Stood Up, Count Down: Dinner Date

By Quintin Smith on October 11th, 2010 at 10:58 am.

I’ve got some bad news, courtesy of GameSetWatch. In five weeks and two days, you will be stood up on a date.

In what might be the hardest sell ever, for the low-low price of $12.45 ($9.95 if you pre-order, which will be available on Nov 3rd) upcoming indie title Dinner Date will offer you the chance to “play as the subconsciousness of Julian Luxemburg, waiting for his date to arrive. You listen in on his thoughts while tapping the table, looking at the clock and eventually reluctantly starting to eat.” Thoughts and a video await you below. Hurry! They’ve been waiting so long…

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Ooh, I’m excited. If there’s one thing I love more than a high-concept game, it’s a high-concept game executed with colour and personality. And here’s just how high-concept and colourful Dinner Date is: the official site recommends a wine to drink while playing the game.

Julian has purchased a bottle of Otra Vida, an Argentinian Merlot. It is a refreshing pleasurable wine, offering a moment away from the stresses of daily life and work. Stout Games recommends drinking it while playing Dinner Date. An attendant at your local off-license may help you further.

I’m almost in tears. I’m also a little concerned, because the site mentions that a full playthrough of the game lasts 25 minutes, which, besides seeming like quite a short time to wait for a girl, strikes me as a poor deal for $12. The site does also mention how the story’s multiple layers will encourage repeat playthroughs, so maybe it’ll be fine. We’ll see. I mean, I’d happily pay $40 for this stuff. I’m just thinking about you guys.

What’s the saddest date you’ve ever been stood up on, readers?

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111 Comments »

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  1. Skurmedel says:

    What’s a date?

    • duncanthrax says:

      I heard its a way of indirectly paying for sexual activities.

    • Baboonanza says:

      I think it’s what American’s do instead of just getting drunk and shagging.

    • Spacewalk says:

      I had one of those once. Since then whenever anyone asks me out I stay in and do a jigsaw instead.

    • JackShandy says:

      I’ve heard it’s kind of like a dating sim, but harder.

  2. Brumisator says:

    This may just be the most boring concept for any game ever…
    I can’t WAIT to play it!
    then again, the price is indeed a tad high for a high-concept, low-gameplay experiment like this.
    And with 25 minutes of total playtime, I doubt we’ll get a demo.

  3. Hazza says:

    Umm…. Riiiiight…

  4. Premium User Badge

    Tinus says:

    I’ve played this in beta, and can say with confidence that this an experience worth trying. It’s really something else!

    Also: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2010/08/18/size-doesnt-matter-day/

  5. Auspex says:

    It was early 2007 I was a fresh-faced university student still getting my head around the fact that some girls might be mildly interested me. She was a borderline alcoholic with a surprising love of ice hockey.

    I waited outside the local (quite shitty) ice arena place, it was getting dark. I stared at the tickets and the bottle of Sprite and vodka I had brought for her, it was getting darker. I heard the game start, it was dark.

    I took a wig from the bottle of Sprite on the bus home; my phone vibrated:
    “Hey J, you know our thing is over right?”

    I drank the rest of Sprite.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Schaulustiger says:

    Never been stood up on a date. So I need to play this game in order to feel like a total loser. Wait, what?

  7. poop says:

    seems less embarrassing/annoying then games made by tale of tales, but more embarassing/annoying then the radiatior games

    not worth $12 then

    • Pie21 says:

      THAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Sorry.

    • sfury says:

      When I saw the headline and screenshot I first thought it is Part 3 of Radiator. Speaking of which – what the hell happened to it?

    • Premium User Badge

      Fede says:

      Maybe Yang is waiting for Episode 3 before releasing Radiator 3 :)

    • vanarbulax says:

      Episode 3 will actually be a creative collaboration between a bunch of popular hl2 modders, Yang included. Vignettes include: an objective correlative journey between Cold War bunker and Mr. Freeman’s mute but fatalistic pysche, a brief mutli-player prop hunt stint, naval battles with pirates attempting to board the Borealis, nonsense Japanese decals sprayed all over the combine hallways and 50-70 Valve endorsed Alyx re-skins.

    • Malkar says:

      @pie Then was correct. Please learn English before attempting to correct others.

    • spod says:

      @Malkar, actually Pie is correct – “then” is incorrect in this context.

    • Vague-rant says:

      @Malkar
      I suspect the first then is incorrect. The second is correct. Hence the misunderstanding.

    • Lendemain says:

      They are both incorrect, as “than” makes comparisons and “then” implies sequence, and both are making comparisons.

