Kicks Condor

#games

I use three main tags on this blog:

  • hypertext: linking, the Web, the future of it all.

  • garage: art and creation, tinkering, zines and books, kind of a junk drawer - sorry!

  • elementary: schooling for young kids.

17 Oct 2019

Normality RPG

(nicked from chameleon:) Possibly the most raw, rage-filled role-playing game—designed to unhinge players by lying to them and deluding them. It’s a psyop on your friends. Cool aesthetics.

Ok, thanks to chameleon, here’s normality.pdf—good luck reading through the splatters and commas, , , , . BWYT M BWYTJ XXXDXXX. (Although, the poem “THE MAORI JESUS” by James K. Baxter is included and can be used as a character module. I don’t know what a ‘sad old quean’ is.)

The two authors began on a two-year journey of rage and frustration at the state of the world, and the reactions of those around them to their concerns. We became filled with hatred toward the roleplayers we encountered at local games and conventions, and so we set out to hurt them. To make them cry. We very nearly succeeded.

I can’t play this because it’s so brazenly misanthropic—but my love and appreciation for humans truly eclipses any of that—this is just another marvellous mess in the pile of our history, something to wrap our fish in—just as Van Gogh’s paintings were first repurposed. (Little-known fact from the pdf.)

It’s interesting to me that one of the goals of this game is to strip away ‘fluff’—aloofness and oneupmanship at the table, social veneer, the kinds of things perhaps the Joker film was on about—and to immerse characters in the game by ‘scrupulously avoiding a coherent setting and/or meta-plot for the game.’ In doing so, it begins to feel very postmodern, because there’s a kind of ‘breaking the fourth wall’ kind of thing being done to try to blur the border of the fictional and the real.

At the same time, it definitely doesn’t see itself that way—it seems to see itself as completely primal. And I think you could get there, perhaps, if a group playing the game could let things completely devolve. (Though I think such a thing couldn’t truly be done without real violence, right? Otherwise, you’re kidding yourself.)

It’s also fun to look at the whole thing as a parody of niche RPGs or zines. I think it would be fun to play this ironically, too. I know that sounds degenerate, but yeah, that’s exactly the point. (Signed, Ironic Waifuist Sad Old Quean.)

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15 Jul 2019

The Missing Quests on Golf: Become Human

A sweet vaporwave descendant of Zany Golf on a sweet fairly new blog.

I have been watching this blog for a few months now—The Missing Quests by Alex Guichet. Like Warp Door, this blog plumbs the depths of itch.io—little homemade games, many released as part of the hundreds of silly, spontaneous game jams. However, Alex actually plays the games and provides generous screenshots and commentary.

Depending on how you feel about this sort of irreverent jokey complexity, Golf: Become Human may sound either fantastic or terrible to you, but you should really play it. It changes in ways that keep you guessing, in an irresistible sort of way that just made me search for another hidden level, or to keep seeing how the game will evolve next.

These kinds of little blogs are a staple for discovery in the game community—like Stately Play is for digital board games.

From the FAQ:

Why a new blog, in 2019? I think the web is a charming home for content, but independent blogging has been in a sad and steady decline. This site lets me put a new voice on the web in a unique niche, with content formatted the way I want.

I talk a lot about Hypertexting and trying to innovate the ‘blog’/‘wiki’ format, but I think sometimes a cute little blog is just the thing.

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05 Jun 2019

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Reply: Curse of the Garden Isle

Jason McIntosh

Two years ago I played, enjoyed, and wrote about John Baker’s all-but-forgotten John’s Fire Witch. And last summer, I had the pleasure to play Ryan Veeder’s Curse of the Garden Isle within days of its release. In the year since, I realized I’ve mentioned the game again and again in different contexts to friends and colleagues as a wonderfully accessible and rewarding example of modern parser-based interactive fiction, a real stand-out work. And yet, I have seen essentially no other mention of it online, not even within dedicated IF discussion spaces. Let me try to help rectify this, examining why I find it a quiet exemplar of the form.

This review coaxed me to start playing the game.

I really appreciate this review! I’ve kept myself quarantined to mostly Twine-style clicker fiction—though I’ve sampled stuff like “Everybody Dies” and “Lost Pig”. But this review got me really intrigued, so I’ve started playing Curse. I’ve found it very simple to get into.

I like that you can type anything you want for the first few scenes and you gradually work your way into the story. Wresting the parser is (I’m sure) always an accessibility problem you deal with in IFTF, yes?

[A] very minor but still noteworthy facet of its in-browser presentation: the static text that appears around the main gameplay pane, linking permanently to helpful resources (including that Googel map), and in particular the text parser tips displayed in the lower left margin. Its just a short bullet-list of the most common parser IF commands, readable in a few seconds. But thats the thing: I cant think of another modern parser game with a browser-play mode that bothers to offer a tiny cheat-sheet like this, even though many might link to longer-winded how to play IF guides.

So I made the poor decision to start playing on a phone while I was waiting somewhere—and it worked great! I was kind of relieved that the game didn’t use Parchment or some standard theme—just because I like that it has its own look. (Although it seems that most highly-rated interactive fiction does this.)

Also, having been to that island before, it was nice to know the rough directions and envision the map mentally while I played. I’ve never experienced that before—it helped me stay aware of where I was without any effort.

Anyways—I also like that your IF reviews are tagged. I’m going to keep an eye on this tag and post further on /en/games when I finish Curse.

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09 Mar 2018

Fables of Tables #1

Rising Sun: The Shame and Sorrows of Godzilla

In my first game of Rising Sun, a Kaiju came in from the sea—and what happened next brought a profound mix of delight and sadness.

