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Mountain Is A Game That Isn't Quite A Game

Posted by , | Views: 5,638
Wait...what? Yeah that's the best headline I could come up with. Mountain is available for Linux for $1 and promises 50 hours of watching a mountain do...stuff.

I'm a little confused as to how this is in any-way a game. Would someone care to educate me on this one?

- no controls
- automatic save
- audio on/off switch
- time moves forward
- things grow and things die
- nature expresses itself
- ~ 50 hours of gameplay
- once generated, you cannot be regenerated

So, it has no controls at all. You are literally sitting there for the "~ 50 hours" watching a mountain go around and get a bit snowy and grow a few trees. I am all for experiments, but come on this isn't a game surly? It's much more like a show of game art than anything else or a tech demo.

It's great in a way that on PC developers can do little experiments like this. Imagine if this turned into some sort of god game based around a Mountain, now that would be quite interesting. Article taken from
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The comments on this article are closed.
rustybroomhandle 3 July 2014 at 2:17 pm UTC
Heh, also worth noting is that this was made by the guy who created the fake game in the movie "Her", the game with the obnoxious little alien guy.
Segata Sanshiro 3 July 2014 at 2:32 pm UTC
Does anyone know a hack to make this into a screensaver? Would be kind of like having digital sea monkeys.
HadBabits 3 July 2014 at 3:31 pm UTC
As much as "that's not a game" often fills me with vitriol (often used as a lazy way to discredit a game one doesn't like), here I think that's actually a legitimate observation. For me, the fundamental difference between games and film is interaction and a sense of agency. If you control nothing than I'd say this is more of a simulation instead of a simulation game.
OZSeaford 3 July 2014 at 3:56 pm UTC
Segata SanshiroDoes anyone know a hack to make this into a screensaver? Would be kind of like having digital sea monkeys.

That! Having this as a screensaver would be great, but it may be a little taxing on the resources of the computer. CPU use is c.10-20% at least for this.

So far, I have this running at work where I have two monitors on the monitor that I do not use. It is a nice thing to have on the side, not too distracting, but still animate.

I think of it as a "mineral & organic" tamagochi.

Calling it a game is farfetched I admit, but it is a nice experiment.
c704710 3 July 2014 at 8:46 pm UTC
OZSeaford beat me to mentioning tamagochi

<strike>This falls into a niche in the market that has been neglected for years. I fills that critical gap before tamagochi and after the pet rock. As for putting on my computer screen, I don't think it belongs there. My, Flat TV on the wall, almost got it. Digital picture frame. Almost there...

16K UHD (8640p) 48 inch Electrophoretic Color Display framed and hung in the living room! So, who will be the first to inform the developer that his artwork is for decorate apartments?

It is not hopeless. We don't have affordable 16K UHD ECDs yet. For that matter, we don't have any extravagantly priced ones either. He has plenty of time to be more subversive. "You are Mountain. You are God" might get your work banned from hanging in a church but unlikley to get it hung in the Lazarides Gallery</strike>

Strike all that! I just saw His presentation. liamdawe, your article does not not present Mountain very well (However, the artists does not present his work very well either). There is interaction, there are features to unlock, causes to effect. It is on the outside definition of a game. But it is still more of a game than Narcissu (which is often accepted as such). And it's minimally subversive. I couldn't tell you exactly what, but this guy has probably started something at least as noteworthy as Kings Quest, Centipede, Passage, or Seven Cities of Gold. However, I'm still looking forward to decorating my wall with this first of the new. "You only live once, buy Picassos whenever possible." Right? $1 is way more than possible for me.
intok 6 July 2014 at 1:05 am UTC
c704710<strike>This falls into a niche in the market that has been neglected for years. I fills that critical gap before tamagochi and after the pet rock.

Pet Rock 2014...

Digital picture frames are what old laptops are for.
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