It’s a mystery game in several ways. First of all, the story in itself is a mystery, as in it’s one of those stories you’re thrust into that gradually unfolds with twists and turns that you hopefully wouldn’t expect. Second of all, it is a genuine mystery to all of us, as the Backwoods guys didn’t want to ruin said mystery by talking about it on the show.
That makes sense, of course. But it also meant that, going in, we had no idea what the game was about. All we knew about the game was that it has very, very pretty graphics:
Our main focus for this episode, therefore, was to talk art style. What made them go for this very stylized, hand-drawn-looking type graphics?
Why come up with an original idea when you can slap a new coat of paint on an old one?
OK, perhaps that’s a bit cynical. It’s not as if this is a new thing. Even Oul Ken Williams knew that remakes were a way to make a quick buck. And Oul Ken Williams was a flawless genius.
And besides. There’s actually good examples of remastered games that have brought the classics to new audiences. (Or, at the very least, allowed us to play those creaky old games on new systems.) And let’s spare a thought for the detailed fan remakes, that add new technologies while keeping all the things that made us love those games in the first place.
Gareth is off doing something more important today, so he has left me in charge of announcing this week’s episode. At least, that’s the reason he claimed. It’s quite fortuitous that I am able to comply, actually, having recently dodged a chance to check into Club 27. If you ever find yourself in Denmark, never allow anyone to treat you to “snaps”.
But my birthday is not what the episode is about. It’s about the birthday of a stallion much more magnificent than me: Man ‘o War!
However, it’s also about adventure game elements that have crept into other game genres over the years. Games like “Strife”, “Half-Life”, “Mass Effect”, “Don’t Starve”, etc. that have appropriated various design elements outside of their genre that they arguably owe to adventure games. You get the idea.
Obviously, the first thing you’ll notice about this week’s episode is that it’s a day late. And you have every right to be angry. Furious, even. I know I speak on behalf of all of the Back Seat Designers in sharing your frustration. But, please, put the gun down. I know we can talk about this.
Ah. Now that that volatile situation has been defused, perhaps we can go into discussing the show on our hands. It’s about games based on true stories, and, no, the fact that it’s coming out on Easter is just pure coincidence; you’ll notice both Jesus and chocolate bunnies are entirely absent from this episo– oh, for god’s sake, I said put that gun down!
We were actually finding it quite hard coming up with real-life examples of games that are based on real historical events. Sure, it’s not like there aren’t any at all. But, really, does Custer’s Revenge or JFK: Reloaded shout “well-researched depiction of historical events” to you? Really?! Well, they don’t to us, god damn it!
The back seat designers are about to start throwing stones up in this bitch.
We love adventure games, and the beautiful people that make them. But sometimes they have some really annoying habits. Yeah, we know. There are all sorts of constraints that designers and engineers have to labour under. Limited funds. Limited time. The need to collaborate between writers, artists, coders and publishers. Technological limits. If it were easy, everyone would do it.
Even so. We sometimes feel that you could have done something different. And three drunk Europeans are going to tell you exactly what you shoulda done.