Steve Gaynor and Long Live the Queen

Full disclosure: I loved Long Live The Queen. I played through countless files in my quest to transform Elodie into the perfect monarch. I was also a big fan of Gone Home, and particularly liked the way in which its story was told. That’s why I was so surprised to see Fullbright’s co-founder criticizing Long Live The Queen on Twitter this morning.

Steve Gaynor Long Live the Queen

I don’t have a problem with Gaynor’s comments, even though I’m crazy about Long Live the Queen. It’s not a game for everybody, and I can see where he’s coming from with the flowchart comparison. What surprised me is how similar his comments were to criticisms of Gone Home.

Both Gone Home and Long Live the Queen aren’t games in the traditional sense. I wouldn’t classify either as a visual novel, but there’s some shared DNA there. They’re more about having players experience a story than they are about gameplay. This has earned Gone Home a lot of detractors, including people who feel it shouldn’t have been labeled as a game at all.

It’s strange to see someone who helped create a “story exploration game” criticize another game for being overly predetermined. That said, if it brings more attention to Long Live the Queen, I can’t see Gaynor’s comments as a bad thing. It’s a great little game, and the more people who notice it, the better.


  • Jenni Lada

    You’d think a developer would be more open-minded.

  • BTA

    I already ranted about the reaction people are having to this elsewhere (, but this was basically taken out of context. He was just saying that LLTQ, despite being presented as a dynamic sim game, had no random elements and was just a visual novel. It had nothing to do with games in general, just this specific one and how it (apparently badly) tries to hide its very rigid adherence to a limited flowchart of events that is the same for every playthrough.

    Out of context, I can definitely see your point about Gone Home! In context, the dynamic aspect of the player’s actions means his criticism doesn’t apply to it. He’s talking about a pretty specific thing here, which really can only apply to games that ARE inherently flowcharts, like VNs or Twine games.