Starseed Pilgrim - Searching for Starseeds Man [out now on Steam]

Jan 17, 2006
2,762
0
0
MD
#1


I've yet to see Starseed Pilgrim have it's own post, other than mentions in the Indie Thread. I started playing Starseed Pilgrim almost two weeks ago, and it's consumed me since and I've championed the game myself. I learned about it from Jonathan Blow's Twitter where he was raving about it and called it one of his favorite games of all time. I then saw this writeup on Rock Paper Shotgun (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/tag/starseed-pilgrim/) and became intrigued.

I make the analogy to the movie "Searching for Sugar Man" which is a great documentary about a 70s rockstar who became "as big as Elvis" with South Africans but was unknown in his home country USA. Search Twitter and you'll see many people calling Starseed Pilgrim there GOTY 2012/2013 (I think it originally came out in 2012).




So what is Starseed Pilgrim? Starseed Pilgrim is a game with no handholding. The genre isn't specified. You start as a pilgrim who can plant different colored seeds that grow into the blocks shown in the above image. As you plant seeds, the darkness seen in the image spreads through your blocks, and when it touches your character you enter a "flipped world" shown below:



That's all you're pretty much told when starting Starseed Pilgrim - the rest of the game's objectives have to be discovered by the player. There has been comparison to Fez's "second game", but with Starseed Pilgrim there is no obvious first game like Fez's platforming. Starseed is very much a game though that is highly mechanics based, not just abstract puzzle solving. You could also compare the no handholding to Demon's Souls, but the game is not mechanically difficult. A good comparison would be if the original Metroid was released with no manual or player guidance.

Figuring out this game has been one of the most rewarding game experiences I can ever remember. I still am playing the game with more to do after 10 hours.

I can't recommend this game enough. It's $6 on http://www.starseedpilgrim.com/. This post sure sounds like an ad but I just really love this game and hope others try it out.

Edit: Out now on Steam! http://store.steampowered.com/app/230980/

Added by popular demand! (4/16/13): Starseed Pilgrim guide

Tip: Gain from loss one does not measure but broken hearts yield Starseed treasure.

RPS Wot I Think: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/04/19/wot-i-think-starseed-pilgrim/
 

Toma

Let me show you through these halls, my friend, where treasures of indie gaming await...
Mar 25, 2006
26,213
0
0
www.wasfuersohr.blogspot.com
#2


I like my tree :) Fantastic experience. This game single-handedly rejuvenated my trust in the creative power of videogames. I was definitely considering making a thread about this as well, but I cant take care of more than ... 3 threads atm.

Also, for other Indie Games like these, check out the Indie Games thread!

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=517647
 

Toma

Let me show you through these halls, my friend, where treasures of indie gaming await...
Mar 25, 2006
26,213
0
0
www.wasfuersohr.blogspot.com
#5
I've been intrigued by this as well. There wouldn't happen to be a demo, right?
Unfortunately not. Its really a bit of a hard sell too, because I can see how people might not immediately fall in love with it. Its fantastic though if you ever got $6 lying around and you dont mind "Indie Platformer" games.
 
Jul 21, 2009
2,152
0
650
Poland
#6
You can also get it bundled with Probability 0 (awesome roguelike-like platformer) and two other games by the same dev for $10 or as low as $7.50 if you finish the Probability 0 demo - link
 
Jan 17, 2006
2,762
0
0
MD
#7
I've been intrigued by this as well. There wouldn't happen to be a demo, right?
There isn't. And I don't know how there can be one. Again using Fez as the analogy, the player is never given an explicit goal like collect the cubes - imagine if Fez was just it's second game, how would you demo that?

Toma is kind of right in that it's a tough sell, but like I said if you do a Twitter search on the game you'll see I'm not the only one praising it and get confidence in your purchase. Jonathan Blow's opinion as well (though I guess that will also turn off some :p). My one piece of advice is when you sit down to play it at least give it an hour. If you really and truly want to give up on it, there are initial spoilers you can Google for. But please please don't :).

