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GBH

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  1. Hahah, I explained some of the game's premise to my husband and he immediately went full-on War History Nerd and started outlining various battles and events which if handled differently by the Germans might have led to a successful invasion of Britain via France, most of them seeming to center around Scapa Flow and the destruction of the RAF. I guess the main thing is that Britain's navy would have needed to have been crippled in some way, and that Hitler must have chosen to largely ignore Russia in favour of attacking the Western powers instead. So presumably once they'd secured Britain the German imperialist onslaught must have swung round to focus on the USSR. Kind of still doesn't explain the Churchill-sounding Piper or how he could have gotten rid of the rats. Honestly I think I've just ended up far more confused than I was when I started.
  2. @SyAlmans Oh wow, I'd not seen the Pied Piper story telling. That's basically the entire backstory right there, isn't it? Aside from the very German rats we also have a Piper whose accent is very distinct. My first instinct is to say he sounds like Churchill, but then there might be other historical British figures with the same kind of grumbly jowly accent, I'm not sure. While it's kind of absurd to read too much into this, it does sound like the whole tale is probably a veiled telling of the game's backstory. Details like the wolves coming down to attack the sheep and the crows waiting for rotting meat have no bearing on the plot of Jack's story, for example, and so they must have been included for another reason, as part of a different story. We're set after WWII here, yes? So wolves from the mountains would make me think first of Germany. But then they would appear to be the rats, so... maybe some other aggressive world power? (Russia?) And the crows I would think must be war profiteers, whether civilian or political, who commit atrocities in the name of their trade and cover up war crimes and/or illegal political dealings, hence refusing to say what else besides wolves kill the sheep at night. Since the rats only come in the summer, and they very specifically come from France, then that might suggest that in this version of history the first London Blitz (occurring around springtime 1940, I think) was successful enough to lead to a German land invasion. (Or, as you said, maybe England simply allied with Germany for some reason.) After being occupied by German forces the town is eventually liberated by this expy of Churchill, which I guess would mean British military intervention, and I suppose his demand of payment might be war taxation. But then I'd not really think of Wellington Wells as a town of jerkasses just for refusing to pay their taxes...? I mean it's kind of a dick move but nowhere near an "omg you monsters" sort of level. It seems pretty significant that the pipes themselves were described in such detail, so I suspect some metaphor there. (Unless that's part of the original story, I dunno, I don't feel like looking it up.) And it would seem to make sense if the Piper "stealing" the village is a metaphor for the government (or whomever) forcibly recruiting them into some sort of wartime experimentation program. The lame smith's reaction to being unable to follow the music is a standard enough trope for drug addiction, after all. But then the overall plot there doesn't really jive with the "these people are really monsters" and "something they did killed all the children" aspects, nor does it explain why they need to forget so badly. And if Joy originally came from the person/institution they betrayed rather than being a deliberate action on their part then that would turn the Wellies into sympathetic victims rather than cowardly villains. I wandered around the game world for an hour or two last night but didn't find any more clues besides a big empty church. Kind of amusing that my biggest drive for exploring the world map right now is to find lore-related stuff and not, y'know, actual attempts at winning.
  3. Hey I just found a sickly little Wastrel in the city district and patched her up and fed her to get a nice key as a thank-you, that was adorable! As for my suggestion... well, see, I'm thinking something spooky. Like a very rare event wherein sometimes an odd, ghostlike person just up and appears right in front of you. Doesn't do anything aggressive, doesn't attack, can't be attacked... they just stand there and stare. And smile. And stare some more. Always right in front of you. Then they disappear. No explanation offered anywhere and the event is rare enough that the average player will only see it once or twice. Instant pants-wetting and automatic social media exposure as people freak out over alleged spooky ghost hauntings. If the game's lore doesn't allow for actual real-life ghosts, then all the better, since it can easily be justified as a consequence of severe mental stress on the part of the player character. Maybe it's cued with a really specific set of criteria, like: hasn't slept in X amount of days, is near-starving, has exactly this much Joy in system, experienced overdose X amount of times, etc. Then you hallucinate a staring smiley creep all up in your face. And naturally the player panics, swings their shovel, nothing happens, a passing Wellie sees them attacking thin air, raises the alarm, all hell breaks loose... and so on and so forth. Also maybe very occasionally when you're looking at the ocean something can just sorta be hanging around out there? Like a weird boat or a sea monster or a deeply foreboding cloud, I dunno. Just a small yet unexpected enough detail to make you stop in your tracks and do a double-take, only to perhaps find it isn't there anymore. Seems easy enough to do and it'd up the paranoia/creepiness factor by a lot. Plus it'd be a good incentive not to rely on Joy too much if the stuff will eventually start to make unsettling things appear in the periphery. Anyway so yes TL;DR maybe add some spooky stuff? And if there is already spooky stuff I haven't found yet then add some more cause man who doesn't dig some good spooks.
