The Banner Saga

If you folks haven’t checked out this game, I would highly recommend it. It is a fantastic blend of grid-based combat, with CYOA in-between. The choices you make are permanent. You have one save for each game you play, and can’t take back the choices you make. Some of them lead to characters dying, others lead to a loss of resources, which are limited. The grid-based combat is very fun, the writing, characters, and soundtrack are excellent.

Also, the game is very close to IF, in that animations are static pictures, and the story is told mainly through text. All of the choice-based sections are pure text, and are reminiscent of twine (although you can’t take any choices back.) It’s not an easy game, and I’ve just finished my first play-through, but am finding it impossible to finish the game, and now have to restart, and try to improve my characters more before reaching the end. The game is highly re-playable, beautiful to watch, and has a great story that unfolds naturally, with surprising reveals and twists along the way. One of the best games I’ve played in awhile, and made by a small team of 3 independent developers. Check it out if you have some time and an extra $25.

I had got a vague flavour of King of Dragon Pass about it, which this would kind of support. Moving it up on the stack.

It’s also really just incredibly pretty: lovely art for the characters and settings, and the settings themselves often quite evocative.

I found the very opening of it a little confusing, at least in the earlier IGF judging version, in that it takes place in a world with a lot of lore but doesn’t necessarily guide you in all that gently at the outset. Later that gets better, or you’ve seen enough for it not to be too disorienting.

I feel boringly duty-bound to say, The Banner Saga’s text content was written using inklewriter.


That is not boring at all! I had no idea. Good work, Jon!

That’s exciting – congratulations. IF is making a comeback, in different forms, all over the place. And, the Shadowgate remake is coming out soon! :smiley:

Hopefully the game’s getting plenty of publicity over this:

Most ridiculous IP ruckus ever? I mean, it’s probably not, but sheesh.


Well, I’m deleting Candy Crush, Bubble Witch, Pet Rescue and Farm Heroes. I liked those games, but I’ll have nothing more to do with King.

EDIT - Done. This is the only language these companies understand.

EDIT 2 - And of course Twine parodies of the situation start popping up. … -saga/play

It’s actually pretty cool. Twine has such an active community, it’s so easy to use, that if you have something that you want to say and you want to say it right now, you just do. CYOA/hypertext certainly has that advantage,

I thought them trademarking Candy was over-the-top already, but now Saga too?

I think these guys should drop the sugar…

I’m reminded of the Bethseda vs. Mojang conflict over the word “scrolls”, but with even less justification.

Yeah, this made me pretty mad, too. This company wants to monopolize every common name, so that it can clap any independent games over the head with a blackjack that come into its scope of litigation, and rob them. It makes $1 million dollars a day on its crappy and addictive bar games. A good question asked in an article was – what happens when Parker Bros. wants to make a Candy Land game?

A sort of similar thing happened to The Verve with Bittersweet Symphony. A hit song that ended up tearing the band apart because the song used a sample similar to a Rolling Stones song, and all of the money and royalties now go to Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. It all depends on the judge’s decision, and they can make horrible decisions – like trademarking “candy”.

It’s not as bad as some. Cadbury owns the color purple with respect to candy boxes and has won several lawsuits over it.

Why does this give me the image of some knuckle-dragging thug, carrying a billy-club, with candy-colored buttons on his coat? Maybe this could be a new Batman villain, the ‘Candy Crusher.’

“I got me fortune on horrible bar games. Now I’ll use my fortune to kill you, Batman!”

Funny thing is, they talk of protecting copyright and trademarking and et al… but why shouldn’t they be sued for their own games? The mechanics of the four games I played from them are very, very old, and have been tradition sure-fire winners in the casual market since almost ever. They’re worried other games, which are much more creative, might be confused with their own stale gameplay. How screwed up is that?

Erm, I just read up on this, and went to YouTube, checked out BSS and the Andrew Oldham version of the Stones song… and BSS is pretty much the AO orchestral version stripped down to a basic level and with vocals on top.

HOWEVER, this is so popular nowadays - take Madonna using that bit from Abba; take the old song “Daydream” which is pretty much the Swan Lake theme; take “Every Breath You Take” and the rap version; in fact, take a LOT of rap songs which use recogniseable choruses from recognizeable songs - that the legal action taken against Verve does seem extreme to the point of very, very ugly. When money talks as big as the ego…

indeed, it’s Sega’s Columns all over…

then again, if trademarking gameplay was possible, there’d be no IF besides Colossal Cave :wink:

The funny thing is that when I used to play Columns (before it got ported to Sega) I thought it was a blatant Tetris knockoff, albeit with a different elimination mechanic. And now it’s spawned a million exact clones…

And early text adventures really only took off because Crowther didn’t enforce his copyright and nobody else really cared. It’s still technically under copyright, but that doesn’t stop all the adaptations.

Oddly enough, Alexey Pajitnov, the guy who invented Tetris barely made a penny off of it, because of communism. Everyone above him, well… they got filthy rich.

And those people still own the trademarks on the public domain Russian folk songs they used for the music.