Destroy All Books: Pretty Action-RPG Quote Announced

“Author is dead,” quipped Roland Barthes in his Killer Is Dead self-insert fanfic after decapitating the insectoid moonbreast Will Self had transformed into. But killing the author’s no good if their insidious books are still out there.

Luckily, Quote [official site] will pick up Barthes’s slack. It’s an action-RPG set in a world pacified after the god of ignorance banished books and knowledge but – oh no! – somehow they’re creeping back and causing chaos. So off you go to kill authors and everyone tainted by knowledge, and destroy those heretical books while a narrator natters. Have a peek in the announcement trailer:

Mighty pretty, isn’t it? As a priestess of the god of ignorance (who I assume is the clearly-evil voice of the trailer), we’re sent out to purge knowledge and animate manifestations of those dastardly books by exploring, solving puzzles, and brawling.

“Quote is inspired by games such as Little Big Adventure, as well as the works of revered authors such as Vonnegut, Bradbury, Eco and Huxley,” says the announcement, also boasting that the game features “Playful quotes from and homages to the scope and span of literature.” I’m usually a bit wary of statements like that, as referenceblasting is so easy to do ham-handedly, but at least Quote’s foundation is pretty monsterbashing.

Quote is due to hit early access later this year, come winter, before properly launching in 2017. It’s being made by Vindit, a studio including Robin Lacey – who you might remember from roboduelling game Plain Sight – and illustrator Evan Lovejoy. Oh, and its narrative is written by some chaps named Alec Meer and Dan Griliopoulos, who I understand both wrote bits for Who Put That Sky There?

[Disclosure: Our own Alec Meer has been writing words for Quote. I know I mentioned it just ↑ up there but down here I get to continue: I don’t know which words. Then add that I still think that joke is great.]

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25 Comments

  1. A Wanderer says:

    So Farenheit 451, fantasy edition, then ?

  2. Premium User Badge

    InfamousPotato says:

    Interesting premise. I like the letters-drifting-upward-through-the-flames effect. Also, sounds like Alec’s writing for quite a few games now (two)! The whole reason I come to RPS is because of its wordsmiths, so it’s delightful to hear that they’re writing for our games now, too (first Cara and Jim Rossignal, now Alec… have there been others?).

    • Samuel Erikson says:

      “[…] it’s delightful to hear that they’re writing for our games now, too (first Cara and Jim Rossignal, now Alec… have there been others?).”

      I know that John Walker’s worked on at least one game:
      link to rockpapershotgun.com

      And Kieron Gillen worked on an abandoned Deus Ex mod and the localization for Chaos League:
      link to gillen.cream.org

      • Premium User Badge

        InfamousPotato says:

        Thank you! I’ve added Broken Sword to my wishlist, and I’ll be sure to give The Cassandra Project after I finally play through Deus Ex (I know, I know… should’ve played the possibly-best-game-of-all-time years ago (fun fact: according to PCGamer, it used to be the 8th best game of all time, but now it’s only the 13th)). Thanks for your help, Samuel Erikson.

    • Richard Cobbett says:

      I’ve done a lot for Sunless Sea and Fallen London. Currently writing The Long Journey Home – no relation – for Daedalic Studio West. (http://tljhgame.com) and workiong on a couple of other things.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      I once wrote on a toilet wall then felt terrible about being so disrespectful.

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        InfamousPotato says:

        A week or two ago, I went to the state fair. Inside one of the public restrooms, the words “WRITERS NEVER DIE” were written on the wall of one of the bathroom stalls.

        Say what you will about public writing and/or vandalism, but it certainly made that stall more memorable (there was also what I took to be a crude Illuminati symbol beside it, but it seemed to be by a different author).

  3. Turkey says:

    I see a bit of Bosch in there.

  4. fearandloathing says:

    Ugh, just ugh. Pseudointellectualism runs rampant, here a quote fro 1984, here we’re burning books, get the reference, oh youse soo smart. and fahrenheit is terribly overrated anyway

    • genoforprez says:

      I boo you for mocking Bradbury, who is legend. But I agree with you the pseudointellectual video games are embarrassing.

      There was a panel I watched once… I can’t remember if it was at a GDC or somewhere else… where a designer gave a talk about what makes a game literary / intelligent. As a counterpoint, he gave a bad example of how NOT to make an “intelligent” game. It was a platformer where you controlled a tiny shakespeare who collected famous paintings instead of coins, all to the tune of Mozart playing as the BGM. So cultured! Much reference! Many inspired! Deserves awards! 10/10 GOTY!

      But there is a difference between actual artful allusion, which is meaningful, and just name dropping.

      I kinda had this problem with games like “The Road Less Traveled” as well.

      Whenever video games make literary references, it always feels like, “Check it out. I read this book.” That’s not how allusion is supposed to work. That’s just how being a hipster works.

      TLDR: Yup.

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        Captain Narol says:

        Can’t find a game named “The road less travelled”…

        Did you meant “Road not taken” instead ?

        • genoforprez says:

          That’s the one! Sorry, I remembered it being named after the line from the poem, but it turns out it’s just named after the title of the poem itself. Either way, yes, that is the one I mean.

      • fearandloathing says:

        I agree to disagree on Bradbury (I’m much more of an Huxley&PKD guy), but your example was pretty much on point, thanks.

        • genoforprez says:

          After doing all of that griping about games sucking at referencing literature, I will say that there ARE some developers/writers out there who know how this works and can actually do it right. In a way, I’m not really surprised that a lot of games get this wrong, because pillaging other culture for your latest video game’s wallpaper is sort of the standard practice way video games interact with other culture. Look! I put tentacles on this guy’s face! Isn’t Lovecraft cool?! If that’s about as deep as a “lovecraft reference” goes in the average video game, then why should we expect a Shakespeare reference to go any deeper?

          But like I said, some developers/writers actually know what they are doing in this regard. For example, in the game Brutal Legend, there is a character named Ophelia. And she is named Ophelia VERY MUCH ON PURPOSE, and yet the game doesn’t beat you over the head like “I AM MAKING A SMARTY PANTS LITERARY REFERENCE WINK WINK” as other games are apt to do. And if you understand the reference and how that resonates with and contributes to her as a character in more than just some bullsh*t superficial “isn’t it cool that we both know who Shakespeare is” sort of way, then it adds a gratifying sort of subtext to the story.

          Maybe if anyone at RPS is a lit nerd we could get an article about this. ;-)

  5. Simbosan says:

    Good good, transformed into a moonbreast? The humanity!

  6. Babymech says:

    I guess it only makes sense that they schedule this to come out well after president Trump enacts his global ban on media including games.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Don’t be silly, there will still be plenty of media. It will just be limited by law to a 3rd-grade (USA) comprehension level, and suitable for extremely short attention spans. Half of what I see on TV won’t even have to be changed.

  7. mercyRPG says:

    New type of Demented Psychopathic Minimalist Art on the rise, that appears decreasing in polygon count each time you look at the screen and junk Necropolis is leading the line..

  8. geldonyetich says:

    While the art style and gameplay looks good, I have to say that I feel 21st century ignorance is doing too good of a job ruining my life to feel comfortable playing a protagonist whose job is to propagate more of it, even in jest or artful parody.

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