  4. @SyAlmans Well, well, that's interesting. Right before reading your post I stumbled upon a room full of little beds with scrap-heap effigies of children all laid out like they were sleeping in the top floor of a Wastrel house. And in the cupboards were shovels. A'right then. So perhaps the threat of imminent war led the community to pull a mass Machine for Pigs gambit and their collective coping mechanism in the aftermath is Joy. But then if the war was the catalyst/setting for this Very Bad Thing involving eternally-crying children wouldn't our protagonist have been a child himself when it happened? Or at best a teenager?
  5. Healing Balm Apply to your wounds to fight infection and disease Missing a full stop. Disposable Lockpick A one time use lockpick. Works on basic doors, containers or lockers. Technically nothing wrong (aside from it being slightly more correct to spell "one time" with a hyphen), but every other example of listed items I've seen so far has used an Oxford comma, so you might want to add one here too for consistency's sake.
  6. @SyAlmans Ooh, there's a thought, though! Are there going to be children in the towns? At least, ones we get to see? Because there must be some hidden around here somewhere as evidenced by the fact that I've just stumbled upon a childrens' playground in the middle of one of the town areas -- laughed my ass off upon finding out that interacting with the toys will instantly erase all Wellie suspicion of you. "Nothing odd here, ma'am! Just a grown man playing on the teeter-totter, lovely day for it!" And while I do tend to prefer the idea of personal agency, and a protagonist who chose to become an outlaw, there would have to be a compelling reason for him to do so. Otherwise he just seems like a bit of a masochist. A main character whose whole world just crumbled down around him one day would be delightfully tragic, I think. And the underlying moral lesson in his choosing to find a way to survive instead of wallowing in self-pity would feel very in-tune with the whole post-WWII England setting. Keep calm and carry on, y'know. Your life's literally bereft of all Joy but you've got to soldier on for Queen and Country, m'boy. I'm sure whichever way the plot goes will be utterly fascinating, though.
  7. Because I'm a nitpicker and because proper grammar is essential for a professional polish on any project. The tooltip for Cloth reads: Now you are a "man of the cloth." Or woman. While this is correct in American English, in British English the full stop should be outside of the quotation marks. (Now you are a "man of the cloth". Or woman.) Since this game is set in England(?) I would assume you'd prefer to use UK grammar rules. Empty Pill Bottle reads: It's for "Mints" Appears to be lacking a full stop, which in this instance should also be outside of the quotation marks. Having "mints" be capitalized is fine, as I assume the bottle itself literally reads "Mints" with the big M and all. Rotten Mushroom reads: Agaricus bisporus NOT at its finest. I suppose you could it it, if you had to. First off, thank you so much for capitalizing the binomial nomenclature correctly and for the proper use of "its". The only thing wrong with this one is that you swapped out "eat" for "it" which is just a simple typo. That's all for now! I'll add more whenever I happen to spot another grammar/spelling issue. And this isn't to say I think the grammar is poor! It's more that I'd hate to see small overlooked errors marring an otherwise perfect body of text simply because nobody pointed them out. Overall the writing has been near immaculate, and it warms the cockles of my English nerd heart.
