Hi, my name is Jarod. My dad said he once saw a guy stand up to
torture; therefore, that guy must have been the son of an all-powerful
deity. So I went a journey to learn more about him!
Soon it was time to leave. You may wonder what I was thinking. "A
backpack might come in handy." is what I was thinking. Therefore, I
picked up the backpack. I went into town. There sure was a large
amount of people there!
I saw an awful dark-skinned man meditating. Get thee behind me,
I went into a church and listened to a priest give a sermon in which
he randomly read verses from Isaiah, sometimes the same one multiple
times in a row. That was when I knew this was the right religion for
me! Then I went outside and there was an awful Pharisee there, praying
loudly and often repeating himself. Nothing like that awesome priest,
I'll tell you that much!
Then I went out to the countryside. Up in the sky I saw an eagle.
Every time I looked at it, the eagle went "baaaaah" like a sheep. A
Next I went to Nazareth, where a potter was standing north of me,
and a salesman was standing northeast of me, but yet the salesman was
somehow simultaneously standing west of the potter. Another miracle!
Finally I went to Caesarea and got beaten up. There I decided to
take a break, because apparently my author had gotten bored with this
shallow, amateurish fiasco. And so had I.
THREADING THE LABYRINTH
Every so often a game will come festooned with remarks like, "I just
wanted to write a fun text adventure with no artsy stuff." I assume
this is the sort of thing these people are trying to avoid. I tried
every word in the second passage and none of them pulled up a third.
I was grateful.
A hundred instances of "Click Here to Continue" doth not IF make.
And the story is beneath sophomoric -- hell, it isn't even freshmonic.
The only positive thing I can say about this dreck is that it prompted
me to give a spin to the Who's "Little Billy", an anti-smoking song
they wrote for the American Lung Association. It's not as good as
"Glow Girl", but it's still pretty rockin'.
Interesting story about how the game was discovered. But the game
itself is so primitive as to be unplayable.
ON THE OTHER SIDE
This could conceivably be interesting if the program had some really
amazing AI and could attempt to intelligently play the game you're
creating. But it doesn't, so it isn't.
At first, I was excited. Hey, cool! A big chunk of what I do read
in my spare time is history, so this seemed like it'd be really
interesting: play through some historical scenarios, do things a little
differently from how they actually happened, see what the results would
be. However, that's not what this turned out to be. This is just a
collection of really, really poorly-written essays. It's not IF at all.
It is, in fact, a colossal waste of our time. Note to authors who want
to package their crap in the barest trappings of IF to force it upon a
captive audience: don't.
Score: a low ONE.
CRACKING THE CODE
Ooooh, aren't you just the k-k001 31337 h4x0r. Look, this is not an
IF game. By using the comp as a platform for your script-kiddie crap,
you have wasted my time. True, it was only about ten minutes, but
those are ten minutes I'll never get back. So I think I'd like to take
ten minutes of *your* time. Or however long it takes to rip your arms
off and feed them to you.
Score: a low ONE.
Adam Cadre, Sammamish, WA
web site: http://adamcadre.ac
> > -----
> > THREADING THE LABYRINTH
> > Every so often a game will come festooned with remarks like, "I just
> > wanted to write a fun text adventure with no artsy stuff." I assume
> > this is the sort of thing these people are trying to avoid. I tried
> > every word in the second passage and none of them pulled up a third.
> > I was grateful.
> > Score: ONE.
> "Between". Twice. ^_^
I must admit i missed it the first time too, and almost wrote the exact
same review. Then i thought. "No, cant be... i'll look dumb if i do
that." :) And tried all the words again.
... "Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre." - Joe Klein
"Between". Twice. ^_^
>Network or a discount fortune cookie. So, we're all supposed to
>renounce science, eh? Like, say, the medical science that enabled me
>to survive when I was an infant with an Apgar score of 2? Or perhaps
>the physical science responsible for the computer that enabled me to
>play this game and read the fox's message in the first place?
Heh. My as yet unwritten review contains this very point. I scored it
higher than you did but I did have a similar reaction.
