Friday, April 29, 2022

Things Fall Apart

Oh, god! Here we go again. Friday night and I got nothing. 

That's what happens if you spend all morning doing dailies and sorting inventory because it's about all you can manage with a small dog sleeping on your lap, then spend all afternoon watching the same small dog chewing up cardboard boxes and working herself into a frenzy over a grooming brush.

Not that I feel guilty about it. A solid run of meaty posts all week. I deserve a goof-off day. If it was only the one...

Must be something... oh, yes, what about that Twitter deal, eh? 

Do I care? Not really. You know those cars you see sometimes, parked up with grass growing around the tires? Rust all over the body, a window missing, birds nesting inside? That's my Twitter account, that is.

It's hard to imagine anything good will come of Elon Musk buying Twitter but then it's hard to imagine anything good coming from either of them separately, either. I'm not sure putting them together makes things worse.

There was going to be a paragraph here about how I don't get why Twitter even exists as a commercial entity since it doesn't make money and never has. Then I fact-checked and found that, contrary to popular opinion, it has been turning a small profit of late.

That about sums up how much I either know or care about Twitter. Let's have a picture of one of those cars I just described so we can all imagine my Twitter account, somewhere out there in the cyberwilds, slowly falling to digital bits.

That screenshot comes from the point and click adventure game I seem to have been playing for most of my natural life, Secret Files 2: Puritas Cordis. The link goes to the game's Steam page and if I'd been playing it on Steam I'd be able to quantify just how many hours I've put in. It would be a lot.

I didn't buy SF2:PC on Steam, though. I got it free from Amazon, I can't exactly remember how long ago. I know I started playing it on January 6 and I'm still playing. Not every day and usually only for about an hour, although I've had a few longer sessions. It's the game I wind down on at the end of the evening before I go to bed, or one of them, anyway.

I have fifteen Save files, so at a conservative estimate I have probably played for about twenty hours over four months. Hard to be sure. The game just seems to meander, thematically and geographically, which makes it feel like it's going nowhere and never going to get there. I've been on a cruise ship in the North Sea, a ruined temple in the Indonesian jungle and now I'm putzing around a cemetery in Paris. 

The plot makes little sense, the voice acting is iffy, the writing is labored, the translation uncertain, the puzzles often obtuse. Sometimes there's even an embarassingly self-conscious, fourth-wall breaking, nod-and-wink meta-joke. And yet I enjoy it a lot, probably because it reminds me of Broken Sword as performed by an earnest tribute band.

Speaking of Broken Sword and tribute bands, I read an article at this week by Šarūnas and Žilvinas Ledas, the brothers behind Crowns and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit, a p&c adventure whose demo I played and wrote about a couple of months ago. 

The piece is part of a series called "Why I Love" and it does a good job of explaining the singular attraction of the Broken Sword series. The part where they talk about playing the second game "not exactly together" really took me back.  "We would play in turns, and it became a competition about who would solve a puzzle first. But during the off-screen time we would actually collaborate in figuring out how to move forward."

That's pretty much how Mrs. Bhagpuss and I played the first two Broken Sword games. We only had one computer at the time and one or other of us would play while the other sat and watched and made "helpful" suggestions. We'd get stuck and spend ages trying things, then one of us would be thinking about the problem at work the next day and we'd come back and tell each other and try it and... it wouldn't work and we'd go round again and on like that. We finished both games in the end and with no walkthroughs. It's a lot easier and more fun with two.

I wasn't very complimentary about the Crowns and Pawns demo, calling it "bland" and "a bit like adventure gaming by numbers." I feel a bit warmer towards it now I've read what motivated the brothers to write and produce it. I've added it to my Steam wishlist, something I didn't do after playing the demo, which just goes to show there's more than one way to promote a game.

A couple of musical items to finish with, I think. I had a nice surprise today when the third Let's Eat Grandma CD dropped through the letterbox, frightening the puppy, who ran into the kitchen and hid in her barrel. 

There have been four singles released from the album so far and I'm pretty sure I've featured all of them here. I seem to have fallen into a pattern of talking about every new release by a small, select group of bands (Band of groups?). I quite like doing it so I don't see why I should stop. 

Since there isn't anything new from the album to show you, how about the album itself? I have never really understood the attraction of unboxing videos but that's not going to stop me from using this one to fill up some space. It's the vinyl album that's being unboxed (Should be Unsleeved, surely?). I got the CD because CDs are better than vinyl in every conceivable way. Same cover though.

While we're on the subject, Superorganism dropped a second single from their upcoming album this week. I have that on pre-order too (The album, not the single.) but it's not out until mid-July. 

The song goes by the incredibly annoying name of The first time I downloaded it my PC apparently believed it really was a .zip file and put it in an appropriate folder. I had to download it again and rename it with a space where the dot is to get it to behave.

On first listen I thought the track was a bit meh but it's a real grower, especially when the big ending kicks in. Looking forward to the album.

And that, I think, is about that for today. Tomorrow I'm on dog duty all day, while Mrs. Bhagpuss is out at work and we've got a puppy gate coming. (Really a baby gate but don't tell her. Beryl, that is, not Mrs Bhagpuss. She already knows - she paid for it. Mrs Bhagpuss that is, not Beryl.) I have to fit it at the top of the stairs to stop her tumbling ears over tail all the way down (The puppy, that is, not... oh, you're ahead of me...). 

With all of that, chances are tomorrow's post could be thin. Sunday I'm working, so then too. Fun, blogging, isn't it? There's a new month's worth of free games from Amazon on Sunday, at least. That'll probably be worth a post, although I guess I probably ought to finish the one I'm playing before I start another.


  1. Oh crap. The "helpful suggestions" would get me in so much trouble. And they actually have with my wife, when I'd occasionally "suggest" something that might work on one of the quizzes she's playing. I get a glare and a "I'M DOING THIS MYSELF!!!" out of her, and I kind of slink away and put my headset on so I don't hear her (or the PC) and get tempted to say something again.

    1. Well, we were playing the games together, so it was more a case of the suggestions being "helpful" as in wrong rather than unwelcome. We watch a lot of quizzes together these days, which is about the nearest we get to that kind of collaboration. We are old!

  2. I've been very much intending to tuck into both the Broken Sword games AND the Secret Files games on stream/youtube, although I've been very slowly piddling along with the Monkey Island games instead. And it doesn't look like the next one will actually be in either of those series. ... But SOME DAY.

    1. I noticed you mention that possibility before and I'm looking forward to it. I haven't watched the Monkey Island ones yet because I'm still thinking of playing them. I did watch half an hour of the caveman one! I wouldn't say the gameplay there was exactly riveting. I think you'll have a lot more to work with in Broken Sword or Secret Files.

    2. Tail of the Sun is not what I would really call ... uh, gripping? But I have a strange fascination with it. The developer claimed to want to create an "anti-fun" game and that sort of thing always entrances me.


Wider Two Column Modification courtesy of The Blogger Guide