The SNOOTHAs

Posted by (twitter: @yr_property)
May 17th, 2014 2:32 pm

The SNOOTHAs is a self-described prestigious ceremony set up to award Ludum Dare entrants for their efforts. It may or may not be real. The “S” stand for Snoother (me, of course) and the “A” stands for award. I can’t for the life of me be bothered to fill in the rest.

The awards ceremony was held in a musty, windowless room by the “Robed Ones” — a bunch of self-appointed game critics donning brown, hooded robes. They quipped back and forth about “innovation”, “agency”, “underlying messages”, “immersiveness” — all that stuff. After weeks of sleepless deliberation, they finally reached a judgement. For each category they have assigned an overall winner and a selection of honourable mentions, listed alphabetically. Here are the results:


 

EXCELLENCE IN INNOVATION

Winner: And the Moment is Gone

An introverted and experimental conversation game. It brilliantly depicts the pains and frustrations of so many conversations by using an innovative game mechanic. The Robed Ones — for whom the voice of love often calls, only to find it’s a wrong number — felt they could particularly relate to the game.

 

Honourable Mentions: A Day in the Life; I Remember Alice; The Loudest Ballerina; The PondSpace to Go; Substratum; Tenkosei Robo


EXCELLENCE IN FUN

Winner: Gravity

A ridiculously addictive game in which you descend below the surface to collect all the artefacts, reveal the ending and, of course, beat the high score. The Robed Ones stayed up way past their bed time playing this one.

 

Honourable Mentions: Beneath the Ice; Black Bile, Inhuman Circuits; Coin Diver; Doomsday Bunker; Mimic of the Deep; The Pond; Senilescape; Substratum; Tenkosei Robo


EXCELLENCE IN USE OF THEME

Winner: Not All of Them Died

A chilling and beautifully-minimal use of theme. It is “a game celebrating industrialised warfare” in which you walk through a vast cemetery of deceased military personnel, all individually named, including rank and date of death.

 

Honourable Mentions: A Day in the LifeAbstraction; And the Moment is Gone; Black Bile, Inhuman Circuits; Castle Engineer; Heart of the CardsThe Loudest Ballerina; RMBR; Series of Choices


EXCELLENCE IN GRAPHICS

Winner: Wunderheilung

Wunderheiling has some gorgeous art with a gently-surreal touch. The gameplay consists of examining peculiar creatures for medical problems, virtually forcing you to stare at each fabulous pixel cluster. While playing, the Robed Ones were gazing endlessly into their computer screens and drooling slowly — oh wait, they do that anyway.

 

Honourable Mentions: Gravity; Last Dive; The Pond; Seven Souls; Tenkosei Robo; Watch Your Step


EXCELLENCE IN AUDIO

Winner: Space to Go

A one-button music game — doesn’t sound like it should work, right? But oh my it does. With each spacebar press you control the pace of the music, moving forwards through this abstract plane and unexpectedly discovering a narrative. Just sublime.

 

Honourable Mentions: Any Ship Can Be a Minesweeper… Once; Coin Diver; Fragment; Gravity; In the Black; Last Dive; Magma; Mimic of the Deep; Tenkosei Robo


EXCELLENCE IN HUMOUR

Winner: Black Bile, Inhuman Circuits

The humour is so incisive and devious, thanks largely to how well-written it is. Loads of subversions of tropes and referential humour, but, as I said, it’s done so well. You experience that which is “beneath the surface of the body, in the realm of bodily humors: black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood.” (The Robed Ones nod along, frothing.)

 

Honourable Mentions: Any Ship Can Be a Minesweeper… Once; Orlok’s Ordeal; The Sadness of Rocky Barbato; The Surface; Wunderheilung


EXCELLENCE IN MOOD

Winner: The Pond

This isn’t an outright mood piece: you have to sustain life in the pond for as long as possible by feeding the fish and moving the water. But it’s minimalism and life-and-death theme makes it remarkably evocative. Playing it feels serene, sombre, wistful. As the second-counter moves steadily onwards and your pond life begins to die away, you feel dejected — if only life weren’t so ephemeral.

 

Honourable Mentions: A Happy Place; Black Bile, Inhuman Circuits; Gravity; I Remember Alice; Last Dive; Mimic of the Deep; Not All of Them Died; Sopora


BEST GAME OF LUDUM DARE 29

Winner: The Loudest Ballerina

So cute and well-executed: a game about ballet and a giant monster. Intrigued? You should be. For goodness sake, go play it! Even the Robed Ones love it — and getting them to abandon their hypermasculine gamer culture and do ballet is indeed an achievement.

 

Honourable Mentions: And the Moment is Gone; Black Bile, Inhuman Circuits; Gravity; Last Dive; The Pond; Tenkosei Robo; Wireside


MY GAME

And what post would be complete without some aggressive self-promotion? This is, oh kind, generous reader, my game. A game that — wait for it — looks beneath the surface of an FPS.

Okay, in all seriousness I’d be really grateful for anyone to check it out. I put quite a bit of effort into it and there’s an important underlying message. It’s a text-based second-person shooter that explores the worst aspects of violent video games and the culture surrounding them.

 

–Snoother

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7 Responses to “The SNOOTHAs”

  1. Mike Mezhenin says:

    Woohoo! I’d like to thank my family, the Robed Ones, and Michel Gondry for this award.

  2. TobiasW says:

    A tip for the formatting, fellow “best of” list creator:

    Use

    between each image/text section and the “Honourable Mentions” to prevent this from happening in browsers with different text sizes: https://i.imgur.com/oefBj0W.png

    I like your style a lot! 😀

  3. jsmars says:

    Thanks a lot for the feature! Excellent posts as always! :)

  4. iambored2006 says:

    Hey! Thanks for mentioning my games (here as well as in your highlights list)!
    I mentioned your game in my (sort-of) list: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/2014/05/18/10-games-that-resonated-with-me/
    I’d love to hear what you have to say!

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