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Spoilers for a Day of the Tentacle plot point and for puzzle types in The Witness


All I got is tentacle. I got the dime out of the gum. You needed a crowbar! You then can use the gum to use the magic fingers which wakes the guy up so you can get the wet sweater, which you dry for 200 years so Laverne gets a small one in the future.

Of course.

So hopefully you have some witness.

But, even if you don’t, I was pondering something else game related.

So we both have Horizon pre ordered, and we’re both looking forward to playing it, yes? So, too, many other folks from the sound of it. There is hype. Hype abounds.

Now, hype is fine. But lately, what seems to accompany hype is videos of actual gameplay. Gamespot, the other day, had a video about the combat, which features clips from the FOUR HOURS of hands on gameplay they had. People seem to like these “Let’s Play” videos. The full skill tree available in horizon was released by the publisher, and is making the rounds on the game sites.

Now, I’m all for reviews. I’m all for little snippets at E3. But when we’re getting into FOUR HOURS worth of hands on, and skill trees, and really specific gameplay stuff, I don’t want that. I want to go in cold. And yet, this very revealing method of hype seems to be taking hold.

There’s gonna be a lot of it. We’ve seen all this with Horizon, and the game doesn’t release for…well, two weeks, but when this thing I’m thinking of came out, it was a full month. A MONTH!

And it seems specific to games. You wouldn’t see a movie get hyped with “Watch the first 32 minutes here!”

I’m not sure why people want this. I don’t.

So dish on that. Unless you have the witness. 


Ah, the crowbar. I knew I needed the dime to wake the guy, but I didn’t find the crowbar. I’m going back to try again!

No. No, I’m not.

I did some Witness, but as you no doubt know, the updates on that can tend to be like this:

“I did three or four puzzles. I’m still in the treetops.”

So there you have it. I did some stuff, but didn’t go anywhere except farther along the path that I’m gradually unfolding. It’s the green one, with the Tetris blocks and the stars. Head hurts, but making slow progress.

As for hype, well, movies are a little different because you can watch hours of gameplay and barely scratch the surface of a game, while watching half an hour of a movie would be 25% of the whole experience. I’ve been to preview screenings of TV shows where they’ll show you the first couple of episodes or whatever, in hopes of sucking you in, and I think that might be a closer analogy.

Or sometimes at the end of a book there will be “the first chapter of the sequel!” or “the first chapter of the author’s new book!” which is similarly offering advance information about something to get you interested.

Regardless, I’m with you in not wanting that much advance information. Well, that and I don’t have time to gather that much advance information. I mean, I can’t be sitting around at work watching 4 hours of gameplay footage. I have blogging to do! (Kidding, work! Partly kidding, anyway.)

But even more than not having time, I actually don’t feel any particular desire to have that much information. I rarely read the ‘bonus’ chapter of the next book, because I figure I’ll either read the next book or not and I don’t need a big gap between the first chapter and the rest if I do. And I don’t need a ton of advance information about the game, because I’ll learn about the game while I’m playing it…I have other things to think about in the meantime, and trying to work out some sort of optimal strategy for skill development for a character in a game I haven’t even started yet seems silly since I’ll probably have forgotten it by the time the game gets here anyway.

Maybe if this were the only game I were going to play this year, and it’s this huge, monumental event for me…? I could see dedicating a ton of advance time to it in that case, maybe. Building the anticipation and what not.

But the way we play, I don’t think this type of build-up is necessary or effective. Of course, we’re not the only players in the world, and if it works for other people, they’re welcome to it. I don’t think getting all this information in advance is a WRONG approach, it’s just not mine. But if it gives someone else more enjoyment from the game overall, rock on them.

I think this is just another of those instances where the preferences of the largest and/or loudest part of the market do not represent our preferences. Which is fine, as long as they still do the plain old boring stuff we do like, such as make and release games that we want to play.


You and Double Fine. Just not getting along.

