So I did my game interviews on Uno, which was an experience. I remember playing it when I was a kid, which was always a fun time. (Also Maureen in ASL club let me borrow her deck, thanks gurl). I ended up being able to get my roommate, Hallie (who was in the documentary on games we watched in class), our homegirl Emily, and my friend Erin who happened to be at the Con Center to play. We played using the following house rules: Draw 1, no combos, 7 cards to start.
Playing the game itself was very entertaining, as it does have that nostalgia factor. It’s an easy game to pick up, and we actually went through the first round in about three minutes because I got lucky with my cards. There are ways to make the game last longer, of course.
I spent more time learning how to work the camera and positioning everything than actually playing, which I thought was interesting. In the end, Erin had to run to class so I was unable to interview her, but I did manage to get Hallie and Emily on camera.
Imagine you’re totally ripped. Abs of steel, regardless of gender or species. Totally classy Victorian clothing, only to be ripped off by your INTENSE FLEXING. How could you possibly become more gentile?
By stacking hats and dodging flying obstacles such as birds and mugs of “rootbeer”.
You know, the usual.
The game has two modes to choose from- Drinky or Dodgy. You begin with Dodgy levels, using WASD and the spacebar to collect hats and jump over flying obstacles. In Drinky levels, you compete against a Com to get drinks and jump over obstacles in a barfight. The game has multiplayer capabilities and the option to purchase additional characters and levels.
The controls are where the game dims, though, as they are not very responsive. Quick scroll is no different from regular scroll, and in Drinky levels the amount of hats you get is based mostly on whether or not the barkeep puts a drink closer to you or your opponent.
All in all though, Max Gentleman is just a silly, casual game to unwind. It doesn’t have any deep meaning because it isn’t meant to. What it lacks in gameplay it makes up for in world design and music, leaving the player amused and possibly confused.
As expected, the game is super fun. Though the controls kind of suck, it’s the design and the humor that got me coming back time and time again for a quick round at the bar. The silliness of what you’re doing takes attention away from the sometimes clumsy mechanics. Quickscrolling was very difficult, but honestly I didn’t really care about getting points. I just wanted to be the max gentleman.
It does make sense that there are issues with the controls, though, as this is a new game and may still be working out bugs. It does suck that you have to buy the expansions to get new locations and characters, but they have to make money somehow.
From the beginning I knew that I wanted a game in the style of a visual novel. I’ve never liked intense gameplay, and I’ve been drawn to story over memorizing attacks. I think that VNs provide an immersive world because it takes root in your imagination. Everything is deeply personal, which also makes for a great vehicle for engagement. The combination of music, solid character design, and the element of choice in decision trees allow for not only a singular game, but one that branches until you reach 100% completion and understand the world around everything.
Originally, I thought what would be interesting to play through and experience? I’ve always liked mythology, especially Greek mythology. After talking with Dr Kayler, I got more excited about this idea. I could tie a country or region’s mythology into its modern issues. For example, Baba Yaga kidnapping children. However, this required lots of research and to be honest, it was too nebulous of an idea to execute. Then I thought of Shakespeare, and how decision trees can change anything in them. But what would this game accomplish other than making Shakespeare fun (which is better done live than virtually)?
Maybe history? The story of Julius Caesar is as compelling as any, especially if you add the options of character choice- Brutus, Julius, or Antony? But again, what would it accomplish? Just another fun game, thinking of how choices have extreme consequences.
I had been having so many issues with pinning down exactly what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it. I actually had a long conversation with my boyfriend this weekend, trying to work out my struggles until he asked me
“Well, what do you want more people to know and understand?”
It’s funny how I hadn’t thought of it like that before, but now that it was asked I had no doubts.
“I want them to know about bisexuality. Its validity and existence as a sexuality in its own right, not just tacked into an acronym.”
And here we are, to the most personal and important of lessons. The visual novel format would work well, seeing as it’s the classic dating sim layout. You would start with the choice of being a boy or girl, and then progress through your life as a bisexual wo/man met with daily challenges. There would be plenty of ignorance and dialogue choices, giving light to a wide spectrum of opinions of bisexuality.
I plan on talking to Dr Kilmartin, a gender psychologist, about what he knows on the subject. I will also be looking for any studies on bisexuality and acceptance, as being bi can be looked down on in both straight and gay communities.
I don’t imagine that it will be easy to put this game onto paper because it is so personal. I have had plenty of bad experiences in the past, but I think that it’s important for me to even get a game like this into prototype.
As a child, learning was playtime. When I was young, I spent most of my time alone and entertained myself by reading or by asking my mother question after question about the world around us- why was glue sticky? Why did leaves float but rocks sink? Learning was about discovery, not rote memorization. Much like the True Blue learners in Freid’s classifications, I wanted to learn simply to learn. I asked for experiment kits for holidays rather than Barbies (granted, I thought Barbies were scary).