copy and paste the message (except, of course, you can’t copy and paste in the horrible message interface – what I mean is that I painstaking type the damned thing out by hand) to various other intergalactic sorts. I airily offer tech trading, alliances, possible attacks on mutual neighbours, all as though I have any idea how any of this might work. And then I read other people’s Neptune’s Pride journals, looking for someone to pretend to be.

Sunday, June 27 2010. Day Five.

I realise after a relatively short amount of time that my impersonation of a competent Neptune’s Pride player isn’t going quite as well as I’d hoped. For one thing, I hadn’t twigged how much of my info was visible to other players, and I’d been coming on like a galactic overlord with a weapons skill of 1. With sudden horror, I picture myself as one of those precocious eleven-year-olds that smoke, catcall, square up to adults.

For another thing, my strategy so far has consisted of reading Quinns’s parts of the RPS playthrough and just doing whatever he did. Only less well, and with significantly poorer results. I started by throwing everything I had at economy and grabbing as many stars as possible, as it seemed to work for him – only to find myself with a seriously spread out fleet and a large number of undefended – undefendable, in fact – outposts. That I’d invested heavily in.

blue dots separated by orange and purple dots

On the plus side, I’ve allied with a couple of people. Of course, they’re all telling me not to trust the others. I can’t really complain as this is exactly what I’m up to, but it’s a little unnerving – especially when Kent tells me that he knows who I am (crap), that Abacus Master to my North is probably the best, most devious player in the game (shit) and that I should definitely expect an attack pretty soon (bollocks).

Finding the time to play is also posing a bit of a problem. Kent assured me that the game would be a slow starter with only fifteen minutes or so required on the first few days, and that missing a day or two early on shouldn’t cause problems. This was simply untrue. Checking in on Thursday evening, I see that I’ve accidentally started a bit of a skirmish with Switchbreak. And Abacus Master. And then I have to go offline for two days. And I’m drunk, and I’ve only brought one t-shirt with me for the whole weekend.

This is all going down around World of Love, a conference that I found curiously depressing. On reflection, I think my dispiriting space adventures may have coloured my impressions of that weekend – both Switchbreak and Abacus Master decide to take my obvious incompetence as an excuse to invade, so by the time I’m in any position to do anything about it on Sunday I’m already totally fucked.

Friday, July 2 2010. Day Ten.

ouijalink / disconnect

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4 thoughts on “The Xmaspiration: Kerry’s Story

  1. I was totally fucked despite making moves almost any time I could, so you are the superior player here, Kerry.

    That, or Neptune’s Pride is just a game of total fuckitude.

    P.S. Frick.

  2. I absolutely adore Kerry’s take on the game. She wrote this over a year ago when the experience was still fresh and I always wanted it to see the light of day.

    But I think generally the role most players take on their first game is that of “cannon fodder”. The Aspiration is a slight departure from this rule of thumb because I was expecting to lose due to a lack of personal time and wanted to make sure I didn’t get killed through a simple misunderstanding of game logic. (I had no idea that the game would end up owning my soul, of course.)

  3. This was a great write-up and I too am glad it saw the light of day. I was looking at the article thinking “How’s she going to wrap this up, there’s only like, one paragraph left” and with:

    “…by the time I’m in any position to do anything about it on Sunday I’m already totally fucked.”

    Kerry was done. Ouch.

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