I have a secret. Do you want to hear it? I... I really love reading patch notes — those tedious, often bullet-pointed lists of alterations and bug fixes that get pushed out with game updates. They're also called change logs. Turns out, I'm not alone in my unseemly passion for them.
For a long time one of my very favorite Twitter accounts was run by Eskil Steenberg, an independent researcher and developer. His beautiful, cryptic MMO Love was never a game I played very often. I followed him for his change logs.
Love: Lava now rises slightly.— Love is free (@quelsolaar) December 18, 2012
They were like little video game koans that would flit across my Twitter feed throughout the day. I looked forward to them.
Love: I fixed the visual dark matter spread when there is no occupation.— Love is free (@quelsolaar) October 19, 2012
They've trailed off lately as he's polished the game more and more. I kind of miss them.
Love: Took some blood out of the dark matter.— Love is free (@quelsolaar) August 7, 2012
Thankfully, just last night I came across a new way to distract myself from work. It's called @TheStrangeLog, a curated collection of kooky patch notes.
Earthworms are now stackable— The Strange Log (@TheStrangeLog) December 5, 2014
As well they should be, given enough time and geologic pressure.
Copses will now regenerate deer, but you need to first delete all copses— The Strange Log (@TheStrangeLog) December 4, 2014
Fine then. Bring out the chainsaw.
Armpit shaving cream, price increased from 135 to 165— The Strange Log (@TheStrangeLog) November 30, 2014
Hard times indeed.
Guards no longer appear in swimming pose when jailed— The Strange Log (@TheStrangeLog) November 22, 2014
With luck they're still able to keep their heads above water.
The Strange Log is maintained by Ben Chapman, a comedy writer who puts on shows with a sketch team called Sober Ben. Previously, Chapman was a games writer, working for a time with Destructoid and on the now defunct Nightmare Mode.
You can no longer eat your own belt by right-clicking it.— The Strange Log (@TheStrangeLog) November 12, 2014
"The Strange Log just became a weird little hobby born out of down time at work and L train rides home," Chapman told Polygon. "One day I was about to tweet an amusing DayZ patch note (Known Issue: Crash caused by burned meat duplication) out of my personal Twitter and then the idea came to me to make a Twitter account focusing on as many as I could find."
A handful of confetti will now appear after completing a perfect day— The Strange Log (@TheStrangeLog) August 25, 2014
"Patch notes have always been these bizarre, special, little documents to me, because they are written to be super clinical and brief, but are referencing game experiences that are anything but. It comes out like dadaist poetry and I love it."
Portugal is no longer ruled by a twelve-year-old— The Strange Log (@TheStrangeLog) October 16, 2014
Chapman pours over patch notes and manually schedules his posts through TweetDeck. He says that he's been surprised to be able to keep the account fresh for so long.
Wet wolves looking way too scary— The Strange Log (@TheStrangeLog) October 5, 2014
"I thought the Twitter would run its course after two months. Finding them is easy, if not exhausting sometimes. The rise of Early Access games has made it way easier though, since millions of players are now playing broken games willingly. It forces the developers to now release changelogs hurriedly and publicly. It's a change log renaissance."