Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
Sleep Is Death brought a little of the pen-and-paper experience of collaborative storytelling to the PC.
RPS Feature Collaborative storytelling without the pen and paper
Cordial Minuet [official site] – Jason Rohrer’s arcane-themed magic square betting game – has officially launched. As you might expect given Rohrer’s previous game launches this one also involves a fair bit of showmanship in the form of a gold amulet ‘n’ cash giveaway.
I’ve not played since pre-alpha so I’d imagine it will have been tweaked a little in the interim – at least if only to implement a more occult-y user interface – but the game is based around a 6×6 magic square. You and you opponent pick rows and columns from the square for both yourself and the other person. The boxes where these intersect determines the numbers which go towards your final total. You’ll also be able to bet between rounds, trying to work out whether you’ll have the higher final total, perhaps even psyching your opponent out with your behaviour. You can see the video explanation after the jump:
RPS Feature Playing for pennies
“The next step is where you take out your credit card,” says Jason Rohrer.
We’re on the phone for a Cordial Minuet preview session. Cordial Minuet is Rohrer’s current game project – a gambling game based around magic squares into which I must deposit real money if I wish to play, even at this pre-alpha stage.
I deposit $5. I’ll get back to the payment and security side later but for now, let’s concentrate on how the game works.
An occult-themed game of skill where players use magic squares to try to generate real cash all rooted in the developer’s own experiences with Texas hold ’em poker? Why yes, Jason Rohrer does have a new game in the works, thanks for asking. It’s called Cordial Minuet because an occult-themed game without an anagram would be even sadder than a gaming news article without a pun.
The website for the game itself reads like a cross between a self-help seminar and a grimoire but Kotaku had a play and what they describe is far less demonic ritual and far more numerical mind games for money.
RPS Feature The Most Dangerous Game
Jason Rohrer isn’t like other game designers. He isn’t really like them at all. From his early days eschewing videogame norms to make a game about the inevitably of death and loss in Passage to cooperative storytelling intrigue-o-tron Sleep Is Death to wild (and controversial) Minecraft “religious” experiment Chain World, Rohrer’s games aren’t escapism. They often make people uncomfortable. They often make him uncomfortable. The Castle Doctrine, then, might just be his most unsettling interactive experience yet. It’s about breaking, entering, stealing, murdering, and defending your virtual family from other players doing the same. As with Rohrer’s other games, it stems from deeply personal experiences, and we’re going to talk about that, the sensitive nature of many topics portrayed in his game, paranoia, gun ownership, game sales, and tons more. This one might be a bit more, er, heavy than the chat with Tim Schafer. But it should be incredibly fascinating as well. Join us live after the break, starting at 11:00 AM PT/7:00 PM GMT. And if you’d like, click over to my Twitch page and hop into the live chat. Discuss! Ask us things!
Update: We’re done! You can watch the whole thing below.
RPS Feature Are Rampant Sales Hurting Players?
OK, first things first: Castle Doctrine, Passage, and Sleep is Death creator Jason Rohrer is a giant. I am automatically more inclined to believe anything very tall people say. They’ve seen so much more than the rest of us from their monolithic neck perches, their giraffe-like forms stretching up into stratospheres I’ve only dared imagine. Also, it’s instinct: big person beat me up, ergo ideologically correct. So even though I don’t agree with everything he said in a lengthy missive about why rampant sales are hurting gamers (or just the things he says in general), I am obligated to think he’s 100 percent right.
Yes, of course I’m being silly. There’s tons to discuss here, as Rohrer’s criticisms are both important and flawed. Let’s dissect why big sales – for instance, those frequently bazooka-launched at us by the likes of Steam and Humble Bundle – are both harmful and crucial to PC gaming.
I’ve not had a chance to go back to Jason Rohrer’s fascinatingly bleak, tricksy home invasion MMOette The Castle Doctrine since launch, but it’s now on update 8 and has seen a number of changes. Most headline-making (as you can see) of those is the concept of perma-perma-death.
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