Kentucky Route Zero

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Anyone else playing this? The first of 4 episodes was released this week, $7 a pop or $25 for the whole thing over at their site.

I played through the (relatively short) first episode last night and loved it. It's an "adventure game" but there aren't really any puzzles or challenges to deal with, so in that sense it feels more like you're just there to experience the characters and environments. Both clicked with me. It's this melancholy and weird take on the middle of nowhere. It's also drop-dead gorgeous at times. Can't wait to see where they go with it in future installments.

I just upvoted that on Steam Greenlight yesterday and didn't realize it was already out somewhere. Looks really interesting, I'll definitely be checking it out.

Purchased the bundle and upvoted on Steam. I like what they're trying to do with this. After playing it, check out their old kickstarter footage. VERY different.

So:

Spoiler:

Did you keep the Jerky and the dice?

Spoiler: Yes.

Spoiler:

Did you turn off the lantern in the mines? I didn't think to do that until I had found the exit, then went back through them again.

Oh, I did neither of those things...going to have to do a second play through I think,as it also looks like there are a lot of little side encounters I missed by sticking to the directions given.

Really liked episode 1, looking forward to seeing where it goes with the later episodes.

As Kentucky Route Zero is one of the IGF finalists, it gets automatically accepted into Steam. So yay!

http://steamcommunity.com/games/765/...
http://www.igf.com/02finalists.html

Toddland wrote:

Purchased the bundle and upvoted on Steam. I like what they're trying to do with this. After playing it, check out their old kickstarter footage. VERY different.

So:

Spoiler:

Did you keep the Jerky and the dice?

Spoiler:

I put the die back on the table and fed the jerky to my dog. Did I do it wrong?

I feel a lot of what we did here in the first episode will come back to us later. I noticed that we get to make a lot of choices in conversation that don't seem to have an immediate effect and that in most cases you don't get to go back and take the other conversation path. I'm interested to see how many variations that creates down the storyline.

But yeah, absolutely amazing at mood and story.

tanstaafl wrote:

I feel a lot of what we did here in the first episode will come back to us later. I noticed that we get to make a lot of choices in conversation that don't seem to have an immediate effect and that in most cases you don't get to go back and take the other conversation path. I'm interested to see how many variations that creates down the storyline.

But yeah, absolutely amazing at mood and story.

Really? My impression is that all those choices don't really affect what happens in other scenes. I'm not sure what gives me that impression, but I'd be surprised if it turned out otherwise.

Has anyone stayed under the gas station longer than 3 minutes in one go (or however long the sign warns you not to)? It occurred to me that something interesting might happen if you did that, but haven't gone back and tried.

I dunno, I felt they must be giving us the choices for some reason. Maybe it's just so we can create "our" version of the game. Sort of like Home did, though I think they're doing a much better job of it than Home.

Also, Kotaku had an actual positive review of the game. Just ignore the comment section, but I assume that's a given for any Gawker site.

I'm interested. I'll probably wait for the Steam release at this point.

So I think this game is pretty amazing, and not just because it's a Chicago-made game (though that's part of it.)

It has started me reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez's stories, and that is only a good thing as well.

I ran through this again after the v2 patch dropped, though I didn't notice it changed anything beyond adding some scene titles but I did think of a few questions. (I'm just mentioning place names but I'll spoiler just in case.)

Spoiler:

Did anyone find anything of use at the Museum or the Church? Or the Bait Shop for that matter? (Do you have to go to the Bait Shop before meeting Shannon at the Mine?)

Can you do anything at the Artificial Limb Factory or is it just a landmark like the Burning Tree?

Those are all the secondary locations I found (beyond the Gas Station, Farmhouse and Mine, obviously). Did I miss any?

Also, I just noticed that the basement of the Gas Station is the rest of the horse.

I still love the writing in this game. It's wonderfully minimalistic, if that makes sense. The implications of what they are saying sometimes is far greater than what they actually say.

Surprised to see people say they want to replay the first episode, I find narrative games like this make me want to stick with my path and not feel out the others until in conversation with others re: the game. Somehow it feels like it clouds/pollutes the strength of the narrative.

Makes more sense to do once the whole story is finished. But still, makes me think back to my ME:2 experience. I lost

Spoiler:

Garrus (my favourite companion)

but had to live with it. Made the story all the stronger for me.

I feel very confident that I'll enjoy this, but I have a question for those who have finished the first act: Would it be a good choice to wait for the remaining acts to release, or does the first installment stand on its own enough to make it worth buying right now? I did the former for The Walking Dead, and I'm glad I did, so I'm curious if this is different.

I skipped a few encounters that I found during my exploration because they didn't seem appropriate for where I was in the story at the time. Then the episode ended somewhat abruptly and so I never went back to them. I hope they persist in episode 2.

Kentucky Route Zero seems mostly aimed at letting you define your characters by choosing dialog options, but the choice of dialog options doesn't seem to affect the story much (so far). The Walking Dead was kind of the same way though, except the choice was how relationships were defined rather than individual personalities. Episode 1 is interesting enough in its own right that I don't see a reason to wait. It doesn't end on a cliffhanger either, so I'm happy to wait for the next episode to be released. It's short enough that I may replay it though, as much to check out the stuff I missed as because I just really like the game.

OK, I wrapped up Act I. Overall, I'm impressed, although I feel like it was on the short side. Some thoughts:

Visually, brilliant. I love the style, which I think masks the low budget-ness of the assets incredibly well.

The music is a slam dunk too.

I like how the choices you make seem to be more for flavor than for substance. I end up selecting dialogue options that I think will reveal the most rather than ones that I think will lead to the best outcome. This is quite interesting.

