Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you’re enjoying the holiday. The Spoiler Warning cast got together on Christmas Eve-Eve, because we wanted to help you celebrate.
Traditionally, Christmas is a time we associate with:
- Being with family and friends
- Good food.
- Bright cheerful decorations.
- Gathering around a fire.
- Exchanging gifts.
So we figure the best way to celebrate this time with friends and and family is to ignore them and instead watch this video about a game where…
- You are totally alone, without the hint or hope of meeting another human soul. Your only company is a vast wilderness full of wild beasts, who are trying to eat you.
- You are hungry. You can’t even imagine how hungry. Like, if you’re really lucky your Christmas dinner might be a jug of ice cold toilet water.
- It is dark. So dark you can’t even see how utterly alone you are.
- You are cold. So cold you can’t even feel your exhausted dead limbs as you tumble into a sleeping bag on the hard floor and hope you can get just an hour or two of sleep without freezing to death.
- You are plunged into the most desperate poverty, and your only “Christmas gifts” will be the meager trinkets you can scavenge from the silent corpses you encounter in your wanderings.
So from all of us, to all of you, enjoy The Long Dark, you doomed, isolated wastrel:
It’s interesting how highly immersive games drag the player into simulationist thinking. “If I’m freezing, why can’t I burn this furniture to keep warm?” Ha ha, those dumb game developers don’t realize furniture is made of wood. What goofs!
Of course, the real reason you can’t just burn every object made of wood is that it creates a never-ending chain of escalating feature creep:
Player: Hey, how come I can’t break down this dresser for wood?
Dev: Okay, I’ve added a new button to the interface when you open a container. As long as the container is empty, you can break it down into wood.
Player: How come this tiny footlocker and this huge wardrobe both give me the same tiny amount of wood? How come I can tear this metal safe apart for wood?
Dev: okay, I’ve added a bunch of data to the game to keep track of what containers are made of and how much wood (if any) they contain.
Player: Frustrating that the game doesn’t tell me how much wood I’ll get before I hit the “turn into firewood” option. And am I really tearing this dresser apart instantly? With my bare hands?
Dev: The “firewood” button has now been replaced with a “disassemble” dialog. It will tell you what the yield will be, and how long it will take. If you have a tool, it will take half the time.
Player: What about this bed? This couch? This end-table? Why can’t I burn them?
Dev: I’ve added an interface to every possible burnable furniture item in the game.
Player: Why does burning a bed remove the whole thing? Why would I burn the mattress?!?! I just want to burn the frame, but I don’t want to give up my ability to sleep in this house.
Dev: Fine. I added alternate mattress model to the game. When you burn a bed, the game will swap out the bed model for the bare mattress.
Player: (Slightly disappointed.) Kind of odd how all beds magically drop the same ratty single-sized mattress, regardless of the size and quality of the original bed. But I guess this will do. It still seems sort of dumb that I can’t burn floorboards.
Dev: You want to burn the FLOOR?!?
Player: It’s clear this floor is sitting on top of stone. My character is just minutes from freezing to death. Of course they would pull up a few floorboards to survive.
Dev: Okay, fine. I’ve added a DIALOG BOX to the FLOOR that will allow you to burn it. I’ve had to turn furniture from static models into physics meshes so they won’t float in the air when the floor vanishes out from under them. I re-built all the structures so that the floor is now a different model from everything else. I re-worked the lighting model because the new movable floorboards were causing all sorts of shadow glitches. I’ve divided the floor of every building into sections because some parts of the floor (like the part under immovable counters, stoves, and fireplaces) can’t be removed. I’ve added new collision meshes for the sub-floor. Re-worked all the footstep sound logic to account for the fact that walking surfaces can now vanish or change properties.
Player: These wood cabinets in the kitchen…
Dev: I’ve discontinued work on The Long Dark. Please buy my next game, “House and Furniture Deconstructing Simulator 2016”.
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