Well, it looks like it WAS my story.

So a year ago, I downloaded Don't Take It Personally, Babe, It Just Ain't Your Story. I had significant misgivings, mind. I really liked Digital: A Love Story, but I'm not much one for this kind of art. Not that I actively avoid it, but it usually requires some special hook that appeals to my generally insane interests. And while I really liked Digital, I did get the feeling that Love had grabbed well-worn sci-fi tropes by the fistful and packed them into the game, content to brush off these "old" ideas as intertextual referent points that, well, she didn't do a lot with. It was still an affecting experience, and one I look back on fondly for the couple hours I spent with it.

Last April, I was finishing up a digital media class I was taking part-time. My final project was to create an interactive fiction that was based on the course readings. I'd also done some research into the genre (of which the visual novel figures as a sort of technically sophisticated extension of the kind of interactive fiction that games like Zork started.) After I'd finished the game, I had to write a paper that gave some background on the game and how it related to the class. Of course, the day after we did an exhibition of the class games, I was going on vacation. Before the flight, I downloaded Don't Take It Personally..., but I didn't get a chance to actually play until after we'd touched down.

Like I said, I was mostly curious, but I expected the concept or the art to put me off. Astonishingly, neither happened. I somehow found myself absorbed in the narrative (although, admittedly, the 4chan-styled bits completely mystified me.) I mean, here I was, in Florida, with my soon-to-be-fiancee and family, and I spent a solid chunk of time inside, in the kitchen, playing through a visual novel. It was kind of mind-boggling and I still can't articulate why or how it grabbed me the way it did, nor why the storyline has stuck with me for so long.

It's gotten to the point where, a year later, I'm registered in that professor's new graduate program (part-time, still) and finishing up a significantly longer final paper (again, wherein we created a gelocative augmented-reality game that, at its core, is still basically an interactive fiction game) and I'm looking back at Don't Take It Personally... with something approximating nostalgia. Of course, there's Analogue: A Hate Story, which I purchased a couple nights ago after going to bed after hitting the halfway point on my paper. I'm looking forward to getting deeper into that, too. Again, not super into the art style, but that's Love's prerogative, really. As long as she's still putting together compelling narratives (which, I have to assume she is, even if I can't explain why they're compelling to me) then count me in.

TL;DR: On paper, Don't Take It Personally sounds like a story that just ain't my story. Apparently a year after playing it, it still is. I still don't know why, but I'm pleased.

Anybody else find this? Anybody else bother?

18 Comments
18 Comments
Posted by MuttersomeTaxicab

So a year ago, I downloaded Don't Take It Personally, Babe, It Just Ain't Your Story. I had significant misgivings, mind. I really liked Digital: A Love Story, but I'm not much one for this kind of art. Not that I actively avoid it, but it usually requires some special hook that appeals to my generally insane interests. And while I really liked Digital, I did get the feeling that Love had grabbed well-worn sci-fi tropes by the fistful and packed them into the game, content to brush off these "old" ideas as intertextual referent points that, well, she didn't do a lot with. It was still an affecting experience, and one I look back on fondly for the couple hours I spent with it.

Last April, I was finishing up a digital media class I was taking part-time. My final project was to create an interactive fiction that was based on the course readings. I'd also done some research into the genre (of which the visual novel figures as a sort of technically sophisticated extension of the kind of interactive fiction that games like Zork started.) After I'd finished the game, I had to write a paper that gave some background on the game and how it related to the class. Of course, the day after we did an exhibition of the class games, I was going on vacation. Before the flight, I downloaded Don't Take It Personally..., but I didn't get a chance to actually play until after we'd touched down.

Like I said, I was mostly curious, but I expected the concept or the art to put me off. Astonishingly, neither happened. I somehow found myself absorbed in the narrative (although, admittedly, the 4chan-styled bits completely mystified me.) I mean, here I was, in Florida, with my soon-to-be-fiancee and family, and I spent a solid chunk of time inside, in the kitchen, playing through a visual novel. It was kind of mind-boggling and I still can't articulate why or how it grabbed me the way it did, nor why the storyline has stuck with me for so long.