    • Vague-rant says:

      If we consider his first statement, then it is not worth the money.

    • Vague-rant says:

      Nevermind. It turns out my grammar is ok, but my ability to count is a little fubarred. I didn’t see the first “then”. The first and second then are correct, the third is fine.

      I am a fool and this tangent to the actual topic has no place on teh interwebz.

    • Vague-rant says:

      I MEANT INCORRECT!

    • Kdansky says:

      Luckily, there is no edit-function, or else this hilarious exchange would never have happened.

  8. Giant, fussy whingebag says:

    So this is a bad ad for wine in the guise of a boring game?

    “Otra Vida: It makes being stood up bearable! (Warning: May require you to drink the whole bottle yourself and then switch to a spirit of your choice)”

  9. ShawnClapper says:

    The way this game looks reminds me of Façade (http://interactivestory.net/)

  10. Premium User Badge

    AndrewC says:

    That’s an awfully grotty kitchen. Is that a spoiler?

  11. Longrat says:

    Really? 12$ for a 20 minute game?
    I’ll stick to newgrounds, thanks.

  12. BAshment says:

    ah pay that’s where i went wrong.

  13. Lewie Procter says:

    I’ve never been the standupee, but I was a standuper once.

    Met a nice girl at the backstage party before Glastonbury 2007.

    Arranged to meet her for lunch on Saturday. She wasn’t sure when she would be free, or where she would be (she was working), so I was going to phone her and meet up just beforehand.

    Except my battery died…

    I phoned her after I got home, and she did sound a little upset, but forgave me. It wasn’t entirely my fault.

  14. Premium User Badge

    zak canard says:

    25 minutes eh? That’s longer than my most recent and successful date this year by about 25 minutes.

  15. KingCathcart says:

    I went to the RPS meet-o-chat a couple of weeks ago.
    I waited all night for John Walker to turn up but he never arrived.
    My heart heart was broken and will never be healed.
    Well not by John at any rate. He’s a rubbish healer.

    • Auspex says:

      If it makes you feel any better I’m sure Walker has been stood up loads of times.

      And one time Kieron dropped his towel in front of him so he’s had his fair share of misfortune.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Existentialist crisis coupled with repeated murmuring to self about size doesn’t matter?

  16. konrad_ha says:

    Alternatively, you could just invite someone to a real dinner-date and experience your own subconsciousness.

  17. mlaskus says:

    Hmm, most my dates end when I invariably get completely drunk and do something stupid… or fall asleep. I want a game about that!

  18. Metal_circus says:

    TWELVE whole bloody quid?

    Fuck. Off.

    • Metal_circus says:

      For twelve quid I could take my own damn date to a steak house in town. The feckin’ cheek of some of these indies, eh?

    • Auspex says:

      Technically it’s 12 dollars BUT that’s before you include the £5.69 wine they suggest. So it’s really £13.50.

      “Fuck. Off.”

    • Premium User Badge

      AndrewC says:

      You can get two meals for £12? Where on earth do you eat?

      And a £5.69 for a bottle of wine gives off ALL the wrong signals. It’s too low at today’s prices, for a properly special bottle of wine. And really, Argentinian? In Europe? Think of the travel footprint!

      This guy was doomed from the start.

      But is that spoilers? Is this part of the game? Who’s to know? Bloody art games!

    • Metal_circus says:

      Well, I take all my dates to McDonalds, so I can eat like a “prince” for almost no pence.

      (I don’t actually do this. But I should. For shits ‘n giggles.)

      Also, quinns, forty quid? Furreals? Are the very fabric of your clothes made from dollar bills? Can you naturally peel off notes from the palm of you hand and out of thin air whenever you want?

      I’m a little old fashioned, okay? If I pay over 10 quid for something, I expect gameplay. Not lines of dialogue. Theres youtube for this kind of stuff, you know?

    • Quintin Smith says:

      Pounds do not equal dollars. And if you’ve watched the video, you can see there’s more to it than lines of dialogue. We know very little at the minute.

    • Auspex says:

      I was really objecting to the price of wine because you can get bottles for like £1.99 you know?

    • Metal_circus says:

      Personally? I wouldn’t pay for this. Unless it was thrown in with an indie bundle, maybe then it’s okay. It feels like the devs are kind of taking the piss if they think people will pay to watch a dinner date unfold on their computers. I mean seriously, gimme a break.

      Pretty cute idea though if I’m being honest. but 12 dollars? Really? Jesus.

