If you came to this blog for a couple hours on Saturday, you might have noticed I’d somehow allied myself with some Moroccan or Indonesian hacker collective. Rest assured that this was not me.
If you came to this blog any time between then and now, you might have felt that you’d travelled back in time to the dark days of 1998. Dark in terms of web backgrounds, anyway. (Admittedly, I wasn’t particularly happy at the time either, but that’s another story).
But we’re back now. Temporarily, at least. Oh, the blog will still be around, but I’m toying with the idea of replacing WordPress with something less hackable. More on that if it ever actually happens.
Anyway, hi, I just thought I’d let you know I was still around. Welcome back to 2013. I don’t have all my old theme and plugins re-installed or anything, so the sites a little bare, but I’m still here at the very least.
I don’t do the signings and public appearances. A lot of people do and make a lot of money out of them–and good luck to them. I’m not ruling it out forever, though. One day I may be really poor. —Ian McDiarmid
Fan (at FanExpo): “So are you really poor?”
Ian McDiarmid (at FanExpo): “Yes. Next question.”
So I played Gone Home on Friday night and have been thinking about it ever since. It’s breathtaking.
It’s also hard to describe. It’s more an interactive story than a game. It calls itself a “story exploration game.” The story is presented to you in the form of a creepy old house, which you have to explore to discover what happened to your family.
You play Kaitlin Greenbriar, just home from a year-long gap year tour of Europe. Your family moved to a new house in the woods while you were away. Your taxi gets you home after midnight on June 7, 1995. You’re greeted by a sign on the door from your sister Amy apologizing for leaving you alone but warning you not to go looking around find out what happened.
So, of course, that’s exactly what you do.
Gone Home is really the story of Sam. As you uncover notes and letters, she’ll give you a voice-over giving you a bit more of her backstory.
I fell in love with Sam just a little bit.
And I really don’t want to say much more than that about the content of the game. Because it’s really best to go into it without pre-conceived notions about what it’s meant to be. I will say there are no guns or really any puzzles. You’re just exploring the house learning what happened to Amy and the rest of your family. And it’s utterly engrossing.
There’s a mystery to be solved, and as you start to put together the lives of the characters who comprise your family, you very much start to feel for them. You dread what you might discover, but you need to find it out anyway. Some of it is uncomfortable and some of it is utterly endearing. There are so many feels. I cried at the end.
I loved it. You should play it.
Gone home is $20 either through Steam or direct and DRM-free via their website. It runs on Windows, Mac and, of course, Ubuntu. It’s currently 10% off, but that sale is ending very soon.
Two cups, 8oz., half-decaf. Feel like utter crap now. As usual. You’d think I’d learn.
Except I actually got some stuff done today, dealing with “customer” issues and hairier-than-usual test scenarios. So there’s that. But my skin’s crawling and my head’s fuzzy and I have a Kwartzlab board meeting tonight.
Me and caffeine have been on the outs for a few years now. Used to be it wouldn’t phase me at all. Now I can’t even have a nice black tea without having to curl up in a ball an hour or so later. I mean, it’s probably for the best, but sometimes it’s useful to self-medicate. Like today.
Oh dear. I really need to get back in the habit.
Anything you’d like me to write about?
I’ve posted a few things over on the Kwartzlab blog if you’d like to see what I’ve been up to there. I’m just wrapping up my term as president and will continue on as a mere director (well, and board chair) starting in July.
What have you been up to, dear readers?