So Reggie… I have a question for you. Who’s your daddy?
– Satoru Iwata, Nintendo E3 2005 Conference
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“I pirated Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island when I was a kid and I feel bad!” This reward tier instantly absolves you of all guilt and includes the Thimbleweed Park game. All subsequent tiers also include guilt absolution.
While most people realize that pledging [on Kickstarter] is just a pre-order in the dark, some backers feel like they are investors or game designers, working alongside the development team. If this is true and the final product doesn’t live up to the standards they’ve set up in their minds they’ll feel quite unsatisfied or worse. To avoid this type of complications, we have decided to take a different route with this campaign. We don’t want to deal with the trivial and somewhat elitist stuff like backers only forums, backers having their name in the credits, re-designing stuff in our project or going to dinner with some of the staff. […] We respect the community and are thankful for every pledge we get but we want to create the game the way we envisioned and designed it. We would also like to concentrate all our available time to development, so if you want to support us in hope to get a great game please do so.
- You watch Long Plays to experience a game without playing it
- You watch Let’s Plays to be entertained
- You watch video reviews to be spoiled
Thesis: None of these three things are particularly conducive to actually selling a product.
The Samaritan Paradox, a relatively new commercial AGS adventure game by Faravid Interactive’s Peter Ljunkvist, published by Screen 7, is a story about a story. A refreshingly Swedish one, too. The game’s protagonist, Ord Salomon – ‘ord’ is Swedish for ‘word’ – is a shut-in PhD student of literature, rotting away at a failing thesis, with worried friends, until he chances upon the daughter of a prominent dead Swedish author.
Salomon, a hobbyist cryptographer obsessive-compulsive about signs, instantly begins to solve the apparent secrets contained within the dead author’s final work, “The Last Secret,” which also functions as the key to the writer’s complicated relationship with his daughter and family. And to a large inheritance that could also help Ord repair his finances.
As is obvious from the get-go, The Samaritan Paradox has all the makings of a splendid detective game; it has a beautiful look and feel, with expertly crafted (especially animated) pixel graphics, and a highly under-used locale in the cold reaches of the Nordic to boot. A philological adventure – who would have wagered? (more…)