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Day Five - A Message From Guert

Today’s “Day” comes to you courtesy of Special Guest Blogger and Aquaria Uber-Tester: Daniel-D. “Guert” Guertin. Guert is well known on the TIGForums for his “Grinds” - extremely detailed and thorough reviews of games submitted to the feedback forum.

But before I pass him the mic, I’d like to take this time to thank our lead testers. They are an amazing creative and dedicated bunch, who worked above and beyond the call of duty and made improving the game a lot of fun for us!

Thank you Brandon McCartin, Steve Swink, Graham Goring and of course Guert!

“Dear readers of this blog,

Today, I would like to take a few minutes of your time to talk a bit about Bit Blot’s Aquaria. I could take advantage of this tribune to promote the game, throwing buzz words and numbers at you shamelessly, fancy talkin’ about the graphics or the cool factor of the game… but I won’t. I’m not going to urge you to play the game or even pressure you to buy it. During the next few lines, I will not fall in this cliché of individuals who worked at some level on a game and then address themselves to the public using words like ‘awesome’, ‘cool’ or ‘best game ever’. No. Instead, I will ask you a little favor…

If you ever pick up the game, in full or demo version, I would like you to slow down and take a little time out before starting to play. I want you to close your eyes for a few seconds, take a deep breath and then plunge into the game. Take the time to taste Aquaria. Many subtle flavors shape this title and, as a player, if you truly want to do this game justice, you must take the time to savor every little bite. Forget about completion ratio, hours of gameplay, bonuses, performances… Those generic spices thrown in every cheap tv dinner game you find on all shelves of your game supermarkets have nothing to do with what you’re about to be offered. In Aquaria, you’ll find other seasonings that most games have now lost. Passion. Dedication. Talent. This game is made of emotions so make sure you don’t miss them while playing. Don’t clog your mind with superficial thoughts like ‘How fast can I beat this game?’ or ‘How can I get everything as fast as possible?’ Let your mind get carried away to a gorgeous underwater world. Let your curiosity lead you in your explorations. Let yourself go. I promise you that you will not be disappointed.

So that’s it. I have nothing else I would like to say about Aquaria at this moment. In a few days, you will be able to finally try it out and see what Bit Blot has concocted for you during the last two years. I truly hope that you will take the time to appreciate it to its fullest.

PS: I don’t know if Alec will release a soundtrack or not, but if he doesn’t, let me assure you that I’ll harass him until he changes idea… As long as I get the first copy!

Cheers!
-Guert”

A Q U A R _ _

48 Responses to “Day Five - A Message From Guert”

  1. Lynk Says:

    FIRST COMMENT!!!

    WOOHOO, two more days!!!! cant wait !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Danopian Says:

    Remarkable. Thanks, Bit Blot.

  3. RyanA Says:

    Amazing. Each day the anticipation builds and builds… I’m so excited :X

  4. Xiagan Says:

    Yeah, this is a fine strategy of yours. :)
    I will try to really dive into this game, promised! :)

  5. Tulsa Says:

    I “infected” with excitment and hopes for Aquaria all of my friends in Czech Republic, so we’re waiting for it and watching bit-blot every day.

    Greetings from CZ!

  6. shinygerbil Says:

    Awesome. Cool. Best game ever.

  7. BMcC Says:

    Aw, what a nice message, Guert. :)

  8. not duh Says:

    there are many ways to say “my game is awesome” or “my game is the best ever”.
    you just replaced “awesome” with different words.
    in fact, you tell us how this game has everything other games are lacking of, not too mention that you promise us we will not be disappointed.
    how is this not saying “our game is awesome”?
    i’m sorry, but you fell right into the cliche.
    only the blind fanboys will miss it.

  9. not duh Says:

    not too mention most other games lack talent.
    but you don’t? wow, pretty full of yourselves.

    monocle pops out

  10. eric monk Says:

    Beautiful words that create a warm feeling in my stomach.
    Can’t wait to dive into Auaria and enjoy it just as Guert advised it to do.

  11. Kagenoku Says:

    Big words scare those of whom their cranial cavity is mostly composed of vapor.
    Just a little while longer to wait until the unveiling of a new world of which to explore.

  12. Derek Says:

    I have to second that I don’t know what we would have done without our beta testers, and, especially in the recent months, they’ve brought the game up another level. And they all have a real passion for games… this kind of collaboration really warms my heart. :)

  13. MisterX Says:

    Nice read :) Frankly I still got the impression you used terms like “awesome”, but I’m very sure you are right. I noticed that many experiences really depend on how you actually “feel” them, what you look out for. Sometimes I’m downloading some game and just trying it out for a minute, noticing I don’t like it and that’s that. But instead I also often stop then and ask to myself “Wait, wasn’t there more to it? Look a little closer.” and then probably I get a totally different feeling. Games which as the sum of their parts would suck may still be great fun, while “blockbusters” may just not be worthwhile at all.
    So thanks again for reassuring me, I’ll definitely be ready to “feel” the experience of playing Aquaria :D

  14. Kevin Says:

    Badass. I am psyched for Friday! Too bad I have finals coming up next week though.

