Started gaming in kindergarten, when the most advanced piece of hardware I could get my hands on was a black plastic handle and an orange button attached to a brick. I used it to blow up little squares on a black and white television screen. A couple years later, I was molested by the girl next door after beating her copy of The Legend of Zelda. I have mixed feelings about the experience.
Unfortunately, over the years, my ability to maintain a passion for games has waned (as in being able to play through them start-to-finish). This is due to various reasons and issues that would be too emo to get into at this juncture. But suffice to say, though my passion has waned, my interest in them has not, as evidenced by my being here.
Nihil (or Nils) is the pseudonym I currently use for writing and gaming on the internet. I came across the Destructoid website by searching for information on Way of the Samurai 3. Tubatic pretty much has the most comprehensive coverage on it I've seen anywhere. And for that, and the other thing, I thank him.
Hi. Do you like hotdogs? Do you like funky fanfares playing in the background while you eat hotdogs? If so, why not press play in that video right there while reading this blog, which is kind of like eating a hotdog. Or an asshole, depending. Enjoy.
For a while there I thought I was losing the battle in giving a shit about gaming. I still don't, to an extent. But I want to care more, I just don't know where exactly to put my energy. If I were smart, I would work on a writing portfolio and use it to get hired on a dev team, and eventually make "Devil's Playground" a reality.
What, you thought I was joking last week? You thought I just pulled that out of my ass? Well, you thought right, for about half of what I wrote. The other half I'm actually hoping someone has the balls to do Fucked-Up Indie Comedy/Horror Film: the Game. Most likely starring Ellen Paige, the way things are going. I want it, and by proxy, I know you want it, too. Well actually, I don't hope for it to happen one day, because that's too much faith to put in someone else that I don't know.
I just want it.
In the meanwhile, I guess I could put energy into playing games that keep my attention for more than a couple minutes, which lately seem to be only tactical strategies with unit permadeath. Because I also play chess, and you don't get to reload your game when you loose your queen in chess.
Did I mention I suck donkey ass at chess?
My relationship with the Fire Emblem series began on the Game Boy Advance, back in 2003, I believe. Wait, that was almost a decade ago? Jesus... Anyway, it was a significantly superior experience to Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced. To put it simply, I hated almost everything about FFTA and I liked most things about Fire Emblem. I liked that it had a more mature tone akin to the first FFT game, but a different set of combat mechanics. I liked the amount of badass detail in the combat animations and I liked the music. I don't remember the story at all, but it was decent enough for me to keep going and beat the game. What I didn't like was that it reminded me of how much FFTA disappointed me. So much that I made a thread on gamefaqs entitled "Square doesn't like making good games anymore" and went on about how I had to rely on another developer to uphold quality storytelling and combat design in their RPG games.
It was met with disapproval; some of it justified, probably. My only gratification came from the fact that I had downloaded FFTA instead of buying it. One of the smartest consumer moves I ever done. Man, I felt like I really stuck it to them by not buying the game. I won that round... And then they made a sequel a few years later that sucked just as much.
I don't like Square Enix, you guys. I want them to get fucked. They're the Japanese EA as far as I'm concerned. But they make games. They may not be good games, but they're still games. That's good, right?
Anyway, Fire Emblem. After my experience with it on GBA, I snagged the Gamecube installment ASAP when it launched. It, too, looked promising as all get-out. Upgraded graphics, expanded battle mechanics, and another decent story that I'd ultimately forget the entirety of at some point. Shit delivered.
I guess story isn't really a deal-breaker for me like I used to think. Final Fantasy Tactics really set the bar, but so long as the dialogue doesn't make me want to break the disc, it's kind of a nothing matter. What matters is that I feel like a badass tactician, making badass units kill badass things in badass ways. Dude, if you ever wanted to feel that, Fire Emblem lets you fucking do it, unless you're not into the anime style art and animations. Which I am. Not to say I'm a fan of anime in general, I simply appreciate quality artwork - especially if I can make that quality artwork stab things in slow motion.
So yeah, I bought a 3DS specifically for the newest Fire Emblem. I know what you're asking, because I was faced with the same conundrum: $200 for one game? In this economy, in these hard times, do you really believe that to be the smart decision?
Bitch, I've made bad financial decisions in my lifetime. This certainly was not one of them. Plus it was on sale for $120 at Target, so shit ended up being $180 including tax (and the game) instead of $260+. See? I'm dumb, but I'm smart in my dumbness.
