Bob’s Game – Zero Punctuation


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This week at Zero Punctuation, Yahtzee is hosting a history lesson with Bob’s game.

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The greatest experience in life you get yourself. A quiet walk on a grassy hillside. A cold drink at the end of a long day. And, of course, the abomination that you think of decency prevents me from explaining. But when it comes to cool cum explosions, in our latest installment of Zero Punctuation’s random guide to whoops, we’re not saying there are no more moments in gaming history, we’re talking about the world of single-handedly developed indie games. It’s a world of contrasts: for every Undertale or Stardew Valley, there’s a Yandere simulator standing behind them, breathing loudly through their mouths. But at least you can be sure of the purity of the vision, suspicious, weak character and slightly humiliating to be raised in a mixed company, although it may be, and they provide an unsurpassed understanding of the mind and perception of the author. Of course, for this to work, there actually has to be a video game to convey that message, and that was the sticking point for today’s topic: Bob’s Game called Bob’s Game. This is the purity of artistic vision that I was talking about.

In August 2008, the President of Mauritania was overthrown in a military coup, eleven climbers died in the K2 disaster, and then something truly tragic happened. Some dude named Robert Pelloni released a trailer for a 16-bit pixel art RPG he claimed he’d been working on for the last five years and almost finished. And the answer all over the world was a resounding “Good.” Literally titled “Bob’s Game” and looking as good as you’d expect from a game whose lead artist almost knew how to draw curtains when the project first started, reactions were generally positive and the trailer hit 100,000 views. Which costs about half a McDonalds sandwich these days, but was a minor occurrence in 2008 Youtube dollars. It had its own charm, and the audience showed interest in the game, even though it was not entirely clear what this game was about and why its creator boasted so much about being a solo project, when Cave Story was created alone, which, essentially codified the modern concept of indie PC gaming ate this particular lunch many years ago.

But in its creator’s mind, Bob’s Game was more than a pixelated game that any even slightly competent RPG Maker user could ruin in a month—Bob’s Game was a vision. One that only one platform could do justice to, and that was the Nintendo handheld. Therefore, he avoided small publishers who showed interest and applied for an official Nintendo DS development kit. Now Nintendo is a big company with a lot to do between making Mario pencil cases and removing pictures of Princess Peach’s panties from Smash Bros, so they’ve done with the Pelloni app what they apparently do with any correspondence from random nameless assholes with widely eyes open: put him at the bottom of the priority list between cutting Donkey Kong’s eyelashes and designing a controller that doesn’t suck. And this is where the story of Bob’s game begins. It can be condescendingly said that Robert Pelloni was one of those people who had little time for the world outside of his own mind. I could say less condescendingly that he stuck his head so deep in his ass that his own gallbladder filled with tea bags. And he didn’t seem to realize that the importance of the game in his life didn’t matter to anyone else.

As the wait for Nintendo’s response dragged on for months, Bob decided that this was some kind of conspiracy or deliberate neglect, and not, say, that Nintendo literally had something better, and so he stated that as long as they don’t recognize a game he’s locked up for five years, to do he’d publicly protest by locking down some more. Now with a webcam and a door locked for a hundred days. This was successful as it made him famous in that sector of the internet that loves to encourage weirdos, especially after he posted a series of increasingly insane blog posts declaring himself to be the greatest game designer who ever lived. , and blamed Nintendo, the multi-billion dollar company, and the controller. many of the most famous gaming IPs, envying him, a cash-strapped suburban jerk. Exactly how much should be read in all of this is debatable, as after the thirtieth day of his protest, when he appeared to be lying motionless in a ransacked bedroom, he stated both on the internet and to the nice helpful cop who broke down his door, that it was all pretend. The outcry and frantic blog posts were a viral marketing campaign that we all fell for, like the gullible, normal-brained people that we were.

To which the Internet responded with a loud “OK.” Shortly thereafter, Nintendo broke away from their money sandwich to knock it out of their standard letterhead saying no, you can’t have a development kit, obviously because you’re clearly not a professional studio, you’re a crackpot with a broken desk . . But then, just as we were ready to let out the sarcastic sigh that we all let out when the protest started, Bob released a playable demo of Bob’s Game. It was only playable on a DS/GBA emulator because Bob was absolutely committed to not giving her a damn thing to do with this shit, but it was playable. And it was… a little unconvincing. It was a retro RPG about some suburban jerk, obviously written by someone who recycled some of his childhood stuff, broken up by overlong Tetris and pong minigames. Someone saw charm in this. I mean, from the way Bob was acting, we were expecting something that handed out printable blowjob coupons, or at least didn’t look like half the art credit should go to MS Paint’s straight line tool. But interest in the full release has been partially renewed. It’s a shame then that this was the last time anyone saw or heard of Bob’s Game the RPG until two years later Bob announced that Bob’s Game would be the launch, and as far as anyone knew, the ONLY name for the new handheld. which he invented.

Nothing came of it, apparently making his own line of equipment wasn’t the smart thing to do when he slammed barbiturates on Opposite Day. So, two more years later, he discovered Kickstarter, the eternal promised land of the hyped ad-peddling maniac, and successfully ran a $10,000 campaign to build a custom van with which he could finish the game and solve the mystery of the haunted amusement park. . The kickstarter page is still online, and you can go there and read how Bob describes his game, citing it as “a masterpiece of manifestation of power… written by a genius self-taught prophet” and “a new religion for the modern world”, just in case you worried, the whole van idea sounded uncharacteristically sensible. Anyway, the kickstarter was a success, after which Bob shyly announced that he was collecting everything and returning the money before his game accidentally caused excitement or something like that. To which the Internet responded with a loud “Excuse me, but who is Bob?”


There are countless stories of promising developers who failed to deliver. What made Bob’s train wreck saga so compelling was that he could do it. He had talent and drive, and basically a finished product that clearly resonated with people. But fatally, he also had an ego like a falling airship at a wedding photo shoot. If you go to his website now, all you’ll find are some weird ramblings about believing in Jesus, so you could say the main lesson from this is don’t be fruit and nutcase Cadbury, but there’s another important moral. A: Never overdo it. most of yourself into one creation. One shitty released game is worth more than an endless supply of unfinished career-defining masterpieces. And if you want to be a creator but refuse to work within established systems for fear of compromising your perfect artistic vision, then all you can say is yes, I’d like fries with that.

#Bobs #Game #Punctuation



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