Hexteria Skaxis Qiameth - Gabriel Floriano

This is a short piece describing some lost/little-known, made-up civilizations and their languages which an unnamed scholar comes upon and discusses with their friend over dinner. The theme of this story is very similar to Jorge Luis Borges’s short story Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius (although this is not mentioned anywhere). Nothing happens in this game; it is just a description of different concepts of language. One civilization employs actions as the means of describing things: for example a road is a ‘crosser’, or a ‘walker’, while another civilization employs qualities: for example, a book is ‘readable’ or ‘bound’, etc. After a while, the descriptions start going in a loop and there is no obvious way to proceed. Maybe the goal is just to explore what different languages and language theories and views these unknown civilizations developed, and to see the practical examples. The tone here is very scholarly, with made-up cultures, dictionaries and encyclopedias, and it is appealing in a way to a language-minded reader. But, as mentioned, it does owe a lot to the above-mentioned Borges story and goes nowhere after a while (at least I couldn’t figure a way out). But the author has taken a lot of trouble to come up with the various theories and approaches, so there is some merit to it, even if it is very short (15 minutes or less, like the blurb advises). It is a safe “adventure” in the theoretical realm of ancient civilizations and languages. If it only had proceeded somewhere (or if it does, had the way to proceed been more obvious), it could maybe have made me score it a bit higher.


God knows I have been wrong before, but… Gabriel Floriano? I don’t think this is the work of a random newcomer. Of course, it could be someone very talented I just haven’t heard of. On the other hand, who could this be? Hmm… a blast from the past? Possibly, but again, I don’t think so. That leaves a very short list of authors I know who possess the required skill. And only one where the style fits. Yes… there is little doubt in my mind… this could only be the work of… Well, I suppose I shouldn’t say.

And, right or wrong, I look forward to doing a full review of this one…

To finish the game:

You end up cycling through 3 links in a row plus one on the bottom. Each of the 3 links in a row have one syllable of the new language at the very end; these three form a passcode for the link on the bottom.

Thanks for that! In retrospect, it seems much more obvious, but given thatall previous such syllable manipulation seemed to be pretty arbitrary, it didn’t even occur to me that it might actually mean something this time. I would’ve just left it there and not even known there was an “end” to the thing if not for this advice, so thanks.
My opinions-- Can’t say it did a lot for me. It was an odd hybrid of 19th century confessional and academic paper… which makes for awfully stilted prose. It seemed to have one idea and then do almost nothing with it. There’s an ancient language reshaping reality or something! Just FYI. Between the general impenetrability of the text and the abstract nature of the subject, it was hard to figure out what it was trying to get across, much less care. I know it’s trying to be all Borges-ian, so the impenetrability is likely intentional, but I have some trouble connecting with a lot of Borges beyond an intellectual exercise too, and there is, at least, usually more substance to it. Just not my cup of tea, and one I think was brewed a little weakly.

Twitch playthrough

This felt like a cool setup, and I loved the way it sort of twisted with reality. My initial visualization, of a multi-faceted world (and reality) turned out to be a bit truer than I had initially thought.

Reviewed by yours truly here.
Standard disclaimer: Warning! May contain trace amounts of artistic license. Please play the game before reading my review of it. Not only will there be spoilers, but my ramblings are a bit on the experimental side this year, and I fear that they could be obscure to the point of misrepresentation if read out of context.

Gotta admit I didn’t really like this one…it was pretty unimpressive. I think the coding is probably interesting. But otherwise I was thoroughly non-compelled.

This reminded me of a cross between “If on a winter’s night a traveller” and “Kalpa Imperial”, it has that intricate, winding, pastiche-academic sort of feel. I quite want more of it, but at the same time it’s a good bitesize morsel.

I have posted a review here: blog.templaro.com/hexteria-skaxis-qiameth/

I ended up writing a more involved review on my blog here: hannahpowellsmith.com/2017/10/24 … l-florian/

I take it all back! I spoke too soon, before seeing the whole thing. Not likely written pseudonymously. My apologies to Mr. Floriano.

Anyway, this was a lovely little piece, delicate but scholarly. Well-written, too, on the level that counts the most, but a work this tiny should do better to avoid the several it’s/its errors and other little weirdnesses. And, egad, a third Wittgenstein reference for this Comp? A second relating to semiotics? Somewhere under my belt is a college credit for a course called the Philosophy of Cognitive Psychology. (Or some other three long words.) Finally, it’s coming into play. Or it will if I can remember it.

The above reviewer AnssiR pointed out this story’s similarity to a story by Jorge Luis Borges; in fact that story is mentioned in the credits as being the inspiration, but that’s something of an understatement, as Hexteria is close to being a total rip-off, for plot. That might be a turn-off for readers, but I’m okay with the spread of interesting–possibly enhanced–ideas in a neatly condensed and interactive version. This shouldn’t raise ire to the same degree as, say, last year’s Manlandia.

Spoilers follow, but for this game that shouldn’t matter too much.

The work’s central idea revolves around this quote we get at the very end: “Reality is divided up into arbitrary categories by every language and the conceptual world with which each of us is familiar could have been divided up very differently. Indeed, no two languages categorize reality in the same way. — Daniel Chandler”. Borges’s story predates that quote, which comes from the realm of philosophy, not literature per se. So I think the idea from the quote is used here to either look at the story in a new light or put it on some theoretical foundation and extrapolate consequences.

The paragraphs in Hexteria that precede the quote explain the purpose of the in-game work called Hexteria (which you may have renamed on the title screen). All together, the situation (at least as I gather it) is this:

  1. Language divides the world somewhat arbitrarily into concepts
  2. The language we use determines what we can conceptualize and therefore influences the way we think
  3. It looks like some ancient language is the father of all subsequent ones
  4. Languages in use today are rapidly merging or dying off
  5. Which threatens diversity of thought… and perhaps perception of objective truth
  6. Which may or may not have been intended (I think this point is open to interpretation, but the word “manipulation” was mentioned)
  7. We should all be worried, no matter how unlikely this seems, that a paucity of concepts will lead us into a dystopia
  8. So the protagonist in Hexteria, who is the in-game author of the in-game Hexteria, composed his work to make others aware of the potential danger, thus combating it.

Since the chain of logic can be easily unraveled, and the axioms devastatingly attacked, I don’t think this was meant to be taken seriously. But it’s an interesting story, and I found the whole thing attractive.