I've yet to beat it. Unlike other SRPGs, unit classes aren't readily available to be replaced. So when it's gone, you're that much more fucked going into the next battle without it. Which is what happened to me, pretty much for every battle after a certain point. I'd get an archer, he'd die, then I get screwed by wyvern riders. I lose a priest, then try using only potions to heal units, and then over half my guys on the field die. Way to make me feel fucking rusty, Fire Emblem Awakening.
Like hell I'm starting over on normal, but goddamn. I don't think I've reloaded saves this much since playing Dragon Age to see the different choice outcomes. That was a preference, though. I have to reload here out of necessity. I can't move forward without that fucking unit. DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND? NO I CAN'T LET THE MYRMIDON KILL EVERYTHING, EVERYONE NEEDS TO LEVEL UP. GODDAMN IT, WHY WOULD YOU ATTACK TWICE LIKE THAT? IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE. ATTACK ONCE SO YOU CAN DEFEND ON THE NEXT TURN AND NOT DIE YOU FUCKING IDIOT. HOW THE FUCK D-oh my bad, I guess I should've checked to see if that ONE BARBARIAN, OUT OF ALL THE FUCKING BARBARIANS ON THE MAP HAD A HAMMER INSTEAD OF AN AXE. FUCK ME, RIGHT?
You see? $180 well spent.
That happened as well. Kind of ashamed about that. Went from classic, to normal, to baby-mode, and now I'm about 6 months in and regretting starting with Ironman on. Jesus christ, this fucking game. I went looking for memes, and I must have laughed for about a half-hour straight. But really, I was crying on the inside, as you do when you play XCOM - when you're not crying on the outside...
(it's funny because it's true. and it happens a lot)
(it's funny because Africa)
(unrelated yet clever picture)
You may call yourself a god trying to beat this shit on impossible ironman. I'd call you a masochist. I was never acquainted with the original PC game, but I feel like I should have been. Then again, I might not have bothered with it, since isometric games at the time looked like butt by the time I started playing on the PC, and I don't think screenshots really do it justice. Well, screenshots don't really do ANY strategy games justice. A screenshot of chess doesn't do it justice. Unless...
Yep, I'm on board.
Because whoever loses dies.
That's what I want to happen.
I lightly touched on how important story is. Part of the charm of the unit permadeath factor is that it provides emergent story on top of the in-game story, if you're into that. Whether you want to or not, you begin creating relationships, either between you and certain units, or between the units themselves - a notion that the Fire Emblem series creators have zeroed-in on and locked down within the gameplay itself. A pretty fucking ingenious move, if I may say so (even though it smatters of dating sim, and you know how that fucking turned out). I still remember stories I created between units in FFT. And given the dark nature of the cannon storyline, shit was intense. It was a pretty big deal when a unit died, not just from all the grinding and job skill combining, but also because of the backstory I put in along with that particular unit, which is fairly easy to do in that game. I think that's what initiated my thirst for permadeath in my SRPGs.
If a game with an already intriguing plot and semi-memorable characters can allow me the luxury of directly creating further narratives within that universe, in turn, affecting the way I play the game, that's something special right there.
Unless of course you're playing XCOM, in which case, you can't get attached to anyone. Ever.
It's kind of like riding a bike, where the keyboard stands in for wheels and this analogy broke down really fucking quick, but there you have it.
I don't have new things to say about feminism, because once I say something about something, I tend to dislike repeating myself. But there's a thing in my brain that I find interesting and thought I would share it with you, in this impromptu blog entry, if you don't mind. It's possible you might have heard something akin to this somewhere else on the internet, or perhaps in these very cblogs. But I haven't (or can't remember it), hence this post.
First off, I want to give Vexingaura props for at least her approach in starting another discussion. The vibe is one that I can admire because it takes more into consideration than the agenda at hand, and as a byproduct, exposes the humanity of the propagator. Which is kind of novel, when you think about someone trying to make an argument over the internet.
Secondly, I want to note that I will make a feeble attempt at following the releases of Remember Me and Two Souls, because I haven't seen anything yet to make me dismiss them like I did Tomb Raider. It wasn't that it was a AAA game that had me shrug apathetically (as I do most of the time) (yes, I'm one of those assholes), or even the PR nightmare. Despite even the OMGRAPEZZORS assumptions, what disinterested me was that I didn't see anything interesting. And what I saw was exactly what I got. And I say "I" specifically, because I know a lot of people enjoyed the game. And you know what? I don't hold it against them at all, because gameplay-wise, the mechanics are damn solid, like most TR titles of yore.
But I didn't want to play Tomb Raider for the mechanics. Because I played Tomb Raider Anniversary and said, "This is it. I don't need to play another TR game. I get it. I really get it. I mean, I got it before, but now I'm over it."