I have reservations about the plot, which I'm not sure I'm sold on yet. I'm getting a strong whiff of unreliable narrator here. We'll see how it unfolds.

Mechanically it's maybe too sparse, and sometimes it feels like you're walking through corridors between walls of text. Walking Dead, for example, does require you to do a few more "gamey" things and I feel like I miss that here. I'd like to see at least a little more in the way of puzzles going forward.

Also, FWIW, I played through Act I on Linux and had no issues. Super mega bonus points for Linux support

Just finished Act I. I was not expecting the final scene. Subtle.

Spoiler:

I also wasn't expecting a ghost story going in; I'm still not sure if I've met any ghosts or not, or even if there are any.

I'm tempted to play through again and see what can happen differently.

Here's a thing from the interview I was surprised to learn:

Spoiler:

The D&D group is actually also the band playing when you leave the house. You're supposed to pick up on this, but I totally missed it. I even noticed the musical instruments beside the group initially, but completely failed to make the connection when they showed up again later.

Gremlin wrote:

Just finished Act I. I was not expecting the final scene. Subtle.

Spoiler:

I also wasn't expecting a ghost story going in; I'm still not sure if I've met any ghosts or not, or even if there are any.

Spoiler:

Turn off your lantern while going through the mine

Gremlin wrote:
Spoiler:

I also wasn't expecting a ghost story going in; I'm still not sure if I've met any ghosts or not, or even if there are any.

Spoiler:

I went through the entire episode wondering whether the main character is dead. At the beginning there's even mention of the nasty crash on the highway. I guess that would make Kentucky Route Zero into the path to the afterlife or something. Though a ghost story within a ghost story might be kind of a stretch.

complexmath wrote:
Gremlin wrote:
Spoiler:

I also wasn't expecting a ghost story going in; I'm still not sure if I've met any ghosts or not, or even if there are any.

Spoiler:

I went through the entire episode wondering whether the main character is dead. At the beginning there's even mention of the nasty crash on the highway. I guess that would make Kentucky Route Zero into the path to the afterlife or something. Though a ghost story within a ghost story might be kind of a stretch.

Spoiler:

I did turn off my lantern...but only at one particular point, so I might have missed something.
Weaver is mysterious and something doesn't add up there. The first visit just seemed odd, and then Shannon implied that Weaver was...something. And then the second visit...and I'm still not sure.
I think that there's grounds to consider that any or all or none of the following may be ghosts: Weaver, Conway, Shannon, the band, the player...
Like I said, Subtle.

Gremlin wrote:
complexmath wrote:
Gremlin wrote:
Spoiler:

I also wasn't expecting a ghost story going in; I'm still not sure if I've met any ghosts or not, or even if there are any.

Spoiler:

I went through the entire episode wondering whether the main character is dead. At the beginning there's even mention of the nasty crash on the highway. I guess that would make Kentucky Route Zero into the path to the afterlife or something. Though a ghost story within a ghost story might be kind of a stretch.

Spoiler:

I did turn off my lantern...but only at one particular point, so I might have missed something.
Weaver is mysterious and something doesn't add up there. The first visit just seemed odd, and then Shannon implied that Weaver was...something. And then the second visit...and I'm still not sure.
I think that there's grounds to consider that any or all or none of the following may be ghosts: Weaver, Conway, Shannon, the band, the player...
Like I said, Subtle.

Spoiler:

Good catch on the crash on the highway; I hadn't considered that but it makes sense.

And yeah, there's a couple of odd things going on with Weaver. When she is talking about Shannon she says something about how they used to be the same age but that Shannon is older now "of course". And when you look through the house after she leaves there is a lot of evidence that it is unoccupied (dust and cobwebs in the sink and stove, for example).

There also seems to be something with the guy at the gas station. He at least seems to be blind (he keeps talking about hearing the sound the lights make and feeling the setting sun but never mentions seeing anything) but somehow managed to get the TV into your truck. And he and Weaver seem to be working together to get Conway and Shannon to the Zero.

Want to play this right now, but I hate waiting for episodic games. *sigh* I'll come back in a year.

I'm listening to the soundtrack right now. It just makes me want the next episode even more

My best friend is from Kentucky, and I've taken to calling her Kentucky Route Zero (or KR0). As she's at least somewhat a gamer, I plan to keep that up until she finally buys the game. ^.^

Cardboard Computer has released a "demo" for Kentucky Route Zero called Limits and Demonstrations. It really isn't related to KR0 but does have some overlap with characters. But if you want to check out the "style" of the game, here it is.

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013...

http://kentuckyroutezero.com/limits-...

It's on Steam now. Purchased. 22.49 instead of 24.99 for a bit. That includes all the upcoming episodes. I am gonna play it now. I'm super excited considering all the stress that the final Ni No Kuni boss caused me.

Everyone who has already bought the full game should have gotten an email from Cardboard Computing with a link to the Humble store. From there you can download it directly, get a Steam key or both. They have PC, Mac and Linux.

And they've dropped the "buy one episode at a time" option; now you just buy the whole thing. I don't know if there is a discount for anyone who just bought episode 1 and now wants the rest.

tanstaafl wrote:

Everyone who has already bought the full game should have gotten an email from Cardboard Computing with a link to the Humble store. From there you can download it directly, get a Steam key or both. They have PC, Mac and Linux.

And they've dropped the "buy one episode at a time" option; now you just buy the whole thing. I don't know if there is a discount for anyone who just bought episode 1 and now wants the rest.

IIRC, if you bought only one episode you just get the entire game.

I have mixed feelings about the removal of the buy-as-you-go option. Although I really enjoyed the first chapter, and I bought the game outright myself, having only the option to pay full price for a game that won't be finished for at least a year rubs me a little bit wrong.

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