See The Glitchworld: Error City Tourist

By Alice O'Connor on July 7th, 2014 at 1:00 pm.

H-hello.

What did you do this weekend? Was it worthwhile? Did you create? Did you travel? Did you relax? Did you squander it? Did you waste your weekend? Do you not deserve free time? Do you not wish to become better? Why do you wallow in your rut? You should feel guilty. You should get out. See something new. Just wander aimlessly. Or get yourself all worked up over imagined fears.

You can do that this very morning with Error City Tourist, a procedurally-generated walking simulator by Strangethink Software, set in a glitched-out city. It’s free and playable in your browser.

It’s a trip to Error City, a place of purple and teal open-faced buildings with silent masked citizens. You might fancy scaling houses looking for interesting layouts, pausing under translucent trees to enjoy the warm yet vaguely malevolent soundtrack, reading the random messages spat out by computer terminals, or simply wandering. Error City does have a monorail you can ride (look for signposts) but I didn’t enjoy how the elevation highlights the short draw distance. I was far happier sprinting through Error City, never looking back or pausing to examine things, just charging and turning and moving.

You’ll feel the limits of the City’s generation fairly quickly, going slow, but sprinting filled me with cracking pangs of fear and lostness. You know, a bit like how a child pretending they’re being chased by an imaginary monster can still work themself up into floods of tears. That’s me: a game-baby. Playing with games rather than simply playing them can be pretty great, and Error City Tourist leaves plenty of space to supplement with your own imagination.

At the very least, it’s is a lovely few minutes for a Monday morning. Go on, do visit.

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10 Comments »

  1. Spacewalk says:

    Apparently I just spent a portion of my weekend having acid flashbacks to bad QBasic graphics routines on the school computers in the sixth grade. All that’s missing is the atonal bleeping of the PC speaker to make this picture complete.

  2. Tom Walker says:

    That first paragraph is what about 60% of the facebook posts that my friends put up tend to say.

    In the name of open-mindedness, for crying out loud.

    • Geebs says:

      It’s not really closed-mindedness; it’s just, if you’ve done any graphics programming, that glitch stuff is just like Mark Twain’s essay on how to spoil a river.

      • tormos says:

        IMO this is one of the wrongest things that I hear people say regularly. Having deep insight into something beautiful makes it, to me at least, much more so precisely because I can understand both the surface beauty and the interesting systems that built up that unique moment.

  3. Niko says:

    I have an idea: a non-glitched procedural city. Neat, huh?

  4. Zunt says:

    I found that quite menacing. The rapid twitchy movement of the devilish denizens, the blasted sky, the buildings with inaccessible nooks where someone could be watching, waiting to strike, the purple. It all reminded me of 3D Ant Attack for the Spectrum.

    • Rizlar says:

      I found it relaxing. Sure, all the people look weird and the computers keep calling you a monster, but you’re a tourist, it’s just different to what you are used to! Look at ‘em all scurrying about, getting on with their obscure lives.

      Then again this is coming from someone who grew up in a major city and found visiting Manhattan to be relaxing.

  5. The Random One says:

    Huh. I spend a considerable amount of gaming time this last week riding around my transport network in Cities in Motion (with the Ultimate Camera mod). It’s closer to this than you might think.

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