They're fun puzzle/platformers where you run and jump and shoot things in gorgeous locales. You get more of the same in the latest title, except you get a new Lara Croft who you're suppose to empathize with. I may be stroking my own ego here, but I can't empathize with bland-ass characters who don't really develop over time. I couldn't even use her as a conduit to interject personality into, because every other cutscene would remind me how much of a SURVIVOR Lara is. She's a Croft, you guys. Crofts are legit.
"You're a Croft" What the fuck does that even mean? That doesn't explain how she is able to kill every goddamn thing on an entire island, all the while the island itself is literally trying to kill her. That's not survivor's luck, it's just plain luck, and too fucking much of it, especially if we're to consider that at her core, she's an average jane-shmo turned hardcore survivalist. This new Lara is bound by morality, until dudes force her to kill them, viciously.
Which is fine. I guess.
Narratively speaking, though, it doesn't hold up. I don't see the Lara in those cutscenes being the same Lara that's surviving all those crazy-ass QTE's, mainly because there's never a point where she's like, "HOLY FUCK, DID I JUST DO THAT? THAT JUST HAPPENED. I AM THE MOTHERFUCKING CHAMPION. BITCHES CAN'T TOUCH ME."
I would've been grateful to hear some kind of commentary akin to that, and then watch her make a grave mistake that gets one of her crewmates killed, effectively knocking her off her pedestal. That's a Lara I can fucking empathize with. Instead, we get a Lara that's perpetually level-headed in every scenario. Sure, she goes through the motions of "shock" and "despair" and yadda-yadda-yadda before saving the day, again. Why don't I care? Because she's being a normal person, aside from all the second-degree murder? Maybe.
You see? It's not like I don't get it. I get it. But I'm over it. Show me something that isn't by-the-numbers if you want me to care. Maybe some backstory about her narcissistic, alcoholic father beating her, which subsequently reinforces her sense of self-preservation? No, that would be playing the tragic backstory card, which, as everyone knows, is played-out. And boy, is that dark. Too dark.
But being almost raped and sold into sex slavery? That card is totally fine. That never happens in real life. Why would we be concerned at all about that little detail? She's a Croft, you guys. Fuck the haters.
Nah, fuck the writers. Shit is sloppy. I gave it a chance, you can't ask much more of me. And I'm not saying I don't expect Remember Me or Two Souls to do the same. I'm a cynic. It's in my nature to be disappointed before you even get a word in. But I don't mind giving something the benefit of the doubt when it mildly impresses me in some regard, as those two games have done with their female leads. And those female leads have superpowers. Would Lara be cooler if she had superpowers? That's a trick question; Crofts don't need superpowers, they just shoot you in the face and maybe feel bad about it.
she's a croft, you know
Alright, so barring the apparent fact that big publishers are afraid of female leads because they don't sell well with any male demographic unless they're overtly attractive, you want a compelling female protagonist in a video game. Good for you. Now what?
Now you sit there and wait for it to happen, because you don't make video games for a living. OR, if you're like me, you imagine that it already happened and wait for the actual industry to catch up to your idea of a compelling female lead. What's my idea of a compelling female lead? Well, first off, she's a drug addict. And, wait for it.
Wait, for it.
And she has brain damage. AND, her first mission is to escape the fog of a psychedelic hallucination. No, I'm serious.
But WHY is that compelling? WHY? You can't empathize with that either!
Shut your mouth, I'm not done.
We later find out that she is bearing a child that may or may not be the anti-christ. You're probably hoping that it's the anti-christ, so that things get really interesting. You're not alone.
AND, as a mini-game, you can try to convince doctors to abort it, but of course, something forces them to think her giving birth to it would be for the best. Still not compelled? She's British, so she has a soothing accent to downplay her patent mania.
For extra mind-fuckery shits n giggles, no one ever says her name. And when they're about to, they're interrupted.
See what I did there? Compelled yet? No? Good, 'cause there's more.
Everyone loves a good moral choice simulator. But if you're like me, you never go outside, which means you like to explore every option. Well guess what, every option, is never a dialogue choice or obvious action, like stabbing a kitten to death. They will be the simplest mundane things, from what style you put her hair in, to making her show up early for her appointments, and they will be the deciding factors that splinter the mysterious mystery. I'm still debating whether you could have her pop pills or not.
Fuck it, if Max Payne can do it, so can she.