Gee, this was a harsh review. :/ I just want
to say, in my defense, that you kind of
completely missed the point. In fact, out of all
the reviews I've read so far, pretty much
everyone has missed the point. I'm not trying to
whine or blame the reviewers on the rather poor
showing my game is receiving so far; if the point
was missed, that was my fault. I just wanted to
say what I was trying to do with the game.
Anyway, the revalation that the main character
goes through wasn't meant to be taken as real.
He was, after all, high on peyote and therefore
hallucinating. The point is that the main
character has always been searching for some kind
of meaning to his life, and now he's found it...
sort of. There's no real way of knowing if the
revalation is true or not. The question the game
asks is, would this type of person be willing to
throw his life away based on a drug trip? I'm
not, in any way, saying that I believe the things
the fox said, and I'm definitely not trying to
get you to believe them. That definitely isn't
the message of the game.
So, now that that's out, why didn't you, or
anyone for that matter, get that out of the
game. What exactly did I do wrong? I thought
the last conversation between the protagonist and
Joel made it obvious, but apparently I was
wrong. What could I have done to make this
better. Sigh... I guess I'll just hope for 20th
place now. :)
Thanks for all your input!
Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.
P.S. Sorry if another message similar to this
one is posted. I wrote another and sent it via
Deja News about 12 hours ago, and it still hasn't
shown up. I'm assuming that Deja has screwed up
somwhere and never posted my original message,
but I could be wrong.
In article <3A136A...@adamcadre.ac>,
It wouldn't have been so bad with a reason why I should give up science.
There are very few things that I do just because a fox says so. I know
that these revelatory journeys are supposed to result in received wisdom,
not carefully reasoned arguments, but this isn't my revelatory journey,
it's that of somebody I identify with less than I can identify with a
I did give it an extra point because there was some description I liked.
> Anyway, the revalation that the main character
>goes through wasn't meant to be taken as real.
>He was, after all, high on peyote and therefore
>hallucinating. The point is that the main
>character has always been searching for some kind
>of meaning to his life, and now he's found it...
>sort of. There's no real way of knowing if the
>revalation is true or not.
There are ways, I suppose, but the protagonist's brain
is likely too fried to figure them out.
The question the game
>asks is, would this type of person be willing to
>throw his life away based on a drug trip?
This is a very good question. For that matter, it could
be asked of everybody: if you had a revelation of
truth, and you realized that to serve it you had to forego
everything you had and start afresh, would you do it?
This question caused me some spiritual pain back in my
teens when I decided that the answer, for me, was "no".
However, it doesn't seem to work well with the question
of whether the revelation is valid. (Never trust them
foxes.) It would have worked better, I think, to have
a more convincing revelation. Or an even less convincing
one. This one was believeable enough to throw me.
>not, in any way, saying that I believe the things
>the fox said, and I'm definitely not trying to
>get you to believe them. That definitely isn't
>the message of the game.
The problem, I think, is that the fox said things that a
lot of people I have no respect for will agree with, and I
jumped to the conclusion that the author really believed
this, and was trying to convince others.
> So, now that that's out, why didn't you, or
>anyone for that matter, get that out of the
>game. What exactly did I do wrong?
By the time this came along, I was really disliking the game.
I really did not identify with the protagonist. (This is partly
me. I am depressive, and am frightened of identifying with
anybody who's depressed. I don't know whether this is a rational
response.) The plot had moved on rails through parts I found
depressing. The world was not at all filled out. This may
be realistic for somebody like the protagonist, but left me
feeling artificial. I was ready to take the fox at face value,
in the context of the story.
This wasn't the first game I played that I really disliked, either.
By the time I played it, I was getting into a really judgmental mood.
(Not long afterwards, I ran into Nevermore and Planet of Infinite Minds,
which I liked a lot more than some other people did, and felt better
about the comp - although still judgmental.)
I'm not saying I know how to fix this. I'm trying to figure out why
the game didn't work for me.
I think one of the reasons I didn't think about what the protagonist
should do is that I really didn't care about the protagonist.
