Geek Proud, GeekOut.

Posts tagged “Short

GeekOut Website Update – The End..?

It’s been a while since I’ve updated everyone about the state of our website. As yesterday was a GeekOut Bristol Meet day, I didn’t really get much of a chance to prepare an article for today, so I figured it’d be a good time to quickly let everyone know about the state of the new website. Also, I’ll be chatting briefly about some other projects and where abouts they are. Most importantly, this is an article for me to document what we’re going to do going forward with this website. Sound good? Read on!



The Shivah

A game that features Rabbis as the main protagonist and antagonist? You’d better believe your eyes, this is an exciting adventure game made in 2006 which features just that.

Interesting then that I find out I had this game just casually lingering in my Steam library, when I have begun a point and click adventure game that follows religious decisions! This is a game that did it before me.

This story follows Rabbi Stone, a Rabbi who seems to be ready to give up on himself and his congregation. No money to pay for bills to his synagogue, very few people attending his sermons, it’s not been easy for Stone. A man dedicated to his faith, it appears he is thrown a lifeline in the sum of tens of thousands of dollars… But the money has come from a source he didn’t expect.

There are some wonderful voice actors in The Shivah. In some cases the lines they have to deliver are relatively dry, but they delivered their lines with emotion and empathy for their characters situations.

The graphics for this game are great. It has cartoonish sprite graphics, which work well for this story. All characters (although so few) are distinctively designed and stand out from one another. From Rabbi Stone to Joe DeMarco, each character has it’s own portrait with different emotions that come through the story.

The game plays as you would expect a point and click adventure to work, except for the very few items you actually get in the game. I believe the total was 3 items. Instead, the games progression came from clues, which you had to combine to make sense of the stories.

One fault with this game lies in just how short it is. For the type of game that it is, you can understand why it’s so short, especially with all of the voice acting. The only other fault I could find relates to just how slow Rabbi Stone is. It helps keep the slow pace of the game, but in some of the cases, more speed less haste would have applied.

I would recommend giving this game a try, but do be warned… It’s very possible and easy to complete it in one sitting. For a game that features religion heavily, there’s a lot of intrigue and violence which may draw you in!

Have you played The Shivah? Was it Meshugga enough for you, or did you expect more? As always leave us a comment below, over on Facebook or Twitter.

Short geek stories

*** Short story ***

Hi guys, thought I’d try something new here by writing a series of short stories once a month, probably normally would release them on the last Sunday of any given month. These stories will be between 1,000-2,000 words long and will all be set in the same world, although the characters and plots will change about. This first story is kind of like the prelude, so any feedback (“Good idea!” “Bad idea!” “You should go with x!” “You should stop this!”) is all welcome.

Think there should be pictures? Let me know.

If you think it’s no good and I should rethink this, just let me know. If the story seems somewhat interesting, again please let me know! You’re my audience, I’ll listen. Hey; why not suggest ways the story goes? I’ve got no real set plans for this – Just some short stories.

*** Let’s begin ***




Set-up time

It was 12pm, midday. At least, that’s what the little clock in the corner of the screen kept telling me. The time was always a few minutes out, but I was never that big of a stickler for the little details in the real world. In my world though, that was a whole different story.

I never thought about what I was doing, about where I was going with this. I never thought about my motives, but I knew it had to be done for my sake and it had to be done now. No one else had ever achieved this, why? It seemed to make so much sense to me. An online role playing game where the characters are completely determined by the players, all customisation is done by them. They design, they make the artwork and standard animations are applied to their uploaded designs, based upon a simple algorithm that looks to see where the “spine” of the character is and works upon it. Sure, this game wasn’t graphically beautiful, but this was a first of its kind.

It’s time to finish off the website now then to announce to the world that this new world is available and waiting for them. Little did they know, that I am a cruel dungeon master indeed. All of the enemies have been programmed, but they won’t be the players enemies to begin with, oh no, no. Whatever the players do, I will be watching and I will be in control of their stories. I will choose who the players enemies and friends are and I will determine which path they take until their characters untimely demises. No matter what they want from their characters lives, I will be the reason they get there or not. They had better play ball.

The servers are ready, the website has now been updated with information for the players on how to sign up, set up their characters and install the client on their computers…

… Let the games begin.


