Thursday, 1 April 2010

4/1 = Fooled?

I'm writing this in advance, so I'm unsure of the reaction to my leading you down the garden path to a mythical land of CGI dwarves. I hope you've enjoyed the process - I certainly had fun putting the story together, weaving together fortunate coincidences with real world personalities and outrageous lies. If you've read this blog long enough, you should recognise my penchant for mixing reality and mythology: my personal highlights have been reviewing an alternate reality World of Goo and projecting Eve: Online into the near future - but any review I've written has launched from a sudden thought into faraway fantasy. As the Toady One put it when I ran the idea past him, it's been 'intense'.

One regret I've had with this blog has been I never remember April 1st early enough: should I do so in the future, there are some well planned sucker punches taking advantage of the fact Australia is 16 hours ahead of anywhere interesting. But I'll leave the details until another day.

I've always found the art of hoax an enjoyable and fascinating experience. The best hoax I've been swept along for the ride with is Peter Jackson's Forgotten Silver - an underrated docudrama which for a magical moment on a Sunday evening captured the hearts and minds of most New Zealanders. My mum pointed out the flaws first: there are few lost cities on the west coast of my homeland, an island which has been inhabited for all of 600 years, but even once you've figured out the plot, a good shaggy dog story should throw you enough in-jokes to keep propelling you forward. I didn't have a Colin McKenzie dying on camera to finish up with, but a mashup of Team Fortress 2 and Dwarf Fortress provided enough ideas to keep me moving to a semblance of a conclusion.

The typical reaction to falling for a hoax is outrage. I want you to put aside that emotion as much as you are capable of and celebrate another - imagination. If you fell for my story, it is because the seeds I planted fell on the cherished soil of fertile and optimistic dreamworld. This should be something you should be proud of. You have the capability to rise above the mundane and cynical, escape the clay around your boots and float away on boundless escapism. You are a gamer.

7 comments:

The Mad Tinkerer said...

Posting an April Fools article series before April 1 is cheating. ;P

The Mad Tinkerer said...

Actually, more than anything else I feel relieved. While I was completely fooled (I had to stop paying attention after part 4 and missed the really silly posts), I was a little disappointed when I thought that someone else was going to beat me to being the first to release a (true) roguelike with state-of-the-art graphics.

My engine is barely started, and probably won't be done for about two years (though I'm optimistic for at least a decent tech demo to be done within a year). Hearing that DF2 was releasing around the same time, and would almost certainly completely overshadow my project, was a little discouraging.

Of course, I should have figured it out from the Project Offset and official DF websites not mentioning anything about a DF2. Well played, sir, and I for one am quite glad it was a joke.

Jonathan Stickles Fox said...

My immediate response to seeing the headline "Dwarf Fortress 2 open beta coming soon" was to think you were mistaking the upcoming Dwarf Fortress release for being a sequel due to its long development cycle!

After I started reading further, I quickly realized I was wrong. This was just non-sequitur to the max. I didn't believe it, but until I noticed that date, I was totally without explanation for what was going on.

Hans Sjunnesson said...

So you don't live in your parents' basement?

Andrew Doull said...

All: I apologise for living in the future...

Hans: Sadly, no. My bank manager lives in my basement... at least, that's the part of the house that we pretend he owns.

Brog said...

Towards the end I was wondering if perhaps the hoax was that it was actually real - it was so obviously absurd that this was the only thing that would have surprised me.

Still, it was entertaining.

Elijah said...

It was great and beautiful and anyone who didn't realize it was a hoax when you described re-rendering the images in a color scheme that one tester criticized as "derivative" (a word unknown in the game design community) then they deserved it.