Untitled Small Games Club - Suggest Games and Vote on What We Play

Howdy folks! I have an idea for a club that would compel me to make better choices about my media consumption. It’s a small games club, where each month we’d all play one game and talk about it.

Some rough ground rules I’m thinking of currently:

  • One game a month.
  • An accessible platform, PCs or mobile. No console only games.
  • Somewhat niche or unknown games
  • Games that are short/don’t require “finishing” to discuss fully
  • Please provide CWs as best you can when suggesting games

What counts as niche or unknown is obviously hard to quantify, but I’d like this to be a club that will get us playing stuff that can otherwise slip through the cracks. I brought this up in Discord and already have some suggestions people offered. Broadly think more itch.io and smaller devs.

Speaking of “small”, I’m currently thinking 8 hours as a maximum completion time. That way at most you need 2 hours a week to fully participate. But this is something we could discuss more, especially if people have different availabilities. If a game doesn’t “require” completion, then that works out fine too. As long as it’s not a 12 hour narrative game that people struggle to finish in time to keep up with our discourse.

In terms of how the games get picked, I’m not sure which works better. Either people take turns picking a game to put forward (though people can skip their go if they’d like).

Or we collect 5 suggestions of games and vote in a poll for which we do.

What I want from you dear reader is to let me know if you’d be interested! If so, give some feedback on the above rules, or additional ones I haven’t though of.

Also please uggest names for this club, as much as I like Untitled Small Games Club or my (bad) “Small Games Big Brains”

EDIT: Nearly forgot to paste a sampling of potential games from people on Discord:

Alice ruler of water has been meaning to play this for a awhile

gunstar shouted out freeware game Darkula from locomalito (makers of hydorah, maldita castilla, and more)

https://www.locomalito.com/darkula.php

Arlo suggested Duloga

I never played Dujanah, and I think I’d understand the game better by discussing it with folks smarter than me.

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Before other stuff happens in this thread and I participate, I have to sliiiiiide in and say that, while I think Dujanah is worth playing, I actually would like to recommend Beeswing by the same creator first. It’s a little easier to follow, and it can be played for free in the browser!

I also, full disclosure, really really really really really really like Beeswing.

Heavy content warnings for death in both games, though.

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I’d be 100% down for this!

My only worry would be that I don’t always have money to spend on any given month due to how I budget things out, so if the club was doing a game that isn’t available for free I wouldn’t be able to participate for that month.

My suggestion to alleviate that would be that the club focuses on two games each month and one of them is always available for free. But splitting attention between two different games is maybe not the best solution…

Also, here’s a game I saw on itch the other day that we could potentially play:

It appears to be some kind of murder mystery investigation game. I haven’t played it yet, and thus cannot properly vet it for content warnings, but it sure does look neat!

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Thank you both for the suggestions!

I think free/pay what you want games would be a good choice for this reason. And if a game does cost money, I’d recommend it be quite low. In part I’d like this club to support independent creators in a small way. I would be happy to buy an extra key for someone who otherwise couldn’t take part, but I understand not everyone would be comfortable with that even if we had an anonymous system to do so.

We could also, as you say, alternate so we only play games you have to buy once every 2/3 months. Regardless of specific decisions, I’d say the best of both worlds is finding games that have free access but also a way to support the creator. Which is why something like Beeswing is a good suggestion!

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I love this idea! Personally, I think OneShot would be a wonderful choice. It’s a meta puzzle/adventure where you’re tasked with helping the protagonist restore the sun. It developed by a two-person team and is a 6-7 hour experience.

A full playthrough requires you to finish the game twice, but the second time is shorter and the alternate ending is absolutely something that couldn’t be recreated on a console. Plus, no other game has ever endeared me a character in quite the same way.

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I really really love this idea. I’m always wanting to talk about games with more people, and always trying to find games outside of those directly talked about on the podcast/major gaming news outlets. I don’t know if I’d have many games to suggest, but I’d be excited to get involved!

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Thanks everyone for the responses! It’s nice to know other people also want to be socially obligated into having fun.

I’ve made a little view only spreadsheet of suggestions so far if people want to see the notes (and correct me on any mistakes)

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Hell yes, this is a great idea and I’m here for it!

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I approve of this concept [but the games I could think of to suggest have already been suggested], so I am in to opine.