    • Premium User Badge

      AndrewC says:

      Maybe if the guy pulled out a Game And Watch half way through? Would that satisfy your definition of gameplay?

    • Ezhar says:

      I believe taking the full game experience into real life requires only buying dinner for one – and is a single player game.

  19. mrrobsa says:

    This looks brilliant. A novel idea for some unusual roleplay in games. This is one date I shall endeavour to remember.

  20. dragon_hunter21 says:

    Aaaak… Moral dilemmas…

    First, I love the concept for this game, and I really feel the need to support developers that are breaking the mold and doing something different.

    But on the other hand, I just can’t justify spending $12.50 (or even $10) on 25 minutes of sitting around swirling wine waiting for a girl is predestined not to show up. It’s literally paying for disappointment- which is also really interesting, which brings us back to point A and aaaaargh

  21. mrmud says:

    So im gonna break in here and say that this sounds completely uninteresting and vapid.
    Compounded even more by being horribly overpriced.

    It saddens me that RPS choses to spend so much time on geniuinely boring games such as this.

    • sana says:

      Watch out, here comes the rabid indie defender train!

    • dragon_hunter21 says:

      There needs to be a distinction here. First, while the game itself might be boring, none of us have actually played it yet, so we can’t really judge. Now I believe what you’re talking about is the concept- and personally, I find any attempt to do something “different” something to be applauded.

    • dragon_hunter21 says:

      And now I feel like a fool. Well played, Sana.

    • Wilson says:

      @dragon_hunter21 – Why? You weren’t a ‘rabid indie defender train’. It was hardly a stunning act of prophecy to predict that someone might disagree with mrmud’s comment. Personally I’m with you. I’ll wait until the game’s released and see what people think of it. It might go either way (boring or great) but it’s nice to see something new being tried.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      How do we know he won’t be a psychopath, or this won’t be a Cthulhu horror mythos game?

    • Fumarole says:

      I’m genuinely saddened* when people choose words like im, choses and geniuinely when criticizing others’ interest in games.

      * not really

  22. Premium User Badge

    Saul says:

    How do I pre-order?? I can’t find a link!!!! Must… have… game.

    • Premium User Badge

      Saul says:

      Xome on, am I the only person who has tried to order this? I love the concept, but to have a pre-order offer and NO LINK ON YOUR SITE, that’s a bit of an amateur error.

    • Premium User Badge

      Saul says:

      Come on, am I the only person who has tried to order this? I love the concept, but to have a pre-order offer and NO LINK ON YOUR SITE, that’s a bit of an amateur error.

    • Premium User Badge

      Saul says:

      Haha, as is double-posting and spelling “come” with an “x”. I hang my head in shame.

    • HYPERPOWERi says:

      Purple is your avatar.

      All is forgiven.

  23. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    No game for me then, as If I was playing I want a square-jawed steroid using battle android, who won’t bother with wine but just drink methylated spirits on the rocks.
    [I might play it, but yeah, 12pound, thats err thats um, 30$ of my money?! I can buy the witcher for that, and I’ve never played the witcher, and I like RPG’s (well Diablo etc)

  24. Tony M says:

    Quintin, I’ll stand you up for $8.50. Payable to my paypal account.

  25. Lewie Procter says:

    The preorders go live on the 27th.

    It will cost $9.95 if you preorder it, roughly £6.24.

    That is much cheaper than most games release at. If you still think that’s too much, then wait for it to get further discounted.

    People saying it is too expensive, how much do you think it should cost? $5? $2? 2 cents?

    • Premium User Badge

      Saul says:

      Oh, I get it now. So the pre-order is available in 3 weeks, and the game in 5. A bit confusing, and why not wait to announce the pre-order until one can actually pay for it?

    • mrmud says:

      For this kind of game?
      Probably 0$
      Although I would probably not bother even then.

      Its both wierd, esoteric and expensive (for the production values). Thats not a great combination.

    • sfury says:

      I’d buy / have-a-think-about-it at $5.

    • Santiago says:

      It should be “voluntary pay” after you´ve played, as in street theater.

  26. RagingLion says:

    I would be very interested in playing this, but at the moment it would have to be a bout a pound for me to properly consider doing so.

  27. Carolina says:

    Some people would prefer a Pinot noir instead.

    Anyway, having born in Argentina and currently residing in Buenos Aires, I could easily get you that bottle of Otra Vida Merlot, Quinns. You know, for your real-life dinner dates. In fact, if I remember correctly, it’s actually cheaper than the game.