At the end of the day: 3.1 million dollar budget, call it a spiritual successor to that one game people liked, tell IGN to say that it blew them away or you'll never advertise with them again, and boom, you have your blockbuster game with a compelling female lead that doesn't make boys question their sexuality.
Hello there. Yep, it's that one guy. That one guy who sucks dog dick at being an internet friend. It's him. With sea salt chocolate balls and %5 less scalp hair. Would you like to go on a trip through his head for 15 minutes to a half hour, or however long it takes for you to read this? If so, you really need to manage your time better.
How are you guys? Happy New Years/Birthday/Whatnot. The new site design is bitchin'. I see new regulars around. Welcome aboard and such.
I really suck at this sort of thing.
So Lucy's got some 'splainin to do and it goes without saying that I feel crappy for the radio silence. I have an excuse. Well, not really, but I like to think I do. It's not a good one. But before we get to that though, let's rewind to about 7 months ago, and then we'll get all caught up. Sound good?
Last October, as per my last post, I spearheaded an experimental version of Werewolf. It started out well enough, but slowly degenerated due to the unrefined mechanics, and decreased time allowed between writing the story, going to work, and purchasing my first self-owned vehicle. Though all parties enjoyed themselves, I wish more could be done with it, and an eventual return to the material would fill my heart with what one might describe as "glee", since that's what happened the first time around. The experiment reminded me just how much love I have, not just for creating, but for the participation and immediate feedback of others just as passionate about the material and the process. It's the closest to doing what I've always wanted to do for a very long time.
I had hoped at the time I would be able to chronicle the process through blogs, but as I mentioned, the energy spent there had to be restricted because of other pressing matters. Matters like learning how to not wreck my primary means of transportation:
So that happened. The buying a used motorcycle part, not the wrecking it part. Believe me when I say that I bought it purely out of a practical solution for saving money, and not an impractical means of getting pussy, as others have assumed. When I tell people how much I pay for gas and repairs now, they stop thinking that I'm just full of myself. And honestly, even if I cared about getting pussy with it, I'm still too big of a dork to pull that off. I'm just glad it's doing the things that I got it for, and that I had the help I needed to get there.
Sure, it's not safer than a car. Sure, it's easy to let the adrenaline get the best of you. But I think it's safe to say at this point that I prefer it to driving a car, despite how fucked southern California traffic is on a regular basis. And there's much more potential for aggressive driving in a car than on a motorcycle. On a bike, I don't have time to drive aggressively, because most of my energy is being spent trying not to kill myself. And being afflicted with suicidal ideation when I'm not on my meds, I call that a huge fucking achievement.
It's okay to laugh at that last bit.
All that said, I'm only speaking for myself. There's plenty of misfortune and stupidity out there to go around and be wary of. I'm just saying, I make damn sure not to be party to it when I'm on my bike.
Then winter came around...
And I wanted to hibernate excessively. All the time. Forever. Which sucks if you want to maintain a social life. Luckily, I didn't feel alone, as a good friend of mine shared a mutual story of undue somniferousness.
It's not a new word if you already know what the root of it means. So shush.
I found out the hard way, as a hands-on learner like myself does, that you can overdose vitamin C. It's not fun - kinda like how I overdosed on nicotine earlier in the year. I don't recommend it. Ever. If you're trying to nip that cold before it gets worse, just take your vitamins or suppressants normally and let nature do the rest. Because holy shit heartburn.
Speaking of nicotine, I switched to lights and additional filters, which I'm kind of proud of. Sticking with Luckies because I can't be bothered with anything else. I can only get through half a Malboro or Camel before I give up. I like to think it won't be overlong before I stop altogether. Right now, though, I don't have a good enough reason to. Time will tell...
A couple things had me down during the winter. One was being practically broke the whole fucking time, and by extension, the other was not being able to attend MAGfest, even though I had chipped in for my pass. Same as PAX Prime 2012, I had to humbly give up my seat to another Dtoider.
Which I'm fine with; I'd rather have someone else go than get my money back. But it was kind of a big deal for me. Physically being in the same space with the community is still a big deal to me. I just hated how it felt like I had to start from zero again, for no good reason. I think it was around then that I really fell out of communication.
Just last month I was finally able to make due on my forums secret santa, after lying to him about it getting mixed up in the mail, because I didn't want him to think I skimped out, like some dickhole who takes presents but can't be bothered giving any. Thankfully, he was super Canadian about the whole thing, yet I still have another shipment full of shiny, pointy things that I want to send him.
I knew going in I'd be able to come through, but I didn't expect things to get so rough, out of nowhere. For months, it was a balancing act to keep just ten dollars in my checking, and have enough energy to do ANYthing. After years of giving absolutely not one shit about money, now I'm stressing over it again like everyone else. Took a good goddamn while but I'm finally out of the red, for the time being.
