Thursday, January 10, 2013

Dear Esther

Anyone heard of this?


Alex said...

'fraid not. I've been out of the video game loop for at least a decade. I'd be happy to answer any questions you've got about Doom, Street Fighter 2, Shining Force or Carmageddon though.

There is this Wikipedia article you could look at, but be aware that it gives away the ending. And I saw this hour long video that someone put up on youtube of the whole game from beginning to end.

It does sound a bit interesting though, doesn't it? Maybe a little reminiscent of Myst, or something, I guess. I've actually started to get a little bit more interested in games again of late. Mostly the independent/arty/experimental stuff and the educational/training/therapeutic stuff. I found this a few weeks ago and thought it was kind of neat. It only takes 10-15 minutes to play through, and it's probably best to go in blind, but make sure to read the messages that come up on the screen.

Melba said...

Hey Alex I was wondering where you were! How's your Internet project going?

On Esther, I'm going to download it and play it. I don't want any spoilers, but will look at your links afterwards. The thing is, I need to find space to do it because it looks like it will be quite consuming, not necessarily in time but in mental space. I think it looks awesome.

I played a little Doom in my day, also World of Warcraft and Lara. I remember the first computer games, can't remember the name of the one I played in around 1984 but there were no graphics at all, just text based, like: You are in a dark room. What do you want to do? I found them compelling even then when all you had was your own imagination really and some words.

Alex said...

Believe it or not, I think I'm going to appreciate a bit of nagging over this project. Especially given the amount of procrastination and second-guessing I've already put into it.

I've still got rellies coming out of my arse at the moment and will have 'til about the end of the month. Another convenient excuse for not making progress, eh?

I remember text based adventure games. Never got into them though. I didn't mind the point and click adventures (Monkey Island, Sam & Max, Day of the Tentacle) that came later. But it wasn't until I discovered strategic role players that mixed interactive story telling with chess-like combat (basically Dungeons & Dragons* for people without friends) that I really got hooked.

I think I played one level of Lara (you mean Tomb Raider, right?) and had enough. I've seen other people play World of Warcraft and it didn't appeal to me. For some reason I've tended to have a bit of a problem with the 3D graphics in those sorts of games. My brain won't stop screaming "That looks wrong! That looks wrong!", which is weird considering how much I love hand-drawn graphics and cartoons and stuff. At any rate, the problem doesn't seem to be as bad with the more modern stuff. I don't know if that's got more to do with how my brain has changed or how the visuals in games have.

* You ever played real table-top D&D? For a long time I've wondered about it -- just seeing what it's like and why it used to be such a big deal -- but the only people I know who are into that sort of thing stick to that War-Hammer game -- or whatever it's called.

Melba said...

A real table top D&D? I watched people once playing it and couldn't believe how into it they were. No, make it twice. Once years ago when I was about early 20s or something, and then again more recently when I was relief teaching at a school and these two Year 9 guys had a trolley suitcase they kept in the library with all their gear in it, I'm sure I've blogged about it. They had little figurines as well as a teddy bear they propped up to watch. It was fantastic, these guys didn't give a shit about what any one else (including me) thought. I sat with them for a while; one was talking about necromancy. When I asked him what that meant he reeled off the definition in a bored voice, barely tolerant of my ignorance. My bro used to play D&D but I never did.

Yes Lara as in Tomb Raider. I loved that, played it for hours while Princess slept while she was little and I was the only adult in the house. Better than tv for me at that time. Sometimes I'd get so scared and have to stop it. The spiders. The rolling Indiana Jones ball of rock. LOVED IT.

WOW, I don't remember it having 3D graphics, pretty sure they were pretty bad graphics, maybe 2D? Maybe they were 3D but they were rudimentary, not very flash but I liked it a lot. I liked chopping wood and killing orcs. Good times.

So your project. What type of nagging would you prefer?

A) Regular & nasal
B) Occasional & gentle (this is the mother version)
C) Random & shouty
D) Whiny & needling
E) All of the above

Alex said...

Part of me is glad that young people are still playing table-top games and getting that far into them. It's that kind of getting into it that I'd love to see and maybe have a go at.

I remember when the woman who did the in-game modelling for Lara was a minor celeb and there was a lot of talk about how cool it was to have a female protagonist in an action game and growing the female gaming market, and whatnot, and then the kerfuffle it caused when she went and got breast implants for the third or fourth game and they tweaked the character to accentuate her tits and arse. Ah well, what can ya do, I suppose.

And I think it's best to go with (E) and mix up the nagging so I don't develop a tolerance for it.

Melba said...

What's in-game modelling?

Alex said...

That's when you use photos, filmed footage, motion-capture data (Golem from Lord Of The Rings), etc from a real person to make a character in a game/movie/etc.

This article from '98 talks about the different Laras over the years. The one that caused the kerfuffle is on page 3, although, it says there that it was more about her posing for Playboy than getting surgery. It also suggests that the women were used for promotional purposes rather than in-game modelling. That doesn't quite gel with how I remember gaming rags reporting it at the time, but then, it was probably fifteen years ago, so maybe my memory's a little ragged too.

Alex said...

I meant article from 2008.

Kettle said...

Melbs hi! Alex hi! hope you're both well.

Melbs I have heard about this game just recently, from Alison Croggon (Melb-based poet); she spoke about it at the Melb Writers' Fest and said it was one of the best games she's ever played. I made a note then forgot about it so thanks for the reminder. Let me know if you find/play it.

Alex said...

Hi Kettle! All's as well as can be expected here; how 'bout on your end?

If you want to find it, I can help you out. When I looked it up the other day, I saw the publisher was selling it on their website for ten bucks, and it's available through OnLive, Steam and that other thing like Steam that I can't remember the name of right now.

I remember you mentioning video games once a while ago. What's some of your old/current faves?