  8. @ceruleanspiral Oh, nah man that's actually pretty close to what I've done so far. I've been wandering around getting my butt kicked by various NPCs and traps and such. (I got stuck in a maze which then subsequently gassed me to overdose, how hilarious is that??) And my crafting repertoire so far consists of a single lockpick that I subsequently forgot I had. I've not really been interested in investing a lot of time into the game at this point though since we're essentially just running through a cardboard cutout of what the real thing will look like. And especially without a solid story on the protagonist I find it hard to care one way or another whether he gets out. In fact I lean towards not wanting him to escape right now, if only because the violent bastard keeps murdering folks over clothes.
  9. @SyAlmans Ah, good point about tolerance resetting! Not sure how I forgot about that bit. But then yeah, I'm curious as to this guy's backstory. I've had episodes where a drug that was working fine suddenly doesn't anymore, so I wonder if one day Joy just stopped really affecting him, or started to have weird side-effects, and out of fear of being exiled he just stopped taking it? Then he starts to remember all the Bad Things and so on and so forth. I like the distinction, then, between the Wastrels being people with poor reactions to Joy, and the Downers as people with little/no reaction to it, or whose reactions are unpleasant enough to make them stop taking it but not bad enough to drive them insane. Gives the entire concept of being a Downer a much more tragic bent than it already had, I think. I mean at least the Wastrels get to lose their minds and live in relative peace. A Downer can't experience Joy yet remains sane enough to know exactly what it is he's missing. Incidentally this whole literal spin on the depressive/disillusioned mindset seems like it'll pretty much guarantee mass audience appeal with the 20s/30s crowd, so long as the execution's up to snuff.
  10. Heh, with the Fallout reference there... I've actually spent the past few weeks modding the hell out of Fallout 3, and the version of the game I'm currently playing handles a lot like how I'd imagine We Happy Few might play. With my current character I end up running from wild dogs, of all things, not because I can't kill them or because I think they might kill me, but just because dogs can consistently get a hit in before I can kill them. This chips away at my health, and with the game modded as it is I have virtually no chance of getting that HP back before something bigger and meaner comes along to kill me. So I spend most of my time hiding from radscorpions and squealing in fright over cockroaches, cause every single hit is another tick of life I can't get back without risking life and limb to find a stimpak. That's the kind of gameplay I find really engaging. Feeling like you're the weakest, saddest little insect, and everything else in the whole world can and will instantly crush you. That way when you find things that would otherwise be mundane (a stimpak!! and holy crap, some breakfast cereal!) it feels like an amazing accomplishment. And when you finally start finding helpful things to improve your fighting abilities every improvement makes you feel like the Terminator. Until of course you get killed because you've overestimated how much a stick is going to help you in a fight. What I don't like at all is the kind of artificial difficulty of things like Grannies being able to sniff you out immediately for no reason, or the Wastrels not liking you just because you've got a semi-okay suit on. Because yeah, right now it's difficult to get through a town without raising the alarm, but only because I have no defense against the clairvoyant little old ladies. And it's a mild challenge to find a torn suit at the beginning, but only because my character can't pick up a bit of sharp metal and tear the one he's already got on.
  11. It was pretty friggin' trippy I gotta say. In regards to Joy, though... so I've been taking amphetamines on a daily basis for several years now (legally, for ADHD) and from that frame of reference the mechanics of Joy dosage and duration make very little sense. I mean generally when you have a capsule of something it's meant to be an extended release variety, right, because by nature the coating of the capsule will prevent the contents from being immediately emptied into the stomach. But taking a capsule of Joy somehow kicks in instantaneously. Moreover, that instant high gets you absolutely wrecked and the crash is both extremely hard and extremely quick. Those are all the features of drug abuse, not normal everyday maintenance use. And they're usually the features of an IV stimulant. So, either the Wellies are all set up with an insulin pump full of Joy, or they somehow all manage to perfectly balance that age-old game of "try to keep your high constant even though your drug wears off in ten minutes", which is generally a lifestyle reserved for cokeheads. Having once spent a good six months trying to manage that particular tightrope act myself I find it hard to believe all these folks are somehow mysteriously able to avoid either overdosing themselves or ending up on a rollercoaster of crash-high-crash all throughout the day. Though I suppose an alternative explanation is that the player character simply isn't metabolizing the Joy correctly. Maybe he's hypersensitive to it so he gets all the drug in one fantastical go instead of a steady dosage like you're intended to? Or, hell, maybe that's why the Wastrels are all screwed up? Those unlucky souls whose digestive systems don't process the drug right. What if they've developed a severe tolerance? Ah geez, now I feel even worse for bashing their heads in. ... I should probably stop over-analyzing a lore that hasn't even been properly released yet.
