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Preview: Sleep is Death (Controller mode) photo
Preview: Sleep is Death (Controller mode)
by Anthony Burch

Summary time! Jason Rohrer's Sleep is Death is a multiplayer storytelling game. A Controller creates and modifies a world that the Player interacts with.

I documented the Player experience in an earlier preview. It was a great deal of fun, but why wouldn't it be? I was playing a story authored and controlled by Jason Rohrer, the dude who created the game. Any game is fun when you're playing it with the person who created it.

No, the real test of Sleep is Death was whether or not it would remain fun once Rohrer was out of the equation. Whether or not it would be as intuitive and crazy and charming with me as the Controller, and some other poor bastard as the Player.

With that in mind, I tested the game with two different people: Ashly Burch (my sister, and star of Hey Ash Whatcha Playin'), and Ashley Davis (my girlfriend, and star of Once Upon A Pixel).

Hit the jump to see how it went.

view full story + comments


1:00 PM on 04.02.2010

Ogmo from 'Jumper' confirmed playable in Super Meat Boy

If you haven't played Jumper by Matt Thorson, I'd highly recommend it -- partially because it'll make you more excited about today's Super Meat Boy news, and partially because it's a spectacularly well-designed platformer. Og...

Anthony Burch

3:00 PM on 03.31.2010

Rev Rant: f*ck your story

Every once in a while, Destructoid features editor Anthony Burch discusses game design and gamer culture in his "Rev Rant" video series. Firstly, this week's rant is about the arrogance of games who think their own linear, o...

Anthony Burch



Preview: Sleep is Death (Player mode) photo
Preview: Sleep is Death (Player mode)
by Anthony Burch

Jason Rohrer and I created a story together.

Sleep is Death is a game in certain senses, and a tool in others. One one hand, the act of playing is fraught with suspense and discovery, forcing a level of quick thinking and quicker reflexes that one normally doesn't see outside of, say, RTS games.

On the other hand, Sleep is Death is a medium, a set of constraints from which both players can create their own, unique stories. Each of the two participants has exactly thirty seconds to move the story forward in some way. The Player moves his or her avatar around and interacts with things, and the Controller makes sure the world reacts to the Player's actions through creating new sprites, changing music, or switching scenes altogether.

I previewed Sleep is Death with Jason Rohrer early Monday morning, with him as the Controller and me as the Player. I really didn't know what to expect. What sort of story would we create?

As it turned out: a comedy.

About child murder.

view full story + comments


12:30 PM on 03.30.2010

Podtoid 144: Lil' Scarface

This is the Scarface video we're talking about: It's pretty awesome. This week, the regular cast minus Brad discussed PAX East, the 3DS, and a bunch of listener questions. Hope you dig it.

Anthony Burch

4:00 PM on 03.29.2010

Postpartum Impressions: BioShock 2

[Editor's Note: We're not just a (rad) news site -- we also publish opinions/editorials from our community & employees like this one, though be aware that it may not jive with the opinions of Destructoid as a whole, or ho...

Anthony Burch





3:00 PM on 03.29.2010

This dude wants funding for an indie game documentary

Well, not this dude, in the picture. That's Gregory Weir, creator of Babies Dream of Dead Worlds and I Fell In Love With the Majesty of Colors. He'll be in the documentary, as will Amon26 and Auntie Pixelante. Basically: this...

Anthony Burch

1:20 PM on 03.29.2010

Podtoid 144 has no method to its madness

Podtoid records tonight, and the PAX East-attending members of the cast (Topher, Samit) will hopefully be joining us. I don't really know what we'll talk about. Maybe Cave Story, and how people who have finished the Hell level are cooler than people who haven't? Maybe we'll talk about our favorite Shakespeare plays. No we won't.

Anthony Burch

1:00 PM on 03.27.2010

Watch some GDC sessions online, for free

At this year's GDC, I had the opportunity to give a brief talk at the Artgame Sessions, organized by John Sharp and Daniel Benmergui. That session, along with many others, can now be streamed for free at the GDC Vault. I have...

Anthony Burch

4:40 PM on 03.26.2010

Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin: 1 vs 100

This week's Hey Ash Whatcha Playin' is more of a "hmm" episode than a "haha" episode. So long as you go into it knowing that (and also that our Dad isn't in it, because I was afraid of overexposing him) you may enjoy it. Than...

Anthony Burch

3:00 PM on 03.24.2010

Rev Rant: the freedom to be boring

Every once in a while, Destructoid features editor Anthony Burch discusses game design and gamer culture in his "Rev Rant" video series. Are players inherently boring? I'm really not sure. On the one hand, you've got people ...

Anthony Burch

1:20 PM on 03.23.2010

Podtoid 143: anal tax bracket

I (Anthony) don't show up until after the break, but I'm pretty sure that this week's episode is primarily about random news nonsense and an extended Games of the Week segment dealing with Metro 2033 and Splinter Cell: Conviction. Linde and Brad aren't around for this one, but Leray showed up. Enjoy.

Anthony Burch

1:40 PM on 03.22.2010

Podtoid 143 records tonight, likely about God of War III

We're gonna try to talk about God of War III tonight without going heavily into spoiler territory. Shouldn't be hard given the fact that so very little of the game can actually be spoiled, but hey -- if things get rough, we'll do a special spoilertoid episode later this week. No matter what happens, though, we'll still need listener questions. Hit the jump and supply them, if you would.

Anthony Burch



Not-Review: Metro 2033 photo
Not-Review: Metro 2033
by Anthony Burch

I'm not going to review Metro 2033. I haven't made it past the third chapter of the game, and I doubt I'll ever make it any further.

It's not that Metro 2033 is irredeemably awful, or anything. It's got some good points, which I'll get into after the jump. But there was a moment when I was playing -- a sudden, awful, awe-inspiring moment -- when I realized I would no longer be able to tolerate the game any longer, and would be incapable of writing a proper review.

You can hit the jump for my incomplete thoughts on the game, but don't go looking for a numerical score. You won't find one.

view full story + comments




Why you need to be excited about SpyParty photo
Why you need to be excited about SpyParty
by Anthony Burch

There has never been a videogame like SpyParty.

Most videogames deal in the epic, the explosive, and the impersonal. SpyParty deals in subtlety, misdirection, and observation. Many multiplayer games ask the player to expend thousands of rounds of ammunition toward the destruction of the player's enemies; SpyParty gives you only one shot, and you'd better damn well make it count.

On the surface level, SpyParty is a two-player game about a sniper and a spy. The spy's job is to walk around a party, completing missions without breaking cover. The sniper's job is to identify the spy, and kill him. It's the simplest setup imaginable, but I was positively blown away by the game's depth and nuance after spending an hour with it at GDC. 

Hit the jump to find out why it deserves to be on your radar.

(Don't mind the ugliness of that screenshot; though the basic mechanics are there, SpyParty is still a good two years away from release. Hecker promises that a sizable amount of that dev time will be devoted to making the game look like not-ass.)

view full story + comments


4:00 PM on 03.18.2010

Counterpoint: God of War III is too long, boring

Thought our discussion of God of War III ended with our official review? Think again: our "Counterpoint" series allows editors to share drastically different opinions on games we've already reviewed. It's rare that anyone com...

Anthony Burch