Posts Tagged ‘Jason Rohrer’

One Hour One Life: Rohrer riffs on cyclical survival

One Hour One Life
In one of those strange “thinking about a person and then they phone you for a chat” moments, I was wondering what Jason Rohrer might be up to earlier this week. It’s because his MMO burglary/home defence game The Castle Doctrine pops into my head from time to time. So obviously I then get an email saying “Hello, here is the trailer for my new game” from Jason Rohrer. It’s called One Hour One Life [official site] and is billed as a multiplayer online survival game by Rohrer and Tom Bailey. Let’s take a peek.

[Warning: NSFW because cartoon nudity. That said, I work in a job where cartoon nudity is fine so I guess the warning should be not safe for work if your work doesn’t like this sort of thing. NSFWIYWDLTSOT.] Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Sleep Is Death?

Me, responding to Rohrer's other games.

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.

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Good As Gold: Jason Rohrer Launches Cordial Minuet

I have a few dollars in my account for this still. C'mon Cordial Minuet, Pip need's some new tenths of a penny...

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:

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Cordial Minuet: Hands On With Rohrer’s Gambling Game

A Cordial Minuet

“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.

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May I Have This Cordial Minuet?

This lion is totally not into Cordial Minuet.

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.

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A Game And A Chat Ep 2: Jason Rohrer

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.

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Rohrer Isn’t Wrong About Sales, But He Also Isn’t Right

I've been wanting to use this image in a post since pretty much forever

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.

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How Jason Rohrer Won The Game Design Challenge

A real high-point of every GDC is the Game Design Challenge. Well, was. Sadly the tenth year of this annual treat was the last, with organiser Eric Zimmerman bringing proceedings to an end. And wow, did it go out in style. With the apposite topic, “Humanity’s Last Game”, some of the biggest names in the industry put forth their pitches for the last game we’d ever need. And one man entirely stole the show. For a second year, that man was Jason Rohrer.

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It’s A Steal: Castle Doctrine Alpha Released

that went well

Huh, that was quick. Then again, everything I experienced of Jason Rohrer’s home invasion MMO-ette The Castle Doctrine last week did come across as essentially finished, so I suppose there’s no reason not to release it to the world now. The version the Passage dev has put out is billed as an ‘alpha’, in that time/Mojang-honoured tradition, and sells for half-price while that’s the case.
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Impressions, Part 1: Jason Rohrer’s The Castle Doctrine

The Castle Doctrine, the upcoming game from Passage and Sleep Is Death creator Jason Rohrer, is an indie MMO about criminals invading your home, and you invading their homes. A combination of base-building and puzzle-solving, it’s also an examination of how it feels to be both victim and villain. I’ve spent some time with an early version of the game.

I killed a woman for the sake of $21.

I killed a woman.

For $21.

I killed a woman.
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Rohrer On The Castle Doctrine, Guns & Chain World, Pt 2



In the first part of an extensive, illuminating and arguably controversial interview with Passage, Sleep is Death and Chain World creator Jason Rohrer, we discussed his new game, the fascinating but sinister home defence MMO The Castle Doctrine, making virtual possessions and people matter and why he chose to include only male protagonists. In this second and final part, we pick up mid-chat about issues of authorship in games, leading to his thoughts on the divisive Far Cry 3. Then we cover his outspoken feelings about gun control, before moving on to how house and trap construction works in The Castle Doctrine, how he thinks he’s made player-generated content meaningful, and, inevitably, whatever happened to his mystery Minecraft mod Chain World.

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Jason Rohrer Reveals The Castle Doctrine, Part 1

Indie dev Jason Rohrer, creator of Passage, Sleep Is Death, Inside A Star-Filled Sky, The Diamond Trust of London and the near-mythical Chain World is a divisive game designer, because reasons. I personally reckon his stuff is reliably fascinating, bold and often important (including on those occasions that I’ve rather bounced off it), so I’ve been very keen to find out more about his upcoming game The Castle Doctrine. An MMO based around the concept of home invasion and home defence, the nature of the Rohrer’s tenth game has remained cryptic since a guarded reveal last October.

