The Ascension of Randy Choate: An FMV Adventure

headerOver the last few months, I’ve used MLB: The Show to play the entire Cardinals lineup out of position, turned Tom Brady into a baseball player, and forced Matt Holliday to play an entire season at first base.

Next up was a smaller feat, which would affect only one player for one game: I was going to give left-handed reliever Randy Choate a start. But how to present this? A Randy Choate start would be barely long enough to warrant a video. So a few gifs, like before? Right?

Or how about a 90’s-style FMV video game you can play in your browser? Yeah, that sounds about right. Currently, it works in Google Chrome and Internet Explorer, but not Firefox for some reason. I realize I’m trying to push HTML5 past what it’s probably intended to do so instability might be expected.

Go play The Ascension of Randy Choate: An FMV Adventure now!

Or, if you’re a firefox user, have trouble with the above link, and/or prefer to download games rather than play them in your browser, there is a windows/application version: Download Here

Notes:

  • I used quick counts because otherwise some videos would have been (a) too long and (b) too large to stream
  • Pitch counts aren’t entirely reliable in quick count mode; the pitch counts on the “results” screen are based off the end of the inning rather than the beginning of the next
  • This was made in less than a day and is mostly ad-libbed, which I feel like is in the proper spirit of 90’s adventure games
  • Yes I know I have serial killer handwriting

The Closer: Game of the Year Edition OUT NOW and FREE

Download (Windows)

itch.io

Mediafire

Here it is, folks: the best game featuring Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek you’ll play in Q3 of this year.

RPGMaker Installers are .exe files so I apologize if your anti-virus raises an eyebrow at the download. I promise that the code is only malicious if you really dislike baseball puns.

So, what is The Closer: Game of the Year Edition? It would be easier to play it than to explain it to you, but if you’re down here in the text rather than up there clicking on a link, I should probably give it a shot. The Closer is an adventure game that takes place between the sixth and seventh game of the World Series. The closing pitcher for New York (you) gave up a massive home run to lose game six and must go on an epic quest to remake himself as a pitcher before he has to pitch again.

Accompanied by your faithful pitching coach, Moose, you will participate in the worst trivia night ever, play an uncomfortable Japanese visual novel, explore an abandoned candy factory, AND MORE.

The Closer: Game of the Year Edition is free to download and always will be free to download, because I’m not enough of a madman to use the likeness of real people and try to make money off of it. The Closer is parody and not intended to be an accurate representation of anything it portrays.

You can download The Closer. Hell, you can distribute it elsewhere if you want, as long as you’re not charging folks for it. Put it on Pirate Bay, for example. Once something is there it can never be destroyed. Just make sure to credit me!

Now that The Closer is released, I am moving on to more polished and commercially viable products. I see The Closer as something of a jumping off point for me. I accidentally ended up learning a lot while making this silly game, and now I’m hoping to make more. To do that, I’ve teamed up with Jenny Gibbons of Woodsy Studio (and the composer of all the awesome music in The Closer) to form Thesis Games, which we will both use to release all of our future projects.

And if you like The Closer enough to want to support my work, check out Woodsy Studio’s previous visual novel Serafina’s Crown. In exchange for the music of The Closer, I did a fair amount of the dialog writing in Serafina’s Crown. If it doesn’t look like your sort of thing, at least give it a vote on Steam Greenlight.

Thanks and enjoy The Closer!

Ed Easley’s Wonderful Day: A Browser-Based Visual Novel

screenshot

Today the Cardinals called up career minor-leaguer Ed Easley for what is sure to be a single-game appearance with Jon Jay returning this weekend. Rather than write a blog post about it, I made a short visual novel. You can play it in your browser or on your phone at this link: Ed Easley’s Wonderful Day

While you’re at it, if you like visual novels, go check out Serafina’s Crown on Steam Greenlight. I wrote about 1/3 of the dialog (the creator of SC is doing the music and portrait art for The Closer). It’s not my usual style, but if you like my video game/sports writing, give it an up-vote to speed up the greenlight process. Thanks!

MLB The Show: The Proselytism of Matt Holliday

If you’re a Cardinals fan, you know that there are a ton of Cardinals fans who want to turn Matt Holliday into a first baseman. Their goals are noble and fully understood. Holliday didn’t come to the Cardinals as the best of left fielders and he hasn’t gotten any better. Despite putting up consistently great offensive numbers for half of a decade, some people seem to remember him best for a defensive miscue back in 2009. Matt Adams has started 2015 with an uninspiring performance, and the Cardinals have a glut of intriguing outfielders. Moving Holliday to first, giving both at-bats and defensive opportunities to Grichuk, Bourjos, Piscotty, etc. sure sounds nice. There’s only one problem.

