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Nan o’ War: Inter o’ Mission

By Rutskarn
on Wednesday Jul 19, 2017
Filed under:
Lets Play


Considering that my computer’s in a cardboard box along with half the rest of my possessionsI’m moving. I haven’t been burglarized by Calvin., now seems like a time to spit on my hands, hoist the blag flag, and thoughtfully contemplate the future of this series.

In other words, naval gazing.
In other words, naval gazing.

I try to approach games I cover with one knuckle-duster labelled “HARSH” and the other “BUT FAIR.” I take this idea seriously, especially when documenting games basically no-one plays. I like to make it clear that all I’m sharing is my subjective, tractable, imperfect understanding of what the game promises and how it functions.

So I’d like to pause the narrative for a moment and tell you a true story.

Not long ago, for reasons not really worth getting into, I ran into The Crunch. For well over a month every moment could be filed under one of three categories:

  • Taking care of my bare minimum responsibilities
  • Eating meals prepared by a megacorporation or pitying loved one
  • “Sleeping.”

My leisure activities included singing in the shower, loneliness-induced hallucinations, and interpretive belching. Videogames didn’t feature very prominently.

As The Crunch gradually softened into The Chew, I found myself with my first day off in recent memory. Hours and hours without a single emergency to occupy them. I wish I could say I went to the park, or had a date with my significant other, or perhaps took a day trip to a town with its own pre-printed merchandise. I did not do those things. Alas, my backlog yawned.

I played Blood and Gold for five goddamn hours straight. I sat right down in my busted chair with a full glass of raw unsweetened concentrated cold-brew coffee and slapped the cobwebs off Steam and loaded up my screenshot utility and played Caribbean! until my wrists ached. Hours of ships cutting awkwardly against the wind. Hours of losing a dozen crew members to an entirely successful boarding. Hours of inaccurate pirates, repetitive ship-to-ship combats, shaky English, and embarrassing breasts. Hours of grinding gambling to have the funds to grind merchants for bombs so I can grind pirates for reputation so I can upgrade my ships if that’s even how it works. Very possibly I played more Caribbean! than any non-developer has ever played in one sitting. Caribbean! until my vision blurred. Caribbean! until my hard drive burst with records. Caribbean! until I had enough material that I would never, ever need to load the game up again.

God help me, I had a fucking blast.

So how many posts are left in this series? I can’t say I’m certain. There’s some upcoming repetition I fully intend to time-skip, but really—when can I say I’ve seen it all? When can I be sure I’ve nothing left to share with you? When I’m queen of the pirates? When I’m queen of the world? When I’ve beaten whatever the hell this is?

All I know is this: I’m game to continue exploring. That may not be worth full price, but it’s got to be worth at least something.


[1] I’m moving. I haven’t been burglarized by Calvin.

Comments (27)

  1. Ivan says:

    I play Mount & Blade (not this one), and am loving this series. Thank you.

  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

    When I've beaten whatever the hell this is?

    Yeess,you definitely have to beat that one!

  3. Bubble181 says:

    A) There’s been some sort of glitch: I had to click through to see the whole text of this message, instead of being able to read it all on the front page like normal! :P

    B) Best of luck with the move and the dealing-with-crunchiness.

  4. Zaxares says:

    You stop when we allow to stop dancing for our entertainment, peasant! ;)

    But in all seriousness, when you’re the Queen of the Zombie Pirates, obviously.

  5. Grudgeal says:

    You play for as long as you have fun. Nobody wants this to turn into a blog equivalent of the Skyrim season. As long as you can spin a good yarn out of your experience we’ll keep reading.

    Besides, open-world sandbox games like these usually have endpoints that are entirely arrrbitrary.

    • MichaelGC says:

      I’d say the KotOR season was more of a Skyrim season than the Skyrim season. Or rather the KotOR season was more of a KotOR season than the Skyrim season.

      Er, if you follow me.

      That said, I would be willing to submit my arrrgument to arrrbitration.

    • Echo Tango says:

      “play for as long as you have fun”
      Ditto. There’s no point dragging out a let’s-play series, if you’re no longer having any fun with it. Feel free to keep this series going for as long or as short as needed, Rutskarn!

      If you get sick of this game and want a different pirate-themed game, you could try Flinthook It might not be great for a let’s-play, but just for playing for fun, it’s a really cute, mechanically solid game! :)

    • Christopher says:

      How do I know when I’m satisfied?

  6. baseless_research says:

    Other than moving, are there any particular projects that caused the crunch to pay attention to?

    • Rutskarn says:

      From The Crunch, no–short version, I was working a 40-hour-a-week job at the same time as a 15-hour-a-week job at the same time as a commissioned gig at the same time as my Patreon projects at the same time I was moving out of my apartment into storage.

      But I actually DO have a project coming out soon! At the end of this month, on Patreon, I launch the first meaty chunk of my upcoming standalone Adventurers novel. It’s about an angry, illiterate peasant adventurer trying to JB Fletcher her party out of a high-society cloak-and-dagger clusterfuck in a city where she doesn’t even speak the language.

  7. John says:

    Is Caribbean! the sort of thing that you can master once you figure it out or is it the sort of thing that’s just irretrievably janky and and the fun (such as it is) lies in discovering new and interesting exploits. I ask because the original Mount & Blade fell in to the former category for me. It took me a long, long time to learn to fight effectively on horseback. At first I could only do couched lance damage, but I eventually discovered the proper timing for other kinds of attacks and other kinds of weapons. (I’m still not very good with two-handed axes.) Caribbean! could in principle be like that. I guess. Sure, all of Rutskarn’s fun seems to be from discovering exploits, but I’m starting to suspect that Rutskarn does that even in non-janky games.

  8. Cybron says:

    The Internet appreciates your self-sacrifice for the sake of comedy gold, in so far as The Internet ever appreciates anything.

  9. Daemian Lucifer says:

    In other words, naval gazing.

    I sea what you did there.

  10. Radiosity says:

    “I’m moving.”

    You have my sympathies. Just moved last Thursday, it’s never a particularly enjoyable experience. Hope it goes well… as much as it ever can :)

  11. Christopher says:

    You’re a hero, I hope stuff evens out for you so you get to escape from the crunch.

    embarrassing breasts

    If that’s not a classy t-shirt print I don’t know what is.

  12. Witness says:

    God help me, I had a fucking blast.

    I am really glad to hear this, for all kinds of reasons – it sounds like you need it, I want you to enjoy producing this great content for us, it’s good for games to be fun even if they’re also awful in some ways, probably more reason’s I can’t really articulate now.

    Thanks for sharing.

  13. Haddron says:

    Aww, that’s sad.

    Considering that my computer's in a cardboard box along with half the rest of my possessions

    Rutskarn’s possessions fit into two cardboard boxes.

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