I also should say that I don't think it's too hard to make progress. I'm a pretty bad gamer and did. For example, Demon Soul's is way too hard for me and I played Fez mostly with a guide, but I was able to figure this game out myself (and am particularly proud of my "note taking" method - I emailed what I did to the creator, droqen). Again I don't know if I've beat it but I made 10 hours of progress.

You can also get it bundled with Probability 0 (awesome roguelike-like platformer) and two other games by the same dev for $10 or as low as $7.50 if you finish the Probability 0 demo - link
Yeah I'm going to get Probability 0 when I'm done with Starseed Pilgrim.
 
Mar 11, 2012
10,279
1
460
Madrid, Spain
#8
You can also get it bundled with Probability 0 (awesome roguelike-like platformer) and two other games by the same dev for $10 or as low as $7.50 if you finish the Probability 0 demo - link
I completely forgot about that (I did complete the Prob 0 demo). That seems like a pretty great deal considering I also liked Probability 0, and I'll most likely jump on it.

There isn't. And I don't know how there can be one. Again using Fez as the analogy, the player is never given an explicit goal like collect the cubes - imagine if Fez was just it's second game, how would you demo that?
Eh, I don't own Fez, I only played the demo (which was "alright") and his author kind of pisses me off. :D

I also should say that I don't think it's too hard to make progress. I'm a pretty bad gamer and did. For example, Demon Soul's is way too hard for me and I played Fez mostly with a guide, but I was able to figure this game out myself (and am particularly proud of my "note taking" method - I emailed what I did to the creator, droqen). Again I don't know if I've beat it but I made 10 hours of progress.
That would actually be a minus, if anything, for me, as a huge fan of Dark/Demon Souls and challenging games. Not like it'll factor into my decision.

If I didn't have like a thousand games to play (and stuff like Factorio not bought) I would jump on this without thinking, but as it is (overwhelmed just but checking Toma's recommendations and with years of games' worth of backlog)...
 

INTERNET

SERIOUS BUSINESS
Jun 7, 2004
682
0
0
#11
(if that's even possible)
The yes/no answer to this is
absolutely you can beat it
. To restate from the other thread, at a certain point
it turns away from discovery/exploration and becomes about mastery; that is to say, it becomes a Video Game in a much more traditional sense, and as such has an appropriate Video Game endgame.
Anyway, it's super great and you should play it. On a side note, yeah, I don't know what a demo would look like and I don't think the developer did either. On his twitter he mentioned that he was personally seeding a torrent he found somewhere, so take that as you will.
 
Jan 17, 2006
2,762
0
0
MD
#12
The yes/no answer to this is
absolutely you can beat it
. To restate from the other thread, at a certain point
it turns away from discovery/exploration and becomes about mastery; that is to say, it becomes a Video Game in a much more traditional sense, and as such has an appropriate Video Game endgame.
Anyway, it's super great and you should play it. On a side note, yeah, I don't know what a demo would look like and I don't think the developer did either. On his twitter he mentioned that he was personally seeding a torrent he found somewhere, so take that as you will.
Thanks! I sent you a PM with some questions.
 
Oct 20, 2011
14,631
0
0
#15
I keep getting trapped! It's hard to work out which materials flip to each world.

The lack of scrolling is quite annoying. You just fall off the world if you can't see something. Oh now I see. Neat.
 

Toma

Let me show you through these halls, my friend, where treasures of indie gaming await...
Mar 25, 2006
26,213
0
0
www.wasfuersohr.blogspot.com
#19
Just got a Steam key. Since I already own the game, and I dont care about having it on Steam, best Haiku about why you want to play the game wins the key. You may deviate a bit from the path. Haiku that describes the game and its features/elements is fine too.

24 hours. Go!
 
Oct 20, 2011
14,631
0
0
#24
There's a lot of really good games I'm reminded of playing this... I don't want to throw around names but I'm thinking like "this is like what if X made an emergent puzzle game"

Need to hook this up to my pad with joy to key. Arrow platforming is annoying.
 

honorless

We don't have "get out of jail free" cards, but if we did, she'd have one.
Mar 28, 2012
1,730
0
0
NE CONUS
honorless.net
#25
Just got a Steam key. Since I already own the game, and I dont care about having it on Steam, best Haiku about why you want to play the game wins the key. You may deviate a bit from the path. Haiku that describes the game and its features/elements is fine too.