  12. I didn't even know I was able to take Joy the first time she clobbered me. And I'd not yet bothered to eat or drink anything (which, in retrospect, begs the question of why I hadn't passed out yet - maybe she noticed I was hungry?) so there was no Joy to be had. I actually only got my first encounters with Joy on this last playthrough, wherein I took some at a phone booth (incidentally whilst trying to hide from a mob sicced on me by an old lady) and then again later when I massively overdosed after getting gassed in some sort of fiendish Downer trap. After the first dose of Joy I walked outside and the little festive pennants hanging off the buildings had all become massive and were stretched out blocking the streets. Wasn't quite sure if that was a graphical glitch or if Joy just makes everything ten times as festive? (Pretty sure it was a glitch.) I do think an old lady tried to accost me then as well but I was busy being mystified by the colour effects and walked away without paying much attention.
  13. Oh man yes with the Wastrel voices reminding me of Bioshock. I think my favourite line of theirs is the "Oedipus didn't know what he was doing..." bit, which I heard the first time and just went "wait, what?" Then she goes on to talk about him ripping his eyes out anyway, I know, but at first I thought she was trying to justify an awkward family situation to herself.
  14. I'd sort of gathered that, and to be honest it sort of makes sense since they have elderly wisdom and all that, but without a reliable way to counteract their nosiness it just ends up being a game of avoid the old people. Which is difficult since they're everywhere. I'd rather be able to trick the old people and get a penalty if I screw up, rather than just have them mysteriously able to sniff out my sadness despite saying hello like a polite young man.
  15. I really really like the whole idea and concept of pretending to be on your meds, and all the mechanics and strategy that could come with it. It's primarily what I've been trying to do in-game the whole time I've been playing, honestly. Survival? Bah. I'm all about saying hello to people and generally trying to act all proper whilst waiting for backs to be turned so I can sneak into houses. Of course this keeps getting undermined by telepathic old ladies who sniff me out like a ruddy bloodhound from half a mile away. Which yes is pretty entertaining on one level cause haha I'm afraid of old ladies, but on most all other levels it's just frustrating and annoying. I also really don't like the bits where I need to punch Wastrels to death looking for torn-up suits. I'd prefer to get out of the starting zone without having to fight them at all, but no matter how much furniture I loot there never seems to be a suit, and without one they notice and attack me on sight. Plus it's hard to justify all that effort being sneaky when it's so easy to just punch their lights out instead. No penalties for killing and a whole host of them for sneaking means I'm going to end up cutting a swath of destruction through the wastes more often than not. In regards to that, though, I'd dearly like to know how/why this willowy be-sideburns'd man knows how to kill people with his bare hands. Maybe he's an ex-soldier? I dunno but man it weirds me out. I guess I'd sort of assumed he'd stopped taking his meds as some sort of penance for whatever past horrors or misdeeds he remembers, y'know, like an atonement story of sorts. You have to piece together what happened and why you've chosen to escape, maybe you've chosen the higher path instead of just blotting it all out with Joy, that sort of stuff. But then the first thing I generally end up doing is murdering a bunch of mentally ill people with my fists. So... am I trying to get away because I want to be able to remember and reconcile my past with a clear mind and conscience or am I trying to get away because I'm a bloody psychopath? Also also it seems like the sneaking mechanics might benefit from a few more levels of suspicion. Or at least a longer fade-in between the "all's well" and "old lady is beating you with a rolling pin" stages.
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