So now it's spring again, and I've peered my head out of my hermit hole to see what's going on out there. Shit is crazy, you guys. Did you know there's a black president of the United States? It's fucked up.
Luckily, I've been doing things to keep my mind off that nonsense. Well I'm about to start a new job in general labor. It pays more and gives more hours than my movie theater gig, which I'm glad I'm finally moving away from. I know for sure now that my place is not in customer service. I'll leave that for the masochists and 20-something students that give less of a fuck about doing their job than I do. The new job is in a machine shop warehouse, which is more up my alley. Hands-on industrial stuff. It at least helps me pretend that I'm helping in keeping the cogs of this country moving, in some utterly miniscule way.
Otherwise, stuff has been pretty status quo. But you probably don't know what the status of my quo is, so I guess a little reintroduction is in order, since it's been so long.
My name's Dan. I go by Nihil on the internet because I'm a unique snowflake that deserves his own online handle. Anonymity has served its purpose for me and I've moved away from that, so it's just a screenname, for the most part. I mean, if you're up for a philosophical discussion or whatever, I'm all for it. Just don't expect me to care too much, 'cause I'm not out to convince anybody of anything. To each their own, and I loathe politics.
A few things I enjoy are; quality television programming, fiction writing, Arizona green tea, horror stories, chess, and stand-up comedy (favorites are Dave Attell and Maria Bamford). I'm also quite fond of comics, D&D, and instrumental music. Fun fact: On my own accord as a kid, I listened to symphonies on the radio. This might explain my inherent affection for big words nobody ever uses in everyday conversation.
I'm 28. I've been playing video games since I was 3, and I've played quite a bit of everything. Because of this, I have an active imagination and I spend a shitload of time there, though I usually just keep that to myself.
Spent my formative years as a latchkey kid in a dysfunctional military family. I self-medicate with cannabis for depression, which may sound like a joke to some, but it's more affordable and effective for me than pills and therapy - both gauntlets I've been through and don't care to retread. I have a thing about my time being wasted (when I'm not the one doing the wasting).
I've been listening to podcasts way more lately. Used to be three or four I subscribed to regularly, but their broken schedules left me wanting. My current rotation includes Girl on Guy, How Did This Get Made, Mental Illness Happy Hour, Idle Thumbs, SModcast, /Filmcast, and a few of your local community pods. Half the time, I listen to them while playing games that don't require my full attention. Other times, I listen when I'm in bed not doing anything or trying to go to sleep.
I don't get out a whole lot. Doesn't feel like I do much of anything, so I'm the least interesting person I know. Not terribly sure how to feel or go about this, since intimacy may become a thing down the line. It probably won't become a thing, though, so I'm not stressing over that too much. I'm stressing more over my fucked up hairline.
Losing your hair sucks, guys. Don't do it.
Lastly, I also sometimes read the Dtoid headlines, blogs, and forums. I just read... Without replying. Why?
Besides not really having a strong opinion on anything, I don't rightly know why. That's what I'm trying to zero-in on right now. It definitely has to do with the extended sleep break I took, but otherwise, I feel like, I dunno. I'm not ingrained anymore, but I suppose that could be easily remedied.
I guess what I'm getting at is that I don't wanna go through starting over, again, for whatever reason that may pop up next time. But it's not like I'd be starting from scratch - I see you guys fight sometimes and I'm like, "Would it really be worth it if that's gonna happen?" And then I remember a time when that wasn't even a question to be posited, because this was my home. And I'd like it to be my home again.
Things in my waking life are so much better now than when I first arrived here. I was in a pretty dark place for most of the first year. Although initially, I hadn't planned on staying, I realized that interacting with and getting to know people here had become my primary source of joy. So, I opted to go back into the outside world and seek reemployment. You guys are literally the reason why I'm not fucking up my life more than I already have.
And then that bit with my sister last summer... So many people came through for me, when I had reached yet another breaking point. And many of those people are members of this community. I haven't talked to any of you in a long while. So yeah, I feel really shitty about going silent. I don't want to use my illness as an excuse. Maybe I needed a time out, or maybe I was being selfish. Maybe these smelly condoms are expired, I don't know.
In my current headspace, I have choices. For some reason, not being here with you is one of them. I have to say, that shouldn't be a fucking option. I know I'm not obligated to stick around. But I've given up a lot of things over the course of my life, in order to make it easier for me to not care. I don't want this to be one of those things.
