Escape Artists
November 23, 2014, 08:15:22 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: 1 [2] 3  All
  Print  
Author Topic: Pseudopod 285: Kill Screen  (Read 6759 times)
erachima
Extern
*
Posts: 3


« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2012, 05:17:20 AM »

I'm pretty sure I got the worst of it, since I happened to fall asleep, have this story come on, and been in a half-lucid state when the first "picture" arrived, meaning the scene hit me with all the instantly internalized reality of a dream.

So I guess my opinion is both "Well done" and "Fuck you for sharing."
Logged
hawkida
Extern
*
Posts: 1


« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2012, 08:06:07 AM »

Ugh, I can't express just how irritating I found that funeral march dirge buzzing and distracting from the story. It was so bad I've actually registered an account simply to express my frustration. Please don't do that again. I've actually missed most of the story because of leaving it running while I set up this account and I simply can't face going back and replaying it. What I did make out seemed intriguing and I think the production spoilt a perfectly good short story.
Logged
Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
Hipparch
******
Posts: 6577



WWW
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2012, 08:22:40 AM »

I enjoyed this quite a lot.  Sure, it wasn't a hugely original premise, but it was well-executed and I thought that the production this time greatly enhanced the story.  Fenrix summed up my reaction to it pretty well here:

I think my reaction was "this is a well crafted and creepy story that is aimed nicely at the comfort zone of our prime demographic". For many geeky folks, video games are comforting like a fuzzy blanket. Horror is quite effective when it crawls under the blanket with you and insists on being outside spoon.

Smiley  I really liked the 8-bit effects because I grew up with that kind of effect as my bread and butter.  I still get the Super Mario Bros. music stuck in my head from time to time, especially the dungeon music.  And there are more grating video game music--it could've been PC Speaker shrill annoyance that was typical around the time of the original King's Quest.  I love to play old games for nostalgic fun, but I cannot handle that music, I have to mute it.

Regarding the discussion of video games that scared me, I'd list a few:
--Silent Hill, the original.  Particularly the first level in the elementary school, walking down a dark hallway with a flashlight pointed forward, and you hear a monster shrieking behind you.  Good stuff.
--Halo.  Especially when you first meet the Flood.  Twitchy, panicky goodness.
--Half-Life 2.  Especially a particular part in the abandoned town of Ravenholme where you are on the top of a building waiting for rescue on a slow tram while fast zombies are scaling the drainpipes to attack you.  Thank God for shotguns!

The idea of a video game that simulated the people playing it reminded me of one of my favorite episodes of Community that aired last month, where 8 people play an 8-bit video game to fight for an inheritance.  Sooo awesome.

(if it's any ironic indication, I had to look up how to spell "algorithm" correctly) 

My official job title is "Algorithm Development Engineer".  Smiley  Usually when people ask what I do, I just say "software engineer" or "computer programmer" because most people at least have an idea what that means.
Logged

--David Steffen
The Submissions Grinder:  Fiction market listings, submissions tracker, always free, poetry and nonfiction markets coming soon!
Listener
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3180


I place things in locations which later elude me.


WWW
« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2012, 09:24:30 AM »

Smiley  I really liked the 8-bit effects because I grew up with that kind of effect as my bread and butter.  I still get the Super Mario Bros. music stuck in my head from time to time, especially the dungeon music.  And there are more grating video game music--it could've been PC Speaker shrill annoyance that was typical around the time of the original King's Quest.  I love to play old games for nostalgic fun, but I cannot handle that music, I have to mute it.

As soon as humanly possible, I got my daughter off listening to kids music and onto listening to video game remixes from OCRemix.org. She also likes the 8-bit and 16-bit themes, but I still love that she can pick out the ElecMan theme from Mega Man 1 no matter how it's remixed.

Quote
My official job title is "Algorithm Development Engineer".  Smiley  Usually when people ask what I do, I just say "software engineer" or "computer programmer" because most people at least have an idea what that means.

That's why I tell people I'm an artist. It's easier than explaining the myriad of things I do to make web ads look, function, and appear the right way.
Logged

"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42
flashedarling
Palmer
**
Posts: 21


« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2012, 10:16:40 AM »

I just wanted to say that I loved this one. I think that the MIDI soundtrack and the other sound effects were vital in making me feel like I was standing over the protagonists shoulder the entire time.

Although part of me was hoping that it would turn out to not be a haunted game. Instead just the relic of tragic murders made by a deranged mind. The danger is long past but the horror remains. I was ok with the haunted ending simply for the sequence that leads to the characters demise. In a video game you almost always assume there was a way out so I relate to desperately trying everything you can to survive the sequence only to discover that your trapped, this was all scripted and there is nothing you can do to save yourself. Usually that's the point where the tension is lost for me "Well looks like there is nothing I can do, I can give up now and see where they game is taking me" but as this was a horror story where you knew that the death of the in game character was going to kill the narrator it amped up the tension.  Making the "I attempted everything I could to escape but I was trapped and killed" seem apt.
Logged
Zedonius
Extern
*
Posts: 6



« Reply #25 on: June 12, 2012, 12:02:46 PM »

First of all, I'd like to say this was a really fun story here. I was actually a bit terrified by the end--something that Pseudopod hasn't done to me in a long time--so thanks for that.

