Masq Interview

By Kieron Gillen on March 24th, 2008 at 10:11 pm.

God, there's no jokes I can make here, is there?

Odd Timing on this. On the day I finally delete the Masq executable from my desktop, figuring I can always download it again, I get a mail from Chris Evans, noting that he’s interviewed its creator for his Evo-Gamer. Javier Maldonado talks about his influences (“David Lynch’s Blue Velvet and Latin-American Soap operas”), his training (“My background is as a comic writer and I went to Film School, so I am a storyteller at heart that happened to know some basic programming”) and where he may be going next (“I’m proud of Masq, but we may have to come up with more family-oriented titles before exploring more adult themes again.”) You haven’t played Masq? Oh, c’mon. Go give it a shot. PCG’s Tom Francis noted that “The level of meaningful freedom here puts Deus Ex to shame” and the man isn’t entirely devoid of intelligence. It’s one of the most complicated Choose Your Own Adventures the world has ever seen; the first choice, of course, is choosing to play the bally thing. Oh – and sex and violence and serious discussions about fashion show financing.

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20 Comments »

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  1. Rook says:

    There wasn’t a less NSFW image you could have used?

  2. drunkymonkey says:

    Indeed. Good grief. And I was just about to go to bed, too.

  3. darkripper says:

    I wonder what happens if you continue to press ‘do nothing’ the whole game.

  4. Mr.Brand says:

    Let your inner perv loose, puritans.

  5. Chris Evans says:

    Really a great game, if everyone goes and plays it, then the world will be a better place =]

  6. Q says:

    damn nice game! played it at work sneak-mode!

  7. Cyrenic says:

    I’ll echo the NSFW complaint. Comon guys, I really like to visit your site, and won’t as much if I can’t access it from work :P.

    At least put the image after the jump.

  8. darkripper says:

    Done a few plays now and the concept sure looks interesting and allows for risky concept that aren’t often touched by videogames.

    Only thing that makes me sad it’s the art style: really looks like a cheap copy of Milo Manara drawing style.

  9. Will Tomas says:

    Interesting game. Time becoming a factor is good, and the themes are certainly interesting, and the consequences of your actions are nicely integrated. Worth a few plays through, certainly, on the strength of the story.

    Whilst it may be solely about choices and their consequences, the Deus Ex comparison is rather knowingly supurious (“looks, kids, here’s a game where your choices really matter to the story”). They’re obviously doing different things.

  10. Lightbulb says:

    The interesting thing is that if you play it enough you start to work out whats actually happening to all the different characters at different times.

    The problem is that while your choices redirect the story they only change the angle not the actual outcome.

    For example say i want to shoot the man blackmailing me? I can’t the writers didn’t let me.

    That said it is a very interesting concept and a fun game. I’d love to see more of the same.

    Only problem from a developers point of view (for a full length title) is that alot of the work you do won’t be SEEN. If you have multiple paths some will always remain untrodden by the user – is this a waste of effort?

    I’d say no because it add replayability but it probably doesn’t make the dev any more money…

  11. Pentadact says:

    Will – I promise the Deus Ex comparison wasn’t knowingly spurious. Deus Ex is a game lauded for its meaningful freedom, Masq has more. The fact that they’re very different games is irrelevant.

  12. R. says:

    I checked this out a while back after the PCG article and utterly loved it. The only infuriating part was the Bullseye style ‘look what you missed’ bit at the end because some of the alternate outcomes looked so far away from any of the regular few I kept getting – beach ending? Widowed assistant lady with a gun??

    I guess I paid the price for Susan being my ROCK.

  13. Poddagoblin says:

    Bring back the rape pic!

  14. Will Tomas says:

    Pentadact, I know that’s the point you were getting at, but comparing what is a very good choose-your-own-adventure, of the type seen in book form way back before videogaming got in on the act, with something like Deus Ex just doesn’t work, in my humble opinion.

    I’m not knocking the intention of the quote – which it seems to me is to help Masq get to the type of audience who play games like Deus Ex, and it deserves to, so I can see why it was made. I just don’t think it’s really a fair comparison. Masq is an interactive storybook with pictures, and Deus Ex is an interactive world with a story. They’re both good in their own right, but it is a somewhat spurious comparison. But if it helps Masq reach a wider audience, then it’s all good.

  15. Pentadact says:

    Unfair, arguably, just not spurious. Like if I said, “The thickness of skin on oranges puts apples to shame” – and I do, almost every day – maybe that’s not fair to apples. But it’s not spurious, and it’s of interest to fans of skin-thickness.

  16. Will Tomas says:

    Pentadact, I think honestly we’re seeing the two games in different ways – I don’t think it’s an apples-oranges comparison, more something like apples-chocolate. They’re both food, but they’re not in the same family. I appreciate that you would put them in the same food family (to tortuously stretch the metaphor), but I wouldn’t. Hence (from my point of view) the comparison isn’t exactly valid.

    Or, to get away from food and be more about videogames: “the points-collecting possibilities of Peggle put The Club to shame,” would be the sort of comparison that I would equate Masq/Deus Ex to, and would argue is somewhat spurious. You could say that it would be of interest to fans of games where you collect high scores, but the reason I would say the comparison is a spurious one is because they’re so fundamentally different in how they go about achieving their aim that the comparison becomes rather meaningless.

    I think to be honest this disagreement is more based on how wide our brackets for games genres would be, and so I can accept that the quote is not a spurious one from your point of view. It just is in terms of how I happen to think about games.

  17. Nick says:

    apples and chocolate oranges?

  18. Mike says:

    Even if we put Deus Ex further from Masq, it is interesting to note that Masq gives meaning to the choices, even though you’re acutely aware, all the time, that it’s been hardcoded. I hadn’t realised it until I read the interview, but even though I played through Masq thinking it wasn’t much more than average because someone had to make each strand, it still has the desired impact.

    Great stuff. May redownload it.

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