For those of you who wish to know the progress of the game, but dare not tread into the Basement, I'll be posting the narration bits and behind-the-scenes fun facts here for you to enjoy. If you're interested in playing with us, head on down and say you want in before THIS coming Saturday. The player cap for now is 20, though I'm willing to run it for any and all that join! But beware: your gruesome and miserable fate may be at hand, long before the game ends.
This is your last chance to escape. Don't sit there staring, just turn and run. Go, flee!
Still here? Well then you're gonna wanna hold on to your butts for this. Don't say I didn't warn you.
HERE'S THE GIST
There are THREE factions; The Townspeople (or classic villagers), The Cult of Nierolythalulzalhapewpewpew (not-so classic werewolves) terrorizing them, and The Investigation Team (a new, independent party).
The game is set in an unspecified town in Lovecraft Country. In this town, people are being sacrificed nightly by a secret cult.
There are open Gateways in the town that are about to unleash an ancient and terrible evil onto the world.
A harcore team of paranormal investigators is sent there to close them. The cult, working to release the evil being, resides in the town, disguised as townspeople. Since their dark plan is close to fruition, they will do everything in their power to stop them.
The townspeople, paranoid and on the brink of insanity, have resorted to lynching those suspected to be cultists. If they can successfully hang all of the cultists... they still lose the game, because the Gateways will eventually release a Dark God that will destroy them all, along with the world at-large.
This is where the investigation team is crucial. While they may help the townspeople weed out the cultists, their primary focus is in finding and closing all of the Gateways, fighting off the cultists as they do so. If they successfully close all of the Gateways, they may continue to help kill the rest of the cultists. Or they could call it a Day and get the hell out of dodge. Either way, the human race will continue to exist, unworthy as it is.
So, to recap: Good Guys win if all Bad Guys are dead and/or all but one Gateway is closed. Bad Guys win if everyone else is dead and/or there's MORE than one Gateway left open that can't be closed. If ALL the Gateways are closed, the game will continue until either the Villager or the Werewolf faction is left standing.
It's much trickier than a regular Werewolf game, I know. But hopefully, that'll all be part of the fun!
Here are the roles that players will be randomly given:
Townsperson (villager) - You're mad as hell, and you aren't gonna take it anymore! Take the town back by nominating people who might be a werewolf, or let the team help weed them out if they have chosen to. WIN, by killing all werewolves.
Dark One (werewolf) - The wretched spawn of an Ancient unknown, in the guise of a Townsperson. As leaders of the cult, your primary goal is to keep the gateways open, in order for your creator to awaken and reclaim this pathetic world. You can act on your own and/or give the Acolytes orders at night. Attacking anyone but Occultists will make the victim go insane, instead of killing them. However, your powers are increased at gates, allowing you to kill there. You WIN, if at least TWO gateways are left open and CANNOT be closed.
Acolyte (werewolf) - A Townsperson who moonlights as a demented, crazy-pants cultist. If a Dark One orders you to kill someone or standby at a gate, you must do it. Otherwise, you sleep normally. WIN, by killing all Team members and/or villagers.
Deputy (villager) - You've found a gun, and you'll probably use it, either on someone you think is a cultist, or on yourself to escape this madness!
Necronomicon (villager) - You bear the unholy Book of the Dead. How in the hell did that happen? If protected by a Team member, the team can automatically close a gate at night, regardless of who's there. If killed by an Acolyte, werewolves can re-open a gate.
Potential (villager) - You show signs of great intuition, skill, ...and carnage. If you can guess the eccentricity of a Team member, you will be added to that role on the team! Guess the eccentricity of a werewolf, you will become one. But the werewolves also see you, and they can turn you into one of them at their discretion on Night 3 or later.
Dreamer (villager) - You have a great power that you scarcely understand. It may save you and the town, or be your undoing. It allows you to pinpoint where a gateway is without the Team using an Investigator, and close one without the Team using an Occultist. Your horrific, nightly visions may give you clues as to who a Dark One is. However, time is of the essence, as you already feel your mind slipping away...
Investigator (team) - Applying the skills from your previous profession, you take the time to figure out where gateways are, or deduce who Acolytes are from their murders. You can use your trusted method of self-defense against Acolyte attacks only once before they know all the tricks you have up your sleeve. You'll also be able to close gateways yourself under special conditions. WIN, by closing all gates and/or helping to kill werewolves.
Hard Case (team) - You fear no man and your facility for killing makes you a force to be reckoned with. Ethereal beings, however, are a different story. You're able to protect yourself and are likely to keep others safe from Acolyte attacks. WIN, by helping to close all gates and kill werewolves.
