Alethicorp wrap-up

The result you have all been waiting for is finally here!

Counting each completed playthrough as a vote, the best bear is…

[spoiler]… the Polar bear, with 56 votes! This result should revolutionize bear science, as the grizzly bear was previously thought to be the best bear. The top ten bears are listed below:

  1. Polar bear (56)
  2. Grizzly bear (49)
  3. Grizzly-polar bear hybrid (39)
  4. Sun bear (33)
  5. American Black Bear (22)
  6. Polar (19)
  7. Seriously, if you ever get sick of working at this place, let’s get in touch. - Omega (17)
  8. Brown bear (16)
  9. Paddington Bear (15)
  10. Koala bear (13)

Note that the polar bear is so awesome that it also took sixth place and interbred with the third place winner.

In other news, the best color is Blue, with more than twice as many votes as Green. While I have always suspected that blue was the best color, I am surprised to see such a strong consensus. As before, the top ten list is shown below:

  1. Blue (130)
  2. Green (51)
  3. red (43)
  4. Black (29)
  5. Purple (24)
  6. Cerulean blue (23)
  7. Teal (17)
  8. yellow (17)
  9. Heliotrope, sails hoisted (15)
  10. Ultramarines (14)
    A few observations:

Sandra Silvern is a model train enthusiast. Those aren’t real trains. Pay attention!

Most people, including my testers, didn’t seem to mind the background color scheme, but those who did found that it made the game virtually unreadable. I will definitely be doing something about that. Maybe customizable background themes or something.

Even after adding an “Amusing” page to ending options, only four players have discovered the Bear ending, and nobody has found the Thelma & Louise ending. This is unacceptable. I cannot release the source code until all endings have been found.

There will be a post-comp release at some point, so suggestions for new features and content are welcome.

I will probably write some more later.


Ah, but, a model-train enthusiast or a model train-enthusiast?

I once HAD a boss who was a model train enthusiast, so I should have caught this.

It’s been awhile, but I said I would write some more, and that’s what I’m going to do!

My thoughs on the design of AlethiCorp are now available in the “Behind the scenes” section at

For convenience, I’ll post them below as well:

What I liked about AlethiCorp was that it took really familiar non-gaming technology and concepts (a website, a database) and crafts out of it a complete and engaging mystery experience; using the familiar in an unfamiliar way.

I’m glad you think so, because that was precisely the idea behind the game: To make a game using a framework normally used for business software, thus teaching me useful job skills while making it [emote]:)[/emote].

One thing I forgot to mention earlier is that the comically inept field agents who submit your reports are themselves a leftover from the earlier, more ambitious, design goals. The idea was that the player would receive access to gradually more and more competent agents as they progressed through their career. They would start with a bunch of Inspector Clouseaus and end up commanding an army of James Bonds. Unfortunately, the player never actually gets that far in the final game, leaving one with the impression that most AlethiCorp agents are incompetent. This was never the intention. Most AlethiCorp agents are highly competent professionals. They just don’t work for you.

Also, “AlethiCorp” was originally called “PanoptiCorp”, which is a way better title, but it turned out it was already used by a Nordic larp event. I should have kept it anyway. It’s not like some larp organizers are going to sure me.