What if you could play a video game in Notepad? Usually I would add in the classic meme, "no one ever said", but in this case someone asked the question. Daniël Haazen, also known as Sheepolution, had the idea and went looking for a three-year search. The final product, entitled And yet it hurts is an art-style ASCII-RPG that you play completely in Notepad. Almost right.
When Daniel wanted to make a game that was played in Notepad, he immediately realized that there would be a problem that he could not get around. To play, you must open, read, make changes to and save text files. Then Notepad should recognize those changes and act accordingly.
That was the first problem: Notepad does not check for file updates. So the player should close and open files after every change, which would be inconvenient. The solution that Daniel ended up with was to leave Notepad and switch to the freeware program, Notepad ++. Notepad ++ detects changes in files and responds to them, which solves that problem. Daniël skinned Notepad ++ to look like Notepad and continued making the game.
If you are a bit disappointed that you cannot play the game in Notepad, it is not. If you really want that, you can open all files in Notepad, make changes, save, close the files and reopen them. It is perfectly playable but incredibly difficult. It is better to deal with Daniel's solution.
Once in the game, the story presents a story as old as time. You (you get the name of the player and choose gender), you are the child of tailors in a medieval setting. One day while delivering clothing to customers, a dragon burns your house by killing your parents.
After a few days of sulking you come to an obvious conclusion. You must kill the dragon in revenge. You get a few quick fighting lessons, and then you go to the next city to buy weapons and start your search.
The game methods are new. You want to keep the Notepad interface and a folder full of files from the game side by side. If you want to go to a new location, find the file (a text file named home, or gun store, etc.) and drag it to Notepad.
You collect weapons, armor, items and improve your health. Blocking attacks is as easy as removing information from a file quickly enough. Attacking involves adding data to a file. It's all very simple.
I haven't played the entire game yet (I still had to write this article), but I enjoyed the simple story about what it is, and more importantly, the novelty of playing in a new and unique way.
You may wonder how much the game costs. You can decide! Daniël uploaded the game to itch.io where you can choose what you want to donate – or nothing at all. He also uploaded the source code to GitHub, which is pretty amazing. And you can read about his efforts on his blog. If you stand on the fence, try it for free. If you think it's worth the time, go back and tip Daniel for his efforts.