GeekNights Tuesday - Exit: The Game – The Secret Lab

Tonight on GeekNights, we review Exit: The Game – The Secret Lab (2016), the 2017 Kennerspiel des Jahres winner, one of a series of "escape room" one-play tabletop games. It's basically identical to physical escape rooms. (Note: never trust Scott if he makes an escape room).

We are back from PAX West 2017, where we played enough games to drive at least half a dozen GeekNights episodes. Scott rode the NYC Century, Rym went mountain biking in Utah, gamers have a very poor understanding of what a "review" is, Metroid: Samus Returns is imminent with surprisingly glowing reviews, and Overwatch has DEATHMATCH.

GeekNights Forum is amazing, and you should join it! We were back for our 42nd PAX Panel a couple weeks ago! The next GeekNights book club book is The Fifth Season!

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(Underworld God, Starring As Himself In Animated Glory)

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Controversy aside, all I see is sweet, delicious Schadenfreude.

@SkeleRym @apreche Regarding PUBG, muting the public channel is just a toggle in the audio options so no worries there. Also if you want to team up playing as a duo is a standard mode so you don’t have to find each other.

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Thanks, that’s good info.

Also a few tips just to help the learning curve:

Parachuting is a bit of an art, but the most important thing is getting to the ground near a building as fast as possible. If you point yourself downward and hit 234kph you will be much closer to the ground when you open your chute reducing hang time.

There is realistic bullet drop use Page Up and Page Down to adjust sights for range. Some people are good at eyeballing it but I find it helps.

People often drop in large groups near Pochinki, the school, the army base or the the prison depending on where the plane is coming from. They do this for the density of buildings (more loot) and to deathmatch to thin the field in the first few minutes. They are all marked on the map and I suggest avoiding dropping there at first because you will probably get killed pretty quickly before you get the hang of the game and game flow.

That said don’t get frustrated or write off the game if you get killed a lot especially in the early game. I’ve played hundreds of matches and have won twice and made top ten maybe twenty or thirty times. Most games you get killed within ten minutes. It’s just the nature of the game.

Make sure you wear headphones and have the volume turned up sufficiently because hearing footsteps is critical to avoid being ambushed or to know that someone is going to walk into yours.

There is an undocumented function to grenades where if you right click after pulling the pin it changes from an overhand throw to an underhand toss. Left click again to throw.

Dropped crates are very high risk very high reward. They have the best weapons and accessories but everyone and their dog is either trying to get in them or trying to ambush people trying to claim them.

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There’s some disagreement about this, there tends to be two schools of thought - One that you hit the ground ASAP near some buildings to grab shit first, and be faster equipped than the people who dropped around you. The other, you parachute as long as possible, get as much distance as possible away from the drop path, and have a better chance at more loot in an undisturbed location, a broader range of locations to pick from, and so you can pick your fights rather than being forced into them.

Really, both seem to work pretty alright, and Anteater tends to do a bit of both, with about the same level of success. I also find that having a few locations that you drop regularly and know well is an advantage, even if you drop surrounded by other folk, if you know the terrain, that gives you a leg-up on the competition for finding something to kill them with, and where to do it from.

Here’s a map, with a lot of categorized drop locations marked. Pretty much anything with a big red circle is going to be a hotspot for drops. In the next big update, also expect Stalber and the new town, Kameshki, to be hotspots for a while, when people drop there for the novelty/to check out the new digs.

The three tips that have helped me the most so far:

First, while it might not look it, this game has one big thing in common with Tribes 2, Titanfall 1/2, and similar - Speed is Life. Loot fast, move fast, don’t post up unless you’ve got good cover. It’s like your ma always told you, if you take ages filling up on loot, you’ll have no room for your chicken dinner.

Second, find your style. Figure out what equipment you work well with, prioritize it, get to know it. It helps with the prior, because if you know you work well with, say, a Pump-action and a SCAR-L, then there’s no deliberation, no consideration for “Oh, I should take along this mod for an Uzi or a KAR, I might need it later”, no faffing around - you know what you need, what it looks like, and what you can skip.

Third, watch other people. Pay attention to how you die, watch your teammates when you have them, watch streams of good players, watch youtube videos of good players, watch tips and tricks videos. Watch what they do, and do that. You can also pick apart what they do and try to figure out why they do it, but if you don’t feel like doing that, imitation is as good as the real thing.

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Overwatch FFA is pretty great but I have had different experiences on who wins in the various games I’ve played compared to Rym. No Widows have won, one got but dropped to 3rd or 4th in the last minute.

Junkrat is strong because of spam and definite kills fairly often.

Roadhog is really strong, I’ve won with him twice and can easily get top 4 with him, primarily because you’re against low health champs that you can run down.

Genji, Tracer, Mcree and Soldier do well although I’m usually the one playing Tracer (confirmation bias). Hanzo will occasionally win because last hitting with scatter arrow, he gets smashed on Chateau though, to small a space inside and too large a space outside.

Playing Winston is hilariously fun and I’ve seen 2 games where Winston has won just because people don’t know how to deal with splash damage and the bubble.

Getting in top 4 is easy but winning I’ve only done that in 4/10 games. Not a huge sample. It was more reliable when Chateau is the map because the others suck.

I finished The Fifth Season yesterday, the book was pretty good it’s not amazing for me but definitely worth reading. The writing languished at times but was otherwise above par for the entire book. I would recommend it, I have more thoughts but don’t want to spoil the story.

Find your style is huge. I am a fair to middling sniper at best (though I did have 600 meter headshot I am Very proud of) but I have had a lot of success ambushing people in buildings with shotguns which I avoided for a long time because someone told me the S1897 is crap. There are no bad weapons just weapons that are better or worse for your situation and style.

If you can get that first shot on target with the S1897, you’re golden. I don’t know why people don’t like it - personally, I prefer it to the over-under, and I rarely find an S12 to replace it. The pump-action makes a pretty decent room-broom, if you know how to use it. There’s no harm in experimentation, the only thing you’re really at risk of is a couple seconds wait for matchmaking in the menu.

There is one other thing I like to do, but I’m not sure how much it helps and I wouldn’t really call it a tip so much as fulfilling my vindictive streak - When I come across ammo, I almost always pick it up if I can. Even if it’s ammo I don’t need, or my teammates don’t need. Then, when I’m away from the house, I dump what I don’t need in the middle of a random field where it’s unlikely to be found.

I’m not actually sure if it helps, or how much it helps if it does, but I think it’s funny to imagine someone following my path and getting real mad because they keep finding dozens of guns but no ammo, and that’s good enough for me.