In this first of a two-part interview, Rohrer explains just what this dark multiplayer game of strategy, construction, burglary and cold-blooded murder is, how it works, its amorality and politics, the unenviable living situation and fear of vicious dogs which inspired it, and why the late-in-the-day addition of a wife and kids changed the nature of the whole affair.
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Home Invasion: Rohrer’s New Game The Castle Doctrine

About the easiest way to start a bar fight among those who deem themselves educated in videogames is to bring up Jason Rohrer’s Passage (missus), an unwitting poster child for ‘artgames.’ It worked its morose magic on me, while others found it arch and ungame, but between that and the lofty ambitions (though there are disagreements on the execution) of two-player storytelling game Sleep Is Death I suspect I’ll forever be fascinated by what Rohrer gets up to. Next up is The Castle Doctrine, “a massively multiplayer game of burglary and home defense.”

A Tony Martin sim? Maybe the Daily Mail will embrace videogames after all.
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The Creator Speaks: Rohrer On Chain World

The good book, I guess

In the beginning, there was a GDC presentation. Just a quiet little talk between developers, and a what-if experiment wherein a one-off, modded version of Minecraft was personally passed by Passage/Sleep Is Death/Inside A Star-Filled Sky creator Jason Rohrer to a curious audience member, who would then be the only person to see what Rohrer had built inside the game. The rules: you do not talk about Chain World. You do not keep on playing Chain World once you die in it. You then pass it on to someone who has ‘expressed interest,’ and to no other.

That was the plan, anyway. Then this secret world’s first inheritor, Jia Ji, came up with his own, rather different plan: a philanthropic auction, which closed at $3,300, and a promise to later send Chain World on to gaming luminaries Jane McGonigal and Will Wright. He told us why he did that earlier today, as well as why he offered RPS a copy (the temptation was you-would-not-believe strong, but we ultimately declined). So how did Rohrer feel about his quiet attempt at founding a digital religion being so quickly turned to a new, and very public, belief system? Did he even intend for this to become a talking point that’s infuriating as many people as it’s exciting? Were those rules he made actually designed to be broken all along? And if this is a religion, who is its god? Let’s ask him.
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The Chain World Controversy: Jia Ji Speaks

that's not him on the left

Chain World, the secret Minecraft game that we first posted about here, has already encountered a difference of opinion that threatens to tear it apart. On the one side, you have the supporters of Chain World’s original intentions – for the world to stay closed, relatively mysterious, and for it be passed on from player to player with reverence.

On the other side you have the second custodian of Chain World, Jia Ji, who has elected to bend the rules and, rather than simply handing the USB stick with the world on it to someone who “expresses interest”, turn it into a charity auction. With the auction to be third inhabitant of Chain World ending in a matter of hours – head over now if you want to bid – we spoke to Ji about exactly why he’s so controversially changed the project and what he intends for it next…
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Impressions: Inside a Star-filled Sky

zap zap zap

Jason Rohrer, he of Passage and Sleep Is Death, has released a new game – Inside a Star-Filled Sky. Rather surprisingly, given his heritage of slow-paced, narrative-heavy games, it’s a shmup.

Rather unsurprisingly, it is far from a conventional shmup. I’ve given it a couple of hours so far, not yet enough to offer a verdict as such, but as there’s quite a buzz around it a few early thoughts seem more than sensible. Here they are.
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Cheap Is Death: Rohrer’s Pay Whatever

They’re all at it! All of them! It’s a conspiracy! They’re going to subvert global finance! They’re going to make a fortune without paying a gigantic tithe to price-fixing publishers! It’s wrong! It suggests traditional models of capitalism are outdated and near-sighted! We’re doomed! I’m worried not even a single sentence of this post won’t end with an exclamation mark!

Oh, there you go. Yes, the latest indie game to jump aboard the high-speed pay-what-you-what bandwagon is Jason Rohrer’s splendid 2-play storytelling game Sleep Is Death. He’s set a minimum spend of $1.75, but apart from that, lob him whatever you think the game’s worth in return for two copies of the splendid thing. The RPS Hivemind will have to decide how frequently we cover these sort of deals if we’re to avoid every other post documenting bargains, but as this one is so soon after the game’s release, it’s definitely An Awesome Thing. Get to it.

Sleep Is Death Is Very Much Alive

I’m still trying to find a chance to inflict my flailing imagination on some poor sap by acting as storyteller in the two-player freeform adventure game Sleep Is Death, but I know that when I do I’ll be spoiled for choice for art assets. (Do games have art in them? “Yes.”) The recently released version 1.4 is complemented by an incredible amount of player-made content for you to steal, you light-fingered wee blighter. Some of it goes way above and beyond what we ever thought the game was capable of. Pretties!
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