(It's sort of odd. There's a lot of fantastic things I can identify
with, and some humans I simply can't. I first noticed this after
reading Anne Rice's vampire and mummy books, having no problems
identifying with the characters, and then trying to read "Exit From
Eden" and failing to identify with anybody.)
I think that asking the same question of somebody else would work
better, at least for me.
>the last conversation between the protagonist and
>Joel made it obvious, but apparently I was
I don't remember that conversation at all well. I wasn't in a receptive
mood by then.
> Come to think of
> it, so far everyone who's reviewed the game has completely missed the
> point, wether they liked it or not.
Huh. Now I wish I'd voted. Oops.
***spoilers (?) follow***
I understood your point just fine. Here's why I think I did:
When I am confronted with something as ridiculous as a
computer game that decries technology, I have to make a choice:
1. The author is an idiot, and I am wasting my time.
2. Something else is going on here.
How rewarding that "Something else" would turn out to be, I didn't
know yet. But what gave me the curiousity to push on was the
quality of your characterizations.
The depression of the protagonist was apparent from the
beautiful passage you put in his journal, which he didn't even
remember writing. (I'm only disappointed that you missed the
obvious trick of putting more passages in, every time he gets
I also found the misogynistic touches in the friends' conversation
very convincing of a dead-end life. There was some actual drama
between the NPCs. It wasn't a main point in the story, but it was
So by this point, I'm trusting you as an author, and then I'm
confronted with some truly questionable behavior by the
protagonist. When the game required me to break into the
home of a Native American, who works for a *park* and lives
in a *trailer*, I actually laughed out loud. The mindset of someone
who wants to get in touch with 'nature', and yet would do this,
made sense to me.
Adam Cadre gave another example of what I took to be dramatic
>> So our hero, now imbued with Dazzling
>> Insight, lets go of his vices
>> (by throwing out *someone else's* porn and
Comedy is when bad things happen to _other_ people's porn.
I don't think your game is perfect. The puzzles were too damn hard.
This was a benefit... The biggest hint in the hintfile was where you
explained that the game can be finished without finishing the story.
I assumed therefore that successive passes through the game
would reveal an evolving philosophy. Since in the simplest ending
the protagonist is still, uh, a wanker.
Holy shit though. If the required puzzles were that hard,
there wasn't any way I was going to make even one more
pass through the game. Is that your fault or mine? I'm pretty bad
with puzzles. Sorry.
Also: it occurs to me that the story might have a weirdly
abstract version of the "learning by death" problem.
Do I really have to play the same game again to
get a fuller understanding of your point? I wanted the
story to progress from where I left off, not with a restart.
I like your writing. Some areas that I liked could have been
developed more. Better luck next year.
Well, here's what I made of that last conversation. I, the player,
have been sort of looking over the shoulder of this worthless burnout
guy for the entire game. He learns two lessons: that his lifestyle is
somewhat less than ideal, and that science and technology are killing
people's souls and that he must spread this message to everyone. So,
why have I the player been invited along? Presumably not to learn that
waking and baking is bad, because I already knew that. Therefore it
must be the science and technology thing. Then we come to the final
conversation, where the protagonist seems to decide, "Enh, it was just
a drug trip. Whatever." Oh no! He's not going to spread the fox's
message to everyone! Therefore, it's up to the other person who heard
Maybe that's not what you meant the text to imply, but that's what I
made of it. It's up to you to decide whether the fault lies with the
text or with me.
> The game asks what the character
> would do, and by extension what YOU would do, in
> that situation, especially in light of the fact
> that you would have to throw everything away to
> follow the possible path to enlightenment. In
> other words, how much would you risk to give your
> life meaning?
If this is the theme of the game, then I'd say that the fox's message
should have been the *starting* point of the game, not the climax.
