Playlist: You’re So Real

It was an illusion. D had worked hard to create it, but there was no substance behind the act. At least, that was what everyone kept telling them. Liev wasn’t so sure anymore. Maybe back at the start, he’d bought into it, but that was part of the scam, wasn’t it?

Layers upon layers of misdirection, the tools of the trade for magicians and con artists alike. He knew which D was, but even a con was a person underneath it all. The trick was knowing when you’re reached them.

He wanted to believe this was it, wanted to believe they’d touched the core. Everyone was calling him an idiot, having an easier time of it than when they called Tomas the same, but he wasn’t so sure. After all, if they hadn’t managed to reach D at last, there wouldn’t have been a need to pull a running.

But here they were, empty guest room like a kick in guts, and the knowledge that they’d reached the real person underneath absolutely no comfort at all.

Playing: The Walk

The Walk

The Walk is a fitness game that came out in December. I picked it up right away, because it’s by Six to Start and Naomi Alderman, who also made Zombies, Run! (which I love). It’s got a similar philosophy behind it: activity and fitness motivated by story. That is, unsurprisingly, a motivation that works rather well for me. It also has many of the same voice actors, which gives it a nice familiar feel. No zombies in this one, but it’s a suspense thriller, so I’m still in.

Expectations are a little different for this game. Zombies, Run! is more of a workout app, where you set aside some time to go on a run. The Walk is more like a pedometer: it uses your fitness level for the entire day to progress through the story. One of the nice things is that you don’t have to listen to the story points right as they unlock. It works well for me, as I alternate between listening to them as soon as I can, and saving them up to blow through whole sections in one go.

iOS Progress

There are also game play elements based on the map: you can choose different paths through the mission to open up collectables which are extra images that add to the world. There are also landscape features, which appear as small squares on the map when you’re in range of them. They usually have little text notes for the scenery, but are sometimes sound files with additional stories. At first the landscape features annoyed me: if you don’t happen to open the app while you’re in range, you can complete the episode with some missing. I’m a bit of a completionist, so I found that frustrating at first. I’ve pretty much gotten over it. I don’t know if they actually increased the range at which the features appear (it feels like it), or I just started checking the app more, but I don’t miss as many as I did at the start. Apparently some of them also depend on the path you take, so I’ve accepted that I’ll have to do some maps more than once (though four times for the one I just couldn’t catch was irritating).

The only thing I’m not a fan of so far is the challenges. They’re levels with a twenty-four hour time limit, and you draw your own map to try and hit as many points as possible. There are absolutely not story sections (that I’ve found so far, anyway), in the challenge maps, and the few interesting points you open up aren’t really worth it in my opinion. I find them to be an arbitrary twenty-four hour delay in my story progression, and that grates on me. I know I could just draw myself a really short map and get it over with, and I might start doing that now that I’m into part two, but again, completionist. But when I hit the delay before they release part two, I was starting a challenge right before doing a run, and it seemed to get me through them. I might just save them up and complete them after I’ve finished the story.

The Walk is available for both iPhone and Android, and I’m glad part two came out already. I really didn’t want to be waiting for months to find out what happened next!

“Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

Roald Dahl (via observando)

“The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.”

TERRY PRATCHETT (via phatalbert)

“People tend to find books when they are ready for them.”

Neil Gaiman   (via thatkindofwoman)

Gone Home

A Story Exploration Video Game

Investigate the Greenbriar family’s house. Discover the story of what’s happened to them. Go home again.

I have to admit, walking around looking for the story points was a lot of fun. I enjoyed being about to search through everything without worrying about combat, and the house had a nice atmosphere. I played through the game in one sitting, which is not something I normally do ^_^

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“Make the audience put things together. Don’t give them four, give them two plus two.”

Andrew Stanton