Category: Streaming

Streaming schedule for the near future Blog categoryStreaming category

Thanks to everyone who joined the stream last week. It was fun to have everyone unpacking Beyond the Wall of Stars together. The article is still in progress; look for that in the next few days.

The Saturday streaming time seems to work well, so for the near future during the stay-at-home period, I’m going to try to stream every Saturday at 3pm EDT! I don’t have plans for a particular game this Saturday, but please stop by at twitch.tv/obscuritory!

As always, I’ll be drinking plenty of tea.

I’ll still be writing in the meantime – this isn’t a replacement for the blog! – but the streams are a great way to have a community gathering space while we’re all still isolated from each other. This is new for me, so I’ll update this post if plans change.

Join The Obscuritory Charity Tea Party Marathon 2019 for Trans Lifeline! Blog categoryStreaming category

The Obscuritory Charity Tea Party Marathon 2019 banner

Tea icons by Pixture

It’s happening again!

On November 9, I’m hosting The Obscuritory Charity Tea Party Marathon 2019, an all-day stream to raise money for Trans Lifeline.

Trans Lifeline is a non-profit organization that provides microgrants for trans people to cover the costs of name changes and updating IDs to affirm their gender, as well as running a support hotline by and for trans people. It’s a great cause, and it will be great to stream for y’all to raise money for them!

The last time I did a charity stream, I said I’d go for 24 hours, and I did not make it. So I’ll just say that I’m starting on November 9 at 10am EST, and we’ll go from there.

In keeping with the mission of The Obscuritory, I’ll be streaming weird old games and software. But this time, I’m going to try to play a few games at length. I haven’t settled on what we’ll be playing, but it will include a full playthrough of Wrath of the Gods, an extra-cheesy educational live-action adventure game that I want to share with as many people as possible. There will probably be some bonuses too, to be determined.

As the name of the stream promises, I’ll be drinking lots of tea over the course of the day. Bring your own tea too, and we can talk about how great tea is! It’ll be a relaxing, silly, and hopefully thoughtful time.

See you on twitch.tv/obscuritory on November 9! Sign up here for a reminder on Twitch.


UPDATE (11/8): Here’s a rough schedule for what I’ll be playing all day:

10:00am Alien Logic, a surreal RPG set on an alien world. Alien Logic was based on a tabletop ruleset from 1984 called SkyRealms of Jorune, where humans and aliens co-exist on a distant planet thousands years after the collapse of human colonies. I haven’t played Alien Logic apart from testing it for the stream, so this will be a fun one to explore together!
1:00pm Treasure Quest, a puzzle-adventure game starring Terry Farrell (Jadzia Dax on Deep Space Nine) that came with a grand prize of $1 million. Treasure Quest is a methodical puzzle game that can take months to work through, which makes it a bad choice for a streaming marathon, but I want to play it for a little bit because I want to share the unusual story behind this game.
1:30pm Enigma, a marble game with over 2000 dense, challenging levels. It’s a doozy, and fitting the chill stream, we’ll play some of the slow-paced Meditation levels, which are more about patience than puzzles.
2:30pm Ballistics, the fastest racing game ever made. Ballistics is faster than you can possibly believe, and I’m gonna try to play it without getting sick.
4:00pm Wrath of the Gods, an FMV adventure through Greek mythology. This is the main event of the day. We’re gonna play through the entire game! Wrath of the Gods is so corny and earnest, and I want to share this goofy thing with as many people as possible.
9:00pm Roly-Polys Nanakorobi Yaoki! By request, I’ll be playing a bit of this recently unearthed game by Osamu Sato, creator of Eastern Mind and LSD: Dream Emulator. I know there’s some Sato fans on here, so I’ve been waiting to play this one for the first time for the stream.
10:00pm The Journeyman Project, a utopian time travel adventure. If you haven’t seen this one, you’re in for a treat. The Journeyman Project is a stone cold classic and one of my favorite games, and it seems like a great, upbeat way to end the day.
??? …and a mystery game! If we raise our goal of $400 for the stream, I’ll play a mystery educational game that, to my knowledge, hasn’t been made available online yet. What could it be? Don’t you want to donate to help trans lives to find out?!

