Beyond the Neon: Slivers of Silver is a series of 8 posts exploring various game concepts. It is based on a recent road trip through Nevada, titled Beyond the Neon, taking place in December 2015. You can read all of those currently published on QM here. This series is dedicated to the author’s road trip companions, poets Jason, Libby, and Justine.
Forty one. Most world builder sims offer you the ability to adjust the speed of time within the game world to alleviate boredom and see change and evolution of your creativity in a faster-paced environment. In this game, you do not get such liberty. There are two modes. The first game world speed is .01 percent of actual time. The second game world speed is 10,000 percent of actual time. You can only make changes to landscape and geographical features in the former mode; however, you will be able to watch the results of your small and large sculpting of the world through the faster mode. This game, which offers no in-game help menus or design information, intends to delight players of all ages.
Forty two. An expansion pack to the above game, in this game you are given a new task: confront another maker. In this otherly game, you must create your world while ensuring the decisions of the other creator, the other god, do not supersede your own. The greatest challenge is in locating what the other creator is working on when you are in the slow mode of world building, when the changes are actually being decided upon. This expansion includes both intelligent “bot” players and a multiplayer component.
Forty three. As a child you were obsessed with Twin Peaks. You slowly went off the deep end of reality and developed several severe psychoses over two decades. You are now in your late 20s and delusional. You have wound up in the desert of Nevada and you no longer have the medicine that keeps your mind stable. You have developed a sequence of visions related to a murder that has happened somewhere near you. This game, which features no “real human interaction” involves a first person journey into the desert to uncover the truth behind a very particular murder. The game notably blends genres to create a very human experience out of a very surreal situation.
Forty four. In an alternate reality, one of the many sports in the Land of the Free involves the killing of the competition. In this arms-based King of the Hill variant, players must race to the top of any of the hills in a given region (map). Once at the top of the hill, identified by a specific flag, the players take their high-powered rifles and fire upon their competitors. The goal, if it is not yet obvious, is to kill everyone else, each on their own hills, and become the champion, living to fight another day. In this game, the easiest opponents will be those closest to your hill; however, further hills will require further precision. Various editing software will be available for the mod community to transform this game into a truly memorable culture.
Forty five. You are one of two children in the back of a sedan, your parents in the front, driving across the American countryside. In this short but fun game, it is your goal to actuallyget your father, at the wheel, to “turn this car around” and head back home. You like home much more than this boring drive anyway. A very inventive approach to modern gaming, this game is designed to get under the skin of the contemporary father figure by being destructive, noisy, annoying, and just plain subversive. This game features many options for the player: you can choose to be a boy or girl, you can choose your gender, you can choose what tools you have, you can choose the year of the car, you can choose the economic class/status of the family, and more.
Forty six. Years after the incredibly haunting movies were released, this game brings a new take to The Hills Have Eyes. You and your family are traveling in the American West, when your car suddenly breaks down. A horror game through and through, this experiential narrative brings you face to face with the mutant villains you remember from the films. How will you protect your family? How will you protect yourself? Find out in this creepy and shocking game.
Forty seven. A satire game with heavy influence from the Postal series, this game is set near and on a snowy, desert mountain, where a group of LARPers have set up their latest project: Project Skyrim, which has been designed to be an IRL version of Skyrim, the hit fantasy game in the Elder Scrolls series. There are many of the awful LARPers here, and they need to be taken down. Because you can’t stand LARPing. You can’t stand it. You have been given unlimited weaponry, including a brain capable of processing ideas and using language to communicate them. Ironically, you must create your character using an RPG system, and the points you give yourself will determine your strategy. Do you become skilled in firearms, so you can go on a psychotic rampage and eliminate all the LARPers, or perhaps you throw all your points in charisma, so you can swiftly persuade the leader to disband? Perhaps you train to be a nuclear scientist, and blow the mountain up, so they can’t have any additional fun? The choice–be it sane or psychotic–is yours to make in this very American America.
Forty eight. You were told of the elk and now you are finally seeing them. But this is not just a fun wildlife viewing. There are hundreds. No, thousands. Thousands of elk that have all amassed along the road you are traveling on. And they are hungry . . . for human flesh. Zombie Elk Marauders is a game about strength, survival, and machismo. It’s a game about what it means to be human and what it means to defend humanity. You have a car. You have a pocket knife. You have herds of elk wanting to eat you down to the bone. How will you survive? Skillfully. Warning: game contains photo-realistic elk, both alive and dead. This game is not suitable for minors, or anyone with a weak stomach.
Greg Bem is a contributing writer and the current Gaming Editor of QM. He is a librarian, technologist, gamer, and adventurer.