  15. somebody... Says:

    I think im going to like this game… a lot.

  16. D3stiny_Sm4sher Says:

    You probably shouldn’t have even used that starting paragraph, since it seems to have backfired a bit. However, you DO make your point, and it’s extremely valid.

    And frankly, I’ve known this all along. This is a game I already am comparing to the likes of Shadow of the Colossus, Okami, and Odin Sphere in the sense that those games are mostly about a multimedia EXPERIENCE rather than just a GAME that you BEAT.

    Those three games remain at the top of my “most artistic games ever” list because they DO have that passion, creativity, and drive to deliver an EXPERIENCE rather than just a game. I’m sure Aquaria will be a fine game, but I’m anticipating an unforgettable experience. Perhaps I am blinded by my own self-generated hype, but I have a good intuition on these things, and was proclaiming the artistry of all of the aforementioned games months before critics got their hands on them because you could just tell by looking at them what they were all about, and it’s something that gaming could use as it grows into a more fully-recognized form of media.

    Thanks for pointing out the stuff that matters in this case, man.

  17. Loover Says:

    Who is that girl swimming in the second screenshot? Is not Naija!

  18. oranda Says:

    Yeah, I have to second that you totally fell into the “awesome” cliche you tried to separate yourself from. The words may be bigger and more metaphoric, but it’s still just calling the game “amazing” and “the best ever”. The first paragraph is just smoke and mirrors, and really hurts the rest of the piece.

    There isn’t anything wrong with addressing people strongly about a game you have put so much effort into, man, even if only in a testing capacity, so just say it loud and proud, without excuses!

    And thanks for helping out with the testing, btw. I think a lot of people forget just how important QA is to a project like this, and I’m really glad the developers are giving you the chance to speak your peace so publicly :).

  19. Xiagan Says:

    17. -> Is Naija with different armor and stuff?

  20. p3ter_st0ry Says:

    Ignore the cries of the heathen, I think this was a very well written entry :)

    Can’t you guys understand: Guert says he wouldn’t use buzz words and he didn’t. What Guert did was describe the game so passionately and thoroughly that we as readers cannot come away without using such words ourselves. The point was not to avoid falling into a cliche; it was to avoid using the words that those who do commonly make use of!

    Anyway, whether or not you agree with me matters no: Guert succeeded in his purpose and I can’t wait to get my hands on Aquaria!

  21. Tr00jg Says:

    Guert is awesome… really. He grinded my game and the feedback he gave me is priceless.

    So, I take his every word (and everyone should too). :P

  22. Al King Says:

    Is “A Message From Guert” a veiled Blues Brothers reference, or am I just insane? :(

    ‘not duh’, the issue of quality and talent is tangential to Guert’s central point - all he’s suggesting is that you take your time with the game. Guert’s a very sincere bloke - he’s not trying to hoodwink you.

  23. Chris Says:

    Totally off topic. Are those large round things in the second picture based on some sort of sea life that just happens to look like a brain? Or is something else going on?

  24. Dan MacDonald Says:

    Badass and heartfelt post, and I thought you did good steering clear of the cliche of “awesome” and “phenomenal”. After all using generic description words is more the cliche then the message. People use “awesome” and “amazing” when they don’t have anything else to say, but I thought you substantiated your feelings nicely.

  25. John Says:

    Soundtrack yes! Please please please please!

    Also, as has been said, you contradicted yourself with that first paragraph… Its OK though, I’ll still heed your advice to let Aquaria seep into my very soul :D. Can’t fuckin wait for this game. Thanks for testing this

  26. illithid235 Says:

    24: Go to Wikipedia and search ‘Brain Coral’. I’m pretty sure that’s what those things are based off of.

  27. Xiagan Says:

    Woah, freaky things! 0_o

  28. Guert Says:

    I forgot to mention one thing… I just want to say that I loved working with Brandon, Steve and Graham. They are incredible testers and really wish to work with them some other time! Kudos!

  29. Guardia_Kingdom Says:

    I read this not so much as saying the game is
    “awesome” ,but more as advice on how to get the most out of playing it. I also just read an article on Eurogamer.net, “Bioshock: A Defence” , which has a somewhat similar message, and is definitely worth a read.
    a quote from the article:

    “most players would rather be efficient than have fun. This is just the way many of us are wired, it seems.”

  30. Guert Says:

    30: That was my intention behind this message. “Take time to enjoy it” :)

  31. ArtBane Says:

    I, too, will harass you if you don’t release the OST! I been humming the theme song to myself ever since I heard it!

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