Matt Holliday has never played first base as a professional. In fact, he has over 200+ games at third base in the minor leagues but not a single professional inning at first. But is that a problem? First base requires the least mobility of any position on the field. It’s poorly-sourced common knowledge that anyone can play first base. It doesn’t require range. It doesn’t require much of an arm. A first baseman needs to be able to catch the ball and react quickly. But those are skills generally required of all positions. So, surely, Matt Holliday can play first base?

If you’ve been following this blog at all, you know that there is only one way to answer any question about players out of position. It needs to be simulated in MLB: The Show.

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MLB The Show: 15 — The Reformation of Tom Brady

Yesterday, the National Football League announced that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady would be suspended four games as a result of his role in the Great Football Deflation Scandal of 2015. This was a big deal, not just to the Patriots or the entire league, but to Tom Brady himself. You see, Tom Brady is an intensely competitive man. You might even call him a “competitor”, if you were an NFL announcer and had to fill several hours of airtime with the sound of your voice without saying anything meaningful. Tom Brady isn’t the sort of guy who will take to sitting on the sideline. Instead, he’s going to do something drastic. He’s going to join the professional sports league where tampering with the ball is a storied and celebrated act.

Tom Brady is going to play Major League Baseball.

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MLB the Show 15: The Passion of Lance Lynn

On Monday, the Cardinals announced that Adam Wainwright would be out for the season with an achilles injury, which made Lance Lynn the de facto ace of the team. Some people might debate this and say that Michael Wacha headlines the rotation, since he’s been pretty much untouchable throughout his short career. But he’s not proven. Not just yet. Others–crazy people–might elect to call John Lackey the number one starter. While Lackey is perfectly useful, he’s not the pitcher he used to be. He gave up three runs to the Phillies, after all.  And then there’s Carlos Martinez, who has electric stuff but is better known for his NSFW twitter fav skills than his pitching. The ace is Lance Lynn, to the extent the Cardinals have an ace. And that’s terrifying to anyone who has watched the team for longer than a year. Lynn put everything together last year, but he’s hardly been a model of consistency. I like Lance. I’ve always liked him. But the frontline starter? Yikes.

All of this coincided with the Cardinals experimenting with some very interesting defensive alignments. For at least a couple days this weekend, Pete Kozma was the backup catcher. He didn’t play there but the possibility still loomed, with ol’ Petey just a single errant foul ball away from donning the tools of ignorance and demonstrating his #framing abilities. Meanwhile, Mark Reynolds headed out to left field for literally his first appearance in LF and his sixth career appearance in the outfield EVER.

I had to do something. I had to try something–combine these two events into something special. So I fired up MLB: The Show 15 and put the new Cardinals ace, Lance Lynn, into the ultimate trial: a complete game, with an entire lineup designed in the spirit of Pete Kozma the Catcher and Mark Reynolds the Outfielder. So it begins.

MLB® 15 The Show™_20150427202749

The rules were simple. The lineup above would backup Lance Lynn, Cardinals ace. No one was at their proper position. Lefthanders were positioned in the infield. Chaos. Absolute chaos. To make matters worse, I set the game in Petco Park, the largest ballpark in baseball, so each out of position player would have to cover the most ground possible. The weather would be rainy, surely a boon to drought-blighted southern California, but yet another obstacle for the Cardinals ace. Obviously, this could go real bad real fast, but Lance Lynn would have no way to escape. He was going to pitch the entire game. I turned off injuries so even a strained oblique couldn’t save him.

MLB® 15 The Show™_20150427212307

This is the passion of Lance Lynn.

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MathenyQuest, a Playable Teaser

MathenyQuest

If there is any creed that I strive to live by, it is this: do as Hideo Kojima would do.

So when I was presented with the question of how to continue to promote my upcoming game, The Closer: Game of the Year Edition, there was only one thing to do. I needed to make a playable teaser.

Last year, Hideo Kojima rocked the world of video games with P.T., a brief and mysterious free game released on PS4 with little-to-no explanation.

Despite the fact it was only a promotional tool, P.T. was so effective and weird that numerous reviewers ended up naming it one of the best games of the year. It’s a great idea for promotion: a short game that is entirely divorced from the story of the main title, but can express the themes and ideas in an easily accessible (and free) manner.

To follow in Kojima’s footsteps, I had to distill the humor and existential weirdness of The Closer into something that could be played and understood by anyone. A text adventure, maybe. Or just a Twine game.

I made a Twine game. Go check it out.

MathenyQuest