The Beginner’s Guide

The developer behind The Stanley Parable has released a new game for Mac, Linux, and Windows. It’s called The Beginner’s Guide. It wouldn’t be right to do a video of this, at about an hour and a half long the video could spoil the whole thing. Wreden describes it like this:

It lasts about an hour and a half and has no traditional mechanics, no goals or objectives. Instead, it tells the story of a person struggling to deal with something they do not understand.

Paste Games’ Cameron Kunzelman has a positive review:

In his 1960 New York Times review of Psycho, Bosley Crowther leans into talking about Alfred Hitchcock rather than the film. He writes in the comparative, calling Hitchcock an “old hand” who has made an “obviously low-budget job,” but it’s crucial for me to point out that those things aren’t necessarily negative for Crowther (although the review isn’t a positive one). Instead, his entire review is about attempting to navigate the relationship between Psycho the film with Hitchcock the man. Ultimately, Crowther finds the film lacking in something and suggests that the problem might be that Hitchcock’s “explanations are a bit of leg-pulling by a man who has been known to resort to such tactics in his former films.” Time has been kind to Psycho, but for Crowther, it couldn’t escape the known-quantity orbit of its creator.

When Davey Wreden opens The Beginner’s Guide with his voice, name and email address, you get the feeling that there’s something Hitchcockian going on here. Hitchcock made himself a part of his cinematic worlds both as a framer and as a cameo actor, and through that he was able to infuse those films with a weird energy.

Still No Word on “Trapped in an Amazon Warehouse Simulator”

There’s this kind of weird genre of games being called Suchandsuch Simulator. A category immortalized into flesh and code by Surgeon Simulator, the game that asked you, person that doesn’t know how to surgeon, to simulate being one with intentionally poor controls. Or there’s Goat Simulator which asked you, person that doesn’t know how to goat, to goat. They’re comedy games. You get the idea.

Owlchemy Labs, ye of Jack Lumber and Smuggle/Snuggle Truck fame,  appears to be playing on this naming scheme and the gameplay style of Surgeon Simulator with Job Simulator, here’s their description:

The year is 2050.

Robots cook, clean, service, and rule organize the world with precision and speed. Human occupations are now memories of the past; long gone are the blue collar jobs that ran the old world. Humans raised in our perfect automated society must not forget their useless ancient ancestors and history.

This is why JobBot was born. JobBot created Job Simulator to teach humans what it is ‘to job’. All praise to JobBot, for he is the keeper of human history.

Yes, perfect. Yes, I would like to job. Unfortunately I don’t have a VR headset yet, and it also requires motion control on either the Oculus Touch (Oculus’ motion controller dinguses) or  the HTC Vive (Valve’s first Steam VR dingus) in order to achieve the unprecedented level of realism depicted in the trailers. Of which there are two more:

Last-Gen (PS3, 360) COD:BLOPS 3 Dropping SP and CO-OP Campaign

The Call of Duty blog has details on the Black Ops 3 letdown, but it amounts to Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 players getting a download code for Black Ops 1 and a price drop to $50 as a pittance for the deficit as the game is now multiplayer and zombies-only on those platforms. The multiplayer will also be lacking various features like the weapon paintshop and others compared to the Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Windows versions. The Linux version will continue to lack all features and not exist.

A Lesson in How to Ship From Oculus

Wes Fenlon quoting Oculus’ Nate Mitchell:

Mitchell explained why Oculus isn’t currently taking pre-orders for the Rift by saying “there isn’t a big reason to take your money too far ahead of the device.” He continued: “What I think about all day long is user experience, right? So if I’m going to promise you something and you’re going to hand me a significant amount of money or whatever it is–we all know it’s going to be at least $300–if you’re going to hand me $300 today, I am not going to be excited to tell you: ‘OK, in nine, 10, 12, 11 months, whatever it is, you’re going to get something in return.’ The longer you wait, the more you’re like, ‘This is obnoxious.’ ”

Mitchell likened Oculus’ plans for pre-orders to how Apple launches products by saying “they announce it, one week later you can pre-order it, the next week it ships. That is like the ideal user experience.”