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About the StoryThere's this pause on the Makida every time
the current Sandman goes back into the cryotube,
and before the new one awakes.
A certain calm where all is still.
The Makida's dull hum is heard, but that is all.
No footsteps. No whispers. No music.
The ship floats onwards, with a whole world within its walls.
If something were to go wrong during those few minutes, a whole species would go extinct.
But there, in the darkness, among the twelve cryotubes...one tube blinks.
35th Place - 21st Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2015)
Emily Short's Interactive Storytelling
IF Comp 2015: Capsule II – The Eleventh Sandman (PaperBlurt)
I have a weird relationship to PaperBlurt’s stuff. Some of it clicks for me, some of it doesn’t, and I can’t always explain exactly why I like the ones I like...
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Emily Short's Interactive Storytelling
IF Comp 2015 Guest Post: Susan Patrick on Capsule II
Capsule II is the middle work in Paperblurt’s Capsule trilogy, and while I did not play the first one I don’t think I was missing any information critical to understanding the story...
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Number of Reviews: 3
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Everything comes down to the narrative tone with this game. It's conversational and confessional, and despite the crazy environment, the protagonist usually has genuine reactions. The story also spans a few years, and sudden jump-cuts in time are effective at conveying how things continue to deteriorate.
There are some very nice graphical elements in this game, especially when you consult the ship's database. It looks good all around. Sometimes the writing is rough. Sometimes it's meant to be rough, filled with misspellings and such, but that's not what I mean. The normal prose could use some extra polish.
Whether you want to humor the game will depend largely on your taste, how much slack you're willing to give it. Personally, I enjoyed it.
The game has some great animations and illustrations in a sort of vintage washed-out/watercolor look (look at the cover art). I think it is just fantastic as in-game art.
The game has some profanity, references to porn, etc., which is a turn-off for me. But all of it fits with the character's personality. Many people have expressed the opinion that they expected the game to not be that great but that it somehow has that essential 'it'-ness that makes a game good. I see people talking about this game for a long time to come.
The story takes place on a massive arkship transporting millions of cryogenically frozen people to a new world. In order to keep the ship operational, one person is kept awake at all times, working in 8-year shifts. You play as one of these "Sandmen," beginning with your awakening and following you in a series of vignettes through your life on the ship. Things eventually take a very dark turn.
There are a few places I struggled with the premise, and the writing style is a little uneven -- sometimes serious, sometimes funny, sometimes apparently trying to be one or the other but not quite being either. The first time I played I honestly wasn't even sure how I felt about the game. but something about it stuck with me, and I found myself thinking about it often afterward.
There are a few things Paperblurt has done amazingly well. The first is the visual style. This is one of the sleekest Twine games I've seen, from a visual standpoint, and it all comes together beautifully. The other thing this game does very well is illustrate loneliness and isolation, and the damaging effects of it.
Capsule II reminds me very much of the game Presentable Liberty, both in thematic content but also aesthetic.
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