Posts Tagged ‘Sethian’

Clickuorice Allsort: Writing systems in videogames

This reads: "lol ur mum"

This is three weeks old, but time is a construct. Philip Boyes is an expert on writing systems and cryptic alphabets, and he has looked at games that use fictional script over on Eurogamer. Zelda’s ancient Hylian is mentioned, and the rune-like alphabet of the Elder Scrolls gets a shout-out too. But also discussed is Sethian, a game about deciphering a dead alien language based on the responses of an old computer, covered with symbolic buttons to mash. I liked this game and it’s good to see both its failings and strengths discussed from the perspective of someone who understands how these magical squiggly lines are born. It’s an interesting read and not too long or hyper-detailed (except maybe when he talks about “deciphering Linear B based on internal correspondences”… buh?). Anyway, fans of silly-looking text, give it a read.

Have You Played… Sethian?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

In Sethian you find an alien computer and, as an archeologist of such things, you must decipher the language of its ancient users. It’s a very clever piece of interactive fiction that I happily recommend despite a glaring central problem, which was summed up perfectly by a comment on my original review:

“You’re essentially trying to talk about philosophy with a chatbot,” it said, “while possessing the linguistic ability of a toddler.” Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Sethian

Sethian [official site] came out, perhaps unwisely, in the midst of the annual November deluge. It’s a little niche – a single-screen mystery about typing commands into an alien computer to find out more about the extinct race behind the device. But the computer functions only in the local extraterrestrial tongue. As an xeno-archeologist out to save your career from ruin, it’s up to you to decipher and translate much of this language, a symbolic script that is inspired by Chinese, American Sign Language and other languages but also includes features which “have no real world counterpart.” At its heart is a central question: where did all the aliens go? Read the rest of this entry »

Decipher an alien language in Sethian

Alien linguistics thriller Arrival is a beezer movie, according to my internet mates, but I still haven’t been able to see it. Once again videogames come to the rescue. Sethian [official site] is a text adventure where the text is all unrecognisable shapes and symbols – an alien computer that needs to be translated and understood. It came out last month but got buried in the annual November AAAvalanche. But like heroic rescue workers, we have found it again.
Read the rest of this entry »