[IntroComp] Notes (spoilers ahoy!)

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atholbrose

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Mar 23, 2002, 8:09:16 PM3/23/02
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IntroComp 2002
--------------

Wow, look at all these games... whee... oh, wait a minute: what's this
file, icon.bin? It's not a Stella file like the other .bin... I wonder
who it belongs to? Hmm.

Ah, well. I'm sure I'll find out. (Note: I never did.)

So, how should I play these games, to be fair? I know... alphabetically!
No bias due to system, no prejudice based on the game name. Well, it is
as fair as I can make it.

artifiction (Mikko Vuorinen)
-----------

Wow, an Alan game. I knew I'd download Alan for some reason. I haven't
played an Alan game in, well, ever!

Bland intro that doesn't explain much except I should go and get 'the
artifact'; no discernible setting.

Okay, so my usual first commands -- i, x everything in inventory, x me,
xyzzy -- work, although "Just as handsome as ever." is a pretty tired
response to x me. xyzzy was funny, and, afterwards, it looks like it
might have a different response for every situation.

>diagnose
Who do you think you are, a doctor?

Hmm. "Vortex Room" to grass to a dungeon. Tounge-in-cheek writing.
Senses are implemented, even if sometimes the response to >smell is
just "Yuck!"

Don't know if this is Alan or not, but the only thing I want to have to
type when I >quit is Y or N. Why make me type it twice? If I wanted to
restart or restore, that's what I would have typed.

Is there any way out of the damp dungeon?

After scoring: so, grr, I'm supposed to show the skeleton some respect,
but I can kick it apart? Sigh. And then I'm stuck again, made fun of for
trying the only thing I can think of. If this is the end, let me know!

Would I play more? No, I'm frustrated enough.

At Wit's End Again (MjS)
------------------

Didn't I just start a game with an ambulance accident not too long
ago? Some baseball game?

Well, yes, yes I did. And look: this is a sequel. Damn. I kind of wish I
had finished that other game first.

Okay, now this is pretty tense and gripping, the falling-from-a-plane
part. Unfortunately, I "see" Joe's body on the ground the turn after
waking up. Ah, fuses.

Okay. Were I this guy, I'd give up baseball. Jeez.

Nice use of URLs in the info text. Whee, two games by the same author
I've never played, all right!

I felt really sucked in by the sense of danger, even though I know
first two things are dreams, and the first one was familiar to me.

Would I play more? Yes, I would, and I'm going to play AWE at next
opportunity.

Death By Monkey (Robin Rawson-Tetley)
---------------

I have load up IE 6 to play this, because Mozilla is too stupid to
realize that I already HAVE Java installed. Grr. Plus the screen flashes
while I'm playing and that's kind of annoying in its own way.

Okay, shouldn't a game that starts in a car have some sort of response
to 'drive' or 'stop car'? No, I have to just wait until the car breaks
down. Then I can't 'open car' or 'open door', just 'out'.

This green-on-black is really KILLING me.

There's something seriously wrong with this engine; it's crashed my
browser, TWICE. Blah.

Minimal text, minimal intro, minimal interactivity in what I could see,
crashing... not very much fun.

Would I play more? No.

Private Cyborg (Tony Ash)
--------------

Okay, so why is a game file called "deadman.gam" titled Private Cyborg?
Why is a game titled "Private Cyborg" at ALL?

I'm a formatting nut, so I'm not sure this should count at all... but I
hate the indentations and inconsistent spacing.

Immediately grabbing. Very very very short. Implemented most things I
tried, shouting brought on death sooner. The question about the filename
meant I wasn't too surprised when I was killed. The game's title meant I
wasn't too surprised when I "met" my cybernetic partner.

I kind of like the idea of a cyborg-controlled corpse on a quest for
revenge, epsecially since it looks like the implant and the host shared
most information.

Oh, but what the hell is a culm bank?

Would I play more? Yes, gladly.

FOTR-IC (One of the Bruces)
-------

I must admit, I played this one first, even though I had to download
Stella to do it. Funny, stupid, short. It does have a puzzle, though. I
doubt it will ever be finished.

Would I play more? Yes, just to see it. Do I expect to see more? No.

Genie (Stark Springs)
-----

Urk... a custom style of light light blue on white, in italic? Oh...
that's *my* bad. Oops.

Spacing error: "talk tocommand".

No paragraphs in speech? Hmm.

>take bottle
Which bottle do you mean, the empty bottle or your bottle?

>empty
(the Master)
The master can't contain things.

>take bottle
Which bottle do you mean, the empty bottle or your bottle?

>empty bottle
Which bottle do you mean, the empty bottle or your bottle?

>take empty bottle
You don't need to mess with the bottle. It's empty.

ARGH.

If I'm a genie, how come I have to steal $20 from my Master to bring him
a bottle of scotch? It's funny when the guy takes the $20 from me in the
liquor store, but he notices that but doesn't notice me dematting and
matting right in front of him? Also, what's "adaptive" about this?

Strange writing, strange puzzles, cool premise with lame implementation.

Would I play more? No. But now I might write my own genie game.

Hey, Jingo! (Caleb Wilson)
-----------

Well-written and presented. Just one real puzzle, and maybe the locked
desk drawer is a red herring. Really nice writing and some tension,
though not as much, for me, as At Wit's End Again.

The shortness of this review is mostly to do with the fact that I didn't
really find any implementation or writing errors to complain about. I
liked this game.

Would I play more? Yes, gladly.

Madrigals of War and Love (Jason Dyer)
-------------------------

Excellent writing. It must be intentionally similar to a P.G. Wodehouse
romp; hyphenated and silly last names, harebrained schemes.

A few spacing issues I can overlook because it is incredibly fun so far,
even though there's no game yet.

The most beautiful transvestite in the world?

Would I play more? Yes. I look forward to it.

Maintenance Man (Philip Dearmore)
---------------

This just came down to a lot of niggles; the writing was reasonably
good, as was the coding. However, it annoyed me into quitting.

Niggles:

I can't leave the office even though there's someone TRAPPED IN THE
ELEVATOR?

I can't call the key ring a key ring, just "keys"?

Hot damn, this game has a confusing map.

I can put things in the circuit breaker?

"It bit more pressure"?

Argh, now its dark out there. I don't have a fuse and I'm not
restarting. If there's any other solution, I'm not going to see it
because I quit.

Would I play this? No, no, I wouldn't.

...from the Files of Sigmund Praxis, Guerilla Therapist (Mark Silcox)
-------------------------------------------------------

The less said about this the better. Stupid, awful, ADRIFT, ends
abruptly, can't even use the gun, can't put it back into the desk I took
it out of, grr grr grr.

Would I play this? Not only no but hell no. I think I'm uninstalling
ADRIFT, too.

Time Trap (D. R. Porterfield)
---------

Okay, so the readme says it's an attempt to reinvoke old-style SF and
Infocom games. Okay, let's go!

Most people would not leave their ID in a slot they had to slide it
through. Grr.

Well, it's pretty well-written in both senses, though it has -- grr --
some spacing one way and some another. I prefer blank lines between
paragraphs but will accept anything consistent.

Why in the world would I build a time machine where I had to put a
flourescent light bulb in the engine? And why wouldn't I have
requisitioned one already? And why would I want to use an obviously
faulty one?

Would I play this? Yes, probably, but it doesn't leave me *incredibly*
enthusiastic.

Virus (Philip Dearmore)
-----

Well, I liked this better than Maintenance Man. It does seem awfully
reminiscent of the X-Files movie, though. Well-written and coded, just
like MM. Pretty predictable in where it was going, though.

Would I play this? Probably. Just to see where it goes. Hopefully not to
an abandoned research station, a mysterious accident and a race to solve
puzzles against the clock. Then again, maybe I won't play it.

The Waterhouse Women
--------------------

Really short. Interesting, entering the paintings; might be fun to see
what comes next in the games. Well-written, well-implemented. Wish I had
more ideas what to ask Sophronia about. Also wish I had a reference book
(or this was a graphical game) so I could see the paintings being
written about.

Would I play this: Yes.

End Notes
---------

I knew this was just an IntroComp, but I didn't expect all of the intros
to be so very very short. I finished the entire set of intros in one
night. (Well, I'm not sure I actually got as far as you could go in
Artifiction.) I have more yes than no votes here, which is a little
surprising to me. Hopefully these games will all be completed, and the
ones I didn't like will prove me wrong in their complete form.

Adam Thornton

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Mar 25, 2002, 10:50:31 AM3/25/02
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In article <Xns91DACDBC68E2...@209.249.90.101>,

atholbrose <cinn...@one.net> wrote:
>FOTR-IC (One of the Bruces)
>-------
>
>I must admit, I played this one first, even though I had to download
>Stella to do it. Funny, stupid, short. It does have a puzzle, though. I
>doubt it will ever be finished.
>
>Would I play more? Yes, just to see it. Do I expect to see more? No.

Thank you.

I'm glad you had exactly the reaction I was aiming for.

And I hope you will be pleasantly surprised. The release date for the
full game is not yet common knowledge, but it is, you might say,
dramatically appropriate.

Adam

Adam Thornton

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Mar 25, 2002, 11:05:01 AM3/25/02
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In article <a7nh07$l2u$2...@news.fsf.net>, Adam Thornton <ad...@fsf.net> wrote:
>I'm glad you had exactly the reaction I was aiming for.

<snip>

Er, shit.

That was supposed to be a reply, not a followup.

Hopefully the cancel will get somewhere, but I don't accept random
cancels and your news server shouldn't either.

Adam

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