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Liquid Metal King Slime
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A Shot in the Dark - Review & Video First Impression 
 PostMon May 04, 2009 4:07 pm
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This is a review of A Shot In The Dark.



A Shot in the Dark is a funny concept, well presented. Ten people are faced with important challenges or dilemmas, and their fate rests in your hands. With they be splendid? or will they be stupid.

But here is the flaw. The splendid and stupid buttons are randomly switched for each round, so in effect the results are totally random, and it really doesn't matter what button you press. This is briefly funny in a sardonic sort of way, but it ruins the best thing that this game had going for it, which was the idea that you had control over the fates of these 10 people.

The artwork, for the most part was good, and I got a few smiles, and a few laughs, and a lot of groans out of my first (and only) playthrough.

When I reached the end, I knew that I had only seen half of the possible outcomes. I knew that for every splendid result I had seen, there was a matching stupid one, and for every stupid one, there was a splendid one... but I also knew that they were totally random, so that meant my chances of seeing any given combination of 10 endings is 2^10. Now obviously that doesn't mean I have to play through 1024 times to see every ending, but the idea of the arbitrariness of it was very discouraging, so I haven't done it again. I don't think i could risk seeing the bad endings that many times. Some of them were really heartbreaking.

And this is the games great missed potential. If I had really and truly been given the choice of splendid vs stupid, I would have definitely been unable to resist the morbid urge to hit the stupid button at least once. Then the guilt would have been upon my own shoulders, I would have no random number generator to blame. Guilt is where this game could have shined.
Metal Slime
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 PostTue May 05, 2009 4:25 am
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Wow, it looks like you had some really bad luck on that one. Being completely honest, I think the most soul-crushing stupid endings were Alice's and Ben's, and I'm sorry Alice's stupid ending had to be the first part you experienced (even the order they're presented in is random, so it kinda got you twice there).

Alice's and Thomas' stupid endings were also the ones I figured would be most offensive, since I felt the least comfortable drawing them in public (on the bus to work), though it's kind of funny because there's really more heresy involved in his splendid ending (his is a conflict of a maltheist finding himself in the most unfortunate profession ever; he goes on from the splendid ending to star in my all-but-defunct comic, Where Gods And Mortals Dance).

It's also too bad that the splendid endings you did get had much funnier stupid endings (Clark's and Anton's are my favorites. You can see Anton's in Spoonweaver's review). Lee's splendid ending I think is funnier, and Dwight's has a sort of easter egg if you got Tyrone's.

As far as the guilt goes, I guess I was trying for something that played up the helplessness and unfairness of the situation, where you're being held responsible for something you had no control over. It might've gone over better if I'd had time to implement endings based on your score. I think that's probably the game's biggest problem.

Anyway, thanks for the scrutiny!
Slime
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 PostWed May 06, 2009 8:56 pm
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That's a great idea for a game.

Couldn't you just always choose R for one playthrough and then always choose L for the next, in order to see all possibilities?
Radical Poesis Games & Creations
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostWed May 06, 2009 9:00 pm
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rinkuhero wrote:
That's a great idea for a game.

Couldn't you just always choose R for one playthrough and then always choose L for the next, in order to see all possibilities?


You could if their functions weren't randomized with each play-through. Sad
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Metal Slime
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 PostWed May 06, 2009 9:32 pm
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I think he might be talking about James' proposed changes, but that's exactly why I couldn't make it that simple. I mean, where's the fun in it? It stops being A Shot In The Dark and becomes A Test Of Humanity. People would likely feel as guilty pressing the Stupid Button as they would shooting people in a GTA game (which brings up a good point: sandbox games, being that they allow you to do anything you can think of, are a much better test of humanity than my game could ever be).
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