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Video Game / Glitch

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Glitch was a browser-based MMO game billed as a "Game of Giant Imagination." It was set in the world of Ur, which was imagined into existence by a group of eleven Giants. The Giants, in turn, imagined doll-like beings called Glitches (or Glitchen), who were the player characters. Ur contained a variety of opportunities and challenges. Glitch was conceptualized as 'an online game with no fighting,' and had elaborate crafting, cooking, and creating mechanics. Most of the game was focused on interaction, finding stuff, making stuff out of other stuff, and exploring the world. There were, however, whispered rumors of a threat to imagination itself, and after a certain series of quests Glitchen could educate themselves on that problem and defend Ur from it.

The game could be played with a mouse and keyboard, and was built in Adobe Flash by the company Tiny Speck. The entire world of Ur was persistent and could be changed in a variety of ways. For example, an Egg Plant one Glitch planted in a public place could be harvested, watered, petted, or poisoned by any other player.

Glitch shut down on December 9, 2012 due to limited audience appeal, but the art, animations and client code have been released by the developers into the public domain, which can be found here. Additionally, in December 2014 fans of Glitch began a project to relaunch Glitch under the name Eleven Giants, retaining many of the original's gameplay features and mechanics.

This game contains examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: Friendly is the Giant affiliated with partying, beer, and mixed drinks. Mab, Giant of harvests, is responsible for teaching Glitchen the Distilling skill, with which one could turn grain, corn, or potatoes into Hooch. Many Glitches produce and consume alcoholic beverages in very large quantities.
  • All Just a Dream: The world of Ur was powered entirely by the imaginations of the eleven Giants, and the imaginations of the Glitchen who were imagined by the Giants. The Giants imagined the world while they were dreaming.
  • Boring, but Practical: Harvesting from animals and plants, especially at high skill levels, is a cheap way to get energy and food sources. Much of the game was about things like nibbling piggies and cooking food.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: The trees, especially the Bubble Tree.
  • Combined Energy Attack: Martial Imagination and Piety lets you charge Shrines to do this.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Bubble Trees.
  • Creation Myth: The world was imagined by eleven Giants. It is very strongly implied that the Giants' memories are unreliable, and that the things they have stopped imagining no longer exist.
  • Creepy Crows: The Rook.
  • Creepy Good: The Giants. Most of them look like they emerged straight from Lovecraft's fever dreams, and even the most relatively benign-looking of them have eyes in places where eyes shouldn't go and no discernible body shape. They're the beneficent creators of the world. Sure, they might be a little full of themselves and guilt trip you over unsatisfactory donations, but you've got nothing to fear from them. Besides, the representation of the Giants are merely how they choose to imagine themselves inside of Ur - it's not clear what they look like, if anything comprehensible, outside it.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The Magic Rock.
  • Death Is Cheap: If you die, you go to hell; from there, you can be released after doing your "purgatory duty" (crushing "hellish grapes"), or escape using a "get out of hell free" card.
    • Continuing is Painful: Unless you use the aformentioned "get out of jail free" card, you return to the surface with little energy and zero mood. Unplanned death can be very inconvenient, but since all energy and mood refills at the start of the new day and hell contains valuable resources, many Glitches died on purpose at useful times.
  • Developer's Foresight: Saying "KFC" in front of chickens makes them freak out.
    • Also, if the player is doing something quickly in the game faster than the local session can communicate with the game server, such as several gardening actions performed on multiple plots on a slow internet connection, their actions are prevented (to prevent duplication) until there's a server response, with a Hand Wave error message given in the game window (in this case, imploring the player to "Slow down! Gardening is a leisure activity").
  • Double Entendre: Spice Trees and Wood Trees like these.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Mostly averted. Alcoholic beverages, which included home-distilled Hooch, mixed drinks like Cosma-politans, and beer, were universally more helpful than harmful. Herbal mind-altering substances in their natural forms provide gentle benefits - purple flowers, for example, give you small imagination boosts and blur the screen a little. Glitches who had learned about alchemy could concentrate herbs into more potent forms, such as Essence of Purple, which provides an experience sort of like a brief acid trip, and boosts all stats. The riskiest substance in game, "no-no powder," behaved vaguely like a very safe, reliable, and useful equivalent to methamphetamine or cocaine. A packet of no-no provides infinite energy and mood for several minutes, a crash where you feel normal for several minutes, and then death - unless you take another dose.
  • Familiar: The Magic Rock.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Rook attacks leave holes in your monitor.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Humbaba, and players who take skills in Animal Kinship.
  • Ghibli Hills: the entire island of Groddle was like this.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: "[Giant Name] loves you. But they'd love you more if you donate."
  • Guilt-Based Gaming: Animals die of old age or neglect, including ones at your house. If you do not feed and pet your piggies, they will die.
  • A Hell of a Time: Hell is a pretty neat place. It's full of goodies, and there's a bar at the lowest level!
  • Info Dump: The Rook Museum.
  • Insistent Terminology: It's piggies, not pigs.
  • Instant Gravestone: When you die a gravestone appears on the spot. Other players can visit the gravestone to mourn or celebrate. The stone disappears after you respawn.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: Completing the Jethimadh Tower Quest involves this.
  • Mr. Exposition: The Magic Rock, and the staffers/exhibits of the Museum.
  • Mushroom Samba: Eating a Purple Flower. Drinking Essence of Purple causes a more potent one, and takes you to a secret street.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: Gas Plants.
  • No Biological Sex: Every entity in the game, including Giants, Glitches, and animals.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: The bureaucrocs, reptilian bureaucrats in suits.
  • Pungeon Master: Bean Trees.
  • Recursive Canon
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The bureaucrocs who make you wait in the government offices for all Bureaucratic Arts related tasks are all reptilies in suits. You may find the tedious bureaucroc policies irritating, creepy, or hilarious satire.
  • Road Apples: Piggies and batterflies produce dung, though it's very useful for gardening.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Egg Plants talk like this.
    • Also, the effect of drinking an Essence of Silvertongue (a substance that increases your rewards for completing a quest).
  • Shout-Out:
  • Spell My Name With An S: Tii is sometimes spelled Ti.
  • Take That!:
    Sparkly rock: Everything should sparkle! Except maybe vampires.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The Kid's Room involves wordplay, and occasional sidequests involve platforming. While almost everything involves no conflict at all, Rook Attacks require careful coordination between Glitches, and the possibility of being killed by that attacker.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: You can raise pigs, chickens, and butterflies from birth. Feeding, singing to, or massaging them helps them live longer. You can care for plants, pet trees, and create food, furniture, parties, or drugs for your Glitch friends.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can starve animals and poison trees. Poisoning a tree even gives you a status effect saying you feel guilty for doing do.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: You can buy clothes and change your Glitch's appearance; more options are available as a subscriber.
  • Whale Egg: Chickens come from eggs, but so do pigs and butterflies. In fact, they all come from the same eggs; it just depends on how they're seasoned. Yes, seasoned. It's exactly what it sounds like, and it's more complicated than it sounds. And eggs don't come from chickens - they come from Egg Plants.
  • World of Pun: The world of Glitch is called 'Ur.' The developers of Glitch tend to make a lot of jokes about the players' "Urthly possessions" and the like. Many construction projects required a lot of Urth Blocks, which could be created from digging up lumps of Urth.