Occultist (team) - Your familiarity with arcane artifacts and phenomena make you the perfect choice for closing gateways and detecting who is, and is not human. You also have the means of defending yourself and others against Dark One attacks. The catch: All that time and experience spent honing your ability has left you incapable of defending against Acolytes. WIN, by closing all gates and/or helping to kill werewolves.
(condensed version is at the end)
The game consists of Day and Night phases. Typically, during the DAY, Townspeople will publicly talk to each other; trying to find quirks that tell them whether someone is a werewolf or a specific role. Also during this time, villagers in special roles may expose themselves only under certain conditions, in order to change the game up. Dreamers who wish to close a revealed gateway must PM me AND the Team members with their decision.
Team members and Townspeople that are insane cannot perform their special role actions.
Team members can get in on the conversations as well, and/or use their special role skills to try outing werewolves for the villagers to kill. Usually, a player nominated for death will give their defense as to why they shouldn't be lynched. It's entirely possible for a person to be wrongly accused of being something he's not.
In the instance of Townspeople nominating someone to hang, players simply put forward their vote on who they want to Lynch or if they want to Abstain. If more players vote to abstain than to lynch any single player, no lynching occurs. If more people want to kill a particular player than want to abstain, however, the player who receives the most votes against them is executed. In the event of a tie where all the votes to lynch are for a single player and equals all the votes to abstain, mob rule wins and lynching occurs.
Team members are not allowed to nominate, but can be nominated.
Townspeople who are insane cannot nominate.
Players can either voice their nomination in bold publicly, or PM them to me privately. Once all votes are in; the appropriate result is enacted, the Day's events are recounted, and the Night phase begins.
During the NIGHT phase, villagers will sleep, while the Werewolf and Team factions fight over Gateways. The outcome of these battles will be determined through an Encounter Chart, and depending on which roles are sent to me via PMs, the Gateway may either close or stay open.
The Werewolf and Team factions can also attack and defend, respectively, a sleeping villager or team member. The outcome for this encounter will be decided simultaneously with the Gateway encounter, or by itself if no Gateway fight occurs. After each faction's choices are sent in, and all encounters calculated, the next Day phase begins, starting with the results of the previous night's activities.
There will be a certain number of gates; only the werewolves will know how many. Team members and Werewolves battle for a gate via their choices sent to me through PMs.
The need for a map in order to find gates is eliminated by Investigators and Dreamers simply following the guidelines for their roles. Any actual named locations is just flavor text.
Team members cannot send anyone to a gate if during the Day Phase: the Investigator failed to search for one or a Dreamer didn't say where one is. Team members that are insane cannot perform their role actions.
Townspeople and Team members driven insane will recover either that night, or the following day. Dreamers, however, will stay insane under certain conditions, removing them from the game. Team members driven insane will be vulnerable to Acolyte attacks.
For certain events and conditions, Dreamers, Occultists, and Investigators must pick a number on a pre-made scale and PM it to me. If their number falls within certain digits of a random number I rolled on the scale, they stay relatively sane. The further away from the number, the less sane they become.
After successfully closing a gate, or exposing a Dark One, and/or defending against a Dark One, the scale grows. If they choose too far from my rolled number too many times, they go insane and are removed from the game.
ALL THAT broken down, will go a little something like this:
Results from the previous Night's activities are recounted:
- Defended attacks and/or deaths.
- Whether a Gateway closed or is still open.
- Those who have gone insane.
Special actions may be taken and are made public, i.e.:
- A Deputy exposing himself and shooting someone in the face.
- An Investigator being exposed by solving a murder case.
- An Occultist being exposed by revealing a Dark One.
- A Dreamer being exposed by saying where a gate is.
- A Dreamer being exposed by saying who he thinks the Dark Ones are.
A Townsperson (or Team member) will hang if the majority wills it.
- Townspeople sleep. Deputies can PM me with who they want to shoot in the face the next Day phase.
- Werewolves send an Acolyte to kill a villager or team member, or defend a gate.
- Dark Ones can also act on their own to attack someone sleeping or defend a gate.
- Only ONE werewolf can defend a gate per night.
- The Team send up to TWO of themselves for closing a gate - but only ONE if a Dreamer chooses to close a gate.
- The Team can also send ONE member to protect a villager, or protect one of their own.
(and there you have it)
So... You in? please say yes
I'm extremely grateful for the support this idea is being received, because I get to do one of the best things I ever get true fulfillment from: I get to create, using my imagination. And what better way to do that, than with my 'Net-family?
