Pippin Barr’s Mumble Indie Bungle

playthroughs, Process Writing

As you all probably know by now, TAG and the Department of Design and Computational Arts at Concordia will have the pleasure of receiving indie game designer Pippin Barr this summer. He’s our inaugural Visiting Game Designer and he’ll be here from May 1st to June 28th.

Barr just released a set of games as the ‘Mumble Indie Bungle’ and you can download them for play here:

At the bottom of the page, you can also download a pay-what-you-want game that won the IFG Grand Prize this year, Carp Life.

Here are just a few quick impressions of my two favourites in the bundle: typing games ’30 Flights of Loathing’ and ‘Gurney.’ (Probably you should play the games before you read this if you’re worried about spoilers, although I sincerely believe that even knowing everything about these games doesn’t compare to the experience of playing them and that spoilers won’t much matter in this case).

30 Flights of Loathing is a game where the player makes an eight-bit character ascend flights of stairs by typing self-loathing statements. When the player makes a mistake, the character falls past however many flights of stairs they’ve managed to ascend all the way to the bottom. Every time the player makes a mistake and has to start over, the statements on the stairs change. They’re statements about loneliness, insecurity, feelings of inadequacy and overall just statements that altogether were very relatable to me as a player. I’m not a flawless typist but I’d guess that I have to correct a typo maybe every 100 words – but the effect of the texts in 30 Flights had me wanting to go faster, perform better. Being a slow typist means having to spend more time reading the flights of stairs and also reinforces that, as a slow typist, I, as a player, am perhaps not as good as a faster typist, which relates back to the things that I’m reading/typing…However, going slow in this game is the smart thing to do (wins the race and all that) because the slower that I went, the less typos I made, which meant that I was better at playing the game.

Gurney is a game that made me feel the most emotional distress that I have ever felt playing a typing game. As the title suggests, there’s a hospital gurney involved in the game even though the player never sees it. One of the interesting things about this game is the perspective – the player is staring up from a hospital gurney, and what the player types is a prayer…a prayer that seems to be going through a consciousness that is (slowly at first) shutting down. I won’t say much more about this one, but it was definitely my favourite.

Pippin, looking forward to having you at TAG!