Hadean Lands is a text adventure renowned for being good but tough. It's been around for a couple years, and it just got a Steam release. Steam, of course, supports DLC. Hadean Lands' developer decided to take advantage of that feature in an... unusual way. Hadean Lands itself is only $US12 ($16), but if you want, you can plunk down another $US35 ($47) for a certificate. Yes, a certificate. It comes in PDF and JPG flavours. Here's what it's about:
This DLC pack contains a high-quality certificate saying that YOU, the player, solemnly promise to finish Hadean Lands without looking at any hints or walkthroughs on the Steam forums or anywhere else on the Internet.
That's all! You print out the certificate, sign it, and hang it on the wall. This is strictly on the honour system. The DLC does not change the behaviour of the game at all.
Here's what it looks like:
It's certainly cheeky, I'll give developer Andrew Plotkin that much. It's not like you have to buy it, either, so this isn't really hurting anyone. I mean, really you can just download the JPG from the store page like I just did, and that's it. Heist of the century, right there.
I'm guessing this is an attempt to poke fun at modern DLC, a substitute for a donate button (something Hadean Lands has on another store, but that Steam doesn't allow), or both.
There's a whole FAQ, as well. Why a certificate when somebody can just promise themselves they won't use a guide? "It might be easier to stick to that promise once you've laid down some cash on it," Plotkin wrote. "Just a thought. It's up to you."
Then there's this last bit:
You can't be serious about this.
I assure you, I have never been more serious in my life.
Is he joking? About being serious? Whoa. #makesuthink