There's a wonderful movie called THE RAPTURE in which a troubled,
burnt-out woman has a revelation of her own and becomes a hardcore
fundamentalist Christian. This happens in the first half hour. The
rest of the movie's running time is spent exploring very similar
questions to those you've asked above: what are the implications of
making such an extreme lifestyle change in order to give one's life
meaning, etc. What the filmmakers *didn't* do was spend the whole film
dealing with the protagonist's attempts to escape her troubles, have
her become a fundamentalist Christian at the climax of the film, and
then protest, "No, fundamentalism is beside the point! The point is
the impact it has on her life... which, uh, this story doesn't actually
explore at all. But that's the question you should be taking away from
Hmm, I hadn't even thought of that. Oh well, you know what they
say about hindsight. :)
> Maybe that's not what you meant the text to imply, but that's what I
> made of it. It's up to you to decide whether the fault lies with the
> text or with me.
I'm guessing the fault was with me, since practically everyone else
leapt to that conclusion. :/
> If this is the theme of the game, then I'd say that the fox's message
> should have been the *starting* point of the game, not the climax.
> There's a wonderful movie called THE RAPTURE in which a troubled,
> burnt-out woman has a revelation of her own and becomes a hardcore
> fundamentalist Christian. This happens in the first half hour. The
> rest of the movie's running time is spent exploring very similar
> questions to those you've asked above: what are the implications of
> making such an extreme lifestyle change in order to give one's life
> meaning, etc. What the filmmakers *didn't* do was spend the whole
> dealing with the protagonist's attempts to escape her troubles, have
> her become a fundamentalist Christian at the climax of the film, and
> then protest, "No, fundamentalism is beside the point! The point is
> the impact it has on her life... which, uh, this story doesn't
> explore at all. But that's the question you should be taking away
> the experience!"
Again, the impact on the protagonist's life really isn't the
point. Mainly, I thought the idea of making the kind of choice
presented in the game was an interesting one to mull over, so I worked
it into a game. I didn't want the player to know what the protagonist
does with the experience, I wanted the player to think about it.
(Again, not think about becoming a radical environmentalist, but just
think about making that type of life-changing choice and its
Anyway, thanks for the feedback.
-Cameron (Who really wishes he had chosen any other radical philosophy
-----= Posted via Newsfeeds.Com, Uncensored Usenet News =-----
http://www.newsfeeds.com - The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World!
-----== Over 80,000 Newsgroups - 16 Different Servers! =-----
> I'm guessing the fault was with me, since practically everyone else
>leapt to that conclusion. :/
Despite notoriously missing the point of "Shade" and being completely
snookered by "Infil-Traitor" (and even after I pointed out
inconsistencies in the framing story), I just want to point out that I
did not make this mistake. When I complained about "his odd
philosophy", I was talking about the character, not you.
>-Cameron (Who really wishes he had chosen any other radical philosophy
As something of an environmentalist myself, (I was a member of the
Sierra Club until I realized that it would be better for the environment
if I didn't throw away, unread, a giant non-recyclable glossy magazine
every other month. But I digress.) I wish you'd stop referring to your
character's weird half-baked cartoon hippy ideas as "environmentalism."
I know a lot of really serious, committed environmentalists and many of
them work in science and technology-related fields. None of them are
Luddites. Hell, the Luddites weren't really "Luddites," but that's
Sorry, I didn't mean to say that environmentalism is a radical
idea. I consider myself an environmentalist, too. I just meant that
the particular ideas advocated by the fox were radical.
First paragraph: Everything is fictitious.
Second paragraph: I'm not advocating drugs in real life, but they
worked well in the game.
Third paragraph: There are optional puzzles.
Fourth paragraph: I'm not going to say anything more.
I did not find any sort of disclaimer that you shouldn't really trust
foxes, or that the author does not believe in radical Ludditism.
In fact, paragraph four implies that the author isn't going to comment
on it. (This is not a bad thing, either. If you got the wrong idea
across in the game, the afterword's not going to salvage it. I think
the afterword was well done and appropriate.)
And the criticism that the "revelation" comes too late seems perfectly
accurate to me. If the focus of the game was "What do you do with a
questionable revelation?" then it needed to come early in the game.
If the focus was on a journey to be enlightened by a fox, then the
fox came at just the right point in the game.
So, this game did not work for me. I did not enjoy it, and misunderstood
the whole point. (I don't think I'm all that bad at understanding these
things.) What I'm trying to do right now is explain why it didn't
work, in the hope that this will be useful to somebody (preferably