It's gotten to the point where, a year later, I'm registered in that professor's new graduate program (part-time, still) and finishing up a significantly longer final paper (again, wherein we created a gelocative augmented-reality game that, at its core, is still basically an interactive fiction game) and I'm looking back at Don't Take It Personally... with something approximating nostalgia. Of course, there's Analogue: A Hate Story, which I purchased a couple nights ago after going to bed after hitting the halfway point on my paper. I'm looking forward to getting deeper into that, too. Again, not super into the art style, but that's Love's prerogative, really. As long as she's still putting together compelling narratives (which, I have to assume she is, even if I can't explain why they're compelling to me) then count me in.

TL;DR: On paper, Don't Take It Personally sounds like a story that just ain't my story. Apparently a year after playing it, it still is. I still don't know why, but I'm pleased.

Anybody else find this? Anybody else bother?

Posted by Ramone

I don't know what this game is but it's name is certifiably insane.

Posted by stubbleman

I couldn't get into Don't Take it Personally or Digital. I saw that they both had a lot going on thematically, but none of it really took hold for me. Digital just sorta turned into a mediocre romance story with a bunch of leg work breaking it up, neither part of which managed to hold my attention. And Don't Take it Personally very quickly fell victim to it's junior high or high school setting in my opinion, with all the inane, bullshit twitter updates from the kids quickly obscuring anything interesting the rest of the story was trying to do. Every time I play one of these games I just come out frustrated. It seems like each one goes in promising to use the video game aspect to really shake up the way narratives work by injecting a hefty dose of player choice, but that's pretty much never actually the case. Part of that is my fault. I go in expecting way more than some solo, amateur designer can possibly deliver. But that said, Iji puts both of those games to shame in terms of player agency over the story, which is just pathetic considering that's literally all there is to Digital and Don't Take it Personally while Iji manages to juggle that with a perfectly serviceable metroidvania game in tow.

By the way, what's the deal with Analogue anyway? I've heard of it, but I don't know what it's about or anything.

Posted by Village_Guy

Where can I find this crazy-ass-named game so I can judge for me-self?

I went to the creators blog and all I got was tentacle porn...

Posted by MuttersomeTaxicab
Posted by Village_Guy

@MuttersomeTaxicab said:

@Village_Guy said:

Where can I find this crazy-ass-named game so I can judge for me-self?

I went to the creators blog and all I got was tentacle porn...

http://scoutshonour.com/donttakeitpersonallybabeitjustaintyourstory/

Thanks, I was on the right track I see, I just needed to open my eyes and look a little further...

Posted by Fallen189

Try analogue

Edited by MuttersomeTaxicab

@somnambulist said:

I couldn't get into Don't Take it Personally or Digital. I saw that they both had a lot going on thematically, but none of it really took hold for me. Digital just sorta turned into a mediocre romance story with a bunch of leg work breaking it up, neither part of which managed to hold my attention. And Don't Take it Personally very quickly fell victim to it's junior high or high school setting in my opinion, with all the inane, bullshit twitter updates from the kids quickly obscuring anything interesting the rest of the story was trying to do. Every time I play one of these games I just come out frustrated. It seems like each one goes in promising to use the video game aspect to really shake up the way narratives work by injecting a hefty dose of player choice, but that's pretty much never actually the case. Part of that is my fault. I go in expecting way more than some solo, amateur designer can possibly deliver. But that said, Iji puts both of those games to shame in terms of player agency over the story, which is just pathetic considering that's literally all there is to Digital and Don't Take it Personally while Iji manages to juggle that with a perfectly serviceable metroidvania game in tow.

By the way, what's the deal with Analogue anyway? I've heard of it, but I don't know what it's about or anything.

