Derelict Void

Sometimes when I eat Chinese food, I crack open a fortune cookie and read a phrase that sticks with me for years — not because the fortunes inside fortune cookies tend to be insightful, but because every once in a while I’ll stumble upon something truly bizarre.

Here’s one of my favorites:

You are smart, for you do things smartly.

And another one:

You will soon become more aware of your growing awareness.

The loading screen tips in Derelict Void feel a lot like these fortune cookies to me. Where most games will try to offer useful advice, Derelict Void sticks its tongue out at you and makes a silly face, then runs off laughing.

This is the very first tip the game showed me:

Derelict Void


First off, this is a tautology (look it up), so it’s completely devoid of meaning. But when you break it apart, you realize that even the sentiment it’s conveying is not even true. See, I wrote earlier about how this game’s learning curve works. Before I ever came even remotely close to something resembling success, I tried, failed, learned, and tried again — this is the natural rhythm of the game. You need to lose in order to learn the things that will help you get just a little further in your next run, then a little further in the run after that.

So when you lose the game, you might not win, but you also should be better equipped for another run. The tip I posted above doesn’t convey that sentiment very well.

Now, the second tip I got was this:

Derelict Void

The spelling is hilarious, and I’m guessing this was intended to be a joke. But I’m already playing the game. Knowing the game’s launch date is of no use to me at all, because I already own it.

Then I got this one:

Derelict Void

This is in line with the first tip, I suppose.

One thing I should point out here is that I was given a pre-release copy of Derelict Void, and all this is likely filler copy that will be patched out later. But I find all of it to be incredibly amusing. In fact, I keep restarting the game in hopes of seeing more of these.

When you get into the actual game, Derelict Void has very little humor. It’s a dark, kind of depressing game where you’re going to lead a lot of virtual people to horrible deaths based on the decisions you make.

Derelict Void

So it’s good to see that the development team can show a sense of humor before you get into the thick of things, despite the fact that Derelict Void can be pretty dark. It takes a caution to appropriately add humor to a game like this, and I think that Stirling Games managed to pull it off here.

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