Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Comedy Night

I guess I don't have a choice, I have to try this game.
Comedy Night is a “game” created by Lighthouse Games Studio and released on August 13th 2012. Lighthouse Games Studio is actually quite prolific on the Indie Game Marketplace, with at least eleven games listed on their website. When I saw Comedy Night I was immediately curious as it claims to be a venue for people seeking out new comedians and a place for aspiring comedians to practice their craft from the safety and comfort of their own home. How does this translate to an Xbox Live Indie game?

Are those avatars having fun? I... I can't tell...
Let’s start with the sound and music. The music is horrible and goofy, and I was glad to see that I could turn it off. You can also supplement your own music via an in-game menu, which is nice, but I fail to even see the purpose of music since it’s going to drown out the “comedians” you’ll be listening to. There are very few sounds in the game, such as a buzzer noise when people attempt to vote someone off stage or cricket noises that can be generated by the audience.

Next up is the graphics. They are simple and feature player’s Xbox Avatars, which I really like. There’s also not much to look at because you’ll spend most the time sitting in the same club watching people perform on a stage. I feel like a variety of venues would’ve been a nice addition.

Just wait, a squeaker* is going to come in here and ruin everything.
And now on to the actual meat of the “game”. You can either be an audience member or a performer. When you perform you can pick from three different show types: clean amateur shows, mature amateur shows, and professional shows. In the amateur shows up to two people can perform simultaneously. The audience is allowed to vote them off if they choose to do so. There are also a slew of options for expressing your avatar’s level of interest in the show, from cheering to booing to yawning. You can also talk through your mic, but audience chat can be disabled if you choose so. You’re freely allowed to switch between audience member and performer if a spot is available on stage. In a professional show only one person is allowed on stage and they cannot be voted off.

What this often boils down to is an eclectic group of people sitting together and taking part in a themed voice chat room. At its worst the room is chaotic and can often be dominated by one annoying person who refuses to stop talking. Often times this same annoying person will spout racists, misogynistic, homophobic non-sense ad-nauseum, making it feel like you’re playing popular online shooters without the shooting. Other times there will be players on stage who will say nothing, and then when you start heckling them to tell some jokes, usually they’ll throw up their hands in exasperation and say “Why don’t you tell some jokes then?!” I have no aspirations to be a comedian, but at one point I took the stage and told dead baby jokes until I got sick of doing so. This was entertaining to the people in the audience, but it was honestly the first time I had heard actual jokes being told. Every other time people just said random offensive things in an attempt to be funny, such as the time one player entered the room and made fun of everyone because he thought this was funny. A female player entered the room and he harassed her to great extent until he was removed from the room.

It was at this point that "WeedzKillaz42069" informed everyone that they were a collective bunch of "faggots".
Comedy Night is an interesting experiment, but that’s about it. It does a good job of what it sets out to do, which is to provide a virtual venue for aspiring comedians to perform and an audience they can perform in front of. It’s unfortunate that the majority of the participating audience is often comprised of children without self control and young adults full of social ineptitude. I think Comedy Night is interesting for what it is, and for only 80MS points you’re not taking a huge risk. If you’re interested in something like this I would suggest at least supporting the developers, because I would like to see them make another game like this with some expanded options so that we can at least vote to kick fellow audience members, and maybe allow us to make our own profiles that other players could vote up or down, so that we can at least have vested interest in performing.

* - Squeaker - a very young person found on voice chat programs with a high pitched, squeaky voice


  1. Good stuff, This game is ridiculous, but i suppose it gives people with the sole intention of taking the piss out of people a place to go?