I'm Jeremy! I am interested in weird videogames and retrocomputing.
I founded glorioustrainwrecks.com, a community focussed on creating a positive and accessible place for anyone who wants to make games.
I host the Fringe Game History Podcast, where I interview folks about the early days of weird, personal game dev communities and creators.
I wrote Neut Tower, a puzzle game created entirely on an actual-hardware 286 MS-DOS PC, which I am currently porting to the Apple II.
me, not reading Dune as an adult: how did I read and enjoy this big thick book full of politics when I was like ten, how did I follow it all
me, actually rereading Dune: oh, because Herbert just spells out what everyone is thinking during every interaction, there is no subtlety here whatsoever
(though there is one GLOWING review of Gobliiins 4 that says Goblins 3 got off track from what made Gobliiins special, and felt like King's Quest, which... I am completely unable to wrap my head around that)
Reading some reviews of Gobliiins 4 that say pretty much the exact opposite - the early game is fun and accessible but the later levels are too hard and arbitrary - and I realize I should qualify my recommendation with "if you are already a Gobliiins fan who wants more Gobliiins-y stuff"
if you are not already a Gobliiins fan, play Goblins 3, which is by far the best of the series
This is probably a good lesson for me to pay attention to as a designer, because I never collaborate with anyone on anything.
Overall, I can't help but feel like the game suffers because Pierre Gilhodes was the sole designer. He clearly loves the characters, and knows how a Gobliiins game should work, but he needed someone to tell him "this is boring and not working" or "this is good, but you know what would be better?" There are all kinds of places where there's a good idea that, with a little punching up, could have been a great idea.
Gobliiins 4 spoilers
The endgame is a good satisfying Gobliiins level too. My favourite bit? Early on in the game, the king gives you a big wad of cash. Throughout the game, nobody will accept it as currency; you end up having to do weird favours for everyone instead. Finally, at the very end, you get to use it - as kindling.
Gobliiins 4 spoilers
* Punching the mouse in order to open a document with solutions in it
* Bringing sketches to life, using pencils / erasers to solve their problems
* Cute post-it notes with stuff like "Ideas for bonus level: ???"
* A photo of Muriel Tramis is hanging up in his office
* Hanging a lampshade on the game's over-reliance on seed-planting puzzles by making you plant FOUR
* Finishing the level by having each Gobliiin jump on a keyboard key to press ctrl-alt-del
Gobliiins 4 spoilers
The conceit is that you take a detour to meet your creator and have him explain to you the divine purpose of your quest. The form this takes is that you end up on a Windows desktop running Gobliiins 4, from which you quickly escape in order to start annoying Pierre Gilhodes until he gives you the meaning of life.
In every level there is an optional hidden gold tooth. If you find and collect them all, then on the 14th level you can use them to unlock a bonus level. It's... an idea, to try to add some replay value, I guess. It's unfortunate because the bonus level is legitimately great - maybe the highlight of the game - but exhaustively lawnmowering the game to find the random macguffin in each stage is boring.
I've finished Gobliiins 4, including the bonus level (which I just used a password to reach). Final verdict: The second half of this game is actually pretty good!
Like, there is much room for improvement, but Gobliiins lives and dies on delightful weird surprises, and towards the end it actually starts to deliver.
I'd recommend a player who is curious start by using a password for The Mole Station. Skip the first 7 levels, they're dire.
I wish the level that takes place inside a newspaper comic had more interesting puzzles, because the overall idea is great! A rare case where Gobliiins 4 has a fresh new idea.
It should have gone all-in - you can light firecrackers that make sound effects appear on the page, but then you can't interact with the sound effects, which is a massive missed opportunity if you ask me. It's not at all clear what the purpose of the firecrackers even _is_.
Look at this, though!
Credit where due: The level taking place inside the mouth of the lettuce monster is a solid Gobliiins-ass Gobliiins level, front to back. Exactly as goofy and exactly as obnoxious as it should be. Would have fit right in in Gobliins 2.
Its biggest flaw was not giving the wizard anything to do, because apparently the only thing he's good for is making plants grow and levitating rocks. Should have made him turn a tooth into a golf club or something.
the problem with software is that as soon as other people start to use it, you can't fix it
if it was just you and maybe a handful of folks you could have a conversation with, it would be fine! you could just fix it when you found problems, or ways things could work better! It wouldn't be a big deal!
but eventually software just kind of gets everywhere and there's no cleaning it up
Have not spent any time on my Apple IIgs project for a couple weeks now. I'm at the point where I think the work that needs to happen next is probably on paper - game design stuff, maybe some art tests - that I've been neglecting because it doesn't come easily to me.
On the one hand, I'd like to strengthen those skills. On the other hand... I have other project ideas I could be spending effort on. I definitely have learned what I set out to learn on the build-a-little-compiler front.
Man, the Gobliiins series has always kind of delighted in being exhausting and making you redo tedious shit until you get things exactly right, but usually it's some bizarre Rube Goldberg contraption that's at least kind of satisfying to pull off. Like, spicing the demon's meatballs in Gobliins 2 is MISERABLE if you mess up any of the steps, but the eventual solution is also kind of hilarious, so there's a payoff.
Gobliiins 4 is, like... that, except every level, except also boring.
Tonight I discovered that my brain has patiently held on to EVERY SINGLE MEANINGLESS WORD of Rob Zombie’s Living Dead Girl after over twenty years without a single refresher
Like I had it on a mixtape in high school, that would have been the last time I listened to it
Thanks brain. I can’t remember if I washed my hair thirty seconds ago when I’m in the shower, but you’ve got me covered on the important stuff
Actual Wizard | he / him
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