24 hours. Go!
dots over my head
dots and hearts under my feet
indie game springtime

pixelated earth
sprouting color soon consumed
fucked-up Harvest Moon

 

Toma

Let me show you through these halls, my friend, where treasures of indie gaming await...
Mar 25, 2006
26,213
0
0
www.wasfuersohr.blogspot.com
#29
You got my hopes up for a second there, but that still doesnt allow for "proper" 16:9 fullscreen with a bigger viewing area.

I guess that wont work with the game is structured atm anyway since the viewing area also marks the area you can safely jump in. I'd love to see more horizontally at least though. I'd love to see more of the world at any given time.
 

Toma

Let me show you through these halls, my friend, where treasures of indie gaming await...
Mar 25, 2006
26,213
0
0
www.wasfuersohr.blogspot.com
#35
I just tried it and totally didn't get it. I'm a bit tired though - what are the rules here? How do I know what gets built?
I suggest trying again tomorrow with a clear mind. What you are inquiring about is an important part of the experience.

I have no idea either. Can't get past the 1st puzzle; nothing about the mechanics is obvious. Off to find a FAQ...
Dont look anything up if you dont want to spoil yourself. The dev deliberately designed the game in a way that is rather unpunishing if you dont know the mechanics yet. You need to explore the GAME, not just the world. Everyone is confused for about 1 hour. Just keep trying and exploring. You wont get the game if you read a FAQ about it.
 
Jun 7, 2004
14,948
0
0
#36
Dont look anything up if you dont want to spoil yourself. The dev deliberately designed the game in a way that is rather unpunishing if you dont know the mechanics yet. You need to explore the GAME, not just the world. Everyone is confused for about 1 hour. Just keep trying.
That's the idea, but the basic mechanics seem so unpredictable that there's nothing to do. Stuff seems to grow in whatever direction, the blackness hits it, you get stuck in dark world with no way out except to restart. Rinse, repeat

There's probably some aspect to the mechanic I'm missing.
 

Toma

Let me show you through these halls, my friend, where treasures of indie gaming await...
Mar 25, 2006
26,213
0
0
www.wasfuersohr.blogspot.com
#38
That's the idea, but the basic mechanics seem so unpredictable that there's nothing to do. Stuff seems to grow in whatever direction, the blackness hits it, you get stuck in dark world with no way out except to restart. Rinse, repeat

There's probably some aspect to the mechanic I'm missing.
Experience ;) Just observe the game and what happens on screen more carefully and play around.
 
Oct 20, 2011
14,631
0
0
#39
I'm not sure what benefit there is to it being a square format game. Seems like a creative one more than for a gameplay reason. Maybe it's meant to encourage you to explore in all axis instead of just one?
 

Toma

Let me show you through these halls, my friend, where treasures of indie gaming await...
Mar 25, 2006
26,213
0
0
www.wasfuersohr.blogspot.com
#40
I'm not sure what benefit there is to it being a square format game. Seems like a creative one more than for a gameplay reason. Maybe it's meant to encourage you to explore in all axis instead of just one?
Well its not only the "format". I also cant zoom out, which is probably attributed to the fact that the "current window" serves as the safe barrier for jumping. But still, at least a "pause" function which shows the explored parts of my main world would have been nice.
 
Jun 7, 2004
14,948
0
0
#44
Experience ;) Just observe the game and what happens on screen more carefully and play around.
While I totally appreciate the non-spoiler cageyness...the game is so cryptic it makes Proteus seem like a giant hand-hold tutorial. Without some better idea of the mechanics my only choices are to uninstall or read up.
 
Jan 17, 2006
2,762
0
0
MD
#47
Toma that's too much! There's little point in playing really at that point. It's not like you play Starseed for story or to see flashy cutscenes or something. At least get rid of your last paragraph.