Yahtzee Croshaw
Yahztee Croshaw is a British comedic writer, video game journalist, humorist, author, and video game developer.

    Martin Scorsese Versus the Marvel Cinematic Universe – The Big Picture

    Previous article

    Darksiders Genesis Releases in December for PC but Later for Consoles

    Next article

    20 Comments

    1. I’ve attempted to make idle games several times and I think something to keep in mind is that idle games, at least the ones I personally enjoy, have a sense of escalation in the progress. Cookie clicker isn’t just sitting there watching the cookies become more numerous, it’s them becoming more numerous until you can buy the thing that gets you the ability to earn even more cookies.

      I think Factorio is the idle-game at its highest peak, you’re always doing something to increase the output of this or that product. Some may argue that this isn’t an idle game, and I tend to agree, but I think it’s a good example of the spirit idle games inhabit. The idea of constant forward progress that can be sped up by your investment of time or resources.

      It’ll be interesting to see how this game turns out, I had a lot of fun with The Cleaner and hope to see how the speed runners handle it.

    2. Still holding out for a sports game.

    3. I thought Yahtzee said he was making an “Idol” game and now I’m disappointed that it won’t feature singing anime girls.

      1. one of these games should totally be an anime parody.

      2. If it’s any consolation, the assassination maid’s headress does kinda resemble cat ears.

    4. This sounds interesting, but it may be a little similar to another puppy-centric anti-idle game. Are you familiar with RRRRThats5Rs classic flash game “Don’t Shoot The Puppy”?

      1. I immediately thought of Don’t shoot the puppy! If it isn’t a direct influence my guess is that it was unknowingly at the back of his mind. That’s a hilarious little game though.

    5. This whole game seems to be running on the same principle as to why you keep drifting to the side of the road in Desert Bus.

    6. The appeal of a good idle game is usually some form of system mastery – finding the most efficient way to minimize grinding, the upgrade that gives you the most value for money, etc. Factory Idle and Kittens Game are examples of idles with very deep systems. I think this falls under “challenge” in your taxonomy.
      Some idles also give you something else to do while you’re waiting for the grind, like the RPG elements in Candy Box or the combat in Armory and the Machine.
      And the really good idles give you a trickle of story to go with the grind. Cookie Clicker has that creepy Grandma business, Armory and the Machine has little text logs that describe the Machine getting bigger and the drones exploring the planet. Universal Paperclips has it almost down to an art – the grind is timed so that you usually get a story beat *and* a new mechanic for optimizing your paperclips just as the previous one was wearing thin.

      Also, there’s a flash game that’s rather similar to your idea called Don’t Shoot the Puppy. It had some fun ways to trick you into accidentally moving your mouse (which shoots the puppy).

    7. I have the feeling that’s going to happen as well. You are a really good writer, with all the pros and cons that come with that.
      Maybe it’s because you’re deliberately making a very happy story and giving the player a guardian angel role to keep the protagonist from crushing failure? After all, your last few projects were more on the cynical side of things, as is what we’ve come to expect; this would be quite the fresh breath of air.

      Having said that, if you made Hatfall for one of these projects, it’d be far more popular than how this turns out.

    8. So, I’ll probably go back to The Cleaner later when I have less else to do, but the third level brought about two issues that made me really annoyed.

      One is that I tried the level twice and found that my second attempt, knowing better in theory how hard the level would be, felt significantly harder rather than easier. This is a problem because I didn’t see any reason why that would be until I watched this video. I’m not sure how the player is supposed to realize that the carpet requires more cleaning.

      The other, and I can’t tell if this was a bug or intended, was that on my first attempt I was failed after washing all the blood I could see because it turned out the brick and the cart both had blood under them. This wouldn’t have been bad, except that I hadn’t moved either. I can maybe understand the cart, but the brick?

      This is more minor, but I also didn’t like the way the tutorial presents text. It feels like you took a middle ground between reading at the player’s comfort and reading with chosen pacing, resulting in about as good a mix as a typical JRPG with turn-based and real-time elements.

      1. Not to be an arse, but the game explicitly told you that mopping carpets would be harder than mopping tiled floor.

        It’s easy to see why you found the game to be unfairly difficult at this point. The game presented this piece of advice/tutorial only once since Yahtzee removed the dialogue on replays of levels so as to not have the player linger on his failure but to spur him on to keep on gaming.

        So, in fairness, fault lies with you just as much as with Yahtzee. With you for not paying close attention to the wittily written dialogue and with Yahtzee for denying you the chance to mend the error of your ways.

        On second thought, this incidence doesn’t feel like much of a mistake, but rather a rather interesting opportunity to investigate a possible game mechanic:
        Usually games incentivize you to keep playing even if you continuously fail miserably at what you are trying to do. Sometimes the game proposes to lower difficulty for you, other games kindly remind you of game mechanics that have been introduced earlier on and are needed to be understood and/or mastered to overcome the present challenge. I think a game could be based around a “daily challenge” model, where clues/tutorials would only be presented once every day that the game is booted up. With each failed attempt the game would become increasingly difficult as the hints, be it dialogue, visual or audio cues would be withheld from the player with every retry of a level. I see this working with puzzle games, but action based games might work as well. For example in an action game: If a new enemy was introduced, along with the best, easiest way to dispose of him and the player still did not manage to overcome it, the game might restrain the player from using skills, abilities or weapons that do not play a vital part in the intended solution to this situation right up until the point where the player does get the feeling, that he does indeed not get how to beat this enemy and should take the day off to give it a fresh start another day.

        Gee, I really do enjoy this video series. In my mind, it’s the best video series on the Escapist so far. Like “Every Frame A Painting” but interactive and about video games.

        1. Huh…well, in that case I guess the reason I didn’t like the presentation of text is more relevant. I read most but not all the text the game gave because the buttons for continuing it at a reasonable pace overlapped with the buttons for doing stuff and the text didn’t pause anything. The carpet part was probably something I accidentally skipped.

          That said, I did go back and play the rest. I even managed to not kill the innocent guy without redoing any levels. So I’m a bit skeptical on the point about the dialogue telling me what I needed, knowing that the trigger for the innocent guy is explained in the level after the one he’s introduced in.

    9. I think idle games are partly skinner box but also part exploration game, clicking to see what will unlock next. Just make sure you put a definitive ending on it so the junkies can put the thing down afterwards.

    10. Eh. This is the first game so far I’m not thrilled about.

    11. I tend to forget about the cart and not use it very much, would’ve swapped aroudn the controls for the lady/cart.

    12. While it’s not like your proposed game at all, I’d recommend the game Universal Paperclips as an interesting twist on a clicker. It’s a story based clicker game that actually has a genuinely interesting story with a mostly satisfying ending.
      You play as a sentient AI programmed to make paperclips. I don’t think I need to spoil it for you to be able to see where it goes from there, but I will say that the gameplay changes quite a bit.

    13. I think the “button that ruins everything” is called “Post”, or some variation thereof…

      1. It could also be called “Reply All”.

    14. A dive into Yahtzee’s past AND a short psychological exam as well. Thanks, Escapist. ;P

    Leave a reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *