comp03 reviews (3/3)

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Andrew Krywaniuk

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Nov 16, 2003, 8:34:06 AM11/16/03
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---
Adoo's stinky story

First impression: Doesn't seem like the most interesting concept, but the
devil's in the details, I suppose...

"Here you find yourself at the top of a short flight of stairs. If you
didn't live here, the many doors extending from here might seem
intimidating. However, daily routine reminds you that your room is to the
east, your brothers' rooms to the north, and the bathroom to the west"

Nice!

The rest of the game suffers a bit from a lack of detail. You get your
father's CD, but what's the title of it? Why can't I examine the pictures on
the wall or use the computer, etc. So far, it seems like I'm just walking
around collecting things. But in the end it turns out there's more to it
than that. Overall, a pretty decent, short game.

> x oven
"That's not something you need to refer to in the course of the game."

Isn't it? It seems like a pretty logical solution to at least one of the
puzzles in the game. And I still think you should be awarded points for
shooting your homework with the ray gun. "But teacher..."

An amusing diversion.

---
THE ADVENTURES OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

First impression: I like the concept, but this is pretty terse.

I'm in the first room of the game and I'm already stuck. About the only
thing I can do is talk to the agent... I've tried "hi", "agent, hello", "say
hi", "ask agent about me", "tell agent about me"... oh wait "talk to agent"
D'oh!

> help
"You do not need any help. You are the President of the United States of
America."

Funny, yet sadly untrue. Even the walkthrough didn't seem to work. (There
was no bottle opener in red square.)

The game is kind of shoddy, but the concept is hillarious.

---
Internal Documents

First impression: Hmm... a game with a message about voter fraud. Your boss'
name is "Governor Blight"... let me take a wild stab at who the bad guy is
going to be...

Anyway, it seems I can't talk to people in the bar. Not a great sign. This
is a very sparse game. Lots of walking around paths/rooms with nothing much
to do. Lots of missing items in the room descriptions. And who still
includes mazes in their games? (and then mocks me for wandering around
aimlessly)

Oh I see... I guess it's kind of a meta puzzle. Let's see if it works again.

"The walls are creaking constantly, the lights flicker, and bits of gravel
fall out of the ceiling with every step. Shouldn't you get the hell out of
here?"
> Get the hell out of here
You can't see any such thing.

Oh well... it was worth a shot. And what about the score?

"You have achieved a score of 16 out of a possible 7556501 in 438 turns."

Is that a bug or a joke?

Fortunately, this game has a full hint system, since the stuff you have to
type is illogical and random. And fortunately it has a walkthrough as well,
for the couple of times when the hint system omits some steps.

I wonder why, I wonder why I wonder why I have to wander around so damn
much.

---
Domicile

First impression: hmm... neutral. There's no real hook so far. Just me
visiting on old house.

> (Please see the accompanying image file for pictures of the symbols.)

Umm.... *I can't see any such thing.*

I'm having troubles here. Why can I examine the drawings on the altar
outside but not the pedestal inside?

>open w
(the white west door)
It seems to be locked.
>unlock w with key
(the white west door with the house key)
That doesn't seem to be something you can unlock.

I'm stuck. The walkthrough in the hints menu doesn't seem to match what I'm
seeing. I'm supposed to look at the designs and something will happen, but
there aren't any designs here. Come to think of it, I couldn't look at the
designs *before* I put the statue on the pedestal.

I know that some people seem to have gotten past this point because I see
them asking for hints on the newsgroup. But I'm force to give up now.
Sigh...

---
Baluthar

First impression: Nice intro... I could get into this.

"The air outside is clear and fresh, invading your lungs like the sun
discovering a recently unearthed ants' nest."

Huh?

The descriptions are vivid, if sometimes overdone. :-) Solving the puzzles
is simplified by the small number of objects. (Unlike Temple of Kaos, where
it's still tough.) Whenever I got stuck, I just looked at the limited
options available.

Nice short game. Solved it without any hints. (And yes, my mother is proud
of me.)

---
Liitle Girl in the Big World

First impression: Hmm... interesting. A game with two characters and it
doesn't tell me who I am. I'm sure it won't take long to figure it out.
Custom parser ain't the greatest, though.

5 minutes later... So is that it? How lame! (After poring over the source
code, I managed to find some of the other puzzles, but still... shouldn't
there be some kind of hint as to their existence?)

Anti-climatic.

---
Rape, Pillage, Galore

Basically a glorified soft-porn random story generator. Played it for 5
minutes, fun for the first 2.

---
Delvyn

First impression: I never played a Santoonie game before. I hear they're
crap, but the ridiculous press releases are kind of funny. And the main
character is an autistic elf in 1979 rural USA... amusing enough.

>l
>Bedroom

Huh? No description for the bedroom

>exits
I don't know the word "exits".

So I just have to look around randomly?

> You're feeling a bit peckish. Perhaps it would be a good time to find
something to eat.

But I just ate a stack of pancakes! Anyway, I thought hunger daemons were
passe. Lots of spelling errors too.

Eventually I got stuck. I climbed down a root and now I'm at the bottom of a
pit. Nothing seems to work. u, d, jump in pit, search earth, climb root.

>hint
I don't know the word "hint".

>help
Hjk6 complete.

huh?

I guess I'm screwed. I guess I could restore, but not knowing if this is a
bug or an intentional trap, I just don't feel like it.

---
Scavenger

I started this game early on and put it aside because it didn't seem like my
thing. (Note earlier aversion to prose-heavy sci-fi.) Sadly, I finish this
comp 1 game short of completion.

---

Well, that's it. By the time I finished editing this, several other
compendiums have already been posted and I can see that my game didn't get
great reviews. What can I say... I'd like to get a good score, but I'm also
not inclined to write a game that I wouldn't want to play myself. This year,
although I didn't particularly enjoy the story of the acclaimed winner, two
of my favorite games (Gourmet and Risorgimento Represso) came in a close
second. So it can be done. I'd rather write a fun game than an "important"
game. :-)

Andrew

Mikko P Vuorinen

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Nov 16, 2003, 2:03:27 PM11/16/03
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In <i1Ltb.403311$6C4.391259@pd7tw1no> "Andrew Krywaniuk" <askr...@hotmail.com> writes:

>THE ADVENTURES OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

>Funny, yet sadly untrue. Even the walkthrough didn't seem to work. (There


>was no bottle opener in red square.)

There will be, if you go there wearing the sombrero.

Note to self: if something seems obvious, it isn't. I thought nobody could
miss the bottle opener, but several people already have.

--
Ei se mitään.

Andrew Krywaniuk

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Nov 16, 2003, 4:47:17 PM11/16/03
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> >Funny, yet sadly untrue. Even the walkthrough didn't seem to work. (There
> >was no bottle opener in red square.)
>
> There will be, if you go there wearing the sombrero.
>
> Note to self: if something seems obvious, it isn't. I thought nobody could
> miss the bottle opener, but several people already have.

Well, it may very well be that I made a mistake while typing in the
walkthrough or I didn't follow it literally. People do that. Emily short's
review of my game complained that the walkthrough didn't work and I noticed
it was at the point where "ring bell" starts a daemon and you have to go
North within two moves. So I got burned by the same thing.

FWIW, if there's an action that doesn't have any immediate consequence, but
affects the story later on, it's probably better to organize the walkthrough
to reflect that.

Andrew


Quintin Stone

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Nov 16, 2003, 5:18:39 PM11/16/03
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On 16 Nov 2003, Mikko P Vuorinen wrote:

> >THE ADVENTURES OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
>
> >Funny, yet sadly untrue. Even the walkthrough didn't seem to work.
> >(There was no bottle opener in red square.)
>
> There will be, if you go there wearing the sombrero.
>
> Note to self: if something seems obvious, it isn't. I thought nobody
> could miss the bottle opener, but several people already have.

I missed it, because I had taken the sombrero off earlier and didn't think
to put it back on. No immediate connection between the bottle opener and
the sombrero occurred to me, though if I had really thought about it, I
probably would have realized that the sombrero was the only piece of
inventory I hadn't used up to that point.

/====================================================================\
|| Quintin Stone O- > "You speak of necessary evil? One ||
|| Code Monkey < of those necessities is that if ||
|| Rebel Programmers Society > innocents must suffer, the guilty must ||
|| st...@rps.net < suffer more." -- Mackenzie Calhoun ||
|| http://www.rps.net/ > "Once Burned" by Peter David ||
\====================================================================/

Joe Mason

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Nov 16, 2003, 6:45:14 PM11/16/03
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In article <i1Ltb.403311$6C4.391259@pd7tw1no>, Andrew Krywaniuk wrote:
> THE ADVENTURES OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
>
> Funny, yet sadly untrue. Even the walkthrough didn't seem to work. (There
> was no bottle opener in red square.)

Lots of people have said the walkthrough doesn't work, but actually it
does. The thing is, you need to be wearing the hat (IIRC). In the
walkthrough, you put it on when you get it and never take it off.
Everybody gets stuck at the end, looks at the last few moves and say, "I
just did that!" But if you follow it from the beginning, the
walkthrough works fine.

(It's still an annoyingly arbitrary puzzle, it's just not actually
broken.)

Joe

Joe Mason

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Nov 16, 2003, 6:51:00 PM11/16/03
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In article <Pine.LNX.4.44.031116...@yes.rps.net>, Quintin Stone wrote:
> I missed it, because I had taken the sombrero off earlier and didn't think
> to put it back on. No immediate connection between the bottle opener and
> the sombrero occurred to me, though if I had really thought about it, I
> probably would have realized that the sombrero was the only piece of
> inventory I hadn't used up to that point.

I think the connection is that if you're wearing the sombrero, people
think you're a tourist. I think a good way to make it clearer would be
to change the message you get by going into Red Square after you've been
told about the bottle opener, to something like, "There are some people
here, but they don't pay any attention to you. Guess you don't stand
out enough."

Joe

ems...@mindspring.com

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Nov 16, 2003, 9:41:50 PM11/16/03
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"Andrew Krywaniuk" <askr...@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<FfStb.406105$pl3.293438@pd7tw3no>...

> > >Funny, yet sadly untrue. Even the walkthrough didn't seem to work. (There
> > >was no bottle opener in red square.)
> >
> > There will be, if you go there wearing the sombrero.
> >
> > Note to self: if something seems obvious, it isn't. I thought nobody could
> > miss the bottle opener, but several people already have.
>
> Well, it may very well be that I made a mistake while typing in the
> walkthrough or I didn't follow it literally. People do that. Emily short's
> review of my game complained that the walkthrough didn't work and I noticed
> it was at the point where "ring bell" starts a daemon and you have to go
> North within two moves. So I got burned by the same thing.

There's definitely an art to the writing of a good walkthrough --
letting the player know which sequences have to be followed precisely
in order to work, and dividing the walkthrough up into sections so
that the player can easily find his place, and things like that. I've
been extremely impressed by the walkthroughs written by David
Welbourn, and if I needed to write another walkthrough myself, I'd
look at his for ideas.

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