Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Game Diary.

I had progressed well into winter on my previous play of Don't Starve, but had permitted my sanity level to drop too low.  In the grasslands, while hunting beefalo around a campfire to stay warm, my damaged mental faculties hallucinated a shadowy figure, which killed me at a single touch.  Game over.  Start again.

Tonight, I'd survived to the end of winter with aggressive beefalo hunting and sagacious bee farming.  I'd just returned to camp after a long sojourn to the fertile forests to the west, where - over the course of a half-week (living off daily rations of honey-glazed beefalo) - I dug up a few dozen berry bushes and saplings, for replanting at my base.

I came home, planted the bushes and the trees, fertilized them with beefalo dung, and returned to camp to check my bird traps and turn those berries into a nutritious jam in my crock pots.

The secret to surviving winter?  Sleep.  Make a tent.  It refills your health and, crucially, your sanity, but drastically lowers your hunger meter when you sleep overnight - a comfortable exchange, when a herd of delicious beefalo are just around the corner.

Just before nightfall, it came.

The ground shook with its footsteps.  I knew it was coming, but wanted to believe it was further away.

It wasn't.

The deerclops, towering thirty feet high and just as wide abreast, tore into my camp with wanton, destructive abandon.

I'd never seen one before.  I lit a torch and dashed away, south into the grasslands.  Too south - straight south, instead of southwest, towards the beefalo herd.

The huge beefalo herd.

The deerclops's attacks are huge, sweeping affairs that call up shards of ice wherever it swings its mighty claws.  I dashed right into the middle of the herd and waited.  Waited until its pounding hooves were on top of me.  Waited for it to draw back those cruel talons, and leapt aside at the last moment.  Its fury tore through the ranks of the sleeping beefalo, shocking them awake and inspiring their familial indignation.  The herd swarmed it, slashing with their great horns as it drove its claws into them.

Great chunks of beefalo meat and fur flew that day.  The deerclops must have taken down a half-dozen of them, but there were too many.

And now I have a deerclops eye and like, forty beautiful pieces of meat.

I'll eat well, for a fortnight or so.

Upon returning to camp, I discovered the monster's viciousness at its first appearance had destroyed my tent, and one of my crock pots.  A scratch, when you consider all the other precious items he may have driven his talons through - thank God my Prestihatitator was left unscathed.


  1. This post makes me want to play this game.

  2. One of the things I'm gonna' lay out flat in the review - it took me a long, long time to develop real affection for Don't Starve. A work friend has tried it out on Vita, and is suffering as I suffered with how absolutely mercilessly it punishes failure in its early days when you aren't really sure what you're doing, egging him on with tales of successful beefalo hunts and spider farming.

    It's a game that doesn't reveal its brilliance unless you're a very patient player, willing to dive in again and again in search of understanding when the game is giving you literally no feedback whatsoever.