This is the first in my Fables of Tables series. It’s a type of review series. But instead of dryly reviewing the game’s mechanics and stamping some harsh grade on its face, I’m just going to tell a story.

Today’s game is Rising Sun. This is a miniatures game—full of plastic monsters. I don’t really play miniatures games, but a friend had a copy so it just happened. And, what the blazes? A miniatures game in pastels?

Midway through the game, I noticed that you could buy a giant Godzilla-like monster to have in your crew.

Daikaiju, so not exactly Godzilla, but hey.

“What’s the Godzilla do?” I asked.

And the friend who owns the game—I’ll call him Hustle—says, “Oh, he has five force.” So he’s huge—his power is equal to five whole army guys.

He goes on to explain that when you buy the Kaiju, you put him out in the sea—the whole board is a rough map of Japan and there is water surrounding the islands—so you put the monster out there, and then during battle you can spring him on to any of the game’s provinces and he’ll destroy all the buildings there. (The buildings are these strongholds where your units can appear.)

“Oh man!” I’m thinking. “Just like Godzilla! I love it! I gotta have it!”

I just really enjoy monster movies—particularly Shin Godzilla—that wail that sounds like metal sheets tearing and that slow, sinuous tail as he moves methodically through the cityscape. I get that he’s historically out of place in this game, but I don’t care! He is the force of the Earth fighting back against civilization—what if he could have done this in some bygone age?

The guy playing purple (don’t recall his name) buys the Kaiju before I can. This player is already in the lead and now has Godzilla, placing him in the sea. It is as if two titans of this world have allied and we are waiting for our defeat.

I look on wistfully at this being. Five force! I am in awe and I sit in anticipation of what the lurking god will do when war begins.


War arrives and the fellow playing purple brings Godzilla on to land in the northern province of Hokkaido. The Kaiju storms into the scene and—well, there are no buildings there—he has no effect. But still—this is an island teaming with monsters and warriors and look how Godzilla towers above them!!

Hustle reaches across the giant board and points. “Ok, so, you see, I have the Earth Dragon here.”

Hot snakes, I had forgotten about the Earth Dragon! So the Earth Dragon does not have the force that Godzilla has. However, the Earth Dragon is able to push away one unit from each opponent in the battle. It is as if the Earth Dragon takes a big breath and then >SNUFF< a bunch of guys fly off to other parts of the island.

Of course, he chooses to snuff off Godzilla. The Earth Dragon takes a big breath and a myriad of warriors and creatures scatter across the map. Godzilla is propelled all the way across the board—using a marked sea lane, I should add, since the winds of the dragons respect these rules as well—and he lands in Kyushu, destroying a few buildings when he lands.

War rages on and, before long, the spotlight shines on Kyushu. Godzilla has picked up the pieces and, with some tarnished pride, admirably overshadows the vast assembly of demons and gods there.

“Hang on,” says the player to my right, “my Fire Dragon goes first.”

Holy cats! Right! The Fire Dragon! This twisty, devious dragon coughs his terrible fireballs just as the battle forms—incinerating one unit for each opponent present in the conflict. Warriors and barbaric creatures fall away in the fire—and Godzilla himself, no, it can’t be! Can it??

Gods, it is true! The vast unshakable behemoth is now wildly dashing from the island in a pyre of his own burning scales. He tumbles down the beach, a maniacally flailing lizard, a lizard of flame and agony, howling his metal-rending chord.

The great Kaiju sinks back into the ocean—in shame and sorrow—having made no effect on the actual game at all. Like we never did any math with Godzilla involved. Literally no effect.


I sat there for some time after the game had concluded. Stunned and humbled. I contemplated the fate of Godzilla. Perhaps even the great gods get tossed and squashed and embarassed on a bad day.

Perhaps when I die, my Guardian—or my Saint or Kami—will approach me to greet me into a new kingdom. And she, too, may trip and fall into fire, to be engulfed and never seen again. These things happen. I realize that now.

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26 Oct 2017

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25 Oct 2017

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PLUNDER THE ARCHIVES

This page is also at kickscofbk2xcp5g.onion and on dat://.

MOVING ALONG LET'S SEE MY FAVORITE PLACES I NO LONGER LINK TO ANYTHING THATS VERY FAMOUS

philosopher.life, the 'wiki'/'avatar'/'life' of h0p3. serious rabbithole. k0sh3k. j3d1h. luxb0x.

nathalie lawhead of so many good things, where does one begin. T, U, I.

waxy is back at it!

surfpals: nadia eghbal, subpixel.space (toby), things by j, gyford, also joe jenett (of linkport), brad enslen (of indieseek), 'web curios' at imperica.

an eye on: ᛝ ᛝ ᛝ — lucid. consummate waifuist chameleon. jacky.wtf, fogknife, tiv.today, j.greg, box vox, whimsy.space, caesar naples.

indieweb: .xyz, eli, c.rwr, boffosocko.

nostalgia: geocities.institute, bad cmd, ~jonbell.

true hackers: ccc.de, fffff.at, voja antonić, cnlohr, esoteric.codes.

chips: zeptobars, scargill, 41j.

dwm, julia, tridactyl these are things you'll want on linux.

neil c very famous but should be a world icon.

the world or cate le bon you pick.

sammyclassicsonicfan the original teen rage adventure.

innovation.isotropic.org probly the best carl chudyk game.

and opinionated gamers for non-chudyk game analysis.

my twitter. my github. minor things.