Several people have commented that the 8-bit sounds were too loud and should have been muted. I disagree. I like listening to music/playing video games at low volume levels. I always have. My old roommates would play music turn up the volume on the tv just a bit too much, and it would usually put me on edge. Persistent loud noises just bother me, so the almost over-powering 8-bit sound really made me uneasy, which added to the overall negative ambiance of the story. The reasoning is entirely personal, I know, but still no less significant for me.

Keep 'em coming, Pseudopod.
Logged

"All goes onward and outward....and nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and
luckier." -Walt Whitman
hronir
Extern
*
Posts: 14



WWW
« Reply #26 on: June 12, 2012, 06:51:54 PM »

Loved the 8-bit Chopin! Did one of you guys program this or did you pull it from a chiptuner?
Yeah the screams were too loud but who cares! I was in the room with the guy and that made it for me. In fact, I don't think I would have enjoyed this nearly half as much if I had simply read it. The story itself was still nicely crafted but I think that the "over-production" was perfect and necessary this one.

Although part of me was hoping that it would turn out to not be a haunted game. Instead just the relic of tragic murders made by a deranged mind. The danger is long past but the horror remains.
This was my thought exactly. It would have been wildly haunting. But somehow I knew Mr Plot would end up in the room... but I still hoped that he wouldn't!

As soon as humanly possible, I got my daughter off listening to kids music and onto listening to video game remixes from OCRemix.org. She also likes the 8-bit and 16-bit themes, but I still love that she can pick out the ElecMan theme from Mega Man 1 no matter how it's remixed.
Listener, you should also check out http://8bc.org/ if you haven't already. They are down at the moment but when they are back up and running they have a huge database of artists re-creating all kinds of music with 8bit generators. You might enjoy the older stuff by Henry Homesweet as a starting point.
Logged
kibitzer
Purveyor of Unsolicited Opinions
EA Staff
*****
Posts: 1997


Kibitzer: A meddler who offers unwanted advice


« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2012, 05:45:43 PM »

--Half-Life 2.  Especially a particular part in the abandoned town of Ravenholme where you are on the top of a building waiting for rescue on a slow tram while fast zombies are scaling the drainpipes to attack you.  Thank God for shotguns!

Ooh, totally forget that one and absolutely agree! Can't tell you how much I love HL2 and wish that Ep3 would come out. Vain hope.
Logged

yaksox
Palmer
**
Posts: 70



WWW
« Reply #28 on: June 14, 2012, 04:13:26 AM »

I'm surprised to see so many positive comments for this one. I was going to let my opinion slide until I saw the whole discussion about feedback from listeners playing a part in direction. This was, dare I say it the WORST EPISODE EVER!!! (now get out of my store).
I didn't like the graphic descriptions of mutilated kids. There's just no art to it. This plus part of the last Flash on the Borderland set make me wonder if there's been a change in management...
The description of what was happening in a video game didn't do it for me. It just seemed bare and lacking the power or wonder that good description in a story can bring. It's like reading the ingredients off of a coke can and calling it poetry.

The production effects sometimes add to a story (like that cormorants one) but this time they just felt like they were propping the story up. Multiple narrators didn't help either.
Sorry if this comes across as negative. I do remember and really liked the author's other story published here.
Logged
wintermute
Hipparch
******
Posts: 966


What Would Batman Do?


« Reply #29 on: June 14, 2012, 05:46:05 AM »

I'm normally not a fan of overly produced episodes - the reading should be enough on its own - but in this case, I'm glad the music and the screams were there. They helped to bring me into the story, and (quite frankly) freaked me out.

Does that mean the story itself wasn't as strong as it could have been, if it needed those effects to make it work? Maybe. I don't know. All I know is that the package as a whole was brilliant.
Logged

Science means that not all dreams can come true
Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
Hipparch
******
Posts: 6577



WWW
« Reply #30 on: June 14, 2012, 08:17:00 AM »

I didn't like the graphic descriptions of mutilated kids.

I didn't LIKE graphic descriptions of mutilated kids, but they were effective, and made sense for a killing video game.

Sorry if this comes across as negative.

I think I can objectively say that it not only comes across as negative, it is definitely negative.  Hard to describe "WORST EPISODE EVER" as being anything but.

So it's a good thing that negativity is allowed here (and a good thing too or I would've been ousted long ago!). 
Logged

--David Steffen
The Submissions Grinder:  Fiction market listings, submissions tracker, always free, poetry and nonfiction markets coming soon!
Fenrix
Curmudgeon
EA Staff
*****
Posts: 2506


Have you found the Yellow Sign?


« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2012, 10:14:41 AM »

I didn't like the graphic descriptions of mutilated kids. There's just no art to it. This plus part of the last Flash on the Borderland set make me wonder if there's been a change in management...

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. The management and editorial staff is still the same.

If we only ran flowery descriptions filled with cosmic horror, we'd get criticized for that. If we only ran esoteric art pieces we'd get criticized for that. Sometimes you need a monster story and some gore.

Wait until tomorrow. I'm sure you'll like that story more.
Logged

I always lock the door when I creep by daylight.
Bdoomed
Pseudopod Tiger
Moderator
*****
Posts: 3900


Mmm. Tiger.


WWW
« Reply #32 on: June 14, 2012, 01:37:45 PM »

So it's a good thing that negativity is allowed here (and a good thing too or I would've been ousted long ago!). 

^__^
Logged

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?
Musings and Ramblings
Red Dog 344
Palmer
**
Posts: 30



« Reply #33 on: June 16, 2012, 11:35:46 AM »

I was not too impressed with this one, but I'm not a gamer.  What bothered me most was the passivity of the protagonist, his lack of intelligence and initiative.  At some point I needed him to be more than a victim.  Adding another "real world" character who also had opinions on what to do next might have helped.  I don't mind stories where the protagonist dies in the end, but this guy seemed like a lamb to the slaughter.

I'm reminded of "Dude, You've Got to See This"... it would be creepier to watch someone else freak out over this old game and its cheesy sound effects, while you remain unmoved.

I had mixed feelings about the sound effects and extra voices, but overall I think it worked out, and suited the unique story.  Pseudopod is allowed to take creative risks now and then, I think; sometimes they will fall flat, and sometimes they will add something marvelous.
Logged
eytanz
Moderator
*****
Posts: 4710



« Reply #34 on: June 16, 2012, 01:45:51 PM »

I liked this story a lot. It went exactly where I expected it to, but it did so very well. I saw looking back on the thread now that the author thought of Maniac Mansion where he was writing this - that's exactly the image it evoked in me Smiley

As a regular complainer about Pseudopod's attempts at more elaborate sound productions, I found this one a clear improvement. No perfect - it did make listening harder for me - but it didn't make it impossible and it actually added more than it subtracted, in my opinion. So I'm happy to see that they're refining the process.

One minor nitpick - the executable that ran the game was called "starttheplot.exe", IIRC - but an old school game would be limited by the DOS character limit which means the name would have to be at most 8 characters. It should have been STRTPLOT.EXE or THEPLOT.EXE or something like that. I played a *lot* of video games in the 80s so that jumped out at me Smiley
Logged
Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
Hipparch
******
Posts: 6577



WWW
« Reply #35 on: June 18, 2012, 09:09:11 AM »

One minor nitpick - the executable that ran the game was called "starttheplot.exe", IIRC - but an old school game would be limited by the DOS character limit which means the name would have to be at most 8 characters. It should have been STRTPLOT.EXE or THEPLOT.EXE or something like that. I played a *lot* of video games in the 80s so that jumped out at me Smiley

You're right about that.  Good point!
Logged

--David Steffen
The Submissions Grinder:  Fiction market listings, submissions tracker, always free, poetry and nonfiction markets coming soon!
Jeff C. Carter
Extern
*
Posts: 14



WWW
« Reply #36 on: June 20, 2012, 01:39:36 AM »

I really didn't think this one would penetrate my calloused genre fan defenses but it was definitely effective...the slow blade penetrates the defenses I suppose.

This brought back countless hours spent in a dark room or basement staring into the glow of a tiny screen in a beige plastic box.  The nostalgia alone was haunting and the descriptions of the jpg inserts of mutilated bound children were chilling.

I dug it!
Logged

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://jeffccarter.wordpress.com/
The Stu
Extern
*
Posts: 3



« Reply #37 on: June 20, 2012, 03:53:05 AM »

Kill Screen was one of the best Pseudopod stories I have heard!  I thought the music and screams really worked to make is a creepy story.

Congratulations to everyone involved.
Logged
ThomasTheAttoney
Palmer
**
Posts: 27


« Reply #38 on: June 27, 2012, 09:10:18 AM »

 Good, even though it is mainly a guy watching a video game.  But in Kill Screen, the descriptions are solid.  The game is made interesting without the story telling us that everyone thought it was interesting.

If you can remix it, turn down the back ground music.  Made it hard to hear when there was background noise.

Good story.
Thank you.
Logged
Pirvonen
Palmer
**
Posts: 35


« Reply #39 on: June 27, 2012, 11:24:22 AM »

To have all that building up of tension and expectation for a climax lead to a simple penetration with a knife, nothing complex and interesting for "Mr Plot's favourite victim" was kind of disappointing. But I guess you can't have a long peak -- that would be a plateau.
Logged
Pages: 1 [2] 3  All
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!