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DF Game Club: Gravity Bone and 30 Flights Of Loving (with Chris Remo)
Posted: 18 May 2013 06:23 PM
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DOUBLE FINE GAME CLUB: Gravity Bone and Thirty Flights Of Loving  (starting 25th of May)

The Double Fine Game Club is a community run weekly event where interested gamers play through and come together to discuss what they do and don’t like about a particular game (sort of like a book club, but for games). We usually aim to play one or two hours a week, and we normally have somebody streaming the current game so that those who don’t have the game or don’t feel like playing it again can still feel involved.

Discussion takes place here in the forums and on the Double Fine Game Club home page. Game Club is a very informal weekly chat, and everyone is welcome!

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GAME CLUB SESSIONS
  - 25th May, 09:00PM UTC (click for your time zone): 1st game session (stream) and general discussion plus dev chat with Chris Remo (log)
 

SPECIAL GUESTS
  - Chris Remo (@chrisremo)
 

ABOUT THE GAME
  To make it in Nuevos Aires, one needs nerves of silk and the filthiest of hands. Mix together a batch of espionage, some high- speed car chases, fire-spewing assassins, and you’ve got one oven that’ll never bake cookies again. We provide the pliers and you bring the moxie.
  Gravity Bone is a short, first person adventure game telling the story of an unnamed spy in the city of Nuevos Aires.
 

  Are we going to hate each other someday?” Anita remembered this from long-ago pillow talk. She couldn’t recall who asked the question, but she remembered feeling that pinchy pang of knowing the answer. And here they were, meeting again after seven years, albeit under different circumstances. Given the harpoon cannon and grenade launcher and four flared nostrils, memories of that conversation only briefly fluttered around before making room for more immediate concerns. You called down the mocha. Now reap the flavor.
  Thirty Flights of Loving is described by its creator as a “first person short story” and was scored by Double Fine’s Super Awesome Community Manager, Chris Remo!
 

WHERE TO GET ONLINE
  - Blendo Games Website - Gravity Bone (Free) (Windows)
  - Blendo Games Website - Thirty Flights of Loving (Windows, Mac OS)
  - Steam - Thirty Flights of Loving (Windows, Mac OS)
 

GAME CLUB INFO
  - Double Fine Game Club home page (with webchat, stream and session countdown timer)
  - Game Club IRC: #DFAdventure on irc.foonetic.net (use the link above if you’re not sure)
  - @DFGameClub on Twitter (keep track of announcements)
  - Game Club planning thread

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Posted: 25 May 2013 03:05 PM
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“Watch Syd Fall Off Flagpoles: The Stream”

It was fun to run through those games again, even if my first-person platforming skills had gotten a bit rusty. raspberry

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Posted: 25 May 2013 03:11 PM
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This was a fun session! I’m really enjoying the post-stream discussion about realistic vs non-realistic art in games and general culture :D

Edit: Here’re some of my thoughts. Interestingly, they came out with an equal score of 40, leading me to believe I’m a harsh judge ^_^

Gravity Bone:
Overall: 40
Completed: Yes!

Story: 10
Gravity Bone’s narrative presentation is fantastic. So much care and attention has obviously been given to keeping things moving, and the structure of the game as a whole challenges players expectations just as they’re forming. The environments and characters are simple, stylistic representations, but they don’t have to be anything more than that.
Usability: 7
The game’s learning curve is fairly shallow. New concepts are introduced slowly and deliberately without making players feel like they’re being held back. The controls feel a little too sensitive for first person platforming, though, and I didn’t notice any auto save points beyond level starts, which I imagine has lead to frustration for some.
Gameplay: 6
There’s not a lot of gameplay in Gravity Bone, but what’s there is solid and guides players towards forming the kinds of expectations intended. There’s nothing outstanding here, but there don’t need to be.
Assets: 8
Gravity Bone’s visuals are again, simple and heavily stylised, but still enjoyably attractive. I envy Brendon’s eye for colour. The classic soundtrack is fun and meshes well with the game’s pacing and presentation. The unintelligible murmuring voices help give the implication of interaction whilst keeping players from getting bogged down in it.
Impact: 9
The best part about this game is that it doesn’t tell you what it is until the end. The shift in tone and goals towards the end reminiscent of Portal’s structure. My mind was blown, and I immediately played through a second time after finishing it :D

 

Thirty Flights of Loving:
Overall: 40
Completed: Yes!

Story: 10
The use of cuts and narrative time shifts during the game itself (as opposed to the ending flashbacks in Gravity Bone) are great. The environments are rich with suggestive detail for anybody who wants to go looking, and the little characterisation montage sequences are fantastic (in fact, the entire game’s dialogue-free character development/exposition is great). In contrast to Gravity Bone, which makes you question things as the game progresses, but never lets you feel like you’ve missed something important, Thirty Flights of Loving can be a little hard to follow at points, but this game’s plot is much more complex, and is geared towards evoking a slow realisation of the game’s context/conclusion.
Usability: 7
Again, fairly standard FPS controls. The little instructional hints on environmental objects are a nice touch (as they were in Gravity Bone). Some of the sequence end conditions (such as looking back for a longer period during the car chase) are a little less intuitive, but in some cases (particularly with the car chase) this is to force players to perform actions integral to the plot.
Gameplay: 6
There’s even less “gameplay” in this game than there was in Gravity Bone. It’s hard to call that a bad thing, though, since we’re talking about something that is an interactive story more than a conventionally gameplay driven title.
Assets: 8
Thirty Flights of Loving expans on Gravity Bone’s style, bringing in more expressive animation, a broader range of dynamic elements and objects/characters. Chris’ soundtrack is great, and helps create the game’s memorable atmosphere.
Impact: 9
A fantastic look at how a more mature (from a technique perspective) plot can be presented in game form. I’m just as impressed with Thirty Flights of Loving as I am with Gravity Bone :D

 

What did everybody else think?

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Posted: 25 May 2013 05:24 PM
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Super double posting action!

Stream archive and chat log from today’s session are up, and we’ve also got a thread up for next week’s game.

 
For anybody who’s interested, the soundtrack for Thirty Flights of Loving can be listened to here (and in the game, of course). Big thanks to its composer and awesome Double Fine guy Chris Remo for sharing his time with us!

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Want to read about the 2013 Double Fine Down Under BBQ? (spoiler: it was fun) (thread)

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