Patriah – Game Demo Release!

Wow, I can’t believe I forgot to mention this here.

On January 4th I released a demo for my very first game! (At least, my first entirely-independent, standalone game that is not a piece of TWS on the web.) Please check out Patriah. It’s a game about navigating relationships, power structures, and being a woman in the feminist dystopia.

Mind the warnings!

Check it out here!

2017 Top Ten – Don’t Miss These!!!

Everyone else is doing these so I guess I could do one, too.

This list is by no means comprehensive. I caught up on a lot of 2015-2016 games this year, and I missed a lot of releases I really wanted to get into. My list is also very biased this year toward triple-A releases, and I would love to talk about why before we get into it. Feel free to skip this if you want and scroll down.

1. I Have a Connection.

I’m rather infamous around Halifax because I sell stickers at conventions, and you can also get them at local business The Last Game Store. If you live around here, it would mean a lot to me if you could support them!

The stickers are pretty popular, so I often don’t bother asking for cash. I just go ahead and trade them for games. This way I get new games pretty easily, although I do tend to prefer old things that I need to fill out my collection.

2. My Computer Sucks.

I say this with all the endearment in my heart since my wife bought it for me, but it was an emergency purchase when my previous laptop died and it doesn’t keep up very well with modern games. This makes me more inclined to pick up games on my consoles when possible (PS3, PS4, Vita, 3DS)

3. I Still Buy A Lot In Steam Sales.

…Because it’s cheap. But I can’t pick up ones that run in 3D because they strain my poor laptop. Playing Firewatch early in the year was an Ordeal. I’ve been sitting on a copy of The Witness that I have no faith in this machine to play.

If you like my reviews and would like to help me out in my gaming thirst, please take a look at my Amazon or Steam wishlists, or even my Patreon.

So yeah! That’s why I have a lot of triple-A games on this list. So here are my top ten 2017 games in no particular order:

Read more

A Nobody’s Final Days – ENIGMA:

Today I’m reaching out to give you all a recommendation for a visual novel. The title is difficult to google because it’s a popular name for songs, bands, etc. It’s not even the only game on steam with this title, so to save you some trouble, the game is here.

ENIGMA: is about a man who washes to shore on an isolated island. His name is Chester, and Chester is going to die. He’s terminal with an illness called Enigma, and there’s nothing left for him except to enjoy what time he has remaining. He settles in on the island to spend his final days in peace, meeting a few new people and trying to let go.

The story reads like BL, with many of Chester’s meaningful relationships forming around other men. However, nothing seems to last long enough to become romantic, thanks to the limited time he has remaining.

If you want a lovely little story that will make you cry, check out ENIGMA:. If you’re not yet sold, feel free to continue reading.

The following steps a bit into spoiler territory, so read on at your own risk.

Read more

I’m Not Reviewing Love on the Peacock Express!

I’m not going to be reviewing this great, free game about dating moms and solving mysteries on a train, because I helped to write it! I’m super proud of this and the game as a whole. Thank you to everyone who is playing it, and everyone who helped to make it. I think we did a great job. <3

Please check it out here: https://trainmilfsgame.itch.io/love-on-the-peacock-express

_transfer – A Snapshot of Momentum

I had the pleasure of seeing an early build of _transfer at GDC2017, and I’m thrilled now that it’s gotten an official release. This is going to be a very short post about a game that you have to experience.

Screenshot, reading "From one there is nine. It took a bold mind, willing to do anything to save humanity from itself. The mind conceived, and two hands constructed. That is your origin. They are always talking about origins and destructions."

In science and science fiction, there are aspects that can be difficult to understand. There might be a moment of insight where between the trees you can see the sun, but as soon as it was there it’s gone and what you have is an impression of a truth that you almost knew.

In _transfer, that glimpse of the sun is the answer – it’s who you are. And the story is told in the moment of momentum where you can see it. You don’t have the origin and you don’t have the destruction, all you have is a little snapshot of time where you might see the truth if you know what you’re looking for.

If this sounds extremely bizarre and pretentious, this is just the only way I know how to explain it.

The game starts with you logging in to a conversation between AI. You don’t know who you are or where you’re going. It’s irrelevant, and many of them are quickly bored that you’re bothering them with questions about your identity. As you converse with them, memory files are recovered that shed light on the world of _transfer and the lives of these AI. As you start to piece together the themes and concepts at play, the system shuts down and forces you to start anew.

Every time you start a new round in _transfer, important concepts accumulate. If you want to take in all the information, you might want to take notes, but the AI designations change every time, so you can’t count on those. Soon you’ll discover the unimportance of linearity in the “lives” of these AI. They inquire about conversations that you had in previous rounds. You play in a circle, and every time you learn a little more.

