19 October 2016

Cannot say enough good things about KoDP

I just got this email today, and decided to share it (with the permission of the writer). The title of this post is the subject line.

Mr. Dunham,


Firstly, if this email is an imposition, I apologize in advance. I know you are probably very busy with Six Ages (which I am absolutely giddy to find out about!), and support for the various KoDP versions.

There is no need to reply, I just wish to share some of the joy that King of Dragon Pass has brought me as an avid gamer.

A close friend of mine was one of the original 1999 buyers, and I had watched him play a bit back then, though at the time I was more of an FPS gamer. He was completely enthralled with it for several months,and this convinced me to buy it last year when I found it in the Android store.

Let me say that my tastes have expanded considerably in the last 16 years, and my newfound appreciation for storytelling and immersiveness, have not been satisfied by many 'modern' game releases.

King of Dragon Pass has not only satisfied that desire in a unique and beautiful way, it has rekindled my long-forgotten adolescent dream to be a writer.

The richness and depth of the story woven by KoDP creates an interesting phenomenon where we as players begin to think about the characters in the game as far more complex than just game mechanic aspects. This is especially the case with the Duruluzei as I always spend far too many resources and too much time trying to get them into my tribe (no luck so far... But there's always next replay!)

At first I saw them as just a source of early food tribute to feed my growing clan. This changed pretty quickly once I saw some of the other events, and I confess it was they that inspired me to look into Glorantha's lore in depth.

I actually felt remorse for my previous playthroughs and now make every effort to befriend those valiant warriors of Humakt. Even to the extent of putting my tula at risk by lending way too many weaponthanes to their cousins to fight the swamp undead.

And here's where the genius of this game really shows: Even though I've only ever seen maybe five different Duruluz events, the writing, choices, and art create a living breathing culture in the player's mind that actually transcends the few megabytes of content presented, and we begin to think about the Ducks in the same complex ways as we think about traditional book fantasy cultures where literally thousands of words are used to fill in cultural detail.

I also very much love the intentional ambiguity and risk of the magic system, as it creates that same kind of complex mechanics-transcending thought with the gods as participants. Does giving food to a clan in famine help you with your Ernalda heroquest? I have no idea! But I am going to play like it does, and the game is just vague enough that things like this may make a difference at Sacred Time.

I own very few mobile games, and play them rarely. Not the case for KoDP, I have been playing it approximately 8-10 hours a week. It is so perfect for killing a 2 minute wait in the grocery line, or settling into a comfy chair and spending a rainy evening  trying out strange heroquest options.

The art is beautifully unusual and paints a picture of Dragon Pass that is exotic yet familiar, bronze-age yet not of this world. The music is catchy and never becomes annoying, I occasionally whistle along with it while I'm playing.

I cannot thank you and the rest of A# enough for creating such a wonderful game, and I have no words to say how fortunate I am for the Android re-release, and the extra content that has been included. It is so rare that a older, less than profitable game gets a fresh chance at a new audience, and on such an ideal platform for the pacing of gameplay (Also: nice work on the UI modifications for mobile!). It is my sincere wish that Six Ages will receive sevenfold the acclaim and distribution that King of Dragon Pass should have gotten in the first place.

I look forward to the release of Six Ages with an eager heart, thank you again for an unforgettable game experience.


Sincerely,

[name withheld]

P.S. please feel free to use any part of this email, except my name, in any way you see fit. This game does not have enough testimonials online, and I want as many people to know about it in time for Six Ages' release as possible.

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