Discourse Dojo: Unrest

Ninja Blues readers, would you like to also be Ninja Blues listeners? Well, for the first time ever, you can be! We would like to graciously introduce you to our new podcast, Discourse Dojo. Our first episode is about a recently released Kickstarter-backed game called Unrest, by Pyrodactyl Games.

Direct download (ogg)
Direct download (mp3)

UPDATE: We also uploaded the podcast to Youtube since streaming/downloading is not working properly for most.

Let us know what you think! (Of the game and of the podcast itself. This is our first attempt at hosting a podcast, and we’d like to improve our formula however we can.)

Note from Ninjustin:

Unrest, Unrest, Unrest. It’s really hard to nail down how I feel about the game. Sometimes I want to sing its praises and sometimes I want to incessantly slap it on the wrist. Jarenth says it’s well worth the asking price despite its shortcomings, and I agreed at the time, but looking back, well… $15 is a lot for a two-to-three-hour game that nails the worldbuilding but fails to deliver on the roleplaying potential that it makes you expect. But it’s certainly notable for its efforts.

As for the audio, I’m sorry about the occasional echoing. I’ll try to look into that for future recordings. And good lord, did I ramble. I’ll try to reign that in.

Jibe from Jarenth:

Well, I still think Unrest is a decent-enough game for fifteen bucks. I appreciate intent and effort a lot, even if the actual outcome is… let’s say different from what I’d hoped. Plus, I hope support towards Unrest at least partially goes towards supporting Pyrodactyl Games’ later games: just because this game doesn’t use Unrest’s engine and possibilities to their full potential, doesn’t mean a second game won’t.

As for the audio, I’m sorry my voice sounds so godawful. It’s genetic.


  1. Okay, we’re getting scattered reports of the stream not working, and of downloads cutting out early and delivering partial files. Everything works for Justin and me now; if you — yes, you, person reading this right now — have any problems, could you let us know in the comments?

  2. Tried the ogg download, cut out after just a couple megs, which is just as well as I’m on a data-limited wireless connection at the moment. Will try again when I get home.

  3. On my home connection now (my previous comment is in the moderation queue), and also having problems, terminated after 8MB/12min this time.

    1. Third time it stopped at 27 minutes – perhaps you can upload it to youtube with literally a still image as the “video” part? I think might be because of hosting limits or something.

  4. I think Unrest does have some of these systems talked about, but it’s super buried. The first time I was the merc captain I was super strict with everybody and I seemed to be able to threaten my men well in the final speech. When I replayed it as a nice guy it said they didn’t believe I was that sort of person.

    I think one of the bigger problems with Unrest is that the game didn’t recognise that you need to sign post to players what would have happened and what could have happened during the playthrough. In the Kickstarter build up a lot of the talk was made about Bioware’s lack of subtelty but at least it made it clear whats on the table. Theres more reactivity in Unrest than you would suspect, but it’s missable because it’s hidden in it’s corners.

    Recently games like Cinders and The Walking Dead have come to realise just how powerful a massive sign saying @something else could have happened here@ is. I’m not saying that games need to do that in such an obvious way, but I do think they need some of that functionality. People need to understand (some) of the state-space of the game on their first time through, not their third.

    Alpha Protocol is incredibly reactive, but no-one would ever have realised it if they didn’t have all those conversations where people ‘Hello this is me repeating that dialogue option you chose’. That interests people so they believe it’s worth trying to provoke Conrad into fighting you on later playthroughs. The Walking Dead and Fable use very similar techniques

    1. Yeah, that’s a fair point. Unrest doesn’t appear as though it does much with player input, so we (naturally) come to believe that it doesn’t do this at all.

  5. Not that this is a defense of the rough cuts in Unrest (past release date fair’s fair and anything goes), but we did patch in some smoother scene transitions for most changes in time and location post-release. They were meant to be in the game from the start, but some engine quirks kept us from including them until after launch, hence the sudden jump cut to Asha and sneaky surprise credits. Anyhow, keep up the good work. It was a fair, smart 50ish minutes to think on for future projects.

    To add to what Thomas said: if you are interested in exploring one of those un-signposted deviations the story can make, bring some medicine to that west street with the abandoned well in it as Bhagwan (the priest). There’s a pretty major change you can affect starting from that point on. It wields probably the most impact of any one decision on the story aside from Asha’s final battery of dialogue choices.

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