The AI in _transfer are curious and confused about sex. “Humans are so obsessed with their own survival that they watch videos of other humans procreating,” reads one of the memory logs. “They are always talking about origins and destructions,” says another. I feel like this is what _transfer is about. Without creation or destruction, what are you at all? I think _transfer is saying that we’re in transit. We’re transferring, from one place to another, and that’s the sunlight through the trees that it’s attempting to express.

_transfer is a fascinating little thesis-statement of a game about AI and the transit of existence. It’s the kind of game that couldn’t have been anything but a game in order to tell this story as intended, and that’s the highest praise I can give anything. Check it out.

Red vs Blue Season 15 – What the Hell is Payoff (SPOILERS)

I’m going to start with a disclaimer that I love Red vs Blue and I’m about to be really mean about it and it’s brand new writer and I feel really terrible. BUT I also feel obligated as an armchair narrative critic to call out its shit so it can be better next time. This post was constructed over a few hours with no editing, in classic narrative word vomit style.

In any narrative, for things to feel really good when it all comes full circle, you have to earn it. As a writer this can be easy to screw up because there’s a lot you need to juggle, especially with a large cast. Things have to be seeded, called back, developed and wrapped. There’s a lot of work involved in good character development.

In Red vs Blue Season 15 there is a lot of this happening. In fact, I would say, too much. Actually what I mean is that it was a goddamn disaster. Things were built, developed, and paid off with a fart sound (Grif and Simmons). Some things came up as payoff completely out of nowhere (Locus). Characters were developed who have already been developed, didn’t need development, and the development they got was shit that had already happened to them (Tucker and Sarge). There was some interesting stuff in Season 15 and some really good jokes, but in the end it feels like it was a waste of time and accomplished nothing.

Read more

Webcomp: the not-Webcomic

Webcomics have evolved beyond being what we formally understand to be comics. We use the word “comics” for them because, while they sometimes don’t look like comics or sound like comics, readers don’t have language to call them anything different. We say “webcomics” because they’re often image-heavy stories we read online. I believe that this simplification can be harmful to people who are creating narratives outside the box, because it’s difficult to find our market. How will people know what to look for when what they want isn’t anything like a webcomic?

This is what I want to call a Webcomp: a Composite Web Narrative. A webcomp is a story where the medium is the web, and it utilizes any and all of the features available to it in that format. There is no operating terminology for this form of storytelling that encapsulates what it is. Most often, readers will refer to it as a “webcomic”, in spite of everything that it isn’t, because it’s the best word we have to describe it.

Let’s get into this in some more detail.

Read more

The State of Those Without Shadows

Hey everyone! Here’s what’s up lately.

We’ve been working on the next game segment for EVER, I know. It’s almost done, but considering how inexperienced I am in programming, I can’t say for sure when that will be. The good news is that it means the next one will not be nearly so difficult. I’ve learned so much, so I won’t be starting from zero again.

While I’ve been working on that, I’ve also been working on some supplemental materials, like the Tiberias body pillow and Sating Southwise Saanvi.

I’ve also started writing the upcoming TWS chapters all at once. After this we’ll be going into what I’m calling the “Ganymede arc”. I don’t really want to tell you much about what it means because most of it is discussed at the end of chapter 6. Out of world, it means that I’m writing what will probably be two or three chapters at once, and cutting up the format afterward based on how it functions best.

I’ve made this offer before and I am going to make it again. When the game segment goes up, I will upload the full remaining pages of chapter 6 at once if my Patreon gets up to $50 per month in patrons. I hope this incentive doesn’t seem unfair. I thought it would make a good and small goal, and if we don’t make it, it’ll just be business as usual. Chapter 6 is 9 pages long, and the game is on page 6, so it’s three weeks of buffer to burn.

Anyway, I’ll let everyone know when we’re in the final stages of game playtesting and hopefully from there, it’ll be a matter of a week or two. Thanks for your patience!

DATE THAT DAD! – Dream Daddy

I’ve played a lot of visual novels, and a good half of them or so have been dating sims of some kind. My experience with dating sims in North America has been rather disappointing, compared to some of the treasured stories I’ve read that come from Japan or South Korea, so when I saw Dream Daddy release with fanfare, I had very low expectations.

And I was pleasantly surprised!

Read more

Red vs Blue Fanfic Recommendation Masterpost

So I tried to post something like this before with the understanding that I might make different editions, but I decided I’d rather make one huge post that has everything I love and just come back to update it now and then. Again: I’m sticking to my one-sentence-summary rule, but please mind the author-marked tags. For now, here is The Good Shit.

Read more

%d bloggers like this: