Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been desperately missing Neptunes Pride, but at the same time I never want to play it again. It’s weird, really. When we were doing our huge game of it, Neptunes Pride was everything. It was a slow burning experience constantly simmering at the back of my mind, and because it was in real time it meant whenever I had 10/20 minutes I could log in and have a rethink of my plans to crush and kill forge alliances and broker deals between those other twats my best friends playing.
It was persistent, is what I’m trying to say. While you can kill 10 minutes on minesweeper if you’re really bored at work it doesn’t (obviously) have the scope of Neptunes. That game of minesweeper isn’t affecting another game in a weeks time, nor is it affecting another 6 people playing minesweeper. Games to kill ten minutes with now feel futile, shallow, and empty.
I miss the scale of the interaction Neptunes Provided. Choices rippled on for weeks affecting numerous people in different ways, which is quite amazing when you think that it’s basically a 4x game boiled down to the simplest form. It’s just a shame that is was so stressful. I couldn’t put myself through Neptunes again. Weeks is too long a timescale to be fighting against people who you know are both good at games and thirsty for your blood.
So, I want another long form multiplayer that plays out in real time. But not Neptunes Pride. Instead I want something where a couple of us can maybe work together. Like Wurm, but browser based. Or something. And I have to be able to just snatch minutes of it at a time. Does such a thing exist? It should.
However, I have to close by saying this: if you haven’t played Neptunes Pride, play it at least once. It’s stressful but it’s also incredible and there is nothing else like it – at least to my knowledge. I came out the other side a slightly different person – a bit more patient, a bit more bitter, and a little less trusting of Ed, which was probably similar to everyone involved.