Yeah, the problem of player agency with telling a kind of directed story is always a huge obstacle. Probably because I'd been working on a multi-threaded interactive fiction game on my own, I was more sympathetic to Love's inability to open up the game to a lot of choice. I think where Don't Take It Personally really shone was adding a lot of weight to the choices I was making. When I played through, I was pretty much a shitbag. I dated a student, I looked up nudes. I had no interest outside of seeing what kind of consequences would come out of those decisions. It was almost refreshing to see the lack of judgement at work in the game, though - I kept expecting some kind of other shoe to drop and it never did. That the game is somewhat consumed by its junior high tone is a fair point, too. It's one that I expected to bother me more than it did. There were totally moments where I just rolled my eyes and pressed on. I guess, for me, I'm the one that downloaded a game with that setting. If the kids weren't acting like they were, well, kids, I'd probably have been weirded out in a completely different way. I'm mostly impressed that Love not only went with that setting but leaned into it as far as she did. She's not an idiot, she has to know it would alienate some players.

I haven't heard of Iji, googling like nobody's business now.

I'm literally fifteen minutes into Analogue. Seems to be a bit of an amalgam of Digital and Don't Take It Personally, with the Ren'py of the latter and the increased reading demands of the former. It's also positioned as a mystery up-front, where you're trying to figure out what happened to a Korean colony ship that had been lost for years. According to the RockPaperShotgun Wot I Thinkthe politics and gender lines are lifted from the Korean Joseon Dynasty. There's a lot of examination of the subjugation of women which, if one is put-off by feminist themes, may or may not come off as pedantic. I'm actually interested in those kinds of themes and questions, so it's not bothering me any.

Anyways, the long and the short of it is you're some future-detective. You're on a ship that's in pretty haggard condition, talking to the AI and reading a bunch of logs written by various characters on the ship. Apparently there are, as in previous games, spots where you can intervene, and the ending allegedly has a little more satisfaction than Don't Take It Personally did. I'm curious to see how it progresses.

Edited by Animasta

it's probably my favorite visual novel, but did you do the thing with arianna? I always thought it was way too creepy to do myself.

Analogue's pretty cool, a little short for 15 but I got my entertainment out of it.

Posted by MuttersomeTaxicab

@Animasta said:

it's probably my favorite visual novel, but did you do the thing with arianna? I always thought it was way too creepy to do myself.

Analogue's pretty cool, a little short for 15 but I got my entertainment out of it.

I'm not 100% sure what I wound up doing. We were dating, that's for sure. I think I called it off at the end, but I don't remember any other significant choices that I made. But yeah, throughout that relationship I felt super-creepy.

Posted by Animasta

I played through it twice (6 months apart that is) but I still couldn't date her :|

Posted by Skald

I liked Digital, but I couldn't get into Don't Take it Personal. I thought the game asked some really interesting and personal questions, but the only one that you could actually make happened at the end of the game.

Posted by Cloudenvy

@Skald said:

I liked Digital, but I couldn't get into Don't Take it Personal.

I'm in this boat as well.

Posted by Ravenlight

I keep meaning to play Digital and DTIP but I keep getting sidetracked by other games or life events. Maybe this month.

Posted by Animasta

@Skald said:

I liked Digital, but I couldn't get into Don't Take it Personal. I thought the game asked some really interesting and personal questions, but the only one that you could actually make happened at the end of the game.

well you make the choice early on to either date or not date that 15 year old girl, but the game was her first game with multiple paths and stuff, so I expect she was writing it from the view of someone who wrote linear stories and wanted to do one that was not (analogue was a little better about being open, though that story was told much differently obviously)

and, of course, you making lots of relevant, important decisions would almost make the game's message become moot, at a point.

Posted by Djratchet

Thanks, I liked Digital, thought this one was kinda eh. Got halfway through it, then kinda blazed through the latter half. These games are only as good as the story,and the story just couldn't hold my interest.

Posted by A_Dog

I really enjoyed DTIP even if the ending was pretty crappy.

I can't really put my finger on why I enjoyed it, though. It's the only visual novel I've played so maybe it was the fact it was an atypical experience that meant I enjoyed it.

I'll probably try Digital and Analogue eventually.

Posted by awesomeusername

I know this thread is dead (I rhymed!) but thank you! This game is amazing. Because I like to see dumb high school drama. It's so entertaining.