Glitch Hiker: Hiked into Extinction
Hold up, we’re going to stop sucking Steam’s dick for just a sec, so we can bring you some other game news. *gasp*
This is probably my favorite story of the past few weeks. Here’s a little game called Glitch Hiker. It won some awards and crazy accolades at European game cons. The gameplay is pretty inventive, you’re a little dude trapped in a video game, gathering coins. Easy enough. The interesting bit is that the game is intentionally programmed with glitches all over, similar to when you get dust contamination in an 8-bit NES cartridge. The result is a deteriorating world, and players have to anticipate and exploit the oncoming glitches in order to escape beams and ‘splosions of death, while gathering coins. Of course, more coins = more lives.
Yep, all that flashing and flipping and color-swapping madness is all part of the strange and genius design of the game… a game which you will now probably never play.
You see, one of the other interesting things about the game is that all the players around the world shared one pool of lives, stored on a central server. If you played well enough, and got coins, you added to the pool of lives. If you were utter shit, then you cost the community their lives, and, as the game continued it would get glitchier, falling further into dystopia until the whole game-world vanished.
Well, it seems that, like all things internet, if you open it up to too many people, the overwhelming suck-factor of everyone involved will eventually overpower and kill the joy that was to be shared by all. Even after a weekend-long campaign of players trying to get on and score extra lives for the community pool, the many casual players, slow-learners, and (in all likelihood) people who just wanted to see if the game would *really* crash when the lives all ran out finally ran the ticker down to zero…
… and the game stopped functioning. Its dead. The developers put up a weblog this morning, a video, intended to be a eulogy commemorating the death of their grand experiment.
So long, Glitch Hiker, it was a good… 4 months? Man, that’s a quick death. Those guys must have really been terrible.