|>>|| No. 21020
So, anyone played through The Beginner's Guide?
Firstly, if you found Stanley self-indulgent and pretentious then you can just sack this one off altogether.
If you are going to play it, don't go in expecting anything similar. It is presented as a slow-moving, deeply personal story, nothing like the moment-to-moment meta silliness of Stanley. I had to drag myself through the first 30-45 minutes, but it was worth it. It's about an hour and a half long.
Spoiler as to why I'm bumping this thread (don't read unless you've finished it): in a lecture I saw given by the developer, Davey Wreden, he talks about the bipolar depression he went through after Stanley came out and how he couldn't deal with all the attention. A lot of the Coda character seems to have been drawn from that experience. There's a line in the game which hit me hard, "being in the same room as you makes me feel physically ill"; in the lecture he says this is something his best friend, flatmate and co-developer of Stanley said to him during the period after Stanley blew up in the press, when he was mentally at his lowest ebb and lashing out at everyone around him. So maybe it's a game about how even praise and positive interaction can be overwhelming - the narrator isn't Wreden, it's us. We conjure up ideas about developers' intent, obsess over design minutiae, feel entitled to more of their work, and don't leave them alone - and this can kill their creative spark. Part of me has a knee-jerk boo fucking hoo it must be so hard to have your brilliance recognised reaction to this, and anyway maybe this is nonsense and just over-thinking the whole thing. Whatever way you choose to interpret the game, though, it's a thought-provoking and fascinatingly personal tale, in my opinion.
I liked Stanley better though.