I also find it ridiculously appropriate that this is going down so close to Halloween. If I didn't know any better, I'd say the stars were aligning!
I want to say I got off lucky, somehow, compared to whatever ridiculously high number of people out there that where/are dragged through the worst of it. Drinking and drugs and getting taken in by the cops were a big chunk of (fortunately) my adult life. No jail or juvenile hall, but plenty of padded cell time. Funny how much nicer everyone is, when all you want to do is kill yourself. Funny, because I never did it for the attention or for them to be nice. Was just trying to find a way out of the numbness and pain. And I hated them for delaying what I thought was inevitable.
At the same time, though, it was that distance I kept from people that kept me from getting into the deeper shit, otherwise I'd have more interesting war stories to share. Or, I'd probably be dead.
Or I'd might be where you are, with more inner fire than ever. Even with what happened this summer, I still have a ways to go. I have friends and family, but it's hard to want personal success, when I've gone for so long without anything to really fight for. Part of me wants that challenge. To be defined by it, even though I don't know what IT is. Part of me says that time's past, that it's too late to try because I'm tired of failure, tired of wasting effort in the pursuit of happiness. Everyone has their own lives and their reasons for staying strong, but when things get quiet, it's hard to stay focused when I'm alone. Hopefully it's just been the last few slow weeks and money constraints pullin' me down a little.
I know better who and what I am now (other than a fucked up loser), and I have my family and y'all to thank for that. But other than having that, I don't want for anything. I know some would look down on that, calling it either laziness or selling myself short. And I can't help but agree. But I've lost that fire, man. I've lost the want. Maybe taking more community college classes will do something for me, but right now, I don't have it.
I'm glad you have it though, Mike. Your shit is nothing short of inspiring (hence, this long-ass reply), as the book will be, no doubt.
I'm also very luck that I've never been a victim of Racism (that I remember, anyway).
I have, though, on more occasions than I could care to fucking count, been a victim of ignorance.
Some people don't know the difference, and if you're reading this and are one of those people, lemme break it down for yous: Racism is always an intentional attack, (verbal, physical, or otherwise (like denying someone a (hand)job)) with an intent to hurt someone because they wear different skin, regardless of their psychological character.
Ignorance is being unaware how big of an asshole/bitch you're being by saying or doing something that could be misconstrued as racist. Unless of course, you're being an asshole or bitch for the attention.
Another way of putting it: A lot of people, young and old, still uphold segregationist values ("you can't have what we have" "stay on your side of the fence"). That's racist. Acting uncomfortable around people who don't look/act like you when you've lived in a small town your whole life. That's ignorance.
One is, usually, a bit more unsubtle than the other. But ignorance can be forgiven (to a point) and worked around. Racism, on the other hand, I don't think can be fixed. It's like a cult; you're either in for the long haul or you stay away. And if you're in, that pretty much makes you a bad person. I mean, we all have our faults, but hating an entire race of people for no GOOD reason is a pretty big one. Maybe you're an alright joe otherwise, but still. I think we can agree that's pretty fucked up.
Along with misogyny, you're just assuming a specific mass populace are unworthy shitheads. Or maybe they're worthy of being your footstool, but still there to be shit on, by you. A little unfair, if you ask me. Either shit on everybody, or trip and fall down a well so we don't have to deal with you.
Pages, man. Pages upon fucking pages I could write about Black society and its role in my life. And luckily, I don't have to. All I have to say is I don't care. I think that's why I love human skulls. It fits symbolically enough to me. Takes away all the predispositions, and exposes what you are. Your money, religion, years of institution, your skin. Get rid of it all and what's left? You're just bones, my friend. Same as me. Same as her. Same as them. But you don't have time to think about that with all that extra shit on top. How nice it must be.
What the fuck was I talking about? Oh right, juegos.
Now, in video games, what we've seen the most of is ignorance when it comes to multicultural representation, if representation is what they were going for at all in the first place.
Predominantly white. Predominantly male. Predominantly nerds. Or if such is your inclination, predominantly Japanese.
It's a little unfair to expect them to tackle the subject properly; they aren't sociology majors. But as the community attests, variety in protagonists and inspired stories is sorely lacking at this point. There may be something for everybody, but we don't want to go searching for it. We want to point in a general direction, so that everyone and their grandma's dog can see it. We don't want to have to bring up something from 10-15 years go. We want something for the Now.
But we also wanna live our lives and play video games. Kinda hard to have your cake and eat it there.
I believe the hurdles to jump before we get to that point are immense and many. But I do believe we will get there. If society and economy doesn't implode, first.