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 Post subject: +=x
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:47 pm
Posts: 115
A short, richly atmospheric game about a lottery for the residents of a dystopia (I think). I've posted a review of it at my blog here.


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 Post subject: Re: +=x
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 5:15 pm
Posts: 43
Honestly, I can't say it much moved me. I find that style of interface is always cumbersome on my laptop, though I appreciate they were probably trying to link it thematically to the concept of cards. The plot is pretty well-worn, the characters quick studies of familiar archetypes. The writing is rather oblique in a way that just isn't to my taste at the moment. I'd find it hard to point out any particular or excessive flaws (well, except maybe this endless loop I'm pretty sure is the ending), but I wasn't really engaged by it.

(there might also be a conversation to be had about the use of mathematics as a shorthand for depersonalization, which is a pretty tired metaphor and one I'm not sure is fair, but I am pretty low on energy)


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 Post subject: Re: +=x
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:42 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:07 pm
Posts: 61
I pretty much had the same reaction as you. I was looking forward to playing a math themed game, but really I didn't feel there was any math. The symbols on the cards just happened to be math symbols, but could have been anything, even colors. The formulas didn't make sense and if there was a way to make sense of them, it was totally lost on me. It's possible that was the whole point of the game, or it's possible that I just couldn't figure out the logic behind it.

perhapsdessert wrote:
well, except maybe this endless loop I'm pretty sure is the ending


Yes, I actually thought this was a bug. If it is intended as a feature, it was one I didn't appreciate.

It pretty much felt like a random walk down a decision tree where my input didn't matter.

On a positive note, I really liked the drag and drop interface.

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 Post subject: Re: +=x
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:51 pm
Posts: 422
A quick note: This is a game made in Texture. The drag-and-drop interface is the basic idea of what Texture does.


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 Post subject: Re: +=x
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:24 pm
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Possible spoiler?

Spoiler: show
The only variety seemed to be that different cards got a "you will be equalized...there are enough already and your selection ensures it" response (followed by an "=" card) while other cards got a "you will be multiplied...we need more and you have been selected to provide it" response (followed by a "x" card). It seems like each character corresponded to a specific number which made me suspect that if the correct number was put in at the end of the story/equation some alternate ending would happen. However, if that's correct, I never did figure out the mathematical puzzle to get a different ending.


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 Post subject: Re: +=x
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:48 pm 
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Posts: 24
There is a little more to this. If you read the text carefully it tells you how to find it. Very tricky.


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 Post subject: Re: +=x
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 1:24 pm 
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Harkness wrote:
There is a little more to this. If you read the text carefully it tells you how to find it. Very tricky.

I didn't find it that tricky. I think many people will

Spoiler: show
look through the game code when they suspect they missed something important - even without a specific in-game invitation to do so.

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 Post subject: Re: +=x
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:10 pm 
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Posts: 43
Sobol wrote:
Harkness wrote:
There is a little more to this. If you read the text carefully it tells you how to find it. Very tricky.

I didn't find it that tricky. I think many people will

Spoiler: show
look through the game code when they suspect they missed something important - even without a specific in-game invitation to do so.
...I think I'm gonna knock my rating down a couple notches for that.

For the surprisingly large number of people who don't know how to do that, or quite justifiably can't be arsed, the "ending" (sorry for large image):
Spoiler: show
Attachment:
equation.PNG
equation.PNG [ 104.63 KiB | Viewed 775 times ]


All very clever and meta, I've no doubt.


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 Post subject: Re: +=x
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:44 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:58 pm
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That image is so large that it's hard to read. Here's the text out of the image.

Spoiler: show
>=x=< Here I sit amongst the cogs, amongst the code, dealing my cards. Some say that I'm a wizard, and some say I'm a machine. I strike two lines, and those two lines determine what I mean. And what I mean is time, and what I mean by time is space, and what I mean by space is who and how and in what place. It's faster to travel by not traveling. It's faster to be when you already are. All it takes is a shift in the continuum to make something near turn into something far. And to make something far become something nearby. To move through the galaxy, just multiply. One atom, one hour, one lifetime displaced, and everything as it exists is erased, replaced by another existence equal to the fuel that I burn when I dip my quill pen. Again, I'll deal another card. Again, I'll strike another line. These equations are games in the game I'm inside. Now you're down too inside the text, where numbers crunch, bullfinches nest. We are the stars, the universe, Alpha Centauri, Betelgeuse. Wherever you or I might be, you're here right now, and you're with me.


And if you're reading this and were as confused as I was about what all these spoilers are about, here's the spoiler explaining how to find this:

Spoiler: show
When the in-game text says this:

Quote:
My calling card.

I'm always here. One search away.

Even when I'm wrong, my calculations are right.


… that was an invitation to use your browser's "View Source" feature to search for the unusual string of characters on the card, ">=x=<". (Or at least, that's what it seems to be. Nobody has found a way to find this ending text in any other way.)

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 Post subject: Re: +=x
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:47 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:13 am
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I'm sure there are a lot of people who will do exactly what Sobol said, but kicking in someone's door is a different experience than being asked to come in. As for there also being many people who don't know how to do this, I don't mind admitting that I'm one of them, but there was enough in the text that it could be figured out. I know the fact that I needed the author's assistance to go where I needed to influenced my perception of it, but for me it felt like solving a particularly devious puzzle, and I liked it.


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