The Vile Dungeon Master (VDM)

You wish to know more about me?

They call me the Vile Dungeon Master, the VDM. I got this reputation back during my time running a local Dungeons and Dragons campaign. Why was I vile? I wanted to be remembered. No, I needed to be remembered. I wanted them all to know that I am a man not to be trifled with.

Actually, the truth is, I’m 21 years old next month. My name is Michael Vander Preston. I am fond of kittens and long strolls down the beach, with the sand beneath my feet. I enjoy the gentle caress of the sun and the soft breeze. Unfortunately, this never happens in merry old England. It is usually a grey, drab colour and the beaches are often covered in litter and debris. It’s a real shame, as other countries make them look so inviting. Some summers it is okay to go to the beach, however.

What else can I say? The truth is I am a big softy at heart. I know I’m a big softy at heart, but this is my dilemma. I built a reputation for being The VDM. I am vicious and unrelenting to my subjects and it eventually lead to people not coming along to play my campaigns. Honestly, I just wanted to make people know me. I wanted our campaigns to be memorable, but alas, they were indeed memorable. Just for all of the wrong reasons.

I am socially awkward and have stopped speaking to people. I’ve become a recluse and choose to sit with a book or my computer, rather than meet those who would share my interests. I know of my own shortcomings, sure. Am I dealing with my shortcomings head on? Sure I am! I made this world! I will be able to get involved with so many peoples’ lives! I can see love blossoming, friendships forming, allegiances strengthening.

I can now be in control of all things.

People will never need to speak to me directly. They’re speaking to me without knowing it. I’ve got my plans set out. I’ve made bots that deal with the majority of story-telling, but sometimes I can get more involved. I can take control of any enemy, any ally and any scene. I am omnipresent, I am god!

And these people will love me.
They have to.

Welcome to my world.


Installing the client

“Jason, you ready man?” My friend said loudly and proudly.

“Just a minute! I’m getting the client and starting the download for any updates, now!”

“Alright, man. Just remember what we promised? We’re gonna be the first to complete this game. No one makes a game that we ain’t gonna beat together!”

“Yeah!” We were talking over a Voice-Over IP (VOIP) service called Piype. My friend, Adam, lived on the other side of town, so we would often talk on Piype rather than expect to go to each others homes. With gaming and communication as good as it was now-a-days, why should we have to gather on a sofa together?

“Ping!” – My computer makes a small ping noise whenever a file is finished downloading. It was time to play this new game.

The game was called “Computer Adventures and Dragons” which I found amusing. My character, I had already fleshed out. See, this game took the world by storm. Apparently, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) in this game was so advanced, it could detect even your next two moves! How impressive was that!? In rare instances, when you think you’ve done everything to outwit the game, rocks would fall and everyone would die. It was a saddening experience to lose your character in this game, as this was a game that you built your character up. You fleshed them out with your own backstory, you gave them your own custom graphics and animations are calculated for you. It was an incredibly advanced that was made for incredibly advanced players of games.

This is why me and Adam wanted to play this game. We wanted to experience the full experience of gaming first hand. We wanted to feel like the story was being fleshed out by a real person, like this game supposedly does. We wanted to know what it was like to be outsmarted by an AI, which to us was a novel idea.

The client was installed and I immediately halted Adam from starting the game up.

“Wait, I’m going to check for what mods are available.” I said with a grin. I knew if we were going to go into a hard game, we would need player made mods. Adam agreed and we checked out the website for the game. We went onto the Computer Adventures and Dragons official website and found the section for player made mods. We were seriously disappointed at the lack of mods available, however we did realise this game had only been around for a month, so the community was still as new to this game as we were.

“Okay, let’s begin.”

“Finally!” Adam exclaimed, clearly exasperated at my slowness on the uptake. We finally pressed the great big “Play” button.

Our adventure would finally begin.

How little did we know, that this game was about to test our friendship in ways we had never thought possible.


*** Participation ***

Comment in the comments by telling me if the initial concept behind these short stories will be easy enough to understand, whether or not I should seriously reconsider this, or if you have a great idea for a short story in this virtual world. Give me ideas, people! The power’s with you!

Thanks for reading!