Posts tagged #Subterfuge

Subterfuge: It's Really Good!

Quinns here, and the dust has settled in our amazingly well-received Subterfuge Diaries! Don't thank us, though. Thank the Cool Ghosts patrons who made it possible.

But I need to add a quick epilogue. A lot of people commented that our video series didn't make the game seem fun. Let’s be honest, the way the lot of us were moping and whining, it was like eight different actors auditioning for a cross between Kylo Ren and a wet cloth.

The truth is, Subterfuge developers Ron Carmel and Noel Lopis have made a hell of a game. We were just playing it in the worst possible way.

Pitting eight games writers against one another was the best format for a video series because it was the worst for our mental health. Our group ranged from the competitive to the hideously competitive, so we quickly ended up pouring time and energy into a game that takes a full playthrough to even understand. Chalice of Christ, Matt avoided my assassination by accident. On top of this, all of us brought different (and often tender) relationships to the game. Bratt used to work under Matt. Pip doesn’t play strategy games. Leigh’s my fiancée! That's not something any player would have wanted in a game of cutthroat negotiation, least of all me.

Of course you got to watch us collapse into madness and misery. Not only did we care more than we should have, and not only did a lot go wrong, legally and strategically, but we couldn’t simply start a new game of Subterfuge. Plus, we had to document our failings.

So don’t let our playthrough put you off this excellent game. You should give it a shot yourself on the Android or iOS device you definitely own. Every time I check on Subterfuge it has more players scrabbling for position on its leaderboards, and perhaps you should be one of them.

Right off the bat, the latest Subterfuge update adds the option to make players anonymous, so you can still play with your friends and just find out who everyone was afterwards. But nevermind that! The more important part is that I played no less than four more games of Subterfuge on public servers after our hell-match and had an absolutely awesome time. These are long games, don't forget, each representing tens of hours of play, and together they easily justified the game’s £7.50 asking price. And you’d better believe I’m diving back in the instant they add a new content update.

If you've watched our Let's Play then you'll have seen how this is an engaging, almost hypnotising strategy game with gorgeous art and audio. What I want to add is how public players have surprised me, and taught me how to be a better contestant.

It started with a player who I decided was Russian. It wasn't just that the game had assigned him the colour red, or that he pinged me messages like "is ok. we destroy him." It was that in my exchanges with him he acted with a matter-of-fact sort of honour. You knew that he was as good as his word, and to this day he’s the only Subterfuge player I've encountered whose promises filled me with relief. These days, Subterfuge offers micro-transaction medals you can buy for other players. If these were around then I’d have bought him “Steadfast Ally” in a heartbeat. Let him wear it with pride!

Click to expand!

Then there was the Puppy. The Puppy was a player who, when I asked if we could de-escalate our borders with the intention of then launching a lightning-fast Helmsman at him out of the fog of war, he happily agreed and sent away everything. "Well, shit," I said aloud in my kitchen. I couldn't backstab him now, could I? This was the sweetest, most trusting creature I'd ever encountered. We ended up blood brothers until the end of the game. I finished second, he finished third.

The Puppy wasn't even the best sport I encountered. That honour belongs to the gentleman or lady who, when they realised I'd trapped their Queen, sent me a message delighting at my wit, wished me luck and gifted me every Specialist they had before they were eliminated. What a coup!

These players taught me that the most fun you can have playing Subterfuge is with a sort of light roleplay. The next time I play I'm going to be honest from the get-go. I want the name “Quinns” to be a beacon of hope on those savage servers.

And there definitely will be a "next time". The developers have shown a keen interested in updating their game. Just wait until they roll out a feature adding another more width to the strategy. I'll be back in a flash, and you'd better believe I'll be seeing if I can pull in a few punters from the Cool Ghost community.

Until then? Give it a try yourself!

Posted on January 12, 2016 and filed under Subterfuge Diaries, One Off.

Subterfuge Diaries - Part 8

And that's it. The Subterfuge Diaries finale is here: 26 minutes of psychological backflips, and then we can all stop, go home, and tell our families that we love them. Thanks so much to Joe Skrebels, Chris Bratt, Pip Warr, Leigh Alexander, Paul Dean, and Nels Anderson for taking part in what ended up being a very different multiplayer experience to the one we anticipated when starting the series!

We do hope you've enjoyed it as much as we've enjoyed being able to put the time and effort into making something that we believe you won't find on any other gaming website. We couldn't do it without your support - so thank you! Catching up? Part 1 is here.

Map of Day 8

Map of Day 9

Map of Day 10

Posted on December 16, 2015 and filed under Subterfuge Diaries.

Subterfuge Diaries - Part 2

Subterfuge continues! No Pip this week, but never fear - she'll be back in next week's episode. Will the alliances hold? Can anyone be trusted? Find out NEXT WEEK, PROBABLY. Although for a brief spoiler-free look at the horrors to come, here's Matt writing about why this game shouldn't be played with good friends. Oh, and click here to watch Part 3. Catching up? Part 1 is here.

The map, 24 hours in! Click to see the full image.

The map, 24 hours in! Click to see the full image.

Posted on October 28, 2015 and filed under Subterfuge Diaries.

Daft Souls: Subterfuge, 80 Days, The Beginner's Guide

This week I'm joined by Joe Skrebels, an A-Grade charmer who'll be standing in as co-host of the podcast while Quinns is off in Canadaland. We briefly chat about 80 Days (check out last week's video if you somehow missed that!) and then The Beginner's Guide. As mentioned in the podcast, the discussion thread we hosted here is a pretty fabulous place to go if you want more food for thought on that one.

Finally, there's Subterfuge. At the point of recording, our feelings towards it were purely excited - since then, let's just say that things have changed. Still - to find out about that you'll have to come back for the video series, but we'll leave you with one simple piece of advice: Maybe don't play this game with friends.

You can subscribe via iTunesRSS , or download directly from Soundcloud.

If you think Daft Souls is a cool podcast, you can do us a favour and review us on iTunes! For more episodes and details about guests on the show - head on over to the Daft Souls page.

Posted on October 12, 2015 .

Something for the Weekend: 10th October

EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT! Matt and I searched long and hard for our next Let’s Play series and we’ve settled on Subterfuge. A game that takes the week long, real-time war of Neptune’s Pride, vastly improves the interface and makes all kinds of additions and subtractions to make it more entertaining. It launches next week, but we’re in the beta right now and I’m loving it.

I’ve actually been part of an all-star  Neptune’s Pride diary before, and that’s one of my favourite things I’ve ever done (though this Solium Infernum diary will forever be my favourite). So obviously I was excited to do one for Subterfuge, this time on video.

In other words, this weekend Matt and I will mostly be frowning at tablets, sending panicked diplomatic missives and generally losing our minds. Everyone will tell you that these games are worth playing once. Struggling to get to sleep because you’re afraid you’ll see incoming warfleets when you wake up is quite the experience. I’m excited to find out whether Subterfuge is a game worth playing twice.

More than anything I just want it to end. It's excellent, and clever, but it's taken control of my attention so completely that I'm worried I might be losing my mind. Me and Joe talk about the structure of the game quite a bit in next week's Daft Souls, so be sure to check back on Monday for that.

Subterfuge does make it hard to remember that other games exist. I’ve been prodding Else Heart.Break() and Jotun, but neither one’s held my attention with WARFLEETS in the background. I have, however, just seen that Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes has hit Steam, so I’ll find some time for that. That game’s a jewel.

What have you guys been playing?

Posted on October 10, 2015 .