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  1. Bennett wrote:

    Well, you’ve finally done it. You’ve finally broken every single rule of traditional game design simultaneously. In that regard it eclipses ‘Adventure Game’.

    Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 11:27 pm | Permalink
  2. Bennett wrote:

    (I mean this to be something halfway between criticism and praise, by the way. Or maybe more precisely, I meant to praise and criticize in equal amounts)

    Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 11:29 pm | Permalink
  3. StephenM3 wrote:

    My problem with this sort of thing is that the only interesting thing about it at all is it’s unconventionality and it’s toying with the player. You’re asking me to partake in an ultimately slow, unchanging process, which I do with the expectation of something eventually being different, perhaps once the rower reaches the edge of the screen. I supposedly expect this because of traditional games (I didn’t actually expect this, knowing what you usually create, but I was nevertheless compelled to make sure). If I knew for certain that every second of viewing and participating in this creation would be identical to the first 15 seconds of it, I wouldn’t continue beyond the first 15 seconds — it is only through deceiving me that this is interesting at all. In the end, I feel little more than insulted, whether or not that was your intention.

    If I take it that my feeling is wrong, and your intention here is something other than to to disrespect the user, then I’m at a total loss with what you’re trying to accomplish. The ‘this isn’t a traditional game’ angle has been accomplished already, so you are probably going for something more, to create something that is something, rather than simply not a usual game. But for the life of me, I can’t figure out what there is here.

    Well, that’s not exactly true. It took me a little bit to figure out the input necessary to make the character move, and the control scheme is interesting, and vaguely reminiscent of rowing. Real rowing is slow and tedious, and the game certainly communicated the contemplative, alone-but-not-lonely feel of a situation like the one depicted. But… I don’t know. I still felt like you don’t respect the user. What you’re creating is certainly art, but by the presentation you’re using you’re demanding something of the user, and don’t always treat that that well.

    I’m struggling to voice what I think here; it’s kind of hard. I really like your body of work as a whole, there are some very successful, interesting pieces. But mixed among them is a general feeling of disrespect, as if you sometimes have a very low opinion of the person playing your games. Perhaps it’s merely a fault in my attitude of approach. I don’t know.

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 4:34 am | Permalink
  4. StephenM3 wrote:

    Oh no, glancing back at the first paragraph of that wall of text, I look like a dumbass. I was having even more trouble communicating than I thought. I’m sorry.

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 4:35 am | Permalink
  5. Thanks for taking time out to try articulate your feelings. I appreciate it.

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Permalink
  6. Zaratustra wrote:

    Increpare is just so much better at trolling the player than I ever was.

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Permalink
  7. Tom wrote:

    Well put, Stephen.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 5:40 am | Permalink
  8. nathanel wrote:


    erm, is this rerally it? I mean, I’ve played a couple of your games, and they always are somewhere on the border between ingenious, crazy, absurd and insulting, so rowing for 2 minutes or so and black screen afterwards is not a big surprise, but in the sourcecode there are some more sprites. Am I so dumb that I don’t know how to get further in this game or am I so dumb that I just don’t get the joke of a game that is no-game but still has a typical game sprite graphics in the source, just for fun/joke/teasing? :]

    Wednesday, May 5, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Permalink
  9. Oh yeah, those graphics I forgot to remove from the source directory (ditto for the music). They’re not used in game at all.

    Wednesday, May 5, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Permalink
  10. nonda wrote:

    also the preview pic shows something that doesnt present itself in the “game”. thats what kept me rowing.

    Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Permalink
  11. ButtercupSaiyan wrote:

    Nonda: the preview pictures typically have absofuckinglutely nothing to do with the game itself, except on a rare occasion…

    But increpare really does do some good games. Try out Rara Racer and Mirror Stage!

    Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Permalink
  12. Dean wrote:

    This is, yet again, another beautiful piece of art. When I finished this, I found my own meaning: that life consist of getting somewhere, wherever that may be and yet we spend so much longer trying to get there, or rather we should try to enjoy the voyage as much as the reward. For the greatest goals are only reached by traveling down the long, winding path, and maybe you won’t even make it to your goal in the end; best to stay optimistic either way.

    Sunday, August 8, 2010 at 3:41 am | Permalink
  13. AusinP wrote:

    I know this is quite an old topic, but Dean’s post inspired me. If felt as if he captured the actual meaning you may or may not have put behind this game. The feeling of trying to get somewhere and being in a hurry to get there and finding out that in the end, the voyage itself was more interesting than the destination. Thank you for this, Stephen. Hopefully others will understand this as well.

    Friday, March 25, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Permalink
  14. MitochondrialAdam wrote:

    I ended up tapping drum beats on the arrow keys.
    Kinda of puts you in the characters position by inspiring your self to make something out of a seemingly simple situation.

    Monday, April 23, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Permalink