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So it sounds like people are interested, I’m just going to try and kick if off for February with a poll for which game to play! Here’s a quick summary of the 5 options (all with free access to the game)

Name Link Price Suggested by Platforms Length? CWs
Duloga https://snack.itch.io/duloga Free/PWYW Arlo Windows, Mac, Linux 5-15 minutes Police violence/brutality
Darkula https://www.locomalito.com/darkula.php Free gunstar Windows ?
A Bewitching Revolution https://colestia.itch.io/a-bewitching-revolution Free/PWYW Alice Windows, Mac, Linux 1 hour
Beeswing https://jackspinoza.itch.io/beeswing Free/£3+ vehemently Browser 1-3hours Death
Lockheart Indigo https://harmlessgames.itch.io/lockheart-indigo Free/PWYW blzzzrrttt Windows, Mac 3+ hours?
  • Dulogo
  • Darkula
  • A Bewitching Revolution
  • Beeswing
  • Lockheart Indigo
  • Wait wait, don’t start yet because…

0 voters

That lost option I’ve included as a way for people to flag if they think we should delay starting, iron out some detail or take some other kind of format. Please use that if you think there’s anything to be discussed first, I’ll look into any votes on that (feel free to DM if you don’t want to post it publicly)

But otherwise, I think on Monday night we can declare what game we’re going to play for February 02/2020 and set up our first official thread. Feel free to participate as you’re available!

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I commented this on the Discord but my only note is that CWs for Duloga for police violence/brutality and length of the game itself can take roughly 5 to 15 minutes to complete.

I’ll add that if you are not aware of the situation in Manila and the regime ruling over the Philippines a lot of the text and/or the gameplay might not hit well with you (which is fine) and I’m not going to explain the game’s content, but I will say that the raw simplicity of Duloga really captures the way in which the regime (and a lot of its supporters) think killing people is the simplest, easiest and most effective solution to solve many of the longstanding problems in the Philippines.

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Just stopping in to say I love this idea and am totally in!

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Alright, looks like our winner for February is A Bewitching Revolution

Check it out here: https://colestia.itch.io/a-bewitching-revolution

And post questions and comments in the February thread here:

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Hey, I wanted to pitch Where the Water Tastes Like Wine for a future month.

It’s a really writing focused game about stories and how they get shaped, how the world interacts with stories, and what they mean to people. It’s set in the Depression in the United States, and takes place across this entire country, from end to end. You’re a weird skeleton vagrant hitchiking across this gigantic (really, gigantic) country, telling stories and hearing stories, and hearing those stories again, only different this time. It’s beautiful. I think it’s definitely something in conversation with KR0, too.

I think it can mostly fit the bill of this club for the following reasons:
It got seriously overlooked when it came out. I’m sure some folks in the Waypoint community have played it, but I doubt that many- I’ve hardly heard any talk about it even here.
It’s on Game Pass, so it could be gotten semi-free-like. It’s on consoles now, too, I believe.
It’s huge - it covers the entire United States, which as previously mentioned, is lorge - but I don’t think there’s any need to “complete” it to talk about it. It’s about all the stories you find along the way. Sure we might all start at the same point (I think), but there’s no path - some may go straight west, others might follow the trains or the highways to hit big cities. In my play I’ve traveled the Deep South. There is technically some end state, I believe, but from my play I don’t believe there’s a strong need to get there to have meaningful conversations about this game.

I hope maybe folks will find that interesting for March or April - I’m super into this month’s game!

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Thanks for the suggestion Forrest!

For March we’ll stick with another free accessible games and then choose from some paid games in April.

Speaking of March! I’ll put up a poll for choosing our next game in the last week of February. Before then, feel free to suggest any games you’d like to be considered. Optionally, you can offer info about length, CWs and why you think it would be interesting. But even if you just want to post a link or title, that’s fine!

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March is coming to us soon, so it’s time to pick our small game for that month. As with February we’ll be sticking with games that are freely available for people.

Name Link Price Suggested by Platforms Length? CWs
Dulogo https://snack.itch.io/duloga Free/PWYW Arlo Windows, Mac, Linux ?
Darkula https://www.locomalito.com/darkula.php Free gunstar Windows ?
Beeswing https://jackspinoza.itch.io/beeswing Free/£3+ vehemently Browser 1-3hours Death
Lockheart Indigo https://harmlessgames.itch.io/lockheart-indigo Free/PWYW blzzzrrttt Windows, Mac 3+ hours?

Place your votes her, voting for as many of the games as you’d like, the poll will automatically close on midnight at the end of February.

  • Dulogo
  • Darkula
  • Beeswing
  • Lockheart Indigo

0 voters

Feel free to post suggestions for future games in this thread too, or notes about why you’re excited about any of these existing options.

And don’t forget to check out the thread for A Bewitching Revolution if you haven’t yet.

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