I know the feeling in the Witness. I do. Those treehouse ones were fucking HARD. At least you figured out that they could go in different directions. I did not. Until very late.

I dunno, man. I feel on on the E3 stuff. Like, at E3, they showed the bit of UC4 from the bazaar through the car chase where you’re hanging on a rope behind the jeep. That was good. Gave you a good taste for things. But four hours, you’re going to show A LOT. Especially if it’s the FIRST four hours.

That, too. Give me enough to know I want to play it.

I’ve even given up on reading every tid bit about MEA. Bioware is trickling out these “Get to know your squadmates!” videos. I’m not watching them. I’ll get to know my squadmates when I play the thing, thank you very much. Why WOULDN’T I want to get to know my squadmates as I play?

Though, in other bioware news, they’re now saying their new, currently unshown/unannounced IP will be OUT by March 2018. So that’s interesting. I’m expecting a whole TON of it at E3. Which means I’ll likely be disappointed.

Agreed that it seems silly to try to strategize too much in advance. And it hurts the experience. Games, especially open world ones, are really about discovery, more than a book or movie. You don’t explore a book world. Telling/showing where stuff is, even rather obvious stuff, is silly.

We are so very often in the minority. Which is funny, as we take it so seriously, sorta.

One thing I do like about all this hype: it means, usually, that the devs have confidence it’s good. They might be overconfident, sure, but when devs have something they fear will be a disappointment, they don’t generally give large chunks of it out beforehand. It’s the opposite of other products, really. Bud light spends so much time telling you it’s good and you want it because if you just tasted the stuff you wouldn’t want it. Games, when they know they have a stinker, hide it until it releases, even a big budget game. So when I see every other article on game sites being new chunks of a game? Even if I don’t watch them, gives me hope.

And hope is good. We don’t usually commit to a game from a dev we’ve never played before so early. I mean, this LOOKS good, but I don’t have the confidence that I would from Bioware or CDPR or whatever. So I’m already starting with more skepticism than I would with, say, MEA.


I have to say, at this point I am going to be highly skeptical of anything Double Fine does. At least this one was free!

Different directions is key. And the fact that even though you have to include all the blocks, and outline all the shapes, the block doesn’t have to be ‘in’ the shape that it is, it can be in some other, connected shape…so to speak. You know what I mean.

Maybe there’s just an endless appetite for this kind of entertainment stuff because people don’t want to deal with the actual world right now. And who could blame them?

Also, we’re not the audience for ANY kind of advertising on this because we already bought it. It’s possible that if we were torn between this and something else, or really not sure if we wanted to play it or not, this kind of information overload could help us make the decision. Ideally, from the company’s standpoint, we would decide in favor of buying it, but maybe they’re betting that even if it turns some people off (“I didn’t realize THAT was what gameplay looked like! That’s terrible!”), those are people who might be loudly vocal in their disapproval if they bought it on less information and then didn’t like it.

I dunno. Again, we’re not the audience here, but it apparently works somehow for somebody. And it doesn’t hurt us in any way that I can see (maybe it lessens the thrill of discovery to have already seen this stuff before you play, but that’s no problem for us if we’ve ignored it), so…meh. I guess in the end I don’t really have much of an opinion about it.


To each their own. Even if they’re wrong.

Different directions is SO key. Which is why missing it was a bit of a setback.

I take heart in the fact you’re still missing a lot. Hm

I do not blame. I’m trying to live in a cocoon made of food, games and booze.

And yes on the previews, except (and here’s what I don’t get) flooding GAME sites with this stuff is so weird because people who go to game sites are people who probably make decisions to pre order or not. Putting an ad on TV, to get to people who do not go to game sites to get the word out, ok, but this is preaching to the choir.

But then, the vast majority of people who are going to watch football games have likely tasted Bud Light, and have made up their minds on same, but we still see Bud Light ads, so maybe preaching to the choir is all part of marketing. What do I know?

I’m still gonna avoid the overhype.

And MAN I hope this game is good.


You have NO IDEA how much I’m missing. Incalculable quantities of things. I have one trophy so far, out of 8 zillion hidden (and hence, based on your helpful explanation, non-spoilery story-based) trophies, so I have basically seen, like, one thing.

It was the hedge maze.

Oh, and the creepy dog on the cushion, but I didn’t get a trophy for that.


The good news is that there’s no way NOT to get all those trophies and still finish the game.


This being ahead is kinda fun.


Being behind is strangely guilt-inducing. Like, “I should be doing more! We don’t have anything interesting to talk about and it’s all my fault!”

I salute you for handling this burden so gracefully all those times when things were normal and YOU were behind.


Being half Jewish with an Italian mother has me uniquely prepared to handle the burden of guilt.

This has been a good exercise in empathy building.

Which we won’t need come HZD time, as it releases on Nugget’s birthday, so I will not play, and you will, and the universe will right itself.


I will breathe a sigh of relief on that day. Until then, I must slog ahead, weighed down by the responsibility of making progress.

Still in the treetops!

You know…I think I can blame my distractible magpie tendencies on guilt! “See, the reason I abandoned the temple in the desert is because I was kind of stuck and I felt SUCH a responsibility to report some progress, I was just COMPELLED to wander off and find something else to work on just so I could say I wasn’t still in the same damn place I was three days ago!”

Yup. I’m going to be working that excuse pretty hard, I think.


There will come a moment where a) your mind will be blown and b) your magpie/completionist tendencies may well cripple you.

And for that I apologize.


I will philosophically resign myself to a crippling mind-blowout, with the knowledge that at least Horizon and MEA will intervene to delay the full effect.


There is that. Relax with robots and romance.

T SHIRT!!!!!


If only we could be sure the robots and romance would actually be in the same game.

Maybe THAT’S why everyone is interested in four hours of gameplay footage: they’re desperately scanning for signs of romance!

Don’t think I won’t romance a robot dinosaur if I have the opportunity. You know I will.

It’s T for Teen, though…they’ll probably steer away from robo-romantic bestiality, more’s the pity.


It’s a huge open world! A world that big MUST have romance!

And I know you will. Which speaks volumes.

I almost wish they wouldn’t steer away. You’ll have so much pent up lust that you’ll romance a krogan. Though you probably will anyway.


I certainly won’t rule out romancing a krogan, should the opportunity present itself.

I mean, a krogan can be kind of cute, in a big, gruff, sort of way. They’re not as angsty as I tend to prefer, but their entire body is kind of like armor, so there’s that, and one could certainly imagine one with a dark secret in his mysterious past.


Watch. They’ll have a moody one. And your heart will be lost.


A moody krogan who skulks around the place brooding over a dark and secret past! I’m already swooning.

Especially if we have to go find moldy flags.


I’m going for the BEBHBB*.

Of course.

Probably playing as one, too.


We all have our paths to follow.


If a BEBHBB romances ANOTHER BEBHBB….does the universe end or something?


I would be very wary, which is why I’m going for the moody krogan.

But there’s only one way to find out, and I’m counting on you to investigate. For science.


Someone must. Someone must.

Though, from the posters and stuff, I’m not seeing an obvious BEBHBB. There’s a blond, and an asari…

Maybe they’re just keeping their aces close to the vest.


I was going to say, what is there is no BEBHBB? I suppose you’ll have to fill the role yourself and romance someone else, but…surely not the same.

It’s like expecting me to fall for someone cheerful and even tempered, whose past is an open book.


That’s how I handled it in DAI. My Morrigan sister wound up with Sera.

Sacrifices must sometimes be made.


We do what we must.

And at least this way the universe doesn’t collapse on itself, which is perhaps a plus.


*Blue-eyed, black-haired BioWare babe