    On topic, I’m really interested in this game, but 12.45 USD seems indeed like a bit too much for it. At least for now. Not that I can’t afford it; it’s just a matter of principle. And that’s from someone who paid five bucks to die —sometimes— in The Graveyard.

    Yeah, I don’t understand myself either.

  28. Rii says:

    mmm, I’m intrigued. That I’ve never actually been on a date may or may not factor into this.

  29. terry says:

    There is no way this could possibly be as awkward as Facade. At least, not the way I play Facade.

    • mlaskus says:

      Those jerks! They threw me out of their apartment every single time… :(

    • terry says:

      My preferred method was to take all their booze and stand in the corridor shouting about Jesus.

    • mlaskus says:

      I was always hitting on the wife, and telling her that her husband is a jerk. That never seemed to work well though.

  30. Pijama says:

    Well, how highbrow indie you can go afterwards suggesting an Argentine wine to play the game with?

    I am more of a fan to the caipirinha myself, but these guys are soon going to suggest you to play this while listening to Carlos Gardel or Rachmaninoff…

    (which per se isn’t a bad idea, but hey, avant-garde gaming? WHAT THE FUCK?)

    • Skurmedel says:

      Mahler and Beluga caviar toast is the way to go.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      I seem to recall my weapon of choice when I was younger was a quad-vod and iron bru, which, now I think about it, was a marginally cheaper ‘romance aid’ than roofies…

  31. the wiseass says:

    I wonder why that guys’ last name is “Luxemburg”? It’s the country I currently live in and I’d buy the game only for that reference, if it was one. So Quintin, maybe you should get in touch with these people and ask them?

    Also not many people in Luxembourg (silly Americans it’s written with an “o”, like “honour”) as called “Julien”, that’s a French name. Jemp, Téit, Pier or Heng would be more appropriate.

  32. Jan says:

    Maybe he’s Dutch?
    You Luxemburgers with your old-fashioned ways wouldn’t accept a Queen, otherwise you’d still be ruled by somebody whose native tongue would call the country Luxemburg.

    • the wiseass says:

      Actually we have a monarch, a Grand Duke who is the representative head of state. It’s kinda like your queen only that he doesn’t speak our language (Luxemburgish) very well. And if he wanted to spell it in a really old-fashioned way it would have to be “Lucilinburugh” :)

  33. Joe says:

    I had a date. We both ordered the fish (that’s a “couples” thing to do, right?) and they came with the heads on, totally staring at us. I wanted to scream, but I held back; relationships are always awkward during that early stage when you can’t really be yourself.

    • Kdansky says:

      I’d dump any girl the instant she complains about fish with heads. That’s the best part!

      Luckily, my GF will fight me to the death for the cheeks, or offer them lovingly.

  34. Nallen says:

    I once waited 2 hours for a girl to show up to a date. Then I spent £90 on dinner which she launched a bit of spit in to while we were talking. Needless to say I didn’t respond to her texts thanking me for a lovely time.

  35. Matt says:

    So after getting stood up, does he go home and have a bit of a wank while crying?

  36. sinister agent says:

    25 minutes isn’t when you give up! The 26th minute marks the beginning of the passive-aggressive texting phase.

    I er, read somewhere.

  37. Rane2k says:

    This thread is full of wine.

  38. minipixel says:

    waited her for two hours. sad story :/

  39. a says:

    While I’ve never been stood up I have done the standing. Sorry Ben. ;_;

  40. Internet Friend says:

    I had one date scheduled to take place in my imagination, but the bitch stood me up. That was hard to live down.

  41. The Hon. Reverend Fred Gherkin says:

    How Julian Luxemburg should have rolled:

    http://gunshowcomic.com/149

  42. wcaypahwat says:

    I took a girl out to the movies over the weekend. Went pretty well for two very shy people. Texted her the other day with “so now we got that whole awkward first meeting out of the way, are you interested in going out again at all?”

    Still haven’t got a reply :(

  43. Perching Path says:

    I’m late, but I must point out that Otra Vida is Spanish for “Other Life”. So, the choice of wine is probably as much a joke as a genuine recommendation. Mind you that’s sometimes “other life” as in afterlife, apparently, so it could be a pretty serious joke depending on where the game’s actually going.

  44. Chris Whitman says:

    This game looks interesting, but I cling in a miserly fashion to every penny I own. Each one is precious to me, and I have named them all. How could I possibly part with hundreds of my children simply for my own amusement? And how would I choose between Frieda, and Rick, and Emmanuel, and so many others?

    Just kidding! I’ll probably buy it, because $9.95 might be more than $5, but it still isn’t enough money to register as “money” for anyone who is employed.