I might mix in a few more games for variety’s sake, but this is the general schedule. See you there!

This Saturday, we’re cooking with Windows Software categoryStreaming category

Cooking with Windows banner

Icon from Delrina Daily Planner 3.0

Time to try something different…

This Saturday, we’re digging up some CD-ROM cookbooks. And we’re gonna cook with them.

The CD-ROM and multimedia era was a heyday for lifestyle software – programs for managing finances, scheduling your week, or picking out a movie to watch. The internet would soon consume almost all these functions, but a self-contained CD-ROM could bundle together tools, writing, and video and audio clips into a unique interactive package unachievable with previous technology. Hundreds of megabytes of storage space let developers run wild with features and how much they could fit in.

Digital recipe managers, which had existed as far back as 1969, could now hold multiple cookbooks worth of recipes with photos and instructional videos. Major brands like Better Homes and Gardens published their own CD-ROM cookbooks, each with their own approach to helping you plan a meal with a computer.

So, with the help of a few friends, we’ll be preparing food and drinks from recipe programs for Windows 3.1 and Windows 95:

  • Cooking with Dom DeLuise by Allegro New Media
  • MasterCook Cooking Light by Sierra Home
  • Williams-Sonoma Guide to Good Cooking by Broderbund
  • Cocktail Hour by Global Star Software

We’ll demonstrate each of the programs, talk a bit about their history, and do a couple different dishes. To complete the 90s computer dinner party vibe, we’ll play a digital party game. I’ll write-up our thoughts on the software (and our cooking!) afterwards. We’ll see if Dom DeLuise’s jokes about bread help us at all.

The food won’t be too unusual, but these recipes haven’t been made in 20 years. Let’s call it technoculinary archaeology.

This is one of the silliest projects I’ve attempted. It could be amazing or a complete disaster. Maybe both! Join us on Saturday, April 8 at 5pm EDT on the Obscuritory Twitch channel for a delicious adventure!

Enchanted Scepters stream with Keith Kaisershot: 2/25, 3PM EST Adventure categoryMacintosh categoryStreaming category

Screenshot from Enchanted Scepters

This Saturday at 3PM EST, I’ll be streaming the Macintosh RPG Enchanted Scepters with Keith Kaisershot (Other Ocean Interactive, The Journeyman Project: Pegasus Prime, and all-around Mac enthusiast).

Enchanted Scepters was among the first games for the Macintosh, created shortly after the computer’s release in 1984. It combined text-based adventure and role-playing mechanics with one of the earliest uses of a mouse in a game. The ability to interact with an object by clicking on it has become a universal feature that feels strange to single out as an achievement, but Enchanted Scepters tried the idea (imperfectly) before almost anyone. Developer Silicon Beach Software later adapted the interface into World Builder, a popular game creation tool.

On top of its historical value, it’s also a sprawling, continually surprising game that I’m looking forward to sharing. Keith has a far deeper knowledge of Enchanted Scepters than I do, so I’ll probably need some coaching to get through it.

See everyone on Saturday on the Obscuritory Twitch channel!

UPDATE: Thanks for watching, and thanks to Keith for joining! A replay is available here. I really like this game’s stream-of-consciousness. Please don’t mistake my comparison of it during the stream to amateur game design as a negative; I appreciate that it channels the same liberating sense of blowing up the usual rules of world-building.

Come join The Obscuritory 24-Hour Charity Game Marathon Tea Party! Streaming category

The Obscuritory 24-Hour Charity Game Marathon Tea Party banner

Tea icons by Pixture

In three weeks, on Saturday, November 5th, you are invited to the first annual Obscuritory 24-Hour Charity Game Marathon Tea Party!

So… what is this, exactly?

November 5th is Extra Life, a gaming marathon fundraising event in support of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. I’ll be streaming for 24 hours straight in support of the Children’s National Medical Center, the only exclusively pediatric hospital in the Washington, DC area.

In keeping with the mission of The Obscuritory, I’ll be playing multimedia software, shareware CDs, edutainment titles, weird old experiments, and who knows what else while soliciting donations from the wonderful folks at home. My fundraising goal this year is $150, and if we can reach that… I’m going to play an extremely terrible DOS game I made when I was 10 years old. It will be worth it.

And, as the name suggests, I’m going to be drinking a lot of tea to get myself through this. I’m big on black teas (and sometimes herbal, depends), so I’ll be sharing my favorite blends over the course of the day. You’re welcome to drink tea too!

Stay tuned for more info. I’m going to try to block out the 24-hour schedule so people can tune in for specific games. If anyone has any suggestions about what you’d like see streamed, please drop a line!

UPDATE: Here’s a full, tentative schedule of what will be on the stream this weekend. Things kickoff at 9am EDT as my stomach confronts its arch-nemesis, Ballistics. Hope to see you there!

UPDATE 2: I called the stream early because it took a much harder toll on me than I expected, but in 14 1/2 hours, we raised $200 for the Children’s National Medical Center and drank nine cups of tea. This was an excellent event, and I’m overwhelmed by the support. Thank you so much for watching and donating, and I hope everyone had a great time!

Prince Interactive stream today at 2pm EDT Adventure categoryMultimedia categoryStreaming category

Screenshot from Prince Interactive

Very quick short notice PSA: in tribute to the sudden death of Prince, I’ll be streaming Prince’s only game, Prince Interactive, at 2pm Eastern today on The Obscuritory Twitch channel.

Prince Interactive (or 0+> Interactive, or just Interactive) is an extraordinarily surreal multimedia adventure game that acts mostly as a shrine to the artist and his music. Knowing what other great musicians have accomplished in games, it’s a shame that Prince’s sole venture into an interactive medium was an elaborate fan museum. But he was early in delivering his material to fans through digital platforms in many ways by producing this, and it deserves points for being… well, for being very Prince.

A fuller article about Prince Interactive may come later down the pipeline, but I wanted to share this game as soon as possible given the sad circumstances.

UPDATE: Thanks to folks for joining the stream; it was extremely entertaining and a surprisingly good primer on Prince. And like Prince himself, it was very confusing and sexy. Unfortunately, the copious use of Prince’s music means that large portions of the stream are silenced and can probably never be uploaded to YouTube safely, but you can watch the video on Twitch (with a great chat replay!). The video includes a discussion about games by musicians and a quick peek at Laurie Anderson’s Puppet Motel.

(I neglected to mention during the discussion the CD-ROMs by David Bowie and Brian Eno; look up Jump: The David Bowie Interactive CD-ROM and Headcandy if you are interested in diving deeper into that area.)

The Obscuritory on Twitch! Blog categoryStreaming category

Time for a moderate-to-big announcement: I’m dipping my toes into game streaming!

I love taking The Obscuritory into the wild and meeting people with an interest in the weirder corners of gaming. Streaming is another great way to share unknown games with an enthusiastic audience, so I’ve decided to explore it a bit. I have no intention of becoming a dedicated or regular streamer, but broadcasting obscure games and talking with viewers is a new opportunity that I’m extremely excited to try.

My goal is to put on a show that’s entertaining and informational, mixing history and design discussion with game-playing. Don’t expect memes and over-the-top reactions; I want my channel to be a more thoughtful and open place where everyone can learn, share, and build positive culture with obscurities. Again, I might not even stream much after my first trial run – especially if it turns out to be too much work – but when I do, I want to use the platform for good.

My first stream will be on Monday, September 7th at 7pm EDT on twitch.tv/obscuritory. To celebrate the occasion, I’ll be playing a grab bag assortment of games I haven’t previously covered on this blog. (Not telling which ones…) It’ll run for two or three hours, so please drop by! This’ll be a fun event that I hope you’ll come watch.

(Any future streams will likely be announced via Tumblr.)

UPDATE: Thanks to folks for coming by for the stream! I was a little incoherent during lots of it and said spoke out of turn a bit, so I won’t share the archived video link, but everyone seemed to have fun regardless. I may do other sporadic streams in the future.