E-mail for Christopher Huang?

16 views
Skip to first unread message

Michael Straight

unread,
Nov 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/16/98
to

I wanted to send some feedback to Christopher Huang about his Comp98
entry, but couldn't find his e-mail address in the game. Can someone send
it to me?

SMTIRCAHIAGEHLT


Doeadeer3

unread,
Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to

I don't consider myself a great reviewer, but here they are...

**** I split this into several posts due to modem problems. ****

I tried to play most without resorting to the hints and I NEVER used walkthrus
(gives me a better idea of how "good" a game is; if I NEED a walkthru, it needs
a rewrite). I also only played most for two hours maximum (and since I use
hints
as rarely as possible, that means I may have missed later bugs, problems,
lousy/
terrific plot developments and/or endings. I don't try to rush and finish the
games because of the deadline, I finish them later.). I also played all black
(plain), without color or graphics. 21 games are rated, listed alphabetically.

----------------

Reviews for: Arrival, Dilly, Light, Photopia and Plant are not finished, I will
post them next weekend at the latest. Quickly, though, I gave: Arrival - 10
(the
only one), Dilly - 3, Light - 4, Photopia - 9, Plant - 9.

You also might peruse the rant below the last review in this series, "Where
Evil Dwells". No, it's not about "Evil" it's about one-room games (hehehe,
maybe it IS about evil). There will be another rant in the next series.

THANKS!!! - To LucFrench who emailed me some games after I found one of the
3.5 disks I had downloaded them to had become corrupted.

----------------

I used the "four P" system: programming (programming competence), prose
(writing competence), plot (was it present?, did it work?, did I like it?) and
puzzles (read as interactivity in the few puzzle/puzzleless games, the first
part of I F does mean interactive). I was looking for well-rounded games.

10 points maximum were possible for each category. Total divided by 4,
results over #.50 rounded up, others rounded down. ^ = a deer hoof print

NOTE: Sometimes a low score in one category wasn't because of any obvious
problems in that category, but because it was used too little to demonstrate
it. Example: A game with mainly goable directions and few other programming
techniques, did not really display the author's level of programming
competence.

In this section: Acid, Atrox, Tokyo (Downtown).

---------------

Acid Whiplash: by Rybread Celsius with Cody Sandifer ^ ^ (Inform)

Programming : 7
Prose : 2
Plot : 1
Puzzles : 0
10 / 4 = 2.50 = 2

There didn't appear to be any obvious plot and after entering the tooth I got
stuck, I couldn't do anything with the beaver.

I guess this was supposed to be humorous, but either the joke went completely
over my head or it simply wasn't funny. (I prefer whimsy to slapstick, anyway.)

I was predisposed to give Rybread a higher rating this year than last (I sort
of liked "Symetry"), but this quickly struck me as totally pointless. Although
obviously aiming for off-the-wall weird, it was just incomprehensible.

Programming was fine (due to Cody Sandifer), but the promised walkthru yielded
only, "Walk through what?", and the hints seemed to be just more chances to
make jokes. Instead of finding that cute or amusing, it annoyed me.

Summary: Rybread should have stuck to horror, deliberate comedy is not his
genre.

---------------

Cattus Atrox by David A. Cornelson ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ (Inform)

Programming : 8
Prose : 8
Plot : 4
Puzzles : 3
22 / 4 = 5.75 = 6

This came with a warning: explicit language, sex and violence.

I was impressed with how much David's programming/ writing had improved from
last year. But I couldn't prevent myself from being killed (maybe one can't.)

I suppose one could suggest that the author only wrote this so he could try
inserting lurid sex and violence into a game, however, even if that was part of
his intention, I don't feel it would be a *completely* valid criticism.

Although little background was given (and it would have been better with some
to build the story/tension), an effective oppressive, threatening mood was
created by the prose (the fog and Karl's nasty singing). But unfortunately,
it suffered from lack of interactivity, as the PC I could do little. Only small
windows of opportunity for action were presented and then the actions were
severely limited. This made the game too hard to play and/or win (if one can).

So I was left with a bad taste in my mouth, the apparently inevitable dying
made the sex and violence seem not only intentionally sleazy but possibly,
gratuitous. The game, futile, even depressing. Good triumphed over evil.

Summary: Mr. Cornelson has improved greatly as a game programmer/writer, this
story flowed, but I still (referring to last year's comment) wish he would find
better vehicles for his talents. I liked his chicken comp entry much better.

---------------

Downtown Tokyo Present Day by Digby McWiggle (?) ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ (Inform)

Programming : 7
Prose : 7
Plot : 8
Puzzles : 5
27 / 4 = 6.75 = 7

This silly little game was meant to be silly, it doesn't take itself seriously.
The author said it was originally planned to be a chicken comp entry and it
didn't work as well in the yearly competition, up against longer, more serious
games, but it was funny and I liked it. In fact, that could be a statement
about
other more serious efforts, a little light-hearted humor goes a long way.

Despite its wackiness, this game had more going for it than might first appear.
The player is watching a movie (the player isn't even the PC, but is standing
completely outside of the PC watching him, a nice little conceit considering
raif discussions about how much the player projects themselves into the PC
anyway). The interactivity was about on par with "The Space Under The Window"
(possibly deliberate parody, considering the mention of "Sense and Sensibilty"
at the end, if not, the similarity was still amusing), so it wasn't very, but
the film's plot did go in different directions based on the player's choices.

I did look at the hints a lot, but it didn't matter nearly as much in this
game.
Also the convincingly panicked mood pressured me to hurry so the hero could
save
the day before the "monster" turned him (and the heroine) into McNuggets.

Summary: Funny and fun. Quite a good first effort with several possible layers.
I look forward to what Mr. McWiggle (whoever he really is) does in the future.

---------------
Doe doea...@aol.com (formerly known as FemaleDeer)
****************************************************************************
"In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane." Mark Twain

Doeadeer3

unread,
Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to

In this section: Enlightment, Fifteen, City, HRS.

---------------

Enlightenment by Taro Ogawa ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ (Inform)

Programming : 7
Prose : 6
Plot : 3
Puzzles : 8
24 / 4 = 6

Despite the cute accompanying web pages and appealing Infocom-type setting
(presumably outside some Zork cave), I couldn't quite get "into" this game.

The programming seemed more than adequate and although it had no real plot,
PC motivation was adequately provided anyway. The writing also had pleasing
touches of humor, especially in the footnotes, and the puzzles seemed very well
thought-out. But, unless I missed something, it was a no-plot, all-puzzle game.

Also I would NEVER have known what to do without looking at the hints. I might
eventually have solved some of the light conundrums on my own (after I read the
reason in the hints for needing dark), but I lost my patience early on because
too many elaborate puzzles were thrown at me all at once at the beginning.

Summary: Its puzzles seemed very sound, so I didn't rank this that low, but I
really want more from a game. The author obviously has the requisite
programming
and puzzle creating skills, they just need to be fleshed out with more plot.

---------------

Fifteen by Ricardo Dague ^ ^ ^ (Inform)

Programming : 7
Prose : 1
Plot : 2
Puzzles : 4
14 / 4 = 3.50 = 3

Although run-on verbiage should be avoided, this game's room descriptions were
a little TOO concise, "Exits are east and south." The lack of effort on the
author's part to give this game more texture, also made me not want to take the
effort... to play it. Charitably, maybe English is not his first language.

Also, I only got about 3/4's of the way through the fifteen puzzle before I got
tired of typing in, "play #". Some easier way (I AM glad the author included
"play cheat") should have been created so it wouldn't take so tediously long.

The programming seemed okay, but the plot, prose and puzzles were so thin I had
no clear idea what I was supposed to be doing. Or, more importantly, why.

Summary: Aping this game's overly brief prose: go s, read ~Spotlite~ summary.

---------------

The City by Sam Barlow ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ (Inform)

Programming : 7
Prose : 6
Plot : 5
Puzzles : 4
22 / 4 = 5.50 = 5

Maybe there is more to this game than I discovered, maybe not. Since it is
very short, it is hard to comment on it without giving it away.

The "situation" was very intriguing at first, it pricked my sense of curiosity,
"Why am I here. What is going on?". But soon the only thing of real interest
became just the programming, the move recording ability of the video tape.

The plot was too skimpy and the puzzles, well, actually there weren't any, as
nothing yielded a different result. In its favor, I COULD try various things.

Summary: The initial attention grabbing impression rapidly dissipated when the
game went nowhere. But this was grimly unusual, so I hope Mr. Barlow applies
his quite obvious imagination to something more challenging in the future.

---------------

Human Resources Stories by Harry M. Hardjono ^ ^ (Inform)

Programming : 4
Prose : 5
Plot : 0
Puzzles : 1


10 / 4 = 2.50 = 2

Not quite what I might have expected considering Harry's entry last year.
No real plot (at least that wasn't surprising), but no puzzles either.

HRS is all menu choices. To a programmer, some of the choices are probably
slightly funny, but I doubt non-programmers would understand or care.

Despite its simplicity, it still had major programming problems. If "credits"
was entered, I could not return to the menus. Also, "Life isn't like that.",
while possibly true, is not a satisfactory response to "quit". Being forced to
restart my computer to exit was not only extremely irritating, but unfair.

Summary: Left wondering why Mr. Hardjono bothered to write this and/or enter
it.

Doeadeer3

unread,
Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to

In this section: Informatory, Bluemen (Little), Mother Loose, Muse.

---------------

Informatory by William J. Shlaer ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ (Inform)

Programming : 8
Prose : 8
Plot : 8
Puzzles : 8
32 / 4 = 8

I really liked this game, I almost suspected it was written by Graham Nelson,
himself, except it had a few too many "bugs" (some un-edited grammar mistakes,
too much guess the verb when using the crowbar and sometimes hints didn't seem
totally relevant to what I was doing, for instance, when I was in the kitchen).

Funny and irreverent, but mainly for insiders and Inform insiders, at that. The
author said it was partly intended to be an Inform tutorial, but others might
enjoy it because it was quick and easy to play, with good concise descriptions
(which I appreciated after other more rambling ones). The humor actually made
me
laugh, but some was rather pointed and I wasn't always sure who/what the author
was directing his barbs at; if it was sarcastic or simply tongue-in-cheek.

Some insider jokes: the Inform compiler broke and a Codex helmet revealed the
Inform code (sort of) used in the game (code first, usual description, second).
But
Inform jokes were not the only ones, there were also references to raif,
annoying IF practices, other games and famous inventories. Puzzles were pretty
simple, but not always that obvious, so the on-line hints came in handy.

Summary: A cut, an incisive cut, above. An amusing premise with lots of neat
implementation. I enjoyed this insider's joke a lot. However, I remained unsure
how much others might "get" it, especially non-programmers and/or
non-Informers.

---------------

Little Blue Men by Michael S. Gentry ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ (Inform)

Programming : 9
Prose : 8
Plot : 7
Puzzles : 7
31 / 4 = 7.75 = 8

This came with a warning: explicit language, violence and general hostility.

I am not totally sure why I liked this game, but I did. Mr. Gentry said it is
supposed to be "gonzo" humor (and I am fond of Hunter S. Thompson), so maybe I
just liked the tongue-in-cheek tone and snide cracks about working in an
office.

The writing was suitably blunt, it established the wise ass-mood, although I
don't really know what the slang, "frosty", meant (cool?). However, the puzzles
weren't quite clear enough, I usually had inklings of what I was supposed to do
but had to resort to looking at the hints too often in order to resolve them.

Summary: An amusing game, despite its low humor it had the high (and ironic)
goal of learning to love oneself. One can win easily, if disappointingly soon.
It could use some more polishing, but black humor fans will find it satisfying.

---------------

Mother Loose by Irene Callaci ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ (Inform)

Programming : 9
Prose : 7
Plot : 8
Puzzles : 7
31 / 4 = 7.75 = 8

A cute premise, a game based on Mother Goose. Despite that, this is not really
for young children, since it would be too hard for them to play.

Nevertheless I liked the concept with its slightly wisecracking storybook
characters. Although, Mary, a "real-life character", with her believable
childishness, was actually the most appealing. But overall, the atmosphere was
kept very "nursery-rhyme-like" by the persistently cute descriptions (which
unfortunately were also a tad run-on) with their picturesquely quaint details.

But, again, my major problem was the puzzles. Without resorting to the hints I
probably would never have figured any of them out. Either it's been too long
since I read Mother Goose and/or they weren't evident enough (I wanted to
kick myself when I read the "bags" hint; first the kitten wasn't takeable,
then it was; I never found a use for the ladder). I would have preferred to
be nudged by some well-timed quote boxes with the relevant Mother Goose lines.

The ending was best, IIRC as a child I DID wonder how my mother knew so much.

Summary: Cute and entertaining, if a trifle obscure. Next time, if the author
puts more put more lead-in to puzzles in her prose and also tries to make it
more concise, thus, crisper, her happy IF forever-after should be assured.

---------------

Muse by Christopher Huang ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ (Inform)

Programming : 9
Prose : 9
Plot : 9
Puzzles : 8
35 / 4 = 8.75 = 9

An out-of-the-ordinary game, the plot pacing was on the slow side, but since
was it was supposed to be a love story, I did not expect "high drama" value.

The writing was often lyrical, told in first person, it set the period
(Victorian), mood (gentle) and outlined the characters (repressed, but
appropriate to the time/place) well. Puzzles also fit logically into the plot
and genre, so one could easily immerse oneself in the story's by-gone era.

But the plot was slightly hurt by not defining a clear goal for the player
(presumably winning the lady's affections, unless the PC was "too old for
her").
Also, location descriptions were often too fulsome, the directions hard to
find.

However, the only real problem was too much "guess the verb", in this case not
just the verb, but the total command. Too often I had to resort to seeing all
of each hint to get the EXACT command, although I knew what I was supposed to
do. (Example: "change rooms", not, "Innkeeper, change rooms".)

Summary: A refreshingly different genre with well-portrayed characters and
period. A bit slow, but that and the command ambiguities remain minor quibbles.
The high quality of the programming/writing made this game a pleasure to play.

Doeadeer3

unread,
Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to

In this section: Research, Ritual, Space Station.

---------------

Research Dig by Chris Armitage ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ (Inform)

Programming : 4
Prose : 7
Plot : 7


Puzzles : 4
22 / 4 = 5.50 = 5

I liked this better than some others that were better programmed/written. It
offered a musty, historical locale that simply begged to be explored.

However, it needed a lot of work. Writing: one incorrectly worded phrase was
very distracting, "You are stood...". Programming: too many of the standard
library messages were used and some verbs that should have been implemented,
weren't. There were also other problems, sometimes no blank line before the
prompt, bad disambiguation (taking the candle wax instead of a candle), etc.

But puzzles, if somewhat awkwardly designed and programmed, were comprehensible
and the goal, well-defined. Also on the plus side, it aroused my curiosity.

Summary: The author needs to learn more programming and brush up on their
writing skills, since they clearly already understand the main ingredients of a
successful adventure game. Probably all this author really to improve, is time.

---------------

Ritual Purification by Sable ^ ^ ^ ^ (Inform)

Programming : 6
Prose : 8
Plot : 3
Puzzles : 1
18 / 4 = 4.50 = 4

I suppose I should have liked this better than I did; it had an unusual
premise,
an out of body "astral" experience, and elaborately described locations, some
as
creepy as a good horror movie, but there didn't seem to be much for me to DO.

So apparently this was a wander around and look game, I never found any
takeable
objects or real puzzles (other than kissing someone) and didn't play as long as
I might because I got stuck in the throne room with the Angel of Death. Also
the
spells didn't seem to work correctly. When I cast a spell ON someone/something,
I got an blank prompt. Only cast spell, alone, sometimes produced results.

Summary: This game's prose far exceeded its playability. The author needs to
focus more on interactivity, read Mr. Nelson's and Mr. Wilson's design
articles.
Otherwise their efforts will remain frothy, like whip cream without the
dessert.

---------------

Space Station by David Ledgard ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ (Inform)

Programming : 8
Prose : 6
Plot : 7
Puzzles : 6


27 / 4 = 6.75 = 7

Naturally I was predisposed to like this, because Planetfall was one of my
favorite Infocom games. Although I was unsure how much credit this author
deserved, he said it was based on a Planetfall sample transcript, but my
original package came with no such transcript, so I couldn't compare the two.

Playing it made me feel very nostalgic, I liked the feel it had of the "old"
Infocom games (other authors might take note of how concise some of those
descriptions were. Because computer memory has increased since then, they don't
need to be so brief now, but that may not always be an improvement.) That feel
was only reinforced by the library messages changed to duplicate Planetfall's.

Only the fussbudget was totally new to me and even if created by Steve
Merekzky,
I suspect most of its dialogue originated with Mr. Legard. If so, it worked.

I only found a few awkward spots; "plug" adapter in outlet, but not "put". The
key could have been in the file cabinet (unlocked), it didn't make much sense
for it to be in the hall (after all, the crack was missing). But, all in all, a
good implementation of a small Infocomesque game. It left me wanting more.

Summary: This was probably a programming exercise, but it was a good one:
nostalgic, entertaining and well-programmed. I wish the author would expand it
(if Activision allows), because it's only major fault was it was way too short.

Doeadeer3

unread,
Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to

In this section: Spotlite, Evil (Where) and <rant> one-room games </rant>.

---------------

In The Spotlite by John Bryd ^ ^ ^ (Inform)

Programming : 6
Prose : 5
Plot : 1
Puzzles : 2


14 / 4 = 3.50 = 3

This is another no-plot, all-puzzle game. I found the puzzle interesting, but
obviously I am not that intelligent (subtitle: An Unexpected Intelligent Test),
because I couldn't solve it. And God was absolutely no help, at all. But the
amusing God bits did add some sparkle to an otherwise extremely bare game.

Summary: I am always happy to find that someone has learned Inform well enough
to program even a simple little game. I feel like saying, "Way to go!", but I
don't particularly need to see said game and/or see it entered in the contest.

---------------

Where Evil Dwells by Paul Johnson & Steve Owens ^ ^ ^ ^ (Inform)

Programming : 6
Prose : 6
Plot : 4
Puzzles : 2


18 / 4 = 4.50 = 4

Not sure what this horror game was all about and, again, I couldn't prevent
myself from being killed, although I tried everything I could think of.

Writing tended to be overly cliched, but it did set a haunted house mood. No
major programming problems, but I couldn't find anything to do, at least
anything that prevented my two eventual demises, by two unexplained somethings.

The upshot was I was left unsure about everything: the prose - why no hints in
the text about workable things I could try; the plot - why evil dwelled there,
who/what the evil was; the programming/puzzles - why I couldn't find anything
to
do, windows wouldn't break, lighter wouldn't light well. Too cryptic, by half.

Summary: The authors had a good premise, but the game didn't live up to it. It
needed a lot more "meat" on its skeletal frame, a fully developed concept.

-----------

<rant>

One-room, all-puzzle, too-many-puzzles-at-the-beginning games, make me want
to yank out my hair as I scream in frustration. They send me into "information
overload", numbing my brain. There simply isn't enough motivation/reward
offered from the start, including that simple reward usually present in other
types of games; the ability to move to another location and see new things,
to go exploring, to be an ADVENTURER. I know, I know, we aren't talking about
adventure games anymore, we are talking about interactive-fiction now.

Okay then, let's put it another way, they strain the good-will contract between
the author and me, from the start they are either too interactive with not
enough fiction or they are too much fiction with not enough interaction. It
depends how you look at it. I only know my poor brain can't handle it, it likes
breaks between puzzles and adequate motivation for even taking the time to
solve
them. So I will never like them, never think they adequately represent good IF
(interactive AND fiction). If you don't like that, hey, blame my brain.

</rant>

HarryH

unread,
Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to
In article <19981116200023...@ngol05.aol.com>, doea...@aol.com
says...

>Human Resources Stories by Harry M. Hardjono ^ ^ (Inform)
[snip]

>Despite its simplicity, it still had major programming problems. If
"credits"
>was entered, I could not return to the menus. Also, "Life isn't like that.",
>while possibly true, is not a satisfactory response to "quit". Being forced
to
>restart my computer to exit was not only extremely irritating, but unfair.

A lot of the reviews mention this. Actually, this is not true. There IS a way
to get the questions back. You just missed it. There is a way to restart the
game. No, the command is not RESTART. And if you did enter the verb, it would
ask you a yes/no question which will RESTART/QUIT the game.

It was all ... deliberate.

>Summary: Left wondering why Mr. Hardjono bothered to write this and/or enter
>it.

You missed this one as well. It's there in the game.

-------------------------------------------------------
IFC0.1 --C -P++ --A --r -i++
Life is SO unfair!


Doeadeer3

unread,
Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to

In article <72qppf$7kt$1...@east42.supernews.com>,
har...@iu.net.idiotic.com.skip.idiotic.com (HarryH) writes:

>A lot of the reviews mention this. Actually, this is not true. There IS a way
>to get the questions back. You just missed it. There is a way to restart the
>game. No, the command is not RESTART. And if you did enter the verb, it would
>ask you a yes/no question which will RESTART/QUIT the game.
>
>It was all ... deliberate.
>
>>Summary: Left wondering why Mr. Hardjono bothered to write this and/or enter
>>it.
>
>You missed this one as well. It's there in the game.

Evidentially, read about your rant in another review (xyzzy), will go back and
look.

Despite the fact I COULD have restarted the menus, I didn't find the way to do
it. I consider myself an average player, a lot of puzzles are too hard for me
(without hints). So I figure if I missed something, usually quite a few others
did too.

Would have given you a 2, anyway, btw. It wasn't a "game" or
interactive-FICTION.

Also, I missed a lot of things in a lot of games, because I didn't get very far
into 80-90% of them (I am not a fast player and I try not to use hints). So my
reviews are mainly first impressions (my two hours is probably someone's else's
fifteen to thirty minutes). But they are still valid, if I hadn't played these
games for the contest, I would been doing "quick looks" at them instead to see
what I WANTED to play.

Doe :-)

Andrew Plotkin

unread,
Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to
HarryH (har...@iu.net.idiotic.com.skip.idiotic.com) wrote:

> A lot of the reviews mention this. Actually, this is not true. There IS a way
> to get the questions back. You just missed it. There is a way to restart the
> game. No, the command is not RESTART. And if you did enter the verb, it would
> ask you a yes/no question which will RESTART/QUIT the game.

> It was all ... deliberate.

> >Summary: Left wondering why Mr. Hardjono bothered to write this and/or enter
> >it.
> You missed this one as well. It's there in the game.

The first rule of "it's deliberate" is this: if your player thinks you
screwed up, *you screwed up*.

The player is always right.

--Z (ergo, "The Space Under The Window" is X-rated.)

--

"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the
borogoves..."

HarryH

unread,
Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to
In article <erkyrathF...@netcom.com>, erky...@netcom.com says...

>The first rule of "it's deliberate" is this: if your player thinks you
>screwed up, *you screwed up*.

Okay, I can live with that.

>The player is always right.

This I disagree. What if 90% of the players get it, 10% don't? What if 50%
get it, 50% don't? Your statement is only right when it is unanimous. It is
possible that a player will later smack their head and say, "Oh! I get it!"

>--Z (ergo, "The Space Under The Window" is X-rated.)

So, tell us, Do you enjoy writing an X-rated piece? :)
[Please note the smiley]

ne...@norwich.edu

unread,
Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to
In article <19981116200023...@ngol05.aol.com>,

doea...@aol.com (Doeadeer3) wrote:
> Enlightenment by Taro Ogawa ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ (Inform)
>
> Programming : 7
> Prose : 6
> Plot : 3
> Puzzles : 8
> 24 / 4 = 6
>
> Despite the cute accompanying web pages and appealing Infocom-type setting
> (presumably outside some Zork cave), I couldn't quite get "into" this game.

Probably if you don't get the joke right away, the game will fall flat
quickly.

However, if you take your inventory on the first move, like I did, you will
be hooked.

> Fifteen by Ricardo Dague ^ ^ ^ (Inform)
>
> Programming : 7
> Prose : 1
> Plot : 2
> Puzzles : 4

> 14 / 4 = 3.50 = 3

> Also, I only got about 3/4's of the way through the fifteen puzzle before I
got
> tired of typing in, "play #". Some easier way (I AM glad the author included
> "play cheat") should have been created so it wouldn't take so tediously long.

I've heard some of the other reviews talk about ways to move more than one
tile at once. How was this done? I never figured it out either.

> Human Resources Stories by Harry M. Hardjono ^ ^ (Inform)
>

> Programming : 4
> Prose : 5
> Plot : 0
> Puzzles : 1
> 10 / 4 = 2.50 = 2
>
> Not quite what I might have expected considering Harry's entry last year.
> No real plot (at least that wasn't surprising), but no puzzles either.
>
> HRS is all menu choices. To a programmer, some of the choices are probably
> slightly funny, but I doubt non-programmers would understand or care.

Some of the questions were good, and others seemed really arbitrary. The worst
questions was "Can you complete this (high tech) project?". None of the
answers had any context at all.

> Despite its simplicity, it still had major programming problems. If "credits"
> was entered, I could not return to the menus.

You enter 0 to get the latest menu question to re-print.

> Also, "Life isn't like that.",
> while possibly true, is not a satisfactory response to "quit". Being forced to
> restart my computer to exit was not only extremely irritating, but unfair.

There are only a few questions, and you can quit after you lose or win.
However, I agree with you.

> Summary: Left wondering why Mr. Hardjono bothered to write this and/or enter
> it.

It's unique in being the only one of this year's entrants (I'm aware of) that
was writtin in raw Inform (he made no use of the standard library).

--
Neil Cerutti
ne...@norwich.edu

-----------== Posted via Deja News, The Discussion Network ==----------
http://www.dejanews.com/ Search, Read, Discuss, or Start Your Own

Lucian Paul Smith

unread,
Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to
ne...@norwich.edu wrote:
: In article <19981116200023...@ngol05.aol.com>,
: doea...@aol.com (Doeadeer3) wrote:

: > Also, I only got about 3/4's of the way through the fifteen puzzle before I


: got
: > tired of typing in, "play #". Some easier way (I AM glad the author included
: > "play cheat") should have been created so it wouldn't take so tediously long.

: I've heard some of the other reviews talk about ways to move more than one
: tile at once. How was this done? I never figured it out either.

Uh, it told you explicitly:

------------
>INFO PUZZLE
Type 'play <number> <number> ...' to move the pieces.

[...]

And subsequently typing 'play 11 7 6 2' yields

[...]
------------

It couldn't be much clearer, could it?

-Lucian


Wildman, the Cuberstalker

unread,
Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to
On 17 Nov 1998 12:28:56 GMT, HarryH

<har...@iu.net.idiotic.com.skip.idiotic.com> wrote:
>This I disagree. What if 90% of the players get it, 10% don't? What if 50%
>get it, 50% don't? Your statement is only right when it is unanimous. It is
>possible that a player will later smack their head and say, "Oh! I get it!"

Except that HRS had the most votes - all bad. It rated badly because *you*
don't get it, not because *we* don't get it.

--
Wildman, the Cuberstalker
You know the Klingon proverb that tells whose revenge is a dish that is best
served cold? It is very cold....in Cuberspace.
Fight spam - http://www.cauce.org/
DO NOT SPAM THIS ADDRESS

Andrew Plotkin

unread,
Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to
HarryH (har...@iu.net.idiotic.com.skip.idiotic.com) wrote:
> In article <erkyrathF...@netcom.com>, erky...@netcom.com says...
> >The first rule of "it's deliberate" is this: if your player thinks you
> >screwed up, *you screwed up*.

> Okay, I can live with that.

> >The player is always right.

> This I disagree. What if 90% of the players get it, 10% don't? What if 50%

> get it, 50% don't?

They're all right.

> Your statement is only right when it is unanimous.

The question of whether a game works is not a group decision. It's
different for every player.

Nonetheless, it's the important question. It's the question the author
must be concerned with.

> It is
> possible that a player will later smack their head and say, "Oh! I get it!"

Yes; people change their minds about whether they like something.

--Z

ne...@norwich.edu

unread,
Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to
In article <72s3lh$6bh$1...@joe.rice.edu>,

How about:

<...>

You move a tile by typing:

play <number>

You can include more than one tile number in the same command.

For exampe, the command, "play 11 7 6 2" will cause each piece, one after the
other, to be moved into the availlable empty space on the puzzle.

<...>

The explanation in the game looks like a function prototype in a programming
manual. Some people will find that second nature, some won't.

I admit that I had to be somewhat dense to miss it; that was the easy part.

Doeadeer3

unread,
Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to

In article <72s3lh$6bh$1...@joe.rice.edu>, lps...@rice.edu (Lucian Paul Smith)
writes:

>Uh, it told you explicitly:
>
>------------
>>INFO PUZZLE
>Type 'play <number> <number> ...' to move the pieces.
>
>[...]
>
>And subsequently typing 'play 11 7 6 2' yields
>
>[...]

Well I DID miss that, that's MUCH, MUCH better. Okay, I would have given him
another point on puzzles and/or programming. Because that is exactly what I
meant. (It was a good implementation of a small graphic puzzle, even if it
is/was an easy one.)

In fact, I didn't find hints for several games other people evidentially found
hints for and/or I didn't find the exact hints they did, this was one of them,
I did not realize INFO something was a command. I would have to go back and see
if I typed "HELP", "HINTS", "HINT" etc. Think I did, I wouldn't have found out
how to play fifteen at all if I hadn't. But I not sure where the an explanation
for "INFO" was.

I have to admit, for the contest, if a puzzle stumped me too much, I usually
tried the hints once or twice, if I was still stumped (and stuck so I couldn't
move), I just gave up and moved along to the next game. Too many puzzles all at
once meant I went through that process (try, hint, stump) repeatedly for the
same game too many times, so I gave up and moved on to the next game all the
quicker.

With more time I might have had the patience to play more puzzles through to
their conclusion (which is what I usually try to do). But I felt pressured to
play/see/visit/explore as many games as I could. I really HATE even using hints
-- I like to give a game my full attention, with hints that process is cut
short.

In other words, I would have preferred 3-6 months to play all the games. Then I
could have given them the time they deserved.

Doeadeer3

unread,
Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to

In article <72s15h$o8e$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>, ne...@norwich.edu writes:

>Probably if you don't get the joke right away, the game will fall flat
>quickly.
>
>However, if you take your inventory on the first move, like I did, you will
>be hooked.

Never occurred to me to take my inventory since I already had it.

I guess when I am playing the contest games I am looking for the RIGHT
solutions, branches, paths, etc. I am not in a "betatesting" frame of mind (try
everything, even things you normally wouldn't), because that would waste time I
don't have.

I never played the Zorks (only Infocom games I never wanted to), I am not
overly fond of trolls, caves and mystical, wander-all-over-the-map fantasy.

So that is how I missed the joke (although I knew what I was supposed to do
because I looked at the hints and I knew in general what the joke was).

I also dislike one-room games.

Doeadeer3

unread,
Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to

In article <72sepn$5n3$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>, ne...@norwich.edu writes:

>> Type 'play <number> <number> ...' to move the pieces.
>>
>

>The explanation in the game looks like a function prototype in a programming
>manual. Some people will find that second nature, some won't.
>
>I admit that I had to be somewhat dense to miss it; that was the easy part.

AHA! Looking at Neil's explanation, I probably DID see

type play <number> <number>

and did not realize that meant PLURAL (multiple numbers).

Quess I am dense too. (And I am a programmer, abet, a dense one.)

Rybread Celsius

unread,
Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to
>Programming was fine (due to Cody Sandifer), but the promised walkthru yielded

Hey, I coded it! Pfffffft.


Doeadeer3

unread,
Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to

In article <nyk42.285$vR3....@news.ntplx.net>, ryb...@anok4u2.org (Rybread
Celsius) writes:

>Hey, I coded it! Pfffffft.

Hey, I'm SORRY!

What did Cody do then?

(BTW - if you notice, I did give it a higher score for the programming than the
other categories.)

Rybread Celcius

unread,
Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to
see Caraway Seeds :)

Doeadeer3

unread,
Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to

In article <19981116195349...@ngol05.aol.com>, doea...@aol.com
(Doeadeer3) writes:

> Good triumphed over evil.

Oops, despite howmuch I edited and reedited these reviews, that was supposed to
be evil over good.

Doe :-)

Paul O'Brian

unread,
Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to
On 17 Nov 1998, Doeadeer3 wrote:

> Never occurred to me to take my inventory since I already had it.

You've probably realized this already, but "take inventory" is what you do
when you type:

> I

Paul O'Brian
obr...@colorado.edu
http://ucsu.colorado.edu/~obrian


Joe Mason

unread,
Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to
ne...@norwich.edu <ne...@norwich.edu> wrote (not insribed, ok? wrote):

>
>> Also, "Life isn't like that.",
>> while possibly true, is not a satisfactory response to "quit". Being forced to
>> restart my computer to exit was not only extremely irritating, but unfair.
>
>There are only a few questions, and you can quit after you lose or win.
>However, I agree with you.

You can quit at any point by typing "KILL ME".

Thanks, Harry.

Joe
--
I think OO is great... It's no coincidence that "woohoo" contains "oo" twice.
-- GLYPH

Rybread Celcius

unread,
Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to
It's like being in a womb. Sense of security, perhaps?

Lelah Conrad wrote:

> On 17 Nov 1998 18:48:53 GMT, doea...@aol.com (Doeadeer3) wrote:
>
>
> >I also dislike one-room games.
>

> Me too. When I enter a gameworld, I want to GO somewhere. (I put all
> of the one room games at the bottom of my to-play list right away.)
> I wonder about the one-room thing -- why was it so popular?
>
> Lelah


J. Robinson Wheeler

unread,
Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
to
Lelah Conrad wrote:
>
> On 17 Nov 1998 18:48:53 GMT, doea...@aol.com (Doeadeer3) wrote:
>
>
> >I also dislike one-room games.
>
> Me too. When I enter a gameworld, I want to GO somewhere. (I put all
> of the one room games at the bottom of my to-play list right away.)
> I wonder about the one-room thing -- why was it so popular?

Because the competition is for small games!


--
J. Robinson Wheeler
whe...@jump.net http://www.jump.net/~wheeler/jrw/home.html

Lelah Conrad

unread,
Nov 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/18/98
to
On 17 Nov 1998 18:48:29 GMT, doea...@aol.com (Doeadeer3) wrote:


>In other words, I would have preferred 3-6 months to play all the games. Then I
>could have given them the time they deserved.

I agree with you completely. If the judging time were stretched out
(beyond what is the busiest time of year for a schoolteacher) I would
be able to participate in the judging/reviewing. But we've been all
over this before, and people seem happy with the way things are.

Lelah

Lucian Paul Smith

unread,
Nov 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/18/98
to
Doeadeer3 (doea...@aol.com) wrote:

: In article <72s3lh$6bh$1...@joe.rice.edu>, lps...@rice.edu (Lucian Paul Smith)
: writes:

: >It told you explicitly:
: >>INFO PUZZLE

: I did not realize INFO something was a command.

Normally, I'd agree with you, but in this case when you first examined the
puzzle, it told you '[type 'info puzzle' for instructions.]' But if, as
you said later, you had the same problem neil did (missed the <number>
<number> thing), then you didn't actually miss this command. And that
seems pretty likely, all told.

-Lucian

Lelah Conrad

unread,
Nov 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/18/98
to
On 17 Nov 1998 18:48:53 GMT, doea...@aol.com (Doeadeer3) wrote:


>I also dislike one-room games.

Me too. When I enter a gameworld, I want to GO somewhere. (I put all
of the one room games at the bottom of my to-play list right away.)
I wonder about the one-room thing -- why was it so popular?

Lelah

Doeadeer3

unread,
Nov 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/18/98
to

In article <Pine.GSO.3.96.98111...@ucsu.Colorado.EDU>, Paul
O'Brian <obr...@ucsu.Colorado.EDU> writes:

>You've probably realized this already, but "take inventory" is what you do
>when you type:
>
>> I

Oh. Got it then. (But I already said I wasn't a Zork fan.)

Doe :-) Sometimes I AM as dumb as I seem.

Doeadeer3

unread,
Nov 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/18/98
to

_______________

See my reviews, Series I, Part I, for how I rated the games.

Seeing the contest results before I had finished writing the reviews on the
rest of the games I had rated, affected them. Instead of pretending that it
hadn't, I just went ahead and let it affect these reviews.
_______________

Arrival by Stephen Granade ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ (Tads)

Programming : 10
Prose : 10
Plot : 10
Puzzles : 9
39 / 4 = 9.75 = 10

Now that I know the results, I almost feel I have to defend choosing this as
my favorite game and giving it a 10. But I won't.

Basically the reason I felt it deserved a 10 can be summed up in two short
sentences, "It made me laugh. It was the funniest d*mn game in the contest".

<rant>

[Deleted rant about laughter that I may post later. Basically, I advocate it.]

</rant>

As important as laughter is, this game had more to offer than that and can't
be dismissed so quickly. It was a deliberately cliched homage to old, bad
sci-fi movies ("Attack of the B-Movie Cliches"). Sort of a MYSTING, but better.

It also had very good characterization starting with the PC, a typical kid.
The game responses, from the changed library messages (unknown word), "I never
learned the word ___ in school.", to the object descriptions, like the TV, "The
TV sits there completely silent. It's not natural, I tell you. Behind that
blank
screen the adventures of Captain Dangerous and Billy Bob are going on and
you're
missing them.", just helped convince the player they were really a kid (no
easy task in my case, since I am well past childhood).

That only continued with the NPCs, the "dumb and dumber" aliens (although one
wasn't THAT dumb). Anticipating the B-movie plot (I only got part way through
the game), it quickly became obvious that being a kid wasn't going to matter,
I was still going to be able to foil these two idiots. In fact being a kid
would
probably help. Bickering constantly, like an old married couple, they kept
inadvertently saying crucial things they forgot I would overhear (very
believable, people often do forget children are around and end up saying more
in
front of them than they would adults). So they would be the cause of their own
downfall, I would just supply the necessary impetus.

I found no programming problems, the puzzles seemed quite reasonable (although
how to distract Dad isn't something I would have thought of) and the hint
system, well-constructed. In fact, the whole game had that great "solid"
texture
I keep looking/wishing for in non-professional IF (I will rant about that
later).

Summary: Some of the best NPCs created in recent memory. I only hope we are so
lucky when real aliens show up. I loved the homage to a genre (old, bad sci-fi
movies) that usually makes me wince, not laugh. Mr. Granade has a winner.

_______________

Doeadeer3

unread,
Nov 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/18/98
to

_______________

Trapped In a One-Room Dilly by Laura A. Knath ^ ^ ^ (Inform)

Programming : 4
Prose : 1
Plot : 1
Puzzles : 5
11 / 4 = 2.75 = 3

I am going to have to admit I disliked this game on sight.

Why did I react that way? It was a one-room game, with one description and that
description went on and on and on and on and on. Not even any paragraph breaks.
I was supposed to read that very long description and pick out some object from
the mass to concentrate on, to start the puzzles, to get out of the locked
room.

I would much have preferred some objects be separated out from the others, not
be just part of the general room description. Such as,"description: Blah, blah,
blah, blah, blah." and "You can also see the blah, blah and blah here." Much
easier to read and absorb, it also would have given me a starting point.

Knowing a little of what happens later, this was probably deliberate, but at
the
worst, it was extremely poor writing, at the best, it made a terrible first
impression.

I didn't get far into manipulating objects (I tried a few and got frustrated
again), after having seen that overwhelming description my brain simply refused
to get into gear. I could tell (with hints) it was not going to be easy to get
out and with little PC motivation or touches of humor, it just felt like a
chore.

Summary: Since my opinion is exactly opposite to the majority's, no comment.
Besides I already made some in my one-room rant at the end of Series I, Part V.

Doeadeer3

unread,
Nov 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/18/98
to

I've been having a lot of problems posting/emailing the last two days so this
title line got messed up, of course it is Stephen's Arrival, the word Reviews
got deleted.

I also had to delete my laughter rant (in the middle of Arrival's review) to
make it post (otherwise it was too long) so here it is:

----------------

<rant>

I like laughing. I think IF is only capable of evoking limited emotions anyway
and usually only pale shades of those when it does. As a genre, horror can work
in the prose and plot, but nothing I play is ever really going to scare me.

The major emotions that I think IF can evoke are: a sense of awe/wonder/
curiosity (exploration), a sense of challenge/mastery (puzzles) and a sense
of humor. If one looks at the old Infocom games they were usually pretty high
in
all three (though some had a lot less humor) and did not often try for more
(the major exception was the sadness the player could feel at Floyd's "death").

Trying to make me feel intimidated or regretful or scared or sexy with IF isn't
going to work (other than Harry making me angry with his can't quit, but poor
implementation is probably the only way an IF author can make the player truly
angry). I may feel a pale reflection of what the author wants me to feel, but
basically the PC will be feeling it, I will be reading it, trying to emphasize.

However, IF can engage my curiosity and can make me want to rise to the
challenge. Making me laugh goes one step further, it evokes a true emotion from
me, one with an actual physical response. (One which produces a natural high,
making humor/laughter one of most people's favorite emotions. I know it's one
of mine.) I am no longer just playing the PC with its pixel-thin emotions, the
game has reached right through the monitor to touch the player behind it.
Laughing, *I* am emoting, not the PC.

No IF game can aim higher.

</rant>

----------------


That's better (and in case no one notices, it's not really a rant.)

Doe :-)

Doeadeer3

unread,
Nov 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/18/98
to

Slight Spoilers

__________________


Photopia by Adam Cadre ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ (Inform)

Programming : 9
Prose : 12
Plot : 10
Puzzles : 4
10 / 4 = 8.75 = 9

I am going to have to play this again, I guess, because it ended in a strange
place with the current PC turning off the lights. Maybe that is how it is
supposed to end. Maybe it would have ended differently based on what I chose.

Now I will have to read other reviews to see if the plot went differently for
some.

I got rushed judging and decided after playing about 20 minutes of this game I
would probably give it 9. But I had to stop and was going to come back to it
later and I never did. So I gave it a 9 based solely on those 20 minutes, if I
had played it longer I probably would have rated it lower, maybe quite a bit
lower.

Not interactive enough for me by far. All the (various) PC actions were
extremely limited, so basically I had to step in the footsteps of the author. I
tend to resent that, for example, I resented it in Atrox when I was laying
paralyzed on the sofa and I resented it here when I was forced to save Alley
quickly turn by turn.

But outstanding writing, the best in the contest. It flowed, it was
descriptive, it made me feel I was the various PCs. It also rambled, but this
is one author who can ramble very effectively. So to keep my rating a 9, I will
give it extra points for prose.

I guess one should never make assumptions. After I reached the pool scene and
the connection between it and the splash down, I presumed this was going to
be a back and forth time stream thing, probably based on Wendy's life. I simply
can't be the only one who figured it out that quickly. I was a little confused
by Alley not being Wendy and Mary not being Wendy, but I figured that would be
resolved.

The presumption I shouldn't have made was that this was also going to turn out
to be a death flashback, Wendy's life flashing before her eyes as she died.

Low points for interactivity, there really wasn't much. High points for writing
and for the plot, because I am not aware that it has been done before (in IF).

Few programming problems although I did encounter the famous [Bug] and some
command ambiguities, no problems with conversation (it was all menus, which I
don't particularly like) and no problems with hints (I didn't really find any).

Summary: In IF I don't want all puzzles, but, on the other hand, I don't want
all story either, I want a balance. I went a nice tension between the two that
allows me to feel that I am the protagonist affecting the plot. Great writing,
poor game.

Doeadeer3

unread,
Nov 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/18/98
to

In article <19981118042817...@ngol01.aol.com>, doea...@aol.com
(Doeadeer3) writes:

>Programming : 9
>Prose : 12
>Plot : 10
>Puzzles : 4
> 10 / 4 = 8.75 = 9

>Programming : 9
>Prose : 10
>Plot : 7
>Puzzles : 4
> 30 / 4 = 7.50 = 7

After having given it some more thought, that is my true rating (not that
anyone cares). Not higher for plot because of some inconsistences that I
couldn't figure out. But quite quite memorable, nevertheless.

Doe :-) (I will have to admit I got slightly influenced by other people on my
first rating, I have learned my lesson now. Later.)

Magnus Olsson

unread,
Nov 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/18/98
to
In article <erkyrathF...@netcom.com>,

Andrew Plotkin <erky...@netcom.com> wrote:
>HarryH (har...@iu.net.idiotic.com.skip.idiotic.com) wrote:
>> In article <erkyrathF...@netcom.com>, erky...@netcom.com says...
>> >The first rule of "it's deliberate" is this: if your player thinks you
>> >screwed up, *you screwed up*.
>
>> Okay, I can live with that.
>
>> >The player is always right.
>
>> This I disagree. What if 90% of the players get it, 10% don't? What if 50%
>> get it, 50% don't?
>
>They're all right.
>
>> Your statement is only right when it is unanimous.
>
>The question of whether a game works is not a group decision. It's
>different for every player.

Indeed.

This is of course the old question of whether there exist objective
standards for good or bad art (or good or bad games - if you like,
pretend I'm not using "art" in the highbrow sense, but in the ancient
sense of "craft").

The consensus is, of course, that such standards don't exist. But in
the absence of objective standards, *one* standard which makes eminent
sense is "the customer is always right". This is, of course, especially
true if you're trying to sell something.

Of course you can't expect the players to have a unanimous opinion, and
you are always free to disregard the people who don't think like you
do ("I don't care if 99% of all people hate my art, as long as the 1%
that matters likes it").

But the conclusion that the people you're disregarding are *wrong*
in some objective sense ("They didn't like my game - they must have
misunderstood it completely") is a rather presumptuous one to make.
--
Magnus Olsson (m...@df.lth.se, zeb...@pobox.com)
------ http://www.pobox.com/~zebulon ------

HarryH

unread,
Nov 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/18/98
to
In article <72v0op$opo$1...@bartlet.df.lth.se>, m...@bartlet.df.lth.se says...

>But the conclusion that the people you're disregarding are *wrong*
>in some objective sense ("They didn't like my game - they must have
>misunderstood it completely") is a rather presumptuous one to make.

Of course, it's presumptuous. You're confusing two different things as one.
They're not corelated.

Hmmm, let me clarify. Let's say that someone wrote in their review that I
implemented PLUGH, and gave me a high score. Is he wrong? Yes. Does the score
have any meaning? No.

This is different than someone who understand what's going on, and still
don't like it. In this case the score holds true whether it's high or low.
The difference between the two is that someone who "gets it" will be able to
give constructive criticism properly. One who doesn't will simply annoy the
author and spread false information, or on the flip side, praise something
that doesn't deserve it.

I reserve the right to ignore any review that states in the beginning: "I
have completely missed the point."

OTOH, if a lot of people _do_ miss my point, then I suppose I'd better work
on my communication skills more.

-------------------------------------------------------
IFC0.1 --C -P++ --A --r -i++


Iain Merrick

unread,
Nov 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/19/98
to
HarryH wrote:

[...]


> Hmmm, let me clarify. Let's say that someone wrote in their review that I
> implemented PLUGH, and gave me a high score. Is he wrong? Yes. Does the score
> have any meaning? No.

Yes. Exactly right. _Almost_ everything is relative, but there's a
certain level where you just have to say 'no, that's stupid!'

> This is different than someone who understand what's going on, and still
> don't like it. In this case the score holds true whether it's high or low.

Yes again.

> The difference between the two is that someone who "gets it" will be able to
> give constructive criticism properly. One who doesn't will simply annoy the
> author and spread false information, or on the flip side, praise something
> that doesn't deserve it.
>
> I reserve the right to ignore any review that states in the beginning: "I
> have completely missed the point."

Mmmm.... this is the sticking point, I think. If players miss the point
because they're idiots, you can safely ignore them. But if they make an
honest attempt and still miss the point because the game is difficult
and obscure, there's a problem with the game.

But it might not be a _big_ problem with the game. Damn, this is
complicated.

Example: a few people missed the point of _Little Blue Men_, and
similarly for _Photopia_. They weren't being stupid: they fell foul of
minor problems with those games.

Such people gave those games low rankings, _correctly_, but both games
still did well overall, because _most_ people _did_ get the point.

> OTOH, if a lot of people _do_ miss my point, then I suppose I'd better work
> on my communication skills more.

'Fraid so. I'm happy to believe that your intentions were honourable,
but it seems that almost everyone (including me) 'missed the point' of
HRS.

--
Iain Merrick

HarryH

unread,
Nov 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/20/98
to
In article <365436...@cs.york.ac.uk>, i...@cs.york.ac.uk says...

>'Fraid so. I'm happy to believe that your intentions were honourable,
>but it seems that almost everyone (including me) 'missed the point' of
>HRS.

Yup. It's my own fault for targeting such a niche audience. You're not stupid
if you don't get the point, so don't worry about it. I'll target a bigger
audience next time.

Again, MY fault. Sorry.

TenthStone

unread,
Nov 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/22/98
to
Doeadeer3 thus inscribed this day of 17 Nov 1998 19:00:19 GMT:

>Quess I am dense too. (And I am a programmer, abet, a dense one.)

Questioningly guess?

Ah, well.

-----------

The imperturbable TenthStone
tenth...@hotmail.com mcc...@erols.com mcc...@gsgis.k12.va.us

Doeadeer3

unread,
Nov 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/22/98
to

I still had two more reviews to go and it wouldn't be fair not to include them.
Because they are now somewhat stale, I will be briefer.

---------------

Lightania by Gustav Bodell (Tads) 4

Intriguing premise, spaceship crashed near house and intelligent but highly
absent-minded professor is determined to figure out how it works.

Interesting descriptions and promising puzzles (especially the clusters on the
spaceship), but the misspellings and strange words/phrases detracted too much.

I felt bad docking this down for that, because obviously English is not the
author's first language, words were misspelled consistently, like the double l
endings (metall, colorfull), but as soon as I started to get into the plot, I
would notice some strange or misspelled word/phrase and get bumped right out of
it again. They broke mimesis. Such as the book in the house describing
anti-gravity, was that supposed to be intentionally funny, deliberately bad or
vague science, common to a lot of science-fiction?, or was it mainly gibberish
because of the author's limited knowledge of English? I really couldn't decide.

Summary: Too bad this author did not find an English computer spell checker or
two or more English-speaking betatesters before entering his game, then we
could have judged him on what he did with his game, not on his misspelling.

----------------

Doeadeer3

unread,
Nov 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/22/98
to

---------------

The Plant by Mike Roberts (Tads) 9

What can I say? It's a Mike Roberts game. The minute I saw the first screen I
had that feeling when I saw the first screen of an old Infocom game, "Aha, this
is one I want to spend my time on." Only compliant is that the puzzles are a
bit too hard for me (I am still playing it), but I expect them to be fairly
logical and consistent so I am not REALLY complaining. Also, as previously
mentioned by others, Teeterwaller could have had more characterization and it
breaks no new ground.

</rant>

But it feels SOLID. I feel safe playing it. Safe, I know that seems a strange
word to use in relation to a game and I had to think about what that meant to
me. Solid, was the next best word I could come up with. I haven't nailed
everything down yet that I think makes for a solid game, I am still thinking
about it, but I know in general what it is. That old Infocom feeling, why they
were a pleasure to play. You could TRUST them. In greater or lesser degrees I
felt all these games approached that Infocom feeling of solidarity and that is
why I tended to rate them higher: Arrival, Muse, Blue Men, Mother Loose, Tokyo,
Space Station, Enlightenment, Informatory and City (if I had finished City I
would have rated it higher, but I didn't realize one COULD).

What gives me that old Infocom "safe" feeling? Well part of it is what I don't
expect from a solid game: crashing or hanging up on me (well betatested); outre
puzzles I will never be able to solve and even after looking at the hints still
do not understand or seriously questioned the logic of; some strange off-shoot
into a weird subplot or scene that doesn't seem to fit in with the rest; being
deliberately mislead. I DO expect: no major bugs; an internally consistent
world, no matter how fantastical that world might be; fairly logical or
not-too-hard to deduce intuitive puzzles; clues in the text that help steer me
in the right directions, not the wrong ones; thought given by the author to how
I, as player, can and might take part. Overall, I expect help from the author,
not hindrance. And last, but certainly not least, good programming.

That old Infocom feel of safety is what I look for most. I realize we are all
hobbyists doing IF in our spare time and don't have paid betatesters, but the
closer we can get to that kind of solidity the better we are, the better IF is.

<rant>

Summary: It's a Mike Roberts game. Puzzles tie into the plot, but are a bit
hard.

---------------

Afterword: I was considering not doing reviews next year, not a
super-adventurer,
it seems I rarely finish the games I judge and that may make some of my
comments inappropriate. I also don't think I notice many finer points other
judges/reviewers notice, therefore I have little to say about those type of
details. Also I am not a great writer who can really turn a phrase. So I have
felt my reviews add little to the mass. However, I have heard from two authors
who really appreciated my reviews of their games -- on that basis I will try
again next year.

Lelah Conrad

unread,
Nov 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/22/98
to
On 22 Nov 1998 21:10:51 GMT, doea...@aol.com (Doeadeer3) wrote:


>I still had two more reviews to go and it wouldn't be fair not to include them.
>Because they are now somewhat stale, I will be briefer.


I don't think reviews coming later are stale, at all. In fact, many
of us have not had the time to play all the games yet. I think it
would be fine if reviews continued to come out, well, forever,
actually. That way, authors would get plenty of feedback, and people
might be spurred by a later review to try a game they haven't gotten
around to yet, rather than just drop the whole enterprise as being
somehow "over" now.

Also, new people may be dropping in and out at any time, and wouldn't
necessarily know that a game had been reviewed before (unless they
were aware of all the IF sites.)

Lelah

Lelah Conrad

unread,
Nov 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/23/98
to
On 22 Nov 1998 21:15:02 GMT, doea...@aol.com (Doeadeer3) wrote:


>
>Afterword: I was considering not doing reviews next year, not a
>super-adventurer,
>it seems I rarely finish the games I judge and that may make some of my
>comments inappropriate. I also don't think I notice many finer points other
>judges/reviewers notice, therefore I have little to say about those type of
>details. Also I am not a great writer who can really turn a phrase. So I have
>felt my reviews add little to the mass. However, I have heard from two authors
>who really appreciated my reviews of their games -- on that basis I will try
>again next year.

NO, don't hold back! You are so sensible, down to earth. Keep
staking out your spot in the vacuum. Your posts are ones I always
read (unless they have the dreaded [INFORM] in front of them :)] --
and besides, we 40-somethings are in the minority around here.

Lelah

Trevor Barrie

unread,
Nov 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/23/98
to
On 18 Nov 1998 09:28:17 GMT, Doeadeer3 <doea...@aol.com> wrote:
>Slight Spoilers
>
>__________________
>
>
>Photopia by Adam Cadre ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ (Inform)

>I am going to have to play this again, I guess, because it ended in a strange


>place with the current PC turning off the lights. Maybe that is how it is
>supposed to end. Maybe it would have ended differently based on what I chose.

That's the only ending I've seen. How is it strange?

>I got rushed judging and decided after playing about 20 minutes of this game
>I would probably give it 9. But I had to stop and was going to come back to
>it later and I never did. So I gave it a 9 based solely on those 20 minutes,
>if I had played it longer I probably would have rated it lower, maybe quite
>a bit lower.

Conversely, I found it annoying at first (the seemingly condescending
definition thing really bugged me), but after seeing the entire game my
opinion is overwhelmingly positive.

>Not interactive enough for me by far. All the (various) PC actions were
>extremely limited, so basically I had to step in the footsteps of the author.
>I tend to resent that, for example, I resented it in Atrox when I was laying
>paralyzed on the sofa and I resented it here when I was forced to save Alley
>quickly turn by turn.

Any other examples of limited interactivity? I realize you can't change the
final ending, but damn few IF works let you do that so I don't see it as a
major criticism.

>I guess one should never make assumptions. After I reached the pool scene and
>the connection between it and the splash down, I presumed this was going to
>be a back and forth time stream thing, probably based on Wendy's life. I
>simply can't be the only one who figured it out that quickly. I was a little
>confused by Alley not being Wendy and Mary not being Wendy, but I figured
>that would be resolved.

I didn't start to clue in until the fourth or fifth non-coloured scene, when
names started to repeat.

From another post:

>>Programming : 9
>>Prose : 10
>>Plot : 7
>>Puzzles : 4
>> 30 / 4 = 7.50 = 7
>
>After having given it some more thought, that is my true rating (not that
>anyone cares). Not higher for plot because of some inconsistences that I
>couldn't figure out. But quite quite memorable, nevertheless.

Now I'm really curious. What did you see as inconsistent?

Mary K. Kuhner

unread,
Nov 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/23/98
to
Doeadeer3 <doea...@aol.com> wrote:

>Afterword: I was considering not doing reviews next year, not a
>super-adventurer,
>it seems I rarely finish the games I judge and that may make some of my
>comments inappropriate. I also don't think I notice many finer points other
>judges/reviewers notice, therefore I have little to say about those type of
>details. Also I am not a great writer who can really turn a phrase. So I have
>felt my reviews add little to the mass. However, I have heard from two authors
>who really appreciated my reviews of their games -- on that basis I will try
>again next year.

I really encourage you to keep posting reviews. Your perspective
is individual, and I've been encouraged to think about aspects of the
games differently because of your reviews, so I definitely find them
worthwhile. In general, I'd like to thank everyone who posted (or
Web-ified) their reviews--it really added to my enjoyment of the
Competition.

Mary Kuhner mkku...@genetics.washington.edu

Doeadeer3

unread,
Nov 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/23/98
to

In article <3659c...@news1.ibm.net>, tba...@ibm.net (Trevor Barrie) writes:


Spoilers

>Any other examples of limited interactivity? I realize you can't change the
>final ending, but damn few IF works let you do that so I don't see it as a
>major criticism.

Too linear when on Red planet -- walk in straight line to get seed pod. All
locations passed through are useless, just scenery.

Too linear in sea castle -- wander around and find tower, take shovel, rest of
area is useless.

If these were included for more interactivity a lot more could have been done
with them, as it was I only felt annoyed by the severely restricted
interactivity. Didn't think they added anything to the story. Don't think empty
scenery locations were useful, could have been skipped completely (to be in
keeping with the rest of the story) or two would have been suficient.

Ditto beach and forest -- linear -- but they didn't matter as much, because
"puzzles" were right there, no tramping through useless scenery.

The rest of course, is totally linear and minimally interactive. Only choices
are the menus and they aren't really much choice.

>>After having given it some more thought, that is my true rating (not that
>>anyone cares). Not higher for plot because of some inconsistences that I
>>couldn't figure out. But quite quite memorable, nevertheless.
>
>Now I'm really curious. What did you see as inconsistent?

Old ground, covered it, read my post in "Photopia - Who did you identify with?"
in this newsgroup, "Mary's Reviews 1998" in raif.

Also the scene with the man in the hospital went right by me because it was out
of sync with the rest, not placed after Ally in the car. Thought at that point
it related to frat boy or some other new character yet to be introduced. Since
the scenes were introducing new characters all the time, not surprising I
thought that.

Otherwise (see other posts) it was very well written.

Doe :-)

Doeadeer3

unread,
Nov 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/23/98
to

In article <73ch15$11jk$1...@nntp3.u.washington.edu>,

>I really encourage you to keep posting reviews. Your perspective
>is individual, and I've been encouraged to think about aspects of the
>games differently because of your reviews, so I definitely find them
>worthwhile. In general, I'd like to thank everyone who posted (or
>Web-ified) their reviews--it really added to my enjoyment of the
>Competition.

Thanks. Ditto. Your's too.

John Francis

unread,
Nov 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/23/98
to
In article <3658a4df...@news.nu-world.com>,
Lelah Conrad <l...@nu-world.com> wrote:

>On 22 Nov 1998 21:15:02 GMT, doea...@aol.com (Doeadeer3) wrote:
>
>
>>
>>Afterword: I was considering not doing reviews next year, not a
>>super-adventurer,
>>it seems I rarely finish the games I judge and that may make some of my
>>comments inappropriate. I also don't think I notice many finer points other
>>judges/reviewers notice, therefore I have little to say about those type of
>>details. Also I am not a great writer who can really turn a phrase. So I have
>>felt my reviews add little to the mass. However, I have heard from two authors
>>who really appreciated my reviews of their games -- on that basis I will try
>>again next year.
>
>NO, don't hold back! You are so sensible, down to earth. Keep
>staking out your spot in the vacuum. Your posts are ones I always
>read (unless they have the dreaded [INFORM] in front of them :)] --
>and besides, we 40-somethings are in the minority around here.
>
>Lelah

And there'll be one less forty-something in another six months :-(

--
John "But I'm only 31 according to my computer" Francis

Georgina Okerson

unread,
Nov 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/23/98
to

> In article <3659c...@news1.ibm.net>, tba...@ibm.net (Trevor Barrie) writes:
>
>
> Spoilers
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> >Any other examples of limited interactivity? I realize you can't change the
> >final ending, but damn few IF works let you do that so I don't see it as a
> >major criticism.
>
> Too linear when on Red planet -- walk in straight line to get seed pod. All
> locations passed through are useless, just scenery.

Just scenery, yeah, but after I poked into the housing unit and got
the bulldozer to fall on me, they didn't feel useless. Of course, I also
instinctively didn't walk a straight-line path while exploring. It
probably would have felt more scripted if I had.

Given no sense of directional boundary, will more people keep going in
one direction until they hit a "wall", or meander?

> Doe :-)


__________________________________________________________________

Duke University Role-playing And Gaming Organization
http://www.duke.edu/web/DRAGO/drago.html


Trevor Barrie

unread,
Nov 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/25/98
to
On 23 Nov 1998 21:12:53 GMT, Doeadeer3 <doea...@aol.com> wrote:
>Spoilers

>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>>Any other examples of limited interactivity? I realize you can't change the
>>final ending, but damn few IF works let you do that so I don't see it as a
>>major criticism.
>
>Too linear when on Red planet -- walk in straight line to get seed pod. All
>locations passed through are useless, just scenery.

I suppose.

>Too linear in sea castle -- wander around and find tower, take shovel, rest of
>area is useless.

Take shovel and unlock the exit, although the two are of course linked.

>Ditto beach and forest -- linear -- but they didn't matter as much, because
>"puzzles" were right there, no tramping through useless scenery.
>
>The rest of course, is totally linear and minimally interactive. Only choices
>are the menus and they aren't really much choice.

I think you're using a definition of "interactive" wildly different from
what I'm used to. I certainly didn't play any competition games which had
interaction any richer than Photopia's "real-life" scenes.

Come to think of it, would I be correct in supposing that your
"Interactivity" rating was basically equivalent to "Puzzles"?

>>>After having given it some more thought, that is my true rating (not that
>>>anyone cares). Not higher for plot because of some inconsistences that I
>>>couldn't figure out. But quite quite memorable, nevertheless.
>>
>>Now I'm really curious. What did you see as inconsistent?
>
>Old ground, covered it, read my post in "Photopia - Who did you identify
>with?" in this newsgroup, "Mary's Reviews 1998" in raif.

Read them both, saw nothing about any plot inconsistencies. That's why
I asked.

>Also the scene with the man in the hospital went right by me because it
>was out of sync with the rest, not placed after Ally in the car. Thought
>at that point it related to frat boy or some other new character yet to
>be introduced. Since the scenes were introducing new characters all the
>time, not surprising I thought that.

I'm still not following you. Is this a flaw? If so, how?

Doeadeer3

unread,
Nov 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/25/98
to

In light of recent discussion about harsh criticism, I would like to say what I
LIKED about Photopia.

I feel my original review was fair and balanced, but comments I have made since
have only been about what DIDN'T work for me, so now my criticism has become
unbalanced. (The total mass of it.)

Photopia wasn't what I would call Interactive-Fiction, at all, because it
wasn't really very interactive and the storytelling part didn't work for me
exactly because I didn't know it was storytelling. That is all in this post and
others.

I also, quite frankly, didn't feel right comparing or ranking Photopia against
other games, because it side-stepped issues other authors had to sweat and
labor over: how the player was going to interact with the game environment
(movement through and manipulating objects in numerous locations), how the
player was going to interact with the NPCs (discussion with and actions toward)
and how the player was going to do/figure out and solve "puzzles" (and how hint
about them).

Photopia just skipped over most of that, so it didn't seem fair to me,
personally, to compare it to the others.

What it DID do was tell a story, beautifully written and a lot of it,
especially the second half, fast-paced. I appreciated that fast pace, if I was
going to be dealing mainly with a story, I didn't want a lot of author
meandering and pontificating. Also scenes usually juxtaposed very nicely,
especially the splash down and pool scenes. Like a well-edited movie.

Even though the beach scene jarred me and broke mimesis for me, what followed
has to be some of the best fantastical scenes done in IF to date, the wings,
forest, etc. Discovering I had (as the PC) wings and could fly (I took off
immediately), the whole rest of the scenerio, was haunting fantasy, almost
univeral in its symbolism, almost classic. And I think IF players will be
talkng about those scenes in terms of the words, "classic" for years to come.

I hope that makes my criticism much more balanced.

Bob Funchess

unread,
Nov 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/25/98
to
In article <3659c...@news1.ibm.net>, tba...@ibm.net (Trevor Barrie) wrote:
>On 18 Nov 1998 09:28:17 GMT, Doeadeer3 <doea...@aol.com> wrote:
>>I am going to have to play this again, I guess, because it ended in a strange
>>place... [minor spoiler deleted]. Maybe that is how it is

>>supposed to end. Maybe it would have ended differently based on what I chose.
>
>That's the only ending I've seen. How is it strange?

It's strange in that my reaction to it was something like: "Huh? What did I
do wrong, and where's the QUIT/RESTORE/RESTART prompt?" I understand the
symbolism, but I wasn't expecting the game to be over quite yet. This was a
little jarring, and it's one of the two things I disliked about Photopia.

Now, part of this may have been my state of mind at the time... I had just
realized that it was later than I thought and that I needed to leave and come
back to the game later, so perhaps I wasn't reading as carefully or thinking
as deeply as I should have been. I actually went back later and played the
game all the way through again to do some slightly different things (none of
which mattered in the end, of course). And I tried doing everything I could
think of at the end other than the game-ending action, before realizing that
that really WAS the end and I hadn't done anything "wrong" the first time.

The other thing I disliked wasn't apparent on the first runthough... I thought
I was being amazingly lucky and/or clever in some cases and had JUST BARELY
MISSED doing the right thing at the right time in some others. On the second
go it became apparent that that was not the case, and that was somehow a
letdown... though perhaps it's not really fair to complain about that, given
that IF in general doesn't have a very high replay value.

I don't like the _outcome_ of Photopia, but we're not supposed to like it, and
that's quite a different thing from not liking Photopia itself. I don't like
the outcome of Tom Godwin's "The Cold Equations", either, but it made a
tremendous impact on me when I first read it, and it remains possibly the most
memorable short story that I have ever read.

Michael Straight

unread,
Nov 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/25/98
to
On 25 Nov 1998, Doeadeer3 wrote:

> I also, quite frankly, didn't feel right comparing or ranking Photopia against
> other games, because it side-stepped issues other authors had to sweat and
> labor over: how the player was going to interact with the game environment
> (movement through and manipulating objects in numerous locations), how the
> player was going to interact with the NPCs (discussion with and actions toward)
> and how the player was going to do/figure out and solve "puzzles" (and how hint
> about them).

One player's "side-stepping" is another player's "solving".

I don't care if Adam's solutions were "easier" to implement. I thought
they carried the story very well, and I just rate games for how much I
like them, with no bonus points for difficulty. I can see how, as an IF
writer, you might be more interested in how much effort things take.

SMTIRCAHIAGEHLT


Brandon Van Every

unread,
Nov 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/25/98
to

Doeadeer3 wrote in message

>
>Photopia just skipped over most of that,

Which is the acumen of brilliance.


Cheers, 3d graphics optimization jock
Brandon Van Every Seattle, WA
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
If we are all Gods and we have thrown our toys the mortals away
and we are Immortal What shall we do
and we cannot die to entertain ourselves?


Joe Mason

unread,
Nov 26, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/26/98
to
*** SPOILERS: Photopia ***

Bob Funchess <b...@funchess.ml.org> wrote (not insribed, ok? wrote):


>In article <3659c...@news1.ibm.net>, tba...@ibm.net (Trevor Barrie) wrote:
>>On 18 Nov 1998 09:28:17 GMT, Doeadeer3 <doea...@aol.com> wrote:
>>>I am going to have to play this again, I guess, because it ended in a strange
>>>place... [minor spoiler deleted]. Maybe that is how it is
>>>supposed to end. Maybe it would have ended differently based on what I chose.
>>
>>That's the only ending I've seen. How is it strange?
>
>It's strange in that my reaction to it was something like: "Huh? What did I
>do wrong, and where's the QUIT/RESTORE/RESTART prompt?" I understand the
>symbolism, but I wasn't expecting the game to be over quite yet. This was a
>little jarring, and it's one of the two things I disliked about Photopia.

I had the opposite reaction: I thought the game was over right after Alley's
death. I figured the Green section would be some sort of symbolic
wrapping-up, much like the Purple section turned out to be. But I felt I
couldn't play it. Even though I knew what was coming, having read the
spoilers, I still felt so drained by the crash that I couldn't face the
thought of playing through Green. I shut the computer off and replayed
from beginning to end the next day.

Joe
--
Surely you're not trying to tell us that you've never, nay _never_ walked
across miles and miles of Scottish heath searching for a witch only to
find that three go by all at once? -- Den of Iniquity

Bob Funchess

unread,
Nov 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/27/98
to
Warning: below there be spoilers. Don't read this if you don't want to know
what happens in Photopia (and I would suggest that if you haven't played it
yet, that you DON'T WANT TO KNOW until you do play it... I don't think it
would be nearly as good that way).


jcm...@uwaterloo.ca (Joe Mason) wrote:


>Bob Funchess <b...@funchess.ml.org> wrote:
>>It's strange in that my reaction to it was something like: "Huh? What did I
>>do wrong, and where's the QUIT/RESTORE/RESTART prompt?" I understand the
>>symbolism, but I wasn't expecting the game to be over quite yet. This was a
>>little jarring, and it's one of the two things I disliked about Photopia.
>
>I had the opposite reaction: I thought the game was over right after Alley's
>death.

I don't think that's an opposite reaction... I think it's the first half of
the reaction that I had.

If the game had been over then, it would have felt like the end of the game.
I might still have wondered if the ending would have been the same if I'd been
a little quicker on the trigger in either of two places. But that
seemed like a logical place to end.

Since it DIDN'T end there... I was expecting some kind of closure scene,
something that let us know unambiguously "Yes, Alley really did die, the
voices at the hospital weren't talking about someone else, the (non)answer to
the question about her at the hospital meant exactly what you thought it did,
no one was mistaken, the crash team didn't perform some kind of last-minute
miracle..." and so on. So when I didn't see that... I thought I'd done
something wrong so as to miss that scene.

I'm not saying that I think the story _needs_ such a scene, just that I was
expecting one.

Michael Straight

unread,
Nov 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/27/98