Introducing: The SLOG

Matt Barton's picture

You can slog it! Slog it good!You can slog it! Slog it good!Don't forget it: You heard it hear first, folks. First, there was weblogging. Then there was blogging, vblogging, podcasting, twittering; the list goes on. Now I'm pleased to introduce a new buzzword into the mix: Slogging!

So, you ask, what the hell is a slog? Let me show you an example from our own expert slogger, Stu: Gates of Delirium Live - Post 13. Stu (alias yakumo9275) has been slogging his way through a game called Gates of Delirium, which turned out to be quite a grueling challenge indeed. Nevertheless, he got all the way through the game, making regular slog posts on AA complete with screenshots and personal reactions. Earlier examples of slogs include the famous Blogging Ultima slog.

So, why slog? I see at least five reasons. One, it gives you the chance to become pretty much the undisputed expert on at least one game, particularly if it's a rare or obscure game like Gates of Delirium. Second, you get to provide an insider's view into a game, which may lead to terrific insights for modern game makers and writers. Thirdly, it's lots of fun to play through a game and share your experience with similarly-minded people, who may offer you tips, advice, and even mojo when things get rough. Fourthly, you can correct people who call you a "blogger" by pointing out, "No, I'm a slogger." Finally, you get that awesome sensation that comes from triumphing over a game in the face of insurmountable odds (i.e., your own boredom and laziness).

What kind of games are good for slogging? I think the best slogs are for games that few people, if anyone, have had the persistence (or, obsessive compulsiveness!) to get all the way through to the end--the "so bad, they're bad" games. These are lots of fun to write and read about. Another good candidate are very long or involved games, such as Sierra's Time Zone. A third category are games that are very old or existing only for rare platforms. It's always nice and helpful to read about a game with unusual hardware requirements or that few, if anyone, will have ever seen (much less played all the way through).

I might also add that slogging is better for games that do have some sort of beginning, middle, and end. I couldn't imagine really slogging frogger, for example. However, I could easily see slogging the Adventure cartridge or Ultima: Escape from Mt. Drash. Any game with a reputation for obscurity, wretchedness, or difficulty is a solid slogging candidate. Want to slog through Wizardry IV? The Tarturian? How about Adventures in Serenia?

Remember, a good slog has to do more than just describe the game. You should also talk about your thoughts and experiences. What did you try that didn't work? What aggravated you? What made you giddy? If you have the ability to take screenshots or capture video (via YouTube), even better.

So, folks, get out there and slog it up! Armchair Arcade will proudly publish any slog worthy of the name, so get after it.

Comments

yakumo9275
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I thought of slogging

I thought of slogging through all the goldbox series in chronological order.. as my next act... (not including the two buck rogers games since they were not physically goldboxed and I have no interest in buck rogers :)

-- Stu --

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Bill Loguidice
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Poor Mr. Rogers
yakumo9275 wrote:

I thought of slogging through all the goldbox series in chronological order.. as my next act... (not including the two buck rogers games since they were not physically goldboxed and I have no interest in buck rogers :)

-- Stu --

I have various versions of the all the Gold Box games (and the ancillary products), but only beat Pool of Radiance (Amiga version) and played through a lot of Curse of the Azure Bonds. For me, I'd be most interested in playing either the DragonLance Gold Box games or the two Buck Rogers games just to get a different perspective (and see what works and what doesn't outside of the core AD&D stuff that the system was designed around). Since everything is so fantasy-centric, it would almost be refreshing to play Buck Rogers (I plan to). I have the Amiga, PC and Sega Genesis versions of the two Buck Rogers games (obviously one each on the Amiga and PC and just the first game on the Genesis) myself.



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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Matt Barton
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buck rogers

Definitely the Buck games. They're the only ones with a skill system, so they're actually quite different than the engine used in the fantasy games.

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yakumo9275
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I have the two buck rogers

I have the two buck rogers games somewhere but they never interested me. It seemed a bad form of shoehorning sci fi games into what was really a handson ad&d engine. (Thats what it feels like to me).

I thought of only doing the DL trilogy (I have beaten two of the three before), but then thought like Blogging Ultima, someone needs to do all of the Gold Box games. I have beat Pool of Radiance countless times as well as azure bonds and silver blades many times each. I have beat the rest only once...

I had considered other things I would do, like the Magic Candle series but desire dwindles to nothing after two so blogging mc3 would be a serious chore. Well 3 would be more interesting than MC2, or the questron/legacy/legend series (but they are pretty much all the same).

In all probability I'll stick with 7th Link. At least on the coc3 its not artifacting colours this time :)

-- Stu --

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Bill Loguidice
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7th Link

I agree 7th Link is the best choice for its obscurity alone. I'd love more info on it, while the other stuff there's at least some info available.



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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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adamantyr
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Slog Topics

I agree, Stu, I think the Seventh Link is due for a slog. At least you can find the author, and maybe even do a post-slog interview with him, ask him "why no names?!" :)

For myself, I wouldn't mind slogging the Magic Candle series myself, but I honestly don't know if I have the time to right now... I'm still ramping up at a new job. Plus, I'd really like to get back to my own CRPG so someone can slog it sometime. :)

Adam

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Magic Candle
adamantyr wrote:

I agree, Stu, I think the Seventh Link is due for a slog. At least you can find the author, and maybe even do a post-slog interview with him, ask him "why no names?!" :)

Personally I wouldn't even think about investing the time but considering how
entertaining it was to see Stu's masochism with GoD I wouldn't mind reading this...

Quote:

For myself, I wouldn't mind slogging the Magic Candle series myself, but I honestly don't know if I have the time to right now...

I bought Magic Candle 2 many years ago, because I had read good reviews for its predecessor.
My PC was a Pentium with 133 MHz, IIRC, and sadly the game never ran reliably, though my
config was stable and compatible with everything else. I tried slowing my PC down but it didn't
help - even an older 486 had problems with it so I quickly shelved it.
This wasn't yet the "official retro era" and not the "Internet era" where a lot of help with
certain games is available from others - maybe it's something for DOSBox now.

Quote:

I'm still ramping up at a new job. Plus, I'd really like to get back to my own CRPG so someone can slog it sometime. :)

If that isn't a valid argument then I don't know what is! ;-)

take care,
Calibrator

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Matt Barton
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I think Stu may have set a

I think Stu may have set a precedent that a true slog has to be a painful experience. :)

Am I sensing a Descent to Undermountain or Menzoberennzan (not even going to try to spell that) slog coming soon? Redguard?

Some really interesting CRPGs I saw but didn't play very much were the Captive/Liberation games for the Amiga. Those looked really different. Then there was Alternate Reality for Atari 8-bit and Bloodwych. There was also one named The Four Crystals of Trazere that looked like it might have some really odd design decisions. I also thought Neuromancer would be a good choice, given the unexpectedly humorous approach.

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Mark Vergeer
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Kudos Matt!

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/slogging+it+out

A gruesome experience playing an (obscure) adventure (game) and slogging about it would be a very nice feature for this Armchair crowd - so who's next? Reading about such painful and almost masochistic experiences from others is something I seem to enjoy tremendously for some slightly disturbing reason err...



Editor / Pixelator - Armchair Arcade, Inc.
www.markvergeer.nl

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Catatonic
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Joined: 05/20/2006
Those crazy people who

Those crazy people who played Desert Bus for charity have set the bar pretty high!

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