Video games are a pretty huge part of my life. I endeavor to make them. I stream them, both for my monthly Future Proof Plays streams and some on my own. Gregory and I have a standing Saturday morning date to play something before the world begins its demands on our time. I also play quite a lot on my own, although admittedly more in depth than in breadth.
I’m often eager to fall in love with a game, especially a game that might land the two objectives I talk about in my Paradise Killer post. As a result, this list of kinda-sorta-okay-definitely-favorites is:
Pretty biased towards recently-played games,
Has no games I “appreciate”, but don’t actively enjoy playing, and
Sometimes explicitly about the game design, but often about my own emotional reactions
Hot Blog Summer is all about hitting the damn publish button, so this is being split into (at least…) two parts so that each can stay a little meaty.
I’m going to try not to be spoilery here, but leave a comment if I fuck up.
There’s a certain kind of game that I’ve become very into in the last few years. These are games that are investigative or explorations of knowledge and that bring one or two important things to the table:
They’re definitely going to examine the broken-ass structures of the society they’re set in, and
They might offer up a way to break, reshape, or recreate the society to be not-terrible.
The first gets me to play a game with gusto. The second makes the game perfect.
Paradise Killer is an outstanding game by Kaizen Game Works in which you play Lady Loves Dies, a disgraced immortal investigator let out of prison to determine who murdered the head of an immortal broken-ass oligarchy running a broken-ass pocket universe society in which humans are abducted from the real world and used as fodder to attempt to resurrect their old gods.
It’s one of my favorite games, period.
Much like the islands in the game, however, it is not perfect.
Beware, all ye who enter. Spoilers lie ahead, and this is a game with some real good revelations in it as you play. This doesn’t include anything from the 2022 expansion, which I haven’t played yet.
So we’ve been working on Exploit: Zero Day for a couple of years now, but I haven’t talked nearly enough about it here. It’s a web-based cyberthriller puzzle game where you play as a hacktivist, uncovering and battling against oppression and exploitation.
*innocent whistle* Totally not the sort of game I’d want to make or play, no…
It’s been in closed alpha for a while, but we’re ready to offer a prelude season of paid story: “Headless Swarm”. For details on the plotline and how it relates to the continued free alpha access, check out the announcement blog post over at FPG.
Folks probably know that I make video games as part of Future Proof Games, but maybe not what we’re doing at the moment. Many, many (many) years ago, Gregory made “(I Fell in Love With) The Majesty of Colors”, a very sweet Flash game about balloons and drowning.
As the site stats geek for FPG, I can tell you “Majesty” remains pretty damned popular. (Hell, it just got linked by Buzzfeed a few days ago.) It’s an evocative game that continues to appeal to folks wanting to explore the soft feelings of a big, weird, sessile alien. Problem is, Flash is finally actually dying — no phone/tablet can run it, and some browser configurations require user action before it’ll run Flash.
So we’re bringing “Majesty” to modern devices: Android, iOS, and Windows/OSX/Linux. And holy crap, this game feels great on a phone; moving the tentacle with your finger just feels real in a way that the tiny, mouse-controlled Flash version doesn’t. I’m excited to test it on tablets.
It’ll be out later this year and is being developed in parallel with Exploit: Zero Day, which will also have some big news soon. (I could write a whole post on the thought processes around dividing time between two projects for a part-time team like ours!)
Something that would really help the game be successful is if the desktop versions can launch on Steam. For us to do that, we need to make it through Steam Greenlight. If you have a Steam account, take a moment and vote for “Majesty”.
Something that would put a smile on my face would be if you left a cheery comment on the Greenlight page. Y’all know how the internet can be.
Greg and I have a D&D game tonight. He’s the sucker that’s GMing, so I’ll be staring at stats on my phone and checking email all night while absentmindedly rolling dice for my diva Avandra-worshiping Shardmind ardent.