Monthly Archives: October 2015

Ran’s Course Through Dyscourse – Day 8 – An End

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And so we come to an end for Dyscourse. I didn’t exactly do the best job of keeping people alive, I didn’t even succeed in repairing George and Jolene’s marriage like I told Museli I would. On the other hand, turns out that Jolene is a monster who must be locked up for the good of the group. The tiny, tiny group.

One of the things that finishing the game unlocks is the ability to play shift back in the timeline and play from an earlier day. I had hoped this would literally form a branching timeline, such as those found in Papers, Please or Hack ‘n’ Slash. So you could play around a bit and easily contrast and compare them. Unfortunately it appears to overwrite the single save slot with an earlier one, you can’t easily revisit the other leg of the trouser of time.

You could definitely do better than I did, though like Jarenth I suspect that it is impossible to avoid at least one death in any given run, if only because there are suspiciously only 5 slots for people standing around the fire in the village and that means either only 5 people can possibly make it there, or I guess you HAVE to arrest and jail someone in the village finding process.

I will leave it to you dear reader/viewer to explore the other paths, I am undecided on whether or not I am going to poke around further. I frankly am not sure I have the time and patience to dedicate to it. I should also note that there is a free expansion which gives another storyline involving a party of indie game creators stuck on an island. I might look at doing a series on that one, time will tell.

Indie Wonderland: Expand

You know you’ve made it in the illustrious world of independent game reviewing when developers start sending you games, just to get some cool time in the Indie Wonderland spotlight. That’s what happened a with Expand, a game about ‘meditative exploration through a shifting circular labyrinth’. The brainchild of Chris Johnson and Chris Larkin, the former sent a Steam key and an invitation to review two weeks ago to me and only me; this is definitely what happened, me being the only recipient, rather than this being some sort of larger press outreach program. I mean, my name was on the email! Check and mate, disbelievers.

(Spoiler levels: Narrative, nonexistent. Mechanical, fairly large, given that it’s mechanically a simple game.)

(Game source: Developer press key.)

After the break: Expand! Or don’t. I don’t know, I’m not here to give you commands. Also, I talk about whether or not this game is fun!

Ran’s Course Through Dyscourse – Day 6 – Explosive Exit

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The military base has one of the strangest and most badly laid out minefields ever. Firstly we are talking mines that can be disarmed by pressing the green button, secondly they are fenced off and inside the base, which seems like a bad idea, finally they are all close enough together that one mine exploding results in the entire minefield going up. Makes it a little ineffective for long term area denial.

But it does make for a kind of neat quick puzzle.

Ran’s Course Through Dyscourse – Day 5 – Military Supplies

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Despite not eating yesterday I am leaning heavily on the reasoning that in this game Only The PC Can Succeed, so I have sent a starving Rita out with Jolene to find food and a… military base? Where are we? Whose military build and then abandoned this? Is this, as I assume it is, some kind of Lost reference? How many questions can I chain together?

As a result of not eating this is a very short day and thus a short episode, another consequence of defining an episode by day rather than my normal method of splitting by closest natural ending point to 30 minutes.

Indie Wonderland: Undertale

A week or two ago, Toby FoxUndertale more or less exploded into my Twitter feed. One moment, it was business as usual; the next, everyone was talking about cool skeletons, fish women, and dogs that were or weren’t shitty. It was downright intriguing to see, not to mention a little bizarre.

I couldn’t quite figure out just what Undertale was supposed to be from all the talk. All I could reliably pick up from the Twitter chatter were three things: a) Undertale is apparently really good, b) I should be playing it as soon as possible, and c) no seriously, why haven’t I started yet?

And then, just as I was considering whether or not to give in to Twitter peer pressure ‘this one time’, a friend gifted me the actual game. My Achilles heel. And, well. Here we are!

(Spoiler levels: Narrative, KINDA REALLY HIGH. Mechanical, medium to high.)

(Game source: Gift from a friend.)

After the break: Undertale. You’ll notice that nowhere in the opening paragraph I described just what Undertale is about. The reality of the situation is that… I honestly don’t really know?

Ran’s Course Through Dyscourse – Day 4 – Cave Kitty

YouTube Link After a surprisingly wet and hard night on Day 3 it is time for the crew to spent a little time exploring the cave, eating and getting some sleep. Hopefully they will spend some time reflecting and processing the tragic events of the previous night. It sure would seem odd for the missing character to basically never get mentioned again after the immediate impact is felt. That would kind of cheapen the whole loss somehow.

Ran’s Course Through Dyscourse – Day 3 – Wet Dreams

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Finally it is time to really sort out that fresh water problem. We really can’t go too long without it, fortunately we do have a fire, so we should be able to boil water we find to make it potable. Seems sensible right?

I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed in this day’s major choice, sure I took a bit longer than I expected getting the supplies, but that was only due to missing that I hadn’t collected one piece. What I really found frustrating is it seemed totally superfluous, why is Rita the only torchbearer? There is enough fire left, Garret could have picked up a torch too and rendered the whole situation moot. As a result the whole situation feels really forced and I just ended up annoyed with every other character, rather than sorry I kind of failed.