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Competitive Dadding In Who's Your Daddy

Oh dear, Alice and Cara are parenting

Christmas is a time for family, so Alice and Cara have ventured together into the public prototype of Who's Your Daddy [Greenlight page]. It's a two-player dad 'em up with a father racing around trying to child-proof a home and a baby trying its damndest to die.

Alice: Cara, who's your daddy? It's me. I'm your daddy. I'm the best daddy. Daddy Cool.

Cara: If you are my daddy I have a lot to say to my mum. Like. Well. Some sort of question about time travel I guess. And how insemination works.

Alice: This has gone wrong very quickly. SO the video game we just played. With the baby. Video games. I'm not very parental myself, and when it was my turn to play the daddy I wasn't concerned with protecting you as much as DEFEATING YOU, small child.

Cara: I think as a baby I didn't quite get the point of it originally and started just trying to play with stuff and run out of the front door. Maybe I am in fact a baby who is just trying to find someone who will love me, and not try to just FUCK WITH ME.

I am good at finding and digesting batteries though. I ate a whole pack of batteries and you didn't even care you NEGLECTFUL AND SICKENING PARENTAL NIGHTMARE.

Alice: You lived, which is good enough for me. I'd hidden the bleach so you couldn't finish yourself off. Sure, you went a lurid shade of green, you hideous little maggot you, but you lived. DADDY WINS AGAIN!


Alice: I'm your game dad.

This is going wrong again, isn't it.

Cara: Are you a game dad who enjoys games that involve taking care of and rescuing young girls such as Ellie from The Last of Us and Ashley from Resi 4? Are you involved in Dadification? It is the Movement Of Our Times.

Alice: If I could bring Ashley through RE4 with e.g. half a leg lost to a bear trap, that'd suffice. I'm not protective; I simply must stop you from winning. I'm in competition with my own child.

So, to explain a bit, Who's Your Daddy gives players a few minutes to complete their objective - protect the baby, or snuff it to spite their da. The babby crawls around like a horrible little… horrible thing, trying to drink cleaning products, eat batteries, put forks in sockets, devour garbage, or - my favourite - turn the oven on and hop in. The dad runs around putting dangerous things out of reach, putting covers on plug sockets, and so on. But cannot pick the baby up and put it back in the crib. I wouldn't touch it either.

Cara: The baby looks kind of googly-eyed and actually a lot like a frog. Moreso when it gets sicker/about to die (a sort of green shade). Part of me is quite concerned that the dad's hair is clipping into his flesh. Although it is very obvious the dad and baby are genetically related because both have the sort of eyes you only get by mating with a similarly googly-eyed person.

When I was a dad I was mainly concerned I couldn't pick things up, or actually do ANYTHING with the oven. The controls of being a dad are RUBBISH. I see now why it is so hard for fathers. The childcare controls are very impeded. Like trying to type an essay with oven mitts on. Get the fuck out of the oven you wee bastard. Why can't I turn the oven off. Why have I got so much bleach. We only have one toilet.

Alice: I think I'm the kind of dad who'd drink the bleach to get out it out the baby's way. "Oh, you think you're going to drink this? WE'LL SEE ABOUT THAT! Chug! Chug! Chug!" That's efficient parenting. Picking up batteries and moving them to safety one-by-one is too much effort - just eat 'em yourself, dad.

I think you can turn the oven off, but I kept fiddling with the knobs so I was probably putting it back on. It's not clear about that. It is a prototype, to be fair, so I suppose it might later be clearer what you can and can't do, and what's currently happening.

But I'm now thinking about what we were talking about before we made margaritas (before you made margaritas - thank you!) - if this is a prototype, do you think it'll work with polish or does it need a boot up the jacksy?

Cara: So, it's hard to tell whether this is a sort of Surgeon Simulator game or a game that might actually become more responsive and faster, like a race rather than merely a spectacle of ridiculousness. It's too early to understand whether it's more fun to run around putting stuff away and glugging soap and munching down trash or whether the sheer ineptitude of parenting is the actual point of the thing? I guess I see a lot of competent dads. You know, dads that stand around with that glow of ‘I successfully reproduced and am holding the result and it is not a hock of jizz in my hand' and they suddenly become very attractive because they seem like, competent even if they are covered in vomit.

Alice: Reader dear, at this point I'll interject to explain that, after a minute of me laughing, Cara just asked aloud in our office, "What was my point?" Back over to you, Cara!

Cara: My point is: DO YOU WANT A GAME WHERE IT'S BABY VERSUS DAD, A RACE TO THE FINISH VIA UBER SKILLZ, or do you want a game where you are just like, ‘Oh bugger I have fanangled this bleach into my baby's face again and how the fuck do I get this window cleaner to sit on that high shelf'? Also my second point is this margarita I made is very good.

Alice: It IS! Also the tacky Christmas song we're currently listening to just mentioned margaritas, so this is surely destined. Even if we are currently slopping tequila all over our laptops, blankets, etc.

But BABBIES: it's tricky, because the wacky physics game is very much A Thing lately and Who's Your Daddy seems to come from there but… I think the EPIC DADRACE is a way better target.

My thought is: as a dadround starts, you're told mum is home soon, so you just need to hold out. Which is, yeah, whatever. But you're on a mumtimer, so I think it'd work well if dad had a list of tasks to complete as well as looking after baby. You'd need to split attention between tidying or whatever (which is currently a task, but simply as a way to earn power-ups) and making sure baby is safe. For this, you would need to pick baby up and dunk it back in the crib. I understand why you can't move it in the game as it is now, but… it seems that might be more fun.

Cara: Stop trying to backseat design Alice that is MY job and well okay yes you are right. I definitely think that you should be able to pick the baby up often and easily, but the baby should be more nimble, much more nimble than it currently is, because it took me a good half hour to get the heck down the stairs on my own and by that time the round was over. Either make the level smaller or the baby faster, and the baby should be able to easily wriggle out of dadarms so that it's kind of like catching a slippery wee salmon on the banks o' the… I've gone too Scottish. But there are lots of promising things this game could tweak to make it 1) hilare 2) good c) slightly less scary re: hairlines.

Alice: So, the current verdict: maybe play a round or two with a pal while listening to Christmas music and drinking margaritas, and keep an eye on where it goes next?

Cara: Yes it is currently broken but that's alphas for you. GREAT idea though, and I had at least three distinct laughs about it. So there's that. Do it at a LAN party or something. I always have a traditional LAN party about this time every year and all my Dota buddies and I try to play things that aren't Dota whilst also just wanting to play Dota.

Alice: THANK YOU for making margaritas.

Cara: yr welcome gona go maek more

We recorded